26 January 2012

Good Mornin', Good Mornin'

Taking my cue from the lovely English weather we've been having lately, I decided to start my film quest with Singing in the Rain the 1950s classic, because lets face it, who hasn't been walking down the street in the rain with their umbrella and given a little skip in acknowledgement to that most famous of music, scenes?

Thinking about it this was probably the first time I had seen the movie version of singing in the rain all the way through rather than watching somewhat mismatched chunks of it on tv, and I had to say I really liked it! I knew the stage version already having helped out backstage for Weymouth Operatic Society's production a few years ago - cue anecdotes about the onstage film breaking down ("err, it must be the interval. who wants popcorn?"), desperately trying not to electrocute the leading man because he lost his hat and topping up the 'rain' with milk so that the audience could see it, again nearly killing the leading man in the process.

The choreography of the film is stunning, even by modern standards, with Cosmo (Donald O'Conner)'s song Make 'Em Laugh being quite possibly one of the hardest and most ridiculous scenes of its type I have ever seen. why Donald o'conner didn't become as big a household name as gene Kelly for that role alone I really don't know.
The middle broadway melody section did leave me a little baffled though, making me prefer the stage version without the slightly obscure ballet section in the middle whilst it works for Oklahoma and carousel, this time I wasn't all that convinced.

Overall, a great film and the only place you are ever likely to witness such amazing dance and choreography - something that must be quite intimidating for anyone taking on the lead roles in either amateur or professional versions of the stage show. Give me the stage version with the cast, choreography and production of the film and I'm happy. Not much to ask is it? This film is definitely one that I will be watching again on a rainy day (pardon the shameful pun) when I want to sit back and marvel at the sheer brilliance of gene Kelly's production.

So what's next on my list? The Wizard of OZ, High Society and Breakfast at Tiffany's are all in my possession, so let's see how the mood takes me..

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