Is there a film clip more often shown than the title number of this most astoundingly popular musical? The rest of the movie is great too. It shouldn't be. There never was a masterpiece created from such a mishmash of elements: Arthur Freed's favourites among his own songs from back in the '20s and '30s, along with a new number, 'Make 'Em Laugh', which is a straight rip-off from Cole Porter's 'Be A Clown'; the barely blooded Debbie Reynolds pitched into the deep end with tyrannical perfectionist Kelly; choreography very nearly improvised because of pressures of time; and Kelly filming his greatest number with a heavy cold. Somehow it all comes together. The 'Broadway Melody' ballet is Kelly's least pretentious, Jean Hagen and Donald O'Connor are very funny, and the Comden/Green script is a loving-care job. If you've never seen it and don't, you're bonkers.
Cast and crew
Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Adolph Green, Betty Comden
Jean Hagen Gene Kelly Douglas Fowley Millard Mitchell Cyd Charisse Debbie Reynolds Donald O'Connor
What a charming musical. We've all seen the Gene Kelly bit where he's running through the street but the story of the first Talkies and how a silent movie studio needs to move with the times and all the inherent problems and moments of discovery make for an entertaining movie, despite its age. Watch it you may just love it. And it's funny!