“I gave an exclusive story to every paper in town”
I got up early today to catch Curzon Chelsea’s Saturday morning screening of 1952’s Musical ‘Singin’ In The Rain’. Unaccountably I’d never seen it before or knew anything about it, outside of that parodic commercial from the 80’s where a scarecrow has a warming bowl of Knorr soup after dancing in the rain and mud. Many have noted Gene Kelly’s film’s inspiration on ‘The Artist’ which is certainly true, as the plot also concerns the fall and rise of Hollywood stars at the birth of sound.
It was one of those glorious screenings of old classic movies were all ages came along for the fun including (Well behaved) kids. The digitally restored Technicolor print looks spectacular, so much so that a crane shot with dozens of lit-up broadway signs actually got a few astonished gasps from the audience. The song and dance numbers are literally jaw dropping in their ingenuity and fun. My favourite was Donald O’Connor’s ‘Make ‘Em Laugh’, where he seamlessly blends slapstick pratfalls into his tap dancing. In fact for me, with his rubber faced antics he steals the whole show away from Gene Kelly.
The children in the row in front of me were giggling throughout at the visual gags while all the adults cackled at the showbiz digs. I came out with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. It’s gotta be a good sign when you hear a bloke unabashedly whistling the theme song in the gents after! When in the name of God are they gonna release it on Blu-Ray because I need another hit of this kind of magic.