What’s so special, you ask?
"Singin’ in the Rain” isn’t coming on TV this week.
It’s coming to a theater near you!
(I’m assuming, you’ll have to double-check for yourself, of course.)
Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is a famous actor in silent movies. He is the heartthrob of the time, and is always paired on-screen with the glamorous Lina Lamont (Jean Hagan, in one of her most hilarious roles). Together they make moviegoers swoon and cry with their tragic love stories – all told in silent black-and-white films. Lina, unfortuantely, is a high-maintenance diva and has a hard time separating fantasy from reality. She believes she and Don are “meant to be,” even though her can’t stand her in real life. With the help of his wise-cracking best friend, Cosmo Brown (Donald O’Connor) Don manages to blow off most of Lina’s advances.
At the premier of their latest film, Don tries to sneak out the back of the theater to avoid a mob of rabid fans, but without success. Women chase him, grabbing at his hair and tearing at his clothes. He runs to the street and jumps in the first car that comes along – which just happens to be driven by the pretty young Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds). Lockwood tries to turn on his famous charm, but she will have none of it, insisting he’s a cheap entertainer while she, a stage performer, is a “serious actress.” His ego wounded, he jumps out of the car and continues an after-premier party…where he finds out exactly how “serious” an actress Kathy really is.
At this point, we have a pretty typical romantic comedy – gorgeous man pursued by woman he doesn’t want is persuing a woman who doesn’t want him. However, technology throws Don, Lina and Kathy a curveball – someone has invented talking pictures. Don and the rest of the old school Hollywood cronies try to convince themselves that it’s just a fad, but audiences are nuts about them. Soon everyone is forced to transition to the “talkies.” Which wouldn’t be a problem, except “Lockwood and Lamont”are an institution in films – kind of like how Helena Bonham Carter is in all of Tim Burton’s movies. You just don’t have a Don Lockwood movie without Lina Lamont. Lina has a voice that would shatter glass – not good for talkies! - and Don doesn’t know if his career can survive going solo.
Then he remembers pretty Kathy Seldon, who has a lovely speaking and singing voice….
I love movies about making movies. They’re so fun and usually self-effacing. Plus, “Singin’ in the Rain” centers around a major technological and artistic transition period in American history. And many of the supporting cast and crew actually lived through that transition, their parents worked in Hollywood during that time, so they had first-hand knowledge of what really went on behind the scenes when the Stars started talking! Plus, it’s got some of the most famous song-and-dance routines in movie history, many choreographed by Gene Kelly himself.
Here's the exciting part: “Singin’ in the Rain” is going to be in theaters around the country this Thursday only. It’s part of a special presentation put on by Turner Classic Movies. They did this a few months ago with “Casablanca,” and last year with “The Sound of Music.” (Hopefully, this is an indication they’re starting more frequent movie re-releases.) I went to the “Casablanca” showing a few months ago, and let me tell you, even if it’s a move you’ve seen before, there’s nothing like seeing these classic treasures on the big screen in beautiful remastered video and sound.
Plus, as a special feature before “Singin’ in the Rain,” they will show an interview with actress Debbie Reynolds, talking about her memories making the movie. How cool is that?
You can go here and find a showing time near you. I really hope you don’t pass this up. It promises to be a fun, unique experience and “Singin’ in the Rain” is good for the whole family, so bring the kids, too!