Analysis of Singin in the Rain

1085 words 5 pages
Released in 1951, Singin in the Rain was one of the last films to be produced during the profitable golden age of the studio system. It evokes the typical characteristics of the popular MGM Hollywood musical by relying on superstar names and infectious dance numbers. However, Singin in the Rain incorporates an additional level of parody into its nostalgic plot that focuses on the disruptive shift from silent movies to "talkies." The film showcases classical Hollywood musical numbers supplemented by affectionate satire. The music of the film reflects each inherent level and in doing so becomes an identifiable character. It helps to add irony to the plot as well as comedic support. Singin in the Rain "glorifies American entertainment" while …show more content…

Only until the dream sequence where she is dressed in all white and dancing ballet is the music choice softened because she no longer eroticized. Lastly, the feeling of nostalgia is played to as the same song is sung while transitioning through different music styles such as burlesque, vaudeville, and the Zeigfield Follies before ending with a large Broadway inspired number. A young boy appears dressed the same as Don was in the beginning of the number and singing the same song. It highlights the repetitive nature of Hollywood, "Musicals are rerun, reissued, remade, and revived." (Feuer 92) The music in Singin in the Rain acts like a dance partner to the action that takes place on screen. It becomes its own character within the film often guiding the audience to moments that call for attention or laughter. First, it adds aesthetic punch to the slapstick humor. In Cosmo's "Make em Laugh" number, the horns and drums are strengthened during his physical stunts as a "ba-dum chh" type of joke. Instrumental sound effects were also used to amplify the performance such as the sequence with the mannequin. Second, the music is synchronized perfectly to the character's dance movements. In the "Moses Supposes" number the horns and symbols are accented when they do spins or jumps. The music then quiets down to a softer melody to showcase each individual's tapping sequence. It adds extra life and enthusiasm to