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Singin’ in the Rain

Singin’ in the Rain: The word “classic” is overused. When I watch a movie that’s supposed to be a classic, I expect an engrossing story and likeable characters – sheer entertainment, basically. A classic should be able to make such guarantees. Happily, that is exactly what I got with this famous musical. The film is set in 1927, right at the introduction of the talkies. The story revolves around a famous silent film actress whose voice is absolutely terrible (and hysterical), so in order to ensure her smooth transitions into talkies, a chorus girl is hired to dub over her voice. With the exception of a lengthy dance number in “Broadway Melody” that kind of drags on (much like the movie it parodies, An American in Paris), the entire film is smart, witty, and a delight to watch. I confess to a pre-existing love of tap dancing, but I did not expect to laugh out loud as much as I did. The first take of “The Dueling Cavalier” as a talkie is a true highlight of the film. What happened to comedies that aren’t vulgar? What happened to subtly funny lines tossed off casually, so quick you almost miss them? Luckily, they’re still available on DVD.

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