7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Singin' In The Rain (blu ray) box set...this 60th anniversary edition box set is simply priceless! (disc + book + real umbrella)
'Singin' in the Rain' arrives at blu ray with MPEG-4 AVC 1080p 1.37:1 encode. Warner Bros. is rejuvenating catalog classics with loving remasters and impressive video transfers. 'Singin' in the Rain' is given a similar treatment; just not one that lives up to the high standards set by 'Ben-Hur' and 'Casablanca'.
Positive: Colours have been...
Published 13 months ago by Dr. Joseph Lee
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Great Film, TERRIBLE EDITION
"Singin' in the Rain" is one of my favorite films, and I am in good company with that opinion -- everyone from Roger Ebert to Francois Truffaut has rated the film in their top ten. So why such shoddy treatment in this "Special Edition"?? 95% of the "commentary" is audio cribbed from the documentaries on Disk 2 (did they think we wouldn't watch both?) and the other 5% is...
Published on Oct. 21 2002 by Sondra K Russell
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5.0 out of 5 stars Would rather give it a 4.5 out of 5 ...,
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This review is from: Singin' in the Rain: 60th Anniversary Ultimate Collector's Edition (Blu-ray / DVD Combo) (Blu-ray)Something important is missing from this 60th anniversary bluray box set: a digital copy. This is why I would rather have given this product 4.5 stars instead of 5. When someone spends the money on a collector's bluray set, they should expect to see a digital copy option included. I would have loved to have uploaded the movie onto my iPad because Singin' In the Rain is one of my absolute favourite movies and I would love to have the option of watching it anywhere, at any time (especially while traveling be it on an airplane, train, or subway).
Besides the obvious omission of a digital copy, the actual box is filled with Hollywood goodness! I especially loved the inclusion of an umbrella (cute idea)! I don't know if I'll actually use it though because it might be something I want to save and hold on to. The hardcover book is filled with plenty of new information about the film and is covered with both colour and b&w shots of the cast and crew filming this iconic movie back in 1952.
Singin' In the Rain looks FANTASTIC on the new bluray release and I'm so glad that Hollywood has finally given this film its due in terms of product quality and hype. I couldn't have asked for a better product release (well, except for the missing digital copy of course lol).
5.0 out of 5 stars The Grand-daddy of Them All,
This review is from: Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs) (DVD)Where to start? Simply put, Singin' in the Rain is the premiere "integrated" musical in cinema history -- embodying the very best of Hollywood's post-war optimism, imagination and talent. Many other musicals come close, but none quite as comprehensively captures the essence of the genre as does SitR. When folks say "they don't make 'em like they used to," SitR is the type of film to which they're referring. Anyone having even a passing interest in this quintessentially American art form simply must have this film in their collection.
Technically, Warner has provided us with an outstanding Special Edition of Singin' in the Rain. As for the feature quality, the transfer is, in a word, magnificent ("Glorious Technicolor," for sure), and the remastered audio is a sonic delight. As for extras, the feature disc contains a commentary track hosted by Debbie Reynolds that is well worth visiting, as well as some clips from the earliest "talkies" playing off of the feature's plot. For me, the crown jewel of the extras provided with this SE is the documentary located on disc 2, which concerns itself with the films emnating from MGM's Arthur Freed Unit, and the people responsible for those efforts. If you haven't yet developed a taste for the integrated musical, this documentary is virtually guaranteed to stoke the fires of interest.
Since the release of the SitR SE, Warner has continued to lavish loving attention upon its Special Edition releases and, in my opinion, now sets the standard for studio catalog releases. Although I'm always excited to see new catalog releases from any studio, it is the Warner releases (SE or not) that set me to drooling. SitR is a top-notch SE and of tremendous historical importance. There is not a single reason to pass up this wonderful set.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Sound--only 2/3 of the picture.,
This review is from: Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs) (DVD)Why anyone would release the greatest screen musical of all time in full screen format is a mystery to me. Singin' In The Rain is everything you've ever heard it is....but to have 1/3 cut off such a spectacular piece of art is just criminal. Rent this one until they decide to let you have it all.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Could've Been,
This review is from: Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs) (DVD)This movie is an absolute delight to see. The cast is tight and the music thoroughly enjoyable. It is especially fresh given today's films with dark sarcasm and anti-heros. What truely boggles the mind is the full-screen release! Was this movie originally released in a 4:3 format? I think probably not. And to see the effort that was put into restoring the soundtrack yet none was spent, seemingly, on trying to find a suitable original in the theatrical format. In this day of HDTV monitors and widescreen signals, this is unforgivable. I sincerely hope that this situation will be addressed in the future
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love the movie, but no widescreen!?!,
This review is from: Singin' in the Rain (DVD)I love this movie and bought it for that reason, but I was disappointed to find that one side of the disc is blank, and there is no widescreen version on the disc. I guess they're not making DVD's like they used to... 5 stars for the movie, 3 for the DVD so an average of 4 stars.
