Singin' in the Rain

This exuberant satire of Hollywood in the late 20s, at the time of the transition from silents to talkies, is probably the most enjoyable of all American movie musicals. The teamwork of the stars, Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and Debbie Reynolds, is joyful and the material is first-rate--ranging from parodies of the Busby Berkeley style of choreography to the Charleston and Black Bottom performed straight. The film falters during a too-long love song on a deserted studio stage (later cut from some of the prints) and during a lavish oversize Broadway ballet, but these sequences don't seriously affect one's enjoyment. With Jean Hagen as an imbecile movie-queen, Millard Mitchell as a producer, Cyd Charisse as a dancer, Rita Moreno as a flapper actress, Madge Blake as a syrupy columnist, Douglas Fowley as a distraught director. Directed by Kelly and Stanley Donen from the witty, affectionate script by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. The songs by Nacio Herb Brown with lyrics by Arthur Freed include "All I Do Is Dream of You," "Make 'Em Laugh," "I've Got a Feeling You're Fooling," "Wedding of the Painted Doll," "Fit as a Fiddle," "Should I?," "You Were Meant for Me," "Good Mornin'," "You Are My Lucky Star," and, of course, "Singin' in the Rain." The song "Moses" is by Comden and Green and Roger Edens. Cinematography by Harold Rosson. Produced by Freed. MGM.