Singing in the Rain Essay

This essay has a total of 1734 words and 9 pages.

Singing in the Rain

The hit musical "Singin' in the
Rain" may possibly be one of if not the greatest musicals of
all time. With it's tale of the film world of the mid 1920's
and its creative underlining love story between Don
Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and Kathy Selden (Debbie
Reynolds), it provokes the interest of someone who would
not generally be attracted to a musical. It is a classic
masterpiece that set the standards that musical films of
today will be judged by. It is a classic performance by the
great Gene Kelly and displays outstanding performances by
Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor. As well as
starring in this brilliant movie, Gene Kelly teams up with
Stanley Donen to make their mark in film history. In my
opinion, what set the stage for the level of entertainment
that this movie contains is the opening scene. The opening
scene set the role of sarcasm in the movie and gave the
movie an immediate sense of humor. Four individual parts
of movie making come together in this film to create a
dynamic opening sequence. The basic principles of sound,
editing, mise en scene, and cinematography collectively give
this opening sequence a memorable quality that is without
match. The opening of Singin' in the Rain takes place at the
opening of the new movie "The Royal Rascal" starring Don
Lockwood and Lena Lamont. There are famous people all
around and their fans are loving every second of it. The
fans' faces are full of joy and awe as their favorite actors
and actresses enter the large building that will soon be
showing the new movie. Soon, the two people that
everyone in Hollywood is dying to see, appear in their
stretched Rolls Royce and bring the crowd to its feet. As
Lockwood and Lamont exit their luxurious ride they are
received lovingly by everyone. They walk to the front of the
building and are introduced to the crowd. Then the
question is posed to Mr. Lockwood, "How did it all
begin?" The answering of this question is what my paper
will explain. I will attempt to break down the opening scene
and show how it all started. By using tools of film such as
sound, editing, mise en scene, and cinematography, this
paper will show how the scene was made as well. Mise en
scene played an important role in this movie as with any
other movie. The properties of mise en scene were fully
effective in the beginning flashback scene. At the beginning
of Don Lockwood's flashback he states that he learned
everything from his mother and father and that they sent him
to the best dancing schools. He flashes back to show that
he actually just danced in dirty pool halls as a little kid with
his friend Cosmo. The flashback is precise in terms of mise
en scene. The clothes that Don wears are that of the early
1900's. The setting is a dingy pool hall with old men playing
and drinking which gives the feeling that the area was poor.
That gives more credit to Don because it shows he really
wasn't trained in dancing schools and actually learned on
his own. The room was extremely dim and Don and
Cosmo were centered in the foreground of the shot.
Another example of mise en scene is the second segment of
the flashback. A young Don and Cosmo sneak into the
movie theater to see a horror movie that they would
normally not be able to see. The setting is outside an early
20th century theater. In front of the theater are large
cut-outs of the movies that are playing there. They are
obviously of that time because they are painted, they are
not pictures as the ones of today are. The youngsters are
also dressed in early 1900's style clothing. The third
segment of the flashback is inside a tavern of most likely the
1920's. The place looks very low class and there are men
of all ages drinking and playing cards in the background.
The costuming in this segment is very well done as well.
Don and Cosmo, who now appear to be in their early
twenties are wearing suspenders and playing instruments in
the right side of the shot. The fourth segment shows exactly
how diverse Don and Cosmo really are. In this segment
they are on stage dressed as clowns and putting on a show
for an unknown audience. They use props such as canes
that spray water and wind up hosing each other down with
there Super-Soaker like canes. They appear on center
stage but the viewer can still see props that belong to the
stage in the background. The final stage of the flashback
before they reach Hollywood is an interesting scene. In this
scene the mise en scene is constantly changing. Cosmo and
Don are performing but the background is constantly
changing. The background shows different cities and towns
to express the fact that the two of them have traveled far
and wide doing their acts. They are superimposed over this
background wearing checkered suits that show up very
well over the constantly changing background. Another
very important part of this movie is the sound. Throughout
the flashback the shots keep returning to Don Lockwood
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