Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Singin' in the Rain" showcases Kelly, but not much else

Singin' in the RainImage via WikipediaAs I continue to work my way through the films I have not seen in the AFI Top 100, Singin' in the Rain (#5) was the highest rated on the list. I understand that the singing and dancing was something special, but as far as musicals go, this one would not be at the top of my list. For my money, White Christmas would be at the top of my musical list.

To me, Singin' in the Rain is a star vehicle for Gene Kelly and not much else. Debbie Reynolds is underused and the buddy relationship between Kelly's character and Donald O'Connor's (Cosmo Brown) never materializes. Both O'Connor and Reynolds get too little screen time compared to the annoying Lina Lamont, played well by Jean Hagen.

One thing this film shares with White Christmas is the EXTREMELY long dance sequence which essentially serves as intermission. Perhaps it's just because I'm not into dance, but to drag the number out for (what seems like) ten minutes is painful. The "Singin' in the Rain" dance number is just long enough to hold my interest and make me appreciate Kelly's talent, but the "Gotta Dance" marathon drove me to get a snack. 

Needless to say, this one didn't do it for me. For it to be #5, and White Christmas not to appear at all is just plain wrong.

Screenshot taken by me (Icea) from the trailer...Image via Wikipedia
Gloria Swanson in Sunset Blvd.
I've put #16 Sunset Boulevard (1950) on reserve at the library. Unless I find something else on the shelves before then, that will be my next project.
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