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JulyDiaz

Singin’ In The Rain

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Well then let's go the other way.  What makes this 5 star perfection?  What differentiates this from Swing Time?  (Besides, the black face scene haha.)

Everyone seems to be like, well some scenes are long or unrelated, or it doesn't hold up to thinking about it, or Debbie Reynolds isn't quite good enough, or whatever.  But then, at the same time, it's 5 star ratings all around and Paul, for example, concludes it should be even higher than number 5.  

What connection am I missing?

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Just now, AlmostAGhost said:

Well then let's go the other way.  What makes this 5 star perfection?  What differentiates this from Swing Time?  (Besides, the black face scene haha.)

Everyone seems to be like, well some scenes are long or unrelated, or it doesn't hold up to thinking about it, or Debbie Reynolds isn't quite good enough, or whatever.  But then, at the same time, it's 5 star ratings all around and Paul, for example, concludes it should be even higher than number 5.  

What connection am I missing?

I personally just love these kind of movies so I go in probably with a much lower bar than most people would because a good ol fashion musical like this just wins me over so fast (I did give Mamma Mia 2 a 4.5 rating after all lol)

And the only thing I think is actually wrong with it is the length of the Melody. Nothing else should be touched or considered bad in my opinion. But I think that even recognizing that Gene may have been a dick and the Melody may be too long and whatever have you, this movie makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside, and no matter how bad a movie may be considered (looking at you Across the Universe) if it still makes me happier than I was before I watched it then I'm gonna give it that full star rating.

Also, I'll add that before listening to today's episode there was a lot of stuff I didn't know about. I had no idea the songs came before the story.

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3 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Well then let's go the other way.  What makes this 5 star perfection?  What differentiates this from Swing Time?  (Besides, the black face scene haha.)

Everyone seems to be like, well some scenes are long or unrelated, or it doesn't hold up to thinking about it, or Debbie Reynolds isn't quite good enough, or whatever.  But then, at the same time, it's 5 star ratings all around and Paul, for example, concludes it should be even higher than number 5.  

What connection am I missing?

That's a really good question. I currently have it at number one on my list, but that's mostly just from (as Paul said) the happiness I get from the movie. Many of the movies on the AFI list are heavy dramas and it's nice to see one that is just light and fun. I agree that "Make 'Em Laugh" is the most impressive number, but "Singin' in the Rain" is straight up iconic. The twinkle in his eye as he splashes through the street like a child makes *me* want to dance. 

As far as being better than Swing Time, while both movies are on the lighthearted side, this one has the stronger narrative. Swing Time is just about a guy trying to avoid marriage, Singin' in the Rain just has so much more going on. I also think the comedy lands better in SitR.

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5 minutes ago, taylorannephoto said:

Also, I'll add that before listening to today's episode there was a lot of stuff I didn't know about. I had no idea the songs came before the story.

Neither did I! I was shocked by that. Personally, I thought all the songs fit perfectly - except for the Melody. ;)

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1 hour ago, grudlian. said:

 You're right about this being kind of not a joyful plot. They are ruining her career because of her voice. I mean she's a jerk so maybe that kind of justifies it? Not really but this is the ultimate turn your brain off and just enjoy it movie.

I would actually argue that this is a strength of the movie. As colorful and joyous as the musical numbers are, there's also a sardonic edge to it, in depicting some aspects of the "classic" era of movies (for the time this was made) as not so great. Demonstrating that people could be just as selfish and backbiting as ever.

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33 minutes ago, AlmostAGhost said:

Well then let's go the other way.  What makes this 5 star perfection?  What differentiates this from Swing Time?  (Besides, the black face scene haha.)

Everyone seems to be like, well some scenes are long or unrelated, or it doesn't hold up to thinking about it, or Debbie Reynolds isn't quite good enough, or whatever.  But then, at the same time, it's 5 star ratings all around and Paul, for example, concludes it should be even higher than number 5.  

What connection am I missing?

Sometimes the staging, choreography, and performance of song-and-dance numbers are all just perfect, for every number in the movie. It can be exhilarating. Singin' in the Rain is like that. It's like a juggler who keeps throwing more balls in the air and never drops them.

Pure entertainment. Make 'em laugh!

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My mind is so cluttered with bad movies that the only thing I could think about during "You Were Meant for Me" 

was "Suddenly" from Xanadu...

