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Review of Singin' in the Rain

In late '20s Hollywood, a beautiful but squeaky-voiced star of the silent screen can't adjust when Tinsel Town goes Talkie, yet a disaster is averted when her male co-star has his new girl dub the actress's lines and her singing for their latest costume epic. Glorious musical-comedy is savvy (if a little soft-hearted) about show business, and truly first-rate as a visual feast (with colors that saturate the screen like a painter's dream palette). Though he deserves most of the credit for his co-direction, singing, dancing and choreography, I'm not sure how convincing Gene Kelly is as a love-interest for Debbie Reynolds (they seem more along the lines of close pals, or perhaps brother and sister). Kelly, a real showboater who constantly plays to the camera, knows his strengths like no other musical star, yet his penchant for playing to the audience can either be deemed cute or simply unctuous. Still, the man is a human dynamo, and he cuts quite a presence on the screen; though his elaborate "Broadway Melody" number really belongs in a different picture altogether, Kelly is ingratiating calling out "Gotta Dance!" to a stage full of arms-flailing teens--he's the bedrock of the movie, as well as its heart and soul. Debbie seems rather young for him, but she's full of joshing good cheer, like a great buddy. Donald O'Connor has energy to spare as a pianist, and his exhausting showpiece "Make 'em Laugh" (though prolonged) is one of the few times when Kelly doesn't steal the spotlight. ***1/2 from ****
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Added by Kyle Ellis
2 months ago on 6 November 2021 10:35