Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dignity. Always dignity.

"Cosmo, call me a cab!" "Ok, you're a cab." Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor), Singin' In the Rain.

The Red-Headed Menace and I caught one of my favorite movies on the big screen tonight. And it was even better than I remembered it to be.

"Well, if it isn't Ethel Barrymore." Don Lockwood to Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds).

Singin' In the Rain is pure genius. It's not only a great musical -- the dance numbers bring joy to my heart -- but sparklingly witty. The story is stellar and the dialogue is sharp. It is the third most quotable movie ever, behind The Godfather and Casablanca. It is so well written that you could cut the musical numbers completely and still have a good movie.

"I make more money than Calvin Coolidge... put together!" Lina Lamont (Jean Hagan).

The supporting players make this movie. It may have starred Gene Kelly and made a star of Debbie Reynolds, but Jean Hagen and Donald O'Connor steal every scene they're in. Kelly may be a god of cinematic dance, but when they're side by side, O'Connor is simply more fun to watch. He has a fluidity to his movement that I find just dead-sexy. And "Make 'Em Laugh" makes me laugh -- and made RHM gasp when he saw it.

"You have to show a movie at a party.  It's a Hollywood law." Cosmo Brown.

Watching an old movie that you love with your kid -- and having him come away from the theater raving about how wonderful it is -- is one of the joys of parenting.  Both of us agreed that seeing it on in a theater made a difference, especially in watching the dance numbers -- "Singin' in the Rain" morphs from fun to soaring when you move from the small screen to the large.  RHM observed how the "Broadway Melody" segment -- which I still find too long, one of the movie's few flaws -- slyly references Kathy Selden's assertion in her first conversation with Don Lockwood that the only true actors are stage actors. It was a point that had never occurred to me before.

This was a one-night showing celebrating Singin' In the Rain's 60th anniversary.  Pity.  I want to go back and see it -- larger than life -- tomorrow.

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