 

 

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Oh, all the feels of this movie! This is the first time I've seen the entire thing. I had only seen "Singin' in the Rain" and "Good Morning" before, and maybe a few other clips. First, I was really taken aback by the dancing. Oh, the dancing! Especially "Make 'em Laugh."  I rarely have such a positive emotional reaction to films, and I think it's because the concentration of talent all in one place. I do also agree that Melody wore out its welcome. It seemed as jarring a piece as the rear projection in All About Eve, and took me out of the feeling of the rest of the film. 

Regarding Lina, I actually don't think they were trying to sabotage her career. She was clearly not cut out for making the transition to "talkies" because she couldn't act while also making sure she was recording her voice. I read the situation of trying to let her save face by dubbing a more palatable voice versus just replacing her or severely cutting her lines. Doing it behind her back was a bit of a smarmy move because they lacked the nerve to tell her how bad she was, but they were trying to keep her from being a public laughing stock. 

And FMK: 

Fuck Donald O'Connor because of that athleticism! 

Marry Debbie Reynolds because who wouldn't want to spend their lives with her? 

And kill Gene Kelley because, well, he's the last one left, and he seems to be the biggest jerk of the three. He's beautiful and all, but...

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14 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

Sometimes the staging, choreography, and performance of song-and-dance numbers are all just perfect, for every number in the movie. It can be exhilarating. Singin' in the Rain is like that. It's like a juggler who keeps throwing more balls in the air and never drops them.

Pure entertainment. Make 'em laugh!

100%

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11 minutes ago, WatchOutForSnakes said:

Oh, all the feels of this movie! This is the first time I've seen the entire thing. I had only seen "Singin' in the Rain" and "Good Morning" before, and maybe a few other clips. First, I was really taken aback by the dancing. Oh, the dancing! Especially "Make 'em Laugh."  I rarely have such a positive emotional reaction to films, and I think it's because the concentration of talent all in one place. I do also agree that Melody wore out its welcome. It seemed as jarring a piece as the rear projection in All About Eve, and took me out of the feeling of the rest of the film. 

Regarding Lina, I actually don't think they were trying to sabotage her career. She was clearly not cut out for making the transition to "talkies" because she couldn't act while also making sure she was recording her voice. I read the situation of trying to let her save face by dubbing a more palatable voice versus just replacing her or severely cutting her lines. Doing it behind her back was a bit of a smarmy move because they lacked the nerve to tell her how bad she was, but they were trying to keep her from being a public laughing stock. 

I'm working on a theory as to how these elements fit together and cohere into a statement for the movie.

Singin' in the Rain is above all a celebration of artistry and TALENT. If a person has talent (Kathy), they are celebrated. If they don't (Lena), they are mocked. The movie business is shown as a cutthroat business (and a lot of jokes are made about this aspect), one where "talent" is not always recognized, but the movie sides with the belief that it should be. It's not about your worth as a person, it's about your worth as an artist and performer.

And why shouldn't that be celebrated? Donald O'Connor runs up a damn wall and does a backflip for your amusement! He and Gene Kelly do synchronized tap dancing on a damn desk! Debbie Reynolds bloodied her damn feet just so that "Good Morning" number would look good! These numbers wouldn't work at all without people pushing their talents to the limit.

Given all of that, it's not hard to see why people, especially people in the movie business, revere this movie.

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46 minutes ago, sycasey 2.0 said:

I would actually argue that this is a strength of the movie. As colorful and joyous as the musical numbers are, there's also a sardonic edge to it, in depicting some aspects of the "classic" era of movies (for the time this was made) as not so great. Demonstrating that people could be just as selfish and backbiting as ever.

Oh, for sure. I like all this stuff but I can see why it might be a turn off for some people. I'm fine with her comeuppance

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I totally agree with Amy's take on "Beautiful Girls" as a way of showing how garish it would have all appeared, and quite frankly, how radical a talking picture would have been at the time. I think this take is further supported by the scene where they are first confronted with the concept of a "talking picture."

I love how totally off-putting that whole presentation is. It almost feels like a horror movie. Again, I think it's well-done as a way of communicating the unease the characters are experiencing with this new technology..

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6 hours ago, AlmostAGhost said:

I guess mainly the idea that the songs came first, before the story.  That rubs me the wrong way, and I don't think it's me, I think it shows in the film - that's why most of the songs don't really fit at all (e.g., why we're immediately discussing the Broadway Melody scene). It's a fine movie, but top 5 of all time?  TOP 5?  It never feels that unique to me.  Yes, it is charming and the dancing is awesome.  That's why I gave it 3 stars.  But 1952 is way too late to be all wowed by colors in a film.

