Gene Kelly never looked or sounded better than in this 60th Anniversary edition and Blu-ray debut of Singin’ In The Rain. Along with an incredible high-def upgrade, Warner Bros. has really shown thefilm a ton of love with a wealth of extras to make it well-worth the purchase price.
For its Blu-ray debut, Warner Bros. gave the film a 4k scan of the Technicolor 3-strip negatives and a new DTS-Master of the uncompressed audio. Along with being housed in a beautiful looking box with a slip cover, the new release of the movie will please any diehard fan thanks to all the extra goodies.
Bonus material includes the brand new documentary ‘Singin’ In The Rain: Raining on a New Generation;” commentary by a host of people (such as the great Debbie Reynolds, director Baz Luhrmann and film historian Rudy Behlmer); a making of feature; “You are My Lucky Star” outtake musical number; a collection of clips from earlier films featuring the songs of Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed; scoring stage session cards; stills gallery; theatrical trailer; and a documentary on Arthur Freed. As great as the bonus material is, it is the inclusion of a full-size Singin’ In The Rain umbrella that will make fans want to head out into the rain to attempt to copy Kelly’s signature moves.
Released in 1952, Singin' In The Rain is one of the greatest musicals ever made and one of my personal favorite films. It is an excellent combination of comedy, music, and romance – as well as giving fans a behind the scenes look at Hollywood’s greatest age.
Directed by Stanley Donen and Kelly, the film (which was nominated for two Academy Awards) was written by Adolph Green and Betty Comden. Along with Kelly, the film features brilliant performances from Donald O'Connor (who keeps the audience laughing every time he is on screen), Debbie Reynolds (who is simply beautiful and charming in the movie), Jean Hagen (who manages to steal scene after scene with her Lina Lamont), Millard Mitchell, Douglas Fowley, and Rita Moreno.
Set in the early days of Hollywood as the Silent Era was coming to a close with the introduction of the “talkie pictures,” Singin’ In The Rain follows screen heartthrob couple Don Lockwood (Kelly) and Lina Lamont (Hagen).
On screen, Lockwood (who worked his way from being a stunt man to a star) and Lamont (the very definition of a spoiled diva) are all heat and romance. The love ends the second the director yells “cut” and Lockwood runs as fast as he can from Lamont – who is starting to believe the studios press about the couple’s romance.
Their success on the screen is put in jeopardy with the addition of sound in movies – which requires the actors to speak and actually act. While this isn’t so much a struggle for Lockwood, Lamont’s mouse voice and poor speaking skills are sure to doom the couple – as demonstrated during a test screening of the duo’s latest film.
Luckily, Lockwood and his comedic pal Cosmo Brown (O'Connor) find the solution in Kathy Selden (Reynolds) - an aspiring actress who puts Don in his place and makes him instantly fall in love. The plan is to have Kathy’s voice dubbed in place of Lina’s squeak – even if Lina isn’t completely happy about the idea of the growing romance between Don and Kathy.
Singin’ In The Rain is a perfect movie. It has everything the audience could want and more. The music is memorable, fun, and upbeat. O'Connor and Kelly keep the laughs coming a mile a minute (O’Connor’s “Make Them Laugh” song will have you rolling on the floor), and every romance element is there with the natural chemistry between Kelly and Reynolds.
Although I have seen the movie dozens of times, it wasn’t until watching it on Blu-ray that I noticed just how brilliant Jean Hagen was as Lina Lamont. The talented actress owns the role as the “dumb spoiled blonde” and even manages to steal the laughs from Kelly and O’Connor.
I was constantly cracking up every time she was on screen and wanting to see more of her character as the movie settled into the romance between Kelly and Reynolds.
As great as all the performances are, Singin’ In The Rain is Kelly’s movie and it is that dance with an umbrella that helped cement his iconic status in the musical genre. Kelly is simply brilliant in the movie and is a joy to watch time and time again. The actor could handle any role, and is completely believable as a dashing screen heartthrob or a gritty stunt man.
With its wealth of bonus material, incredible upgrade in picture and sound, Singin' In The Rain: 60th Anniversary Collector's Edition belongs in any film lovers collection. The new edition is well-worth the price and the movie just gets better with each viewing.
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More clips from Singin' In The Rain: 60th Anniversary Collector's Edition: