Song of the Day #761: ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ – Gene Kelly

Setting aside modern examples such as Moulin Rouge and Grease (although is it fair to call Grease modern anymore?), I own only one musical on DVD. And that’s Singin’ in the Rain.

It’s not that I don’t like musicals (despite my brother-in-law’s claims), it’s just that I’ve never spent the time to watch all of those old classics.

As a young man working in a video store, I took advantage of the free rentals to catch up on a lot of comedies and dramas of yesteryear, but never the musicals. I’m the guy who’s never seen The Sound of Music.

But I did stumble upon Singin’ in the Rain along the way and I love it. It’s everything a musical should be — funny, romantic, fast-paced, charming. The dancing is spectacular, including a fine supporting turn by Donald O’Connor and a sexy cameo by Cyd Charisse.

When I first saw Singing in the Rain, I was surprised at the masculinity of Gene Kelly. In my mind, I’d always lumped him in with Fred Astaire as a slight and graceful, almost-birdlike man. Kelly is certainly graceful, but he’s no bird. He’s like the Don Draper of song-and-dance men.

My oldest daughter loved to watch the ‘Good Morning’ scene from Singin’ in the Rain when she was younger. I was thrilled that she preferred Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor and Gene Kelly to Barney and Friends. I wonder if she remembers that scene at all five years later, or what she’d think of it today.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this week’s show tune theme. I’ll now return you to our regularly scheduled programming…

Doo-dloo-doo-doo-doo
Doo-dloo-doo-doo-doo-doo
Doo-dloo-doo-doo-doo-doo
Doo-dloo-doo-doo-doo-doo…

I’m singing in the rain
Just singing in the rain
What a glorious feelin’
I’m happy again

I’m laughing at clouds
So dark up above
The sun’s in my heart
And I’m ready for love

Let the stormy clouds chase
Everyone from the place
Come on with the rain
I’ve a smile on my face

I walk down the lane
With a happy refrain
Just singin’,
Singin’ in the rain

Dancin’ in the rain
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
Dee-ah dee-ah dee-ah
I’m happy again!
I’m singin’ and dancin’ in the rain!

I’m dancin’ and singin’ in the rain…

20 thoughts on “Song of the Day #761: ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ – Gene Kelly

  1. Amy says:

    Wait a second! What do you mean that you’ve never seen The Sound of Music? That’s impossible. It was on television every single year, and we watched at least a good hour of it every single year! You’re telling me you have no memory of “The Hills are Alive,” “I am Sixteen going on Seventeen,” “Maria,” “My Favorite Things”???? I just can’t believe that is true.

    After you’re done explaining how you’ve never gone back and righted that wrong, start explaining why you didn’t feature My Fair Lady this week, because you’re certainly not going to tell me that you’ve never seen Rex Harrison croon “The Rain in Spain,” as we are among the lucky few who got to see him not only in the film version but on STAGE!

    This SOTD is all fine and good, but you owe us another week of show tunes, buddy!

  2. Clay says:

    Oh, you’re just like Prince’s mother.

  3. Dana says:

    Look, the man hates musicals….just face it. Sure, he has some exceptions that he purports to like, but the omissions speak volumes. Clay saying I like musicals but have never seen “The Sound Of Music” is a bit like saying:

    “I like science fiction movies, but have never seen Star Wars” or

    “I like mob movies, but have never seen “The Godfather” or

    “I like horror films, but have never seen “The Exorcist” or…. well, you get the point.

    The dude has no musicals cred. He CAN’T do a second week…not enough in the arsenal. It ain’t happening.

  4. Clay says:

    A 3-hour movie about singing Nazis… not my thing!

  5. Dana says:

    Oh sure, but how many times have you watched a 3 hour movie about non-singing Nazis called “Schindler’s List?” I believe you have confessed to watching that movie about 11 times.

    I sing “Good day, sir!”

  6. Clay says:

    Nazis are not meant to sing. Except in The Producers.

  7. Dana says:

    Oh, just admit I called you out on your resistance to musicals!

  8. Clay says:

    It’s not my favorite genre, but I don’t “hate” or “resist” them. Not seeking out old movies on DVD is different than avoiding them in general.

    For example, you dislike westerns, so not only will you not rent Once Upon a Time in the West or The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, you won’t see well-reviewed westerns that come out in theaters.

    I haven’t sought out the classic musical that came out before my time, but just in recent years I’ve paid to see Dreamgirls, Hairspray, Chicago and Once, to name a few.

  9. Dana says:

    I don’t think I said “hate” and, if I did, I was exaggerating for comedic effect.

    I do maintain that you generally dislike the genre–save for the “modern” musical, usually done with enough cinematic creativity, or with people you want to see (Grease, Dream Girls, Hairspray) or a director you generally follow (Chicago), to pique your interest. Oh and for the hundredth time, Once is NOT a musical! A musical is where songs are sung in place of dialogue to carry the plot forward. In Once, the actors just sang a bunch of songs. Not the same thing.

    And yes, I dislike westerns, but at least I’m man enough to admit it! Oh, and I will (reluctantly) go see some westerns when they are nominated for best picture, etc….and, each time I have done so, I have come away with the same feeling–I “appreciate” the movie, but don’t like or enjoy it.

  10. Clay says:

    You said “Look, the man hates musicals….just face it.” in Comment #3 above. Comedic effect, I know, but you’ve maintained that position for some time.

    I didn’t know Rob Marshall before Chicago (I believe that was his first film). I saw it because the reviews were good.

    I think you refuted your own argument with your final comment. You don’t enjoy the westerns you see. Well, I have enjoyed all of the musicals I’ve seen… so doesn’t that mean by default that I enjoy the genre?

  11. Dana says:

    You knew and like Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, John C. Reilly and Lucy Liu though, so that, along with the positive reviews and Oscar buzz had you there, not because it was a musical or that you were in the mood to see a musical.

    I will concede that, unlike me with my continuing dislike of westerns, you have clearly enjoyed those musicals you have seen as mentioned this week. However, I still maintain that you have a general bias against, not for, the musical, though perhaps that bias continues to diminish with each one you do see, much like your initial bias against country music, though you have clearly gone hog tied the other way on that one. I will be ready to declare your bias against the musical dead when, like you have done with country music, you DO seek out some of the classics like Sound OF Music.

  12. pegclifton says:

    Well, you ended the week with a great one! It’s one of my favorite moments on film. I always enjoyed Gene Kelly’s dancing, as you said he certainly is graceful but brings more muscle into his dance. Thanks for a wonderful week of music (and dance)!

  13. Clay says:

    I think you’re wrong in equating the failure to seek out old examples of a genre with a bias against that genre. You love comedies but I don’t see you going wild on NetFlix catching up on all the Billy Wilder films you haven’t seen.

    I tend not to be much of a genre filmgoer in general. As you pointed out, I see films generally based on who makes them or who is in them. If the Coen Brothers make a musical, you can bet it will be #1 on my must-see list, just as their western (coming out later this year) is now.

    So no, I don’t say “Oh look, a new musical is coming out… I’ll be first in line for that one, no matter what Rotten Tomatoes says.” But neither do I do that with crime films or sci-fi films.

  14. Dana says:

    Oh, really, Mr A-Team, Mr. Knight and Day-? Are you going to tell me these are not examples of seeking out and seeing the genres you like (action) notwithstanding mediocre (at best) reviews?

    And don’t use me as an example as to favored genres as I don’t go back and watch ANY old films of any genres if left to my own devices. When I do see older films, it’s because we want to have the kids experience them (Back to the Future, Big, E.T., etc…). I just really have neither the time or the inclination to see older stuff when there is so much new stuff I want to see more. Call it an anti-oldie bias, but I can assure you it is not genre specific.

    You, on the other hand, seem to have (or had in the past) more interest in seeing the “great” films of the past. So for you to have not seen The Sound of Music, which won five Academy Awards including best picture and, adjusted for inflation, is the third biggest money making film of all time behind Gone with the Wind and Star Wars.is rather astonishing, don’t you think?

  15. Clay says:

    I can name you about two dozen action films this year alone that I haven’t seen. You saw Knight and Day and you don’t even like action movies. I’m sure we both saw that movie because it was a good “date night” film and it starred Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. As for The A-Team, I watched the show as a kid and Alex would not be stopped in her quest to see Bradley Cooper’s chest. Bad examples.

    I haven’t seen Gone With the Wind, either, so what does that say? Maybe I’m biased against big moneymakers. 🙂

  16. Dana says:

    Whoa! You haven’t seen Gone with the Wind either? Well, then, I don’t know what to say, except you may have to relinquish your movie credentials immediately:)

    (And yes, I saw Knight and Day because it seemed like it would be a light date night movie, and there was nothing really better to see….)

  17. pegclifton says:

    Frankly Clay and Dana, “I don’t give a damn” 🙂 last line from GWTW in case you didn’t know. I remember finally seeing that movie after having read the book and imagining all the actors in the characters roles being so perfect–I was truly obsessed with the book and movie. I was very young, but I’m still a sucker for romantic movies like Moonstruck.

  18. pegclifton says:

    Actually, I stand corrected, it’s not the last line in the book or movie, but rather Rhett Butler’s last comment to Scarlett. Sorry.

  19. Clay says:

    I believe “After all, tomorrow is another day” is the last line, right? And I haven’t even seen it! 🙂

  20. pegclifton says:

    Ha! I think you’re right!

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