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome,
This review is from: Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs) (DVD)Fantastic film history of MGM musicals on extra DVD - has to be the best musical ever made
5.0 out of 5 stars Greatest Musical Ever? - Gimme a Break!,
This review is from: Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs) (DVD)Aficionados of Singing in the Rain have never quite gotten over the fact that their favourite film only received two (failed) Oscar nominations in 1952, whereas the previous year An American in Paris walked away with five Oscars, in the face of much more formidable competition (by 1952 the House of Un-American Activities had managed to blacklist many of Hollywood's most talented screenwriters). Ever since, this cabal has been fighting this perceived "injustice", mainly by trumpeting the shortcomings of An American in Paris. Since Singing in the Rain is one of those "insider" flicks (a Hollywood film about Hollywood), many of it's most fervent supporters are people with real Hollywood connections who can identify strongly with the storyline. And of course if you shout hard long enough, people will eventually listen, so that now all this hocus pocus about "The Greatest Musical of All Time" has become a bit of revealed wisdom and fact.
Don't get me wrong. Singing in the Rain is a great musical with an engaging plot and still provides wallops of entertainment. But as an artistic achievement, it never quite reaches the dizzy heights of an American in Paris. The songs composed by Nacio Brown and Arthur Freed are real swell, but not in the same league as the Gershwins. I suppose Debbie Reynolds is about as American as apple pie, but she is no Leslie Caron when it comes to dancing skill and all around sex appeal. The directing team of Kelly and Donen do an admirable job, but neither can match the artistic sensibility of Vincente Minnelli (by far the greatest director of musicals of all time).
Compared to Minnelli, the composition of Kelly/Donen's camera shots have a "boxy" quality to them.
Singing in the Rain is above all a testimonial to Arthur Freed, who also produced this film along with most of the finest film musicals of that era. As the years pass by, he has become almost a god-like figure in Hollywood lore, especially in light of all the trash masquerading as cinema that is churned out these days. That a musical such as Chicago can actually walk away with a Best Picture award is testimony to the depths we have sunk to since the Freed era.
The 2 box DVD set is an absolute delight and will give every fan of this great film reason to smile. After viewing, I deeply regretted not being born 25 years earlier.
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Musical with Terrific Dancing -- a Trifle Dated,
This review is from: Singin in the Rain (VHS Tape)"Singin' in the Rain" is the definitive Hollywood musical, and charms and delights our 21st century audiences despite the (very few) characteristics of the genre that don't hold up quite so well.
There are so many high points to this movie -- the amazing cast, the songs, the choreography, and, most surprisingly, the satirical send-up of Hollywood and the "star system."
The plot is well-known. Silent film star couple, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly, who also co-directed with Stanley Donen) and Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) are America's sweethearts. At a Hollywood premiere of their latest romance, breathless fans ignore sidekick Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor, in perhaps the best sidekick performance in film history) and scream in delight as Lockwood and Lamont pander to their adoration. Nobody, however, seems to notice that the gorgeous Lamont never speaks . . .
Her imposed silence Lamont has a voice that recalls a cat with its tail caught in a wringer, although Lamont is such a "dumb blonde" (bless Hagen -- nobody ever played this stereotype better!) that she is blissfully unaware of her screech. No matter, 'cause it's the silent film era, right? Wrong! Progress brings in "The Jazz Singer" and the era of "talkies." No longer will clever staging of press events suffice.
Soon, Don Lockwood is staring career meltdown in the face as the first Lockwood-Lamont "talkie" sends the audience into hysterics. Not only is Lamont's screech audibly offensive, they can't keep the sound synchronized to the film, and the sound editing even when in synch is as amateurish as a high-school film production.
What to do? Fortunately, Lockwood had fallen for young, beautiful Kathy Selden (a teenage Debbie Reynolds), a starlet in the making. Cosmo comes up with the idea of dubbing Selden's voice for Lamont's, and all is fixed . . . or not. Lamont, an imbecile but smart enough to know her value, insists on ruining Selden's career to preserve her own . . . and so on and so forth.
The plot, ingenious as it is, is really secondary. The main delight in this movie is the amazing dancin' and singin' that the performers offer up. While most of it is pretty silly, campy stuff (particularly the Kelly-O'Connor set pieces), they simply dazzle. Kelly is the most robust, athletic dancer of his generation, and O'Connor, well, the man doesn't have a bone in his body. While the movie's most famous scene comes from Kelly splashing in puddles during the title track, the most amazing dance number has to be O'Connor's comic flailings in "Make 'Em Laugh," where he runs up walls, flirts with a mannequin, and generally pulls out all stops.