And no, I don't hate joy.  Everyone's all "it's so happy"... but is it?  It is about destroying a good actress' reputation, and there seems to be a message that the audience is dopes ("to save this bad story we'll put songs in it" and then, yup, everyone loves it).  I'm pretty sure The Dancing Cavalier was the Titanic of its day.

Anyway, I was mainly joking about AMA -- I really don't want to take over a thread when everyone else is feeling it.

While I think I probably liked Singing' In the Rain a little better than AlmostAGhost, I definitely agree with some of his points. The songs in the movie really don't help move the (limited) plot forward at all. They're just sort of stuck in there in a way that I'm sure annoys people who aren't predisposed to like musicals. The best moments of the movie are excellent on their own, and yes do bring joy. The iconic solo version of the title song as sung and danced by Kelly is particularly wonderful and I have a really soft spot for "Good Morning." On the other hand, the Beautiful Girl Montage, while mildly humorous, is particularly meaningless and seems like an absolute stumble away from the established story and characters without really adding much of value. I also echo the sentiment that "Broadway Melody" is overlong and weirdly out of place (not to mention that a song with that title should probably have a better melody). It sounds like I don't like the movie, which really isn't the case...it just seems that as a whole it might be a little overrated and be living on its few strongest sequences.

Unfortunately, the Great Movie Ride at Hollywood Studios that Paul mentioned was closed down last year so Amy won't get a chance to see it in person. It was one of my favorite attractions at Walt Disney World and I do encourage people to find a good on-ride video on YouTube to check it out. There were show scenes from Singin' In the Rain, Mary Poppins, Alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Casablanca, The Wizard of Oz, and more. Lots of fun.

As a straight man, I'm in a quandary over the Fuck, Marry, Kill question.

Except I definitely know that I'd kill Gene Kelly.

Can my marriage to Donald O'Connor be sexless? If not, do I white-knuckle it through a one-time experience to get to my marriage to Debbie Reynolds? I'm not really sure what the rules of this game are.

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Fuck = Donald O'Conner (I could see myself marrying him, as well...)

Marry = Debbie Reynolds (I like anyone whose superpower is "charm") 

Kill = Gene Kelly (I feel like he would critiquing sex all the time. I don't need that kind of pressure. O'Conner and I are going to have a one night fling, but it's going to be casual and a fucking blast.)

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Hi Paul and Amy!

Don’t know if you knew this or not, but “Abadaba” was what Debbie Reynolds’s granddaughter Billie called her. (Check out her Instagram tributes to her and her Mom)

When I heard you play the “Abadaba” song, I was reminded of this. 

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I have to side with the naysayers, if rating it 3½ out of 5 stars can be considered naysaying. I found Gene Kelly almost entirely uncharismatic—he has the dead eyes of a mannequin whenever he smiles, although that may be him seething at his co-stars the entire time—and I didn't buy the romance. I went back and watched portions of Swing Time to compare and Fred Astaire genuinely appears to be having fun both on and off the dance floor. #TeamAstaire 4 LIFE.

Debbie Reynolds, on the other hand, is magnetic every second she's on screen. I need to seek out more of her work, starting with her intriguing turn in Mega Man.

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Yea, when I watched Gene, I was like "man that's pretty cool" but when I watched Ginger & Fred, I was like "HOW THE %@$! IS THIS HAPPENING"

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While I love Singin' in the Rain with all my heart, I definitely don't think it's a perfect movie, and I would not put it in the Top 5 greatest films of all time. Well... frankly, I don't like ranking movies this good above or below each other. My Top 100 American Films would be arranged in chronological order because I just think choosing if Raging Bull is "better" or "worse" than Singin' in the Rain is a nonsensical choice thought up in the non-Euclidean geometry of R'lyeh. They are two distinctly different movies meant to illicit different reactions and geared towards different audiences. It's like asking If you prefer shirts or pants. We can have both, and it's better that we do.

In that spirit, is Singin' in the Rain really so much better than, say, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes or American in Paris? I really don't think so, but it's an arbitrary distinction anyway. For me, seeing Gentlemen Prefer Blondes as part of the Musical Mondays club, it came as a complete surprise. I had no idea I would enjoy it so much, and enjoying it with a group of Wonderful Movie-Watchers like yourselves was an extra treat that made me enjoy it all the more. Singin' in the Rain comes with the same baggage as Citizen Kane, of being one of The Greats. Does it deserve to be on this list? I think it absolutely does. But it is not perfect, as others have said, with the Broadway Melody feeling rather overlong and out-of-place, despite its brilliance. I could watch the title number or "Make 'em Laugh" a thousand times and still love them though.

