Friday, July 13, 2012

Singin' in the Rain!

My favorite movie of all time is The Wizard of Oz. In 1999 they released it for one night to movie theaters for it's 60th Anniversary. Knowing how much I loved it Stan took our family to go see it. I was overwhelmed by the thrill of seeing it on the big screen and literally wept when Dorothy opened the door to step into Oz.

Stan found out they were doing the same thing with another favorite of mine, Singin' in the Rain which was being shown on the big screen for one night in honor of it's 60th Anniversary. Since Stan and Kevin both had to work, AJ and I went July 12th to see this wonderful musical on the big screen, and oh what a treat!

I'm always singing songs from this film to my family; "Good Mornin'," "All I Do is Dream of You," and of course the title song. To see the singing and the dancing on the big screen was simply breathtaking! The things you miss watching it on a television are countless. Those little details enrich the experience, and it was amazing to watch the precision of the dancing done by Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor. They were perfect together!

Before the showing Robert Osbourne from TCM interviewed Debbie Reynolds (who was only 18 when she made this film) and also showed clips of interviews with O'Connor, Cyd Charisse and Kelly's widow. They talked about experiences that happened behind the scenes and how they felt about making the film.a

Interestingly enough, Singin' in the Rain was not a hit when it was released in 1952. Reynolds said it took about five years for it to catch on.

If you've never seen the film, it's a musical about the movie industry. Specifically about that time in the late 1920s when talking pictures were coming into being, and about the making of the first talking film for the fictious studio with it's biggest silent stars played by Gene Kelly and Jean Hagen. The problem is that Hagen's character has a heavy Bronx accent and can neither speak well nor sing. Kelly, with his best friend played by Donald O'Connor, and his love interest, played by Debbie Reynolds, decide to have Reynold dub Hagen's voice.  Well, you can imagine how that goes.

The movie is sweet and fairly simple. The music is happy and fun, the dancing is amazing, having been choreographed by Gene Kelly, and the colors are vibrant and beautiful.

And, as happened when I saw The Wizard of Oz, I found myself weeping at the thrill of seeing this classic film on the big screen at last. I'm hoping they do this with some more of the older films. While it's always terrific to be able to watch them when we want to in our own homes, there's something about seeing these films they way they were meant to be watched: on the big screen in full color with the rich sound surrounding you.

We were lucky enough to watch Singin' in the Rain with a theater full of film lovers who were as happy and excited to be there as we were. There was laughter, some singing along and quoting some of the best lines. And when the film ended, it did so to a rousing round of applause. What a fun experience.