Singin' in the Rain

Singin' in the Rain ★★★★★

I´m glad that Hollywood still made musicals after this but let´s be honest, the genre peaked in 1952 with “Singin´ in the Rain”. You could even make the case that cinema in general peaked with this film. I first watched the movie during the early days of my Letterboxd journey and gave it 4 stars. What a loser I was, this is a 5 stars film if I ever saw one.

While watching the film, I lost count how often I thought “They didn´t need to go this hard but I´m glad they did”. Every scene is vibrant, joyous, exhilarating, and gorgeous to look at; there really is not a single dull moment. The humor, the romance, the music, the spectacle, but also the satirical meta-commentary on showbusiness. This is Hollywood making fun of itself while simultaneously celebrating everything we love about it. “Singin´ in the Rain” fully embodies the larger-than-life feeling I associate with Golden Age Hollywood. The sets, the costumes, the colors, the cinematography, the choreographies. Everything oozes movie magic, and the entire film exudes an infectious joy to be alive. And what can I say about the music numbers? Most iconic of all is of course the “Singin´ in the Rain” number that gives the movie its name, but there also are "Make 'Em Laugh”, “Good Morning”, “Moses Supposes”, and “Fit as a Fiddle”, all of them outstanding performances, especially "Make 'Em Laugh”. And then, when you think you´ve already seen everything, comes the show-stopping, awe-inspiring movie-within-a-movie masterpiece number, the entire “Broadway Melody” sequence. In my opinion, that´s the sequence that elevates “Singin´ in the Rain” from all-time classic to G.O.A.T level.

Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds are a beautiful, charming, and extremely talented movie couple and I love their romance, but oh boy, Donald O´Connor is a total riot and steals the movie, in my opinion. How can one man have so much energy? I also really love the friendship between O´Connor and Kelly. Reminds me a bit of the Rick Dalton/Cliff Booth bromance, though this here is clearly the more hyper-active and jolly version. And let´s not forget what Jean Hagen brings to the movie. What a fun, memorable performance. Also, shoutout to Rita Moreno for being in both “Singin´ in the Rain” and “West Side Story”, number 1 and 2 on the AFI´s Greatest Movie Musicals list.

“Singin´ in the Rain” is one of Hollywood´s grandest spectacles, pure cinematic happiness, and honestly, a mic drop of a movie. It´s the pinnacle of movie musicals and stands alone at the top.

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