Dir. Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly; writ. Betty Comden, Adolph Green; feat. Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell, Cyd Charisse, Rita Moreno (G)
Think making movies based on old TV shows and new video games is stupid? Imagine this, if you will: You're a rookie screenwriter working at MGM in the '50s when somebody gives you this doozie of an assignment - he hands you a stack of old songs the studio owns (second-hand tunes from older movies) and tells you to write a film around them.
Maybe the studio chiefs thought "What the hell? This is a Gene Kelly movie, everybody will eat it up whether there's a decent story or not." The fact that writers Betty Comden and Adolph Green gave them a real plot - one that had a little fun with Hollywood history, no less - was icing on the cake.
The result, with Kelly directing the dance numbers and his former assistant Donen (later to make Charade and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers) handling the rest, is pure magic: exhilarating dance sequences, fantastic chemistry between the leads, charming songs, and the single most memorable musical sequence (the title tune) ever put on celluloid. To quote Roger Ebert: "Singin' in the Rain is a transcendent experience, and no one who loves movies can afford to miss it."
Singin' in the Rain screens Tuesday, September 2 as part of Texas Public Radio's "Cinema Tuesdays" series. 7:30pm at AMC Huebner Oaks, admission $10 members/$12 non-members, 614-8977 or tpr.org for reservations. Singin' in the Rain is also available on DVD from Warner Bros.
MILLONES DE CHAFLÁN
Dir. Rolando Aguilar; writ. Alejandro Galindo; feat. Pedro Armendáriz, José Chávez, Gonzalo Curiel, Rafael Icardo, Gloria Marín, Emma Roldán (NR)
Los Millones Del Chaflán screens at the Instituto de Mexico, 600 HemisFair Park, at 4pm on Sunday, August 31. Info: 227-0130. •