Debbie Reynolds does a magnificent job keeping up with these two giants, and is generally a pleasure to watch, even though she's clearly outclassed as a hoofer.
While some great old films seem to get better with age (think "Casablanca," "Gone With the Wind," and "Citizen Kane"), "Singin' in the Rain" is an American classic that does not hold up quite so well in some minor respects. For example, when breaking into choreographed step, Kelly, O'Connor, and Reynolds sometimes appear too rigid, with smiles frozen on their faces, which is incongruous to those raised on more modern musicals like "Moulin Rouge," where the dancers take a more naturalistic, emotional approach to their dancing. The dancing in "Singin'" holds up, but the performers were constrained by the expectations of their audiences, which somehow demanded that the performers "look pleasant" while dancing.
Still, "Singin' in the Rain" remains one of the best tonics to a foul mood ever . . . I defy you to watch this movie and not feel a smile creeping over your face.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Musical Comedy Ever Produced!,
This review is from: Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs) (DVD)I fell in love with this film when I was seven years old; I watched it on a B&W television on "The Early Show" in NY (circa 1957 or 1958). I didn't know who any of the stars were - it didn't matter. It was magic to me. From the Hollywood opening (dignity, always dignity), the romp of the elocution lessons (Moses supposes his toes are roses!), and the trial and mostly error of trying to record the sound ("I can't make love to a BUSH!") when the gorgeous leading lady has a voice that rivals nails on a blackboard, all the way to the grown man dancing in the rain and the final rising curtain - pure magic. In glorious black and white - at the time, I didn't even know it HAD colour! I decided then and there, this was my absolute all-time favourite movie. (One of the highlights of my adult life was seeing this wonder on a full, big screen at a revival in the 1970s.) I have seen many films since then; I have reviewed them for friends & family, written reviews for a monthly entertainment publication. I have an extensive collection of my own (VHS & DVD). I know a lot more about films and production values now.
"Singin'in the Rain" remains my all-time favourite film. (No surprise, this.) It's not just another one of "those MGM musicals." It was released in 1952. Dated stuff? Not a bit. Unlike the marvelous "An American in Paris," which was done as a contemporary film to its time, "Singin' in the Rain" is a period film, and it's based in fact.
This film (which started out to be a western for Howard Keel) takes a fond and loving look at the birthpains of the sound film (the "talkies). Set in 1927, with authentic equipment from MGM's own history (Debbie Reynolds drives Andy Hardy's old jalopy, the microphones are real), it details the frantic efforts to get on the sound bandwagon - no one was completely sure of the new technology. What makes the plot classic is the basis in fact. Many silent stars had totally unacceptable voices or speech (too nasal, unintelligible foreign accents, too high, too low, etc.) for sound production. The songs used were true to the period.
Then we have the performers. Jean Hagen was nominated for an Academy Award for her role of Lina Lamont. The character (whose voice you don't hear for the first 10+ minutes of the film, although she's on-screen) is a one-of-a-kind. [Side note: the voice dubbing Lina's line is actually Hagen's normal voice, not that of Debbie Reynold's Kathy Selden.] Reynolds does an admirable job - it couldn't have been easy keeping up with her two male co-stars. It's still a joy to see Donald O'Connor's "Make 'em Laugh," and wonderful to see Gene Kelly teamed with a good male partner for "Fit as a Fiddle" and "Moses". Gene Kelly is, and always shall be, the best and this was done at his peak.
Of course, for anyone who has been living in the back of a cave under a rock (or too young to appreciate it), the title number is a delight. It looks like one continuous take, it is so smooth. This was not the first appearance of the song, but it's the one we all remember. The sheer exuberance of Kelly's performance carries us right along with him.
The extras with this set are valued items for anyone like me who is interested in the backstory of the era and this film in particular. And don't fuss for a widescreen version. This is the way it was. And now it always will be.
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly entertaining musical,
By A Customer
This review is from: Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs) (DVD)I have to say first of all that I am *not* at all a fan of musicals (or comedies for that matter) - I am a drama fan. I have seen a few musicals here and there over the years and tried to like them - such as 1964's "My Fair Lady" and 1961's "West Side Story." I liked both of them *somewhat,* but not too much - because I have always strongly preferred films that are realistic --> in real life, people don't burst into song when they are in one particular circumstance or another. Yet, I couldn't help enjoying myself with a smile on my face as I watched this film that landed so high (#10) on AFI's list of the top 100 American films of all time. Donald O'Connor, in particular, as Cosmo, was so perfectly cast in his role. The film was at times hilarious and at times wonderfully romantic. I definitely would recommend everyone to try this film out. B+.
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Singin' in the Rain (Full Screen Special Edition, 2 Discs) by Peter Fitzgerald (DVD - 2002)