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Singin' in the Rain

Singing in the Rain (Stanley Donen, 1952)

The ambitious and beautifully staged Broadway Melody, a conceptual dream-fantasy dance number, makes Singin' in the Rain so indeed very special.

For anyone who hasn't seen Singin' in the Rain, this 3 minute YouTube clip Link shows you just what you're missing! That video is from the ballet inspired, dream sequence dance that's shown above.

While all of the Broadway Melody number is jaw dropping awesome, I especially loved the set design and color pallet used in the gif. But that gif hardly does the dance segment justice. The woman is wearing a veil that's incredible long, 50 feet! A wind machine is used to blow the veil sky high! It's really a thing of beauty and accentuates the already intrinsic feeling of the set design.

The other segment of Broadway Melody that awed me was the jazz speak easy club number with that same woman decked out in a Louise Brooks style flapper outfit. Her emerald green dress really pops against the deep red background of the set. YouTube Link

Cyd Charisse is that woman. IMO she was the best female dancer to ever glide over the silver screen.

My other favorite number was the duel dance with Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor at that start of the film. It's a good dance number and it's fun to compare their styles. And I'm convinced Donald O'Connor was a better dancer than Gene Kelly. Kelly is visible stiff in his upper body, especially in his head, neck and shoulders. Where as O'Connor is fluid from his feet to the top of his head.

I have to say Jean Hagen was great in this! I loved her ditzy, screeching silent film movie star. I'm not surprised she earned an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actress. Her and Donald O'Connor were my favorite characters.

Gene Kelly does a good job of being a somewhat narcissistic movie star who's still likeable deep down. That's a role he often played in his films and that character type is probably close to his own personality.

A 19 year old Debbie Reynolds did a good job of it too, but was an odd choice as she was mostly an unknown and not a dancer. I'm not sure why Gene Kelly who was the film's co-producer would choose her? She's not a stand out and the romance part of the film didn't really work for me, but that doesn't matter as the dance numbers are phenomenal.