Released 1952 (USA)
American, in English
Directors - Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly
Stars - Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen
Silent film pair Don Lockwood (Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Hagen) have a difficult time transitioning to “talkies.” O’Connor co-stars as Don’s piano-playing, lifelong pal, Cosmo Brown, and Reynolds as Don’s love interest, Kathy Selden.
I’ve never been keen on the modern-dance sequence toward the end of the film. In addition to simply not liking it, I also feel that it doesn’t fit with the rest of the movie. I liked it better this time around because I appreciated the technique and beauty of it, but I still think it’s out of place.
There are some very clunky scene cuts. It’s jarring.
The singing! The dancing! The costumes! The sets! The physical comedy! The snappy dialogue!
God, I love Jean Hagen in this. She’s so funny. That voice. And the fact that she sings in that voice. Singing in a voice that’s not your natural speaking voice can’t be easy.
It’s fun, it’s entertaining, and it’s feel-good.
I used to be very anti-musical (I was convinced that I didn’t like the genre as a whole; I was wrong), so most of my life was musical-free. The first time I saw this one was about nine years ago. My then-new-guy-I-was-dating-now-husband suggested we watch it very early on in our relationship. He’s not exactly the type of guy you look at and think to yourself, “There’s a guy who likes musicals.” But he likes this one, and his enthusiasm convinced me to give it a shot. I’m so glad I did!
I love this film. It’s fun and funny. The music is great. The dancing is great. There’s virtually nothing to dislike about it. I re-watch it at least once a year. (My husband and I also occasionally sing “Good morning!” to each other because we’re dorks.) Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about it. If you’ve never seen it, there’s no time like the present!
I give it 4.5 stars.