One of the shining glories of the American musical, this 1952 feature was fabricated (by screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green) around a collection of old songs written by producer Arthur Freed and brought to bright, brash, and exuberant life by directors Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly. The setting is Hollywood’s troubled transition to sound, and there is just enough self-reflexive content (on the eternal battle between illusion and reality in the movies) to structure the film’s superb selection of numbers. The tone ranges from the lyrical (the title number) to the burlesque (“Moses Supposes”) to the epic (“Broadway Melody”), but through it all runs a celebration of movement as emotion. Kelly’s costars include Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell, Cyd Charisse, and Rita Moreno.
Singin’ in the Rain
G • 1 hour 42 min • 1952