John Landis on

Singin’ in the Rain

Released 1952
Distributor MGM

Close to perfection. Directors Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly assemble a peerless cast and crew to satirize and celebrate Hollywood. Set at the moment when sound came to motion pictures and turned the industry upside down (sending more than a few actors to the unemployment line), 1952’s  Singin’ In The Rain seamlessly integrates its songs into its storyline, but even without those buoyant musical numbers it would still be one of the funniest movies ever made, thanks to Comdon and Green’s ingenious screenplay. Co-stars Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor (in a sidekick role intended for Oscar Levant), and especially Jean Hagen, as the overbearing star with the voice to match, were never better. The title song had appeared previously in The Hollywood Revue of 1929 and 1940’s Little Nelly Kelly. Recycling never looked so good.

About John Landis

John Landis is the director of Animal HouseThe Blues Brothers, An American Werewolf In LondonTrading PlacesComing To America, Kentucky Fried MovieSpies Like UsThree Amigos!Into The Night and Michael Jackson’s Thriller, and the recent Burke and Hare for Ealing Studios,  among many other films and television shows. His documentary Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project premiered on HBO and won an Emmy for Best Music, Comedy or Variety Special.  He is also the subject of noted film critic Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan’s recent book “John Landis” and his own book “Monsters in the Movies’ was published to critical and popular acclaim in 2012.