Singin' in the Rain (1952)

Singin' in the Rain
Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds
and Gene Kelly

'Singin' in the Rain' is a classic comedy musical made in 1952, directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, and starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O'Connor and Jean Hagen. It offers wonderful songs and dance sequences, choreographed by Gene Kelly, and is generally recognised as a cinematic masterpiece and one of the greatest musicals ever made. In 2007, the American Film Institute ranked the movie at number 5 on their list of Greatest Movies of All Time. In 1989, 'Singin' in the Rain' was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry and deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress.

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The movie tells a wonderful comic story which is actually based on the real life transition in Hollywood from silent films to Talkies. The happy, relaxed atmosphere of the move stems from the singing and dancing sequences, which form over half the running time. Two numbers have become legendary for their innovation and brilliance - Gene Kelly's classic title song sequence, and Donald O'Connor's athletic and memorably funny 'Make 'em Laugh'.

Gene Kelly dominates the film. He is the star, co-director, main singer, dancer and choreographer. His genius is given free rein and he takes full advantage of it. Debbie Reynolds, in her breakthrough role almost playing herself as an up and coming young actress, also contributes to the happy, light-hearted atmosphere.

For those in the know about the history of Hollywood the film had an added bonus, with many references to actual Hollywood personalities and events. Set in 1927, 'Singin' In The Rain' is also an accurate reflection of a time when Hollywood was going through a difficult period of transition as the industry adapted to the introduction of sound.

Surprisingly the movie received only lukewarm critical reviews when it was released, although it was an immediate hit with the public and has been a consistent moneymaker ever since. It was nominated for just two Academy Awards - Jean Hagen for Best Supporting Actress, and Lennie Hayton for Best Musical Score - and won neither. Nevertheless it has since been recognised as the masterwork it is and sixty years after being made it is still an immensely appealing movie and is frequently chosen as one of the all-time top ten Hollywood movies. It is ranked at number one on the American Film Institute's list of finest musicals and is generally considered to be the finest screen musical ever made by Hollywood.

Main Cast

Gene Kelly ... Don Lockwood
Donald O'Connor ... Cosmo Brown
Debbie Reynolds ... Kathy Selden
Jean Hagen ... Lina Lamont
Millard Mitchell ... R.F. Simpson
Cyd Charisse ... Dancer
Douglas Fowley ... Roscoe Dexter
Rita Moreno ... Zelda Zanders


Director ... Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen
Producer ... Arthur Freed
Written by .. Betty Comden, Adolph Green
Music ... Nacio Herb Brown (music), Arthur Freed (lyrics)
Cinematography ... Harold Rosson
Distributed ... Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
Release date ... March 27, 1952
Running time ... 103 minutes

Academy Awards

No Wins:
2 Unsuccessful Nominations:
Best Supporting Actress ... Jean Hagen
Music (Best Original Score) ... Lennie Hayton