Welcome to the Weekly Movie Thread, your place on the Avocado to discuss films with your fellow commenters. Want to make a recommendation? Looking for recommendations? Want to share your opinions of movies, both new and classic?
This year we celebrate the 70th anniversary of what some consider their favorite musical of all time, Singin’ In the Rain.
We’d probably refer to this film these days as a jukebox musical. Only two songs were written for this film: “Moses Supposes” and “Make ‘Em Laugh” (which has very many similarities to Cole Porter’s “Be A Clown”). The rest were lifted from previous musicals… including the title one, “Singin’ In the Rain.”
To watch that sequence is to appreciate it on two levels. He would do some crazy jumps and leaps in his films because at his core he was an athlete. But the magic trick is that you forget all of that. It’s not showy and calls attention to itself. Instead, you’re caught up in the mood. Kelly has given a goodnight kiss to Debbie Reynolds, and he’s doing a dance on a soaking wet soundstage because he cannot contain his glee.
Kelly, in fact, was such a perfectionist that on several occasions he made Debbie Reynolds cry with his taskmaster ways. Reynolds wasn’t a dancer, but she was a gymnast… and Kelly though that she could nail the routine because she too was an athlete. At the time, Kelly thought nothing of it, as he likely had to go through the same emotionally draining routines.
Later in life, Kelly would express some remorse for his treatment of Reynolds, though. “I wasn’t nice to Debbie. It’s a wonder she still speaks to me.” Though he did respect her performance: “Fortunately, Debbie was strong as an ox . . . also she was a great copyist, and she could pick up the most complicated routine without too much difficulty . . . at the university of hard work and pain.”
Today’s bonus prompt: what is your favorite musical sequence in any film?