1927 Hollywood. Monumental Pictures' biggest stars, glamorous on-screen couple Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood, are also an off-screen couple if the trade papers and gossip columns are to be believed. Both perpetuate the public perception if only to please their adoring fans and bring people into the movie theaters. In reality, Don barely tolerates her, while Lina, despite thinking Don beneath her, simplemindedly believes what she sees on screen in order to bolster her own stardom and sense of self-importance. R.F. Simpson, Monumental's head, dismisses what he thinks is a flash in the pan: talking pictures. It isn't until The Jazz Singer (1927) becomes a bona fide hit which results in all the movie theaters installing sound equipment that R.F. knows Monumental, most specifically in the form of Don and Lina, have to jump on the talking picture bandwagon, despite no one at the studio knowing anything about the technology. Musician Cosmo Brown, Don's best friend, gets hired as Monumental's ...Written by
R.F. Simpson tells his guests that Warner Brothers are making "a whole movie" using the new talkie system. He is referring to The Jazz Singer, which is mainly a silent movie. Only a small proportion of it contains sound. See more »
[broadcasting on radio]
This is Dora Bailey, ladies and gentlemen, talking to you from the front of the Chinese Theater in Hollywood. What a night, ladies and gentlemen, what a night! Every star in Hollywood's heaven is here to make Monumental Pictures' premiere of "The Royal Rascal" the outstanding event of 1927! Everyone is breathlessly awaiting the arrival of Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood!
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Everybody knows Gene Kelly singing and dancing in the films title number, but this is just one of the many magical musical numbers in this epic piece of blissful entertainment. Set during the turbulent period when Hollywood was converting from silent films to sound, Singin' in the Rain' is a perfect example of everything that is good and right about movie-making. Gene Kelly in his greatest role is an all singing, all dancing sensation and his acting is pretty damn good too. Donald O'Connor excels as his exuberant sidekick and almost steals the show with the unsurpassed Make em Laugh'. Debbie Reynolds is feisty and sexy as Kelly's love interest, while Jean Hagen gives one of the screen's greatest supporting performances as the horrid Lena Lamont, a silent screen goddess whose voice will just not cut it in talkies.
The musical numbers flow fast and furious as Gene and Donald perform amazing feats of choreography with Fit as a Fiddle' and Moses Supposes' while Good Mornin' will have you dancing in the aisles. If Singin' in the Rain' had no musical numbers it would still be a contender for the funniest film ever made. The problems with experiments with sound films are painfully funny, and Kelly's silent sparring with the demonic Hagen is hilarious. The accolade of sheer perfection can be conferred on few films, and such a title is perhaps even an understatement in this case. And never before did rain look like so much fun.
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