Lastly, I would never deride anyone for loving Mamma Mia, but I do think it is rather unfair to criticize La La Land for a lack of originality in the same breath as praising a jukebox musical composed of songs from a single band.

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I also think that Singin' in the Rain is a really special movie in its near-universal appeal, no matter the viewer's age, gender, or level of cinephile. You can show anyone with enough attention span to watch movies at all and you have about a 90-95% likelihood that said viewer will enjoy it. That's quite an accomplishment. I don't think Titanic or Shawshank Redemption (our two previews "broad appeal" films) have an enjoyability quite so far-reaching.

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Fuck - Donald O’ Conner. Out of the 3, I’m most curious about him.

Marry - Debbie Reynolds. I’m looking for long term companionship and compatibility and I think she has it.

Sadly, kill Gene Kelly, but at least we have Fred Astaire? 

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Fuck Gene Kelly, because that is one attractive man.

Marry Debbie Reynolds, because I like a spunky brunette (in fact I've already married one).

Kill Donald O'Connor, because he's the only one left here. No hard feelings?

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2 hours ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

In that spirit, is Singin' in the Rain really so much better than, say, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes or American in Paris? I really don't think so, but it's an arbitrary distinction anyway.

It's arbitrary and subjective, but yes I've always found Singin' in the Rain a more consistently entertaining and enjoyable watch than either of those (not that those other movies suck or anything).

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13 hours ago, Quasar Sniffer said:

Lastly, I would never deride anyone for loving Mamma Mia, but I do think it is rather unfair to criticize La La Land for a lack of originality in the same breath as praising a jukebox musical composed of songs from a single band.

Not to mention naming Pennies From Heaven as your favorite musical, even though that is also a jukebox musical in which the actors literally lip-sync, and one that also wears its influences on its sleeve as much or more than La La Land does.

As a long-time Canon listener, I'll just say here that sometimes Amy will get something stuck in her craw about a popular movie and make some bizarre arguments to support a negative take on it. It hasn't happened much on Unspooled, given that we're dealing with some widely-appreciated classics, but just wait until we get to Goodfellas.

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On 8/24/2018 at 1:39 AM, AlmostAGhost said:

Well then let's go the other way.  What makes this 5 star perfection?  What differentiates this from Swing Time?  (Besides, the black face scene haha.)

Everyone seems to be like, well some scenes are long or unrelated, or it doesn't hold up to thinking about it, or Debbie Reynolds isn't quite good enough, or whatever.  But then, at the same time, it's 5 star ratings all around and Paul, for example, concludes it should be even higher than number 5.  

What connection am I missing?

Here's what I'll say for Singing in the Rain over Swing Time. I think in general Singing in the Rain has better music over all. Swing Time is more about the dance numbers which is fine, but Singing in the Rain has more iconic songs which tend to stick with you and you find yourself humming or singing in following days. This makes it a bit more memorable and adds to overall enjoyment. Also, while I will not say Singing in Rain has a much better story, the story for me anyway, just flows better. Swing Time had some scenes that just introduce a conflict and resolve just to move on the the next part of the story they want to tell. I also think the jokes work better in Singing in the Rain as well. I can see how a lot of this comes down to personal taste though.

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I think if we are going to have a Gene Kelly vs Fred Astaire debate I'd be on team Astaire. Both men can dance and dance spectacularly but like mentioned they both have different styles. I'm not super versed in dance so I can't tell which one is technically better. To me what it comes down to more is them on screen and their presence and character. It was mentioned on the podcast that Gene Kelly often played more average joe type people and roles while Astaire was often a bit more well to do. I think in a way this a weird reason why I like Astaire more. It is a little harsh to say but in a battle of looks there is no contest that Gene Kelly is more handsome than Fred Astaire. Back in Swing Time it was even mentioned how the studios were unsure about his look. So you have Gene Kelly coming in being your average guy while being above average looking with tremendous swagger. It comes off across to me a bit like a false underdog. It doesn't work as well for me. On the other hand Astaire's average looks I think help him. He is a bit more unassuming and therefore I am a bit more hooked by his charms and abilities. Both are great but if I had to pick, I'd go for Astaire.

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