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Entries in Singin' in the Rain (12)

Saturday
Aug262017

More thinkin' on that '100 Best Comedies' list...

by Nathaniel R

Since I haven't been able to stop thinking about the BBC top 100 comedies list (previously discussed) the only way to exorcize it is to make my own. These are presented in rough order and extremely subject to change since I basically made the list in 30 minutes and argued with myself about whether or not certain films (not on this) were comedies or not and whether or not one should list as "funniest" or "best" which are two very different things, even with comedies...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec292016

Good Morning, Get Happy

It's been a devastating week in mourning so let's take Carrie Fisher's cue and prescribe some cookies to one another in the form of cinematic treats. I'm sure we could all use a little lift. Which movie moment cheers you up the most when you're feeling blue?
Saturday
Oct152016

"This wig weighs a ton"

Editor's Note: We're celebrating Marie Antoinette at the movies each afternoon for a week

Gee this wig weighs a ton.

Singin' in the Rain is, of course, a beloved movie about our beloved movies. There's lots of broad goofing on Hollywood history for movie buff amusement. But sometimes the gentle ribbing is actually pointed jabs. When Lina Lamont enters the shot above to shoot The Dueling Cavaliers the joke is bigger than her constant whining...

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Wednesday
Jun222016

Judy by the Numbers: "Be A Clown"

Just as there are films that shine bright in a star's history, there are also films whose histories are controversial at best. The Pirate is an odd contradiction of a movie. As one of Judy Garland's most expensive films, it was also her first MGM bust. Released two years after childrearing had put Judy on hiatus, it was nonetheless stuck in preproduction for five years before that. While it landed Judy another hit song, the knockoff written four years later would become a classic. Though The Pirate was the loudest, brightest movie Judy had made to date, its most interesting sequences were left on the cutting room floor. What to do with The Pirate?

The Movie: The Pirate (1948, MGM) 
The Songwriter: Cole Porter
The Players: Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, The Nicholas Brothers, directed by Vincente Minnelli

The Story: The Pirate must have seemed cursed from the start. By the time Vincente Minnelli started filming, it had already been stuck in pre-production hell since 1943. This meant that even though Minnelli tried to keep costs down, enough money had already been sunk into it that the budget ballooned to almost $5 million. Judy wasn't helping either - she reported sick to work 99 times. Then there was the issue of reshoots. The song "Voodoo" apparently enraged Mayer so much that he ordered the nitrate negative burned. The ending was a mess and had to be reshot. Then that ending got the boot in the South because it featured black men tapdancing

All of these production problems took their toll, and the resulting movie is a little bit of a beautiful mess. Nonetheless, there are three reasons to see this movie:

  1. It's the first A Movie appearance of the Nicholas Brothers
  2. Vincente Minnelli makes really beautiful color movies
  3. Judy Garland throws china like a red-haired Bucky Walters 

However, the scene that would make the film famous was "Be A Clown." As previously mentioned, it would become a modest hit for Judy, but the real hit came four years later when Judy's friend Donald O'Connor sang "Make 'Em Laugh" in Singin' in the Rain. Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed whipped up the song while trying to find a number for O'Connor. Luckily for them, Cole Porter was under MGM contract and wasn't feeling particularly litigious. While Judy would continue to sing the original throughout her career, ultimately Singin' in the Rain made Freed's version more popular. Even great talent couldn't keep The Pirate from sinking.

Tuesday
Nov032015

The Honoraries: Dancin' Debbie Reynolds

For the next two weeks we'll be celebrating all three of the Honorary Oscar Recipients at TFE. Here's Dancin' Dan to kick things off... with musical numbers. - Editor

Debbie Reynolds may not have started out as a dancer, but she sure made a great one on film. I can be (and honestly have been known on occasion to be) somewhat churlish and point out the exact moment from the legendary "Good Morning" number in Singin' in the Rain where the 19 year-old ingenue starts cheating her steps... but it's my favorite movie, and we're here to honor the unsinkable Ms. Reynolds, so why would I want to?

And besides, she's already proven herself the cat's meow in her first number in the film, the perfectly pretty in pink "All I Do is Dream of You". (more...)

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan232014

Happy National Pie Day! What's Your Favorite Pie Scene in a Movie?

my first pie I baked solo! Today is National Pie Day and if you don't celebrate it by watching Josh Brolin and Kate Winslet make pies as a substitute/preamble to carnal rutting in Labor Day (reviewed), you should eat one. To the left you'll see me as the proud chef of my first pie a month back. It was pumpkin (duh!), messy, and a little burnt but I devoured it anyway. Despite the deliciousness I had planned for this Very Important Day, film festivalling has thrown off my other blogging instincts (I'll be back to normal Monday). So no big pie-celebrating top ten list or visual extravaganza for this very special day.

When I think of pies in the movie I often think of The Help or Waitress but in neither of those cases would I want a slice, you know? The other most easy-to-retrieve pie memory is the now extinct slapstick gag of cream pies in people's faces. 

Help me find better cinematic attachments to pies by citing your favorites in the comments.