We dare you to walk away from Singin' in the Rain without a smile on your face.
Often cited by critics as the best movie musical of all time, 1952's Singin' in the Rain, screens on Sunday, April 21, 2013, at 1:30 p.m. at the Plaza Branch as part of the Movies That Matter film series.
Introductory and closing remarks are provided by Robert W. Butler, for more than 40 years film critic of The Kansas City Star and now a member of the Library's public affairs staff.
Singin' in the Rain began as vehicle to recycle songs written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown. Freed was in charge of producing musicals at MGM, so basically the film would line his own pocket.
But if its origins were ignoble, the picture itself is hugely enjoyable, with all the disparate elements coming together in a most wonderful way.
Screenwriters Adolph Comden and Betty Green invented a story that takes place in Hollywood just as silent movies were giving way to sound. Gene Kelly and newcomer Debbie Reynolds provided the romance; Donald O'Connor and Oscar-winning Jean Hagen the comedy.
And the terrifically hummable songs --"Singin' in the Rain," "Make 'Em Laugh," "All I Do Is Dream of You," "You Are My Lucky Star," "Moses Supposes," "You Were Meant for Me" - are staged with high style by directors Kelly and Stanley Donen.
Admission is free. RSVP at kclibrary.org or call 816.701.3407.
Other titles in the series:
May 5: Sunset Boulevard (1950)
May 19: Metropolis (1927)