Screened as part of NZIFF 2003
Quick-witted, cheerfully cynical and danced with such exuberance that it’s contagious, everyone’s favourite Hollywood musical has more zing than ever in its first New Zealand big screen appearance in decades. Digitally remastered from three-strip Technicolor in Warner Brothers’ new, aptly-named ‘Ultra-Resolution’ process, it looks as good as new, and sounds even better. Set in Hollywood during the late 20s the film mines comic gold from the rocky transition from silent movies to talkies. Co-director Gene Kelly stars as a swashbuckling matinee idol. Comedian Donald O’Connor, more elastic than Bugs Bunny, plays his sidekick. 19-year-old Debbie Reynolds is the sassy blue-stocking with hidden talents. Jean Hagen plays her nemesis, Kelly’s studio-assigned love-interest Lina Lamont, a silent screen diva with a voice that would shrivel popcorn. The songs by Comden and Green were already classics in 1952 and they’re just as familiar today.
“If there were such a thing as entertainment density and it could be measured with some sort of esoteric instrument, few movies since the dawn of cinema would score as high as Singin’ in the Rain. It simply delivers more fun per foot of film than most mortal movie-makers could possibly achieve. It’s that rarest of rare things, a happy masterpiece.” — Tom Shales, Washington Post
“It’s a brilliant satire of the chaos into which the industry descended when sound came in – and a sharp, funny commentary on the perversities of big studio politics… No true movie lover doesn’t have a special heart-place for this perfect backstage musical comedy, or for that sublime dance in the rain by Kelly.” — Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune