In our December 2002 pages we carried the following
review of the 2 CD Special 50th Anniversary Edition of Singin'
in the Rain (RHINO R274497). It is worth repeating here because this new
DVD has much the same content and more:-
Ask most movie fans and they will probably
tell you that Singin' in the Rain is up there with The Bandwagon
and An American in Paris as the greatest of all Hollywood musicals. But
Singin' in the Rain is not just a wonderful, glamorous M-G-M musical,
it is also an important historical document (brilliantly stated with a light,
humorous touch) charting the often painful transition between silent and sound
movies that took place in the late 1920s and early 1930s. Amazing to think
that this wonderful film is now 50 years old. In celebration, Rhino have released
this splendid 2 CD deluxe anniversary edition.
To begin with the compilation covers
the whole of the score that included those memorable songs: 'All I Do is Dream
of You'; 'Beautiful Girl'; 'You Are My Lucky Star' 'You Were Meant For Me';
'Good Morning'; 'Would You?'; 'Make 'Em Laugh'; 'Moses'; and, of course, 'Singin'
in the Rain' plus 'Broadway Melody' and additional orchestral tracks (separated
out on CD2 so that listening pleasure is enhanced). Then there are outtakes
and alternative material not used in the film – it is interesting to note, for
instance, that Debbie Reynolds's singing voice was dubbed for 'Would You'.
Melody of 1935 with the M-G-M chorus and orchestra conducted by Alfred Newman.
Jeanette MacDonald sings 'Would You'; and Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney give
their rendition of 'Good Morning'. And Arthur Freed, himself, in a radio broadcast
also sings 'Singin' in the Rain'. Eleven of the 46 tracks have never been issue
A sumptuous memento of one of Hollywood's
greatest classic musicals.
This new Special Edition DVD has crisp fidelity colour
pictures and audio making it a real pleasure to be reacquainted with the many
delights of Singin' in the Rain.
Disc 1 includes feature-length commentary by: Debbie
Reynolds, Donald O'Connor, Cyd Charisse, Kathleen Freeman, Co-Director Stanley
Donen, Screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, Filmmaker Baz Luhrmann and
Author/Film Historian, Rudy Behlemer. Disc 1 also has the theatrical trailer.
Disc 2 has the excerpts from the M-G-M musicals of
the late 1920s and 1930s referred to in my CD review above. Furthermore there
are two significant documentaries.
A new 35 mins 50th anniversary documentary,
What a Glorious Feeling, hosted by Debbie Reynolds charts the story of
the making of the film (much of it related in the sumptuous booklet accompanying
the 2 CD set). Musicals Great Musicals: The Arthur Freed Unit at M-G-M
is an 86 min documentary covering all those great M-G-M musicals that sadly
withered away in the late 1950s after Gigi (1958). Also on this second disc
are: 90 mins audio of scoring stage sessions, a stills gallery and a feature
on Baz Luhrmann.
A huge, magnificent nostalgic wallow in those wonderful
M-G-M musicals centring on the what is generally considered to be the greatest
of them all – here's to Singin' in the Rain and to its being just as
fresh in another 50 years time.