Singing in the Rain: AFI 100 Greatest American Films

5 days ago
This video is a review of Singing in the Rain.

English subtitle

Hello.
This is Seth Welling and welcome to another
AFI 100 Greatest American Films List Review.
Today I’m going to do Singing in the Rain.
Singing in the Rain appears on the 2007 list
at number 5.
It came out in 1952.
So this is an interesting film.
It’s a musical, for one.
It’s probably one of the most fun to watch
musicals.
And I know that this is kind of an oxymoron
because musicals are supposed to be fun, but
this one is.
It has more joy in it.
More happiness and it doesn’t really get
too sad.
It’s kind of like new wine, old bottle.
I’ll have to explain what I mean by that.
This was a musical made out of parts.
And it really was based on An American in
Paris.
An American in Paris came out the year before
in 1951 and starred Gene Kelly.
And it won like five Oscars including Best
Picture, Best Screenplay, Cinematography,
special one for dance.
And the studio just wanted to reuse some of
the sets of An American In Paris and some
older songs.
Apparently, this was par for the course in
the ’50’s.
That would not stand today.
Everyone wants to see new stuff every five
seconds.
But the film has one new song.The new song
is, of course, the title track: “Singing
in the Rain”, and everyone has heard it.
You’re probably singing it in your head
right now.
It’s a wonderful ear worm.
Some of the other songs are “Good Morning”,
You know, “Good Morning, It’s great to
stay out late, Good Morning Good Morning to
you.”
It’s another ear worm and this movie is
full of them.
I watched this coming back on the plane from
Tucson.
And it was just the right timbre, you know
when you’re going home from vacation, you’re
kind of down and this film managed to lift
me up, you know, provide a little fun thing
in the plane when you’re kinda bored because
you’re flying for a couple hours.
It’s one of those movies and you can probably
watch it over and over again.
This film stars Gene Kelly, and Donald O’Connor.
Gene Kelly and Donald O’Connor were tap
dancers.
Because in the 50’s that was big.
And it’s Debbie Reynolds, you know Debbie
Reynolds’ big break.
She was 19 years old.
Imagine having your big break at 19.
She went for it.
She was wonderful.
She was all smiles, all heart.
She did a better job than the actress in An
American in Paris- Well, these two films are
so tightly linked that you can’t talk about
one and not the other because you would be
doing a disservice because everything was
reused.
Essentially, this film is Hollywood commenting
on itself.
It’s set back in 1929.
So, in the ’20’s, they had silent films
and if you’ve seen any of my film list,
you will know that The General is a silent
film.
And I’m gonna put up Birth of a Nation which
is another silent film.
It was the first really popular film.
But silent film was a product of the ’20’s,
then they came out with Sound.
It was, it’s like today kind of, movies
ruled the roost until we got the VCR.
Or if you’re not that old, it’s like how
channels like Showtime on cable ruled the
living room and now we have Netflix and Netflix
is just opening the floodgates with Hulu and
all these other streaming services.
And now, we have basically no movie rental
stores.
Blockbuster’s dead.
There’s like one of them left.
Hollywood Video was dead before Blockbuster.
And now, everyone is streaming.
So it’s that big of a shift in where the
industry is as it was between silent films
and talkies- like old silent film people like
Charlie Chaplin - the most famous of all the
actors in silent film, He- I think he only
did one talkie and then his career was basically
over when he was like the Harrison Ford of
silent film.
He was the king.
The King.
That changed when movies started having sound.
So it was that big.
And the first time people heard what the actors
and actresses actually sounded like on film,
they laughed.
They laughed because back then there was no
dolby surround sound, There was no cinematic
sound.
There was no 7.1 Dolby.
It was all tinny because they didn’t know
how to record bass until Motown came around
in the mid ’60/s.
I know Motown is records but that was the
first accurate 'production of bass and lower
frequencies.
I mean, Motown sounds great today.
And if you listen to the Beatles, that’s
a hard sound there.
You barely hear the bass. Paul’s bass is
almost nonexistent in the track.
And if you look at the end of the Beatle’s
career like Hey Jude, then you hear the bass.
It was that big of a shift.
IT was monumental.
And the studios were freaking out: How are
we going to sell silent films when people
are going to talkies?
Well, It’s like how are we going compete
with Netflix when Netflix or Amazon brought
out Manchester by the Sea and it won an Oscar?
How are we gonna compete with that kind of
upstart?
So, this film is about that era.
And what happened is, there’s Lila.
Lila is the Marilyn Monroe of the silent era.
She’s a big star and she’s also a big
ego.
I don’t think Marilyn Monroe had a big ego
though.
But she’s Marilyn Monroe in star power.
She’s the only one people want to see.
Yet, when they hear her she has a squeaky
voice that doesn’t fit the actress that
she is.
But the Debbie Reynolds character stands in
as a voice actor that’s how they get past
the problem.
But the problem with being a voice actor is
you never get a break.
You’re always this person’s voice.
And the problem with being a silent actor
who has to have a voice actor, like if I had
one, You can’t reproduce that in public.
Like they’re giving you an award, maybe.
And they want you to say ‘Thank you to the
cast and the crew and my mom….
You want to make that in the same voice as
you are known for.
It’s a double edged sword.
So what happens is people decided to scrap
the silent film they are making and Gene Kelly,
Donald O’Connor and Debbie Reynolds decide
to make a new film out of an old film.
And that’s essentially what they’re doing.
Making Singing in the Rain over An American
in Paris using a lot of stuff used in An American
in Paris.
And Of course, since this is Hollywood commenting
on itself and its history, they do it, Now,
Singing in the Rain has probably the most
iconic dance routines on film- two of them.
One by Gene Kelly which is Singing in the
Rain.
The other one by Donald O’Connor where he
just flips himself around like a cartoon.
He almost defies the laws of physics when
he dances.
You really have to look that up because it’s
really amazing what he could do.
And this was in 1952.
This was over half a century ago.
This was 65 years ago.
It’s amazing.
This is a fun film.
We don’t have to read into it like Raiders
of the Lost Ark where you ether like Nazis
or hate Nazis.
It’s just totally Hollywood commenting on
itself and it works!
And it didn’t get the rave reviews that
An American in Paris did but since then it’s
seen as a bigger film than An American in
Paris even though it didn’t win any Oscars
because it’s just a better story.
It’s a better, the characters are better.
And even though the songs are re-used as in
An American in Paris, You would like this
film, especially if you’re getting into
musicals which you should because they’re
an underused American type of movie.
They’re fun.
I liked it a lot better than LaLa Land.
Let’s put it that way.
There was very little plot.
Very little plot.
Singing in the Rain was much better.