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Wick's Review

Created Jul 21, 2012 07:04AM PST • Edited Dec 29, 2016 04:02PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Perfect 5.0

    Hollywood perfection, thy name is Singin’ in the Rain.

    Forget the singing, forget the dancing, see it for the sparkling comedy. It’s simply studded with LOLs.

    Though many of us have seen outtakes, especially Gene Kelly’s Singing’ in the Rain number, every movie fan should see the entire movie. We were lucky enough to catch it recently on the big screen in TCM’s one night event, preceded by a short documentary that included a live interview with Debbie Reynolds.

    Perhaps the greatest revelation is that a 60-year-old production still works for modern audiences — talent, craft and LOLs winning out in the end.

    Think I’m gushing? A Perfect Storm – Will Friedwald’s recent Wall Street Journal Masterpiece feature – declares it Hollywood’s greatest movie about Hollywood, the greatest musical and an all-time top movie.

    A perfect storm indeed.

  3. Perfect 5.0

    Gene Kelly had it all: matinee idol looks, winning personality, comedic timing, good singing voice, and oh yeah, he could really dance. And that was just in front of the camera…

    Donald O’Connor is more of a revelation, being less known to 21st century audiences. Stupendously funny to go along with being every bit the dancer that Kelly was, his Make ’em Laugh number is as fresh, fun and funny as musical comedy gets.

    Debbie Reynolds was still a teen (half Gene Kelly’s age) and not yet a dancer when she starred in Singin’ in the Rain, but delivered a performance of charm, sauciness and incandescence.

    Jean Hagen’s Lina Lamont is a gloriously self-absorbed silent movie star with a wonderfully bad voice. Golden performance.

    Millard Mitchell’s studio head is a terrific straightman, while Cyd Charisse’s darkly sexy dancer is so perfect as to be an archetype.

  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Perfect 5.0
  6. Female Costars Perfect 5.0
  7. Male Costars Perfect 5.0
  8. Perfect 5.0

    The story makes sport of the revolutionary transition from silent movies to talkies, in similar fashion to The Artist over half a century later. Thus it turns out The Artist is a silent Singin’ in the Rain.

  9. Direction Perfect 5.0

    Gene Kelly shared directorial credit with Stanley Donen. What other movies did Donen also direct? The perfect Charade and the great Funny Face.

  10. Play Perfect 5.0
  11. Music Perfect 5.0

    Singin’ in the Rain is also the greatest-ever “jukebox musical,” with a score cobbled together from existing songs.

    - A Perfect Storm

  12. Visuals Perfect 5.0
  13. Content
  14. Tame 1.2
  15. Sex Innocent 1.2
  16. Violence Gentle 1.2
  17. Rudeness Polite 1.3
  18. Glib 1.3

    Singin’ in the Rain provides important insight into how industries react to revolutionary change. Poorly, that’s how. Most try to apply the old rules and the old techniques to the new reality, only to be blown out of the water when fresh practitioners re-imagine the possibilities and necessities of the new technology.

    Singin’ in the Rain entertainingly shows this disruption phenomena with the advent of movie sound, but we’ve seen it with TV, VCRs, DVDs, personal computers, on-line shopping and mobile apps.

  19. Circumstantial Glib 1.7
  20. Biological Glib 1.2
  21. Physical Natural 1.0


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