'Singin' in the Rain' turns 60

Since I was a child, there have been countless hours of watching Gene Kelly dance on my TV screen.  I have no idea how old I was when I was first introduced to his films, but I do remember my collection of MGM Musicals on VHS kept growing and growing; I would watch Anchors Aweigh so many times, the tape started to wear thin.  But none of these films were ever watched in the setting they were originally created for: the movie theater.  In a time where Netflix and straight-to-DVD releases are the norm for watching films (even on screens as small as your iPhone), everything is created for instant gratification.  The classic films were created for the big screen and were meant to be shared by an audience of hundreds at a time.  And I am happy to say that those who are patient (about a quarter of a century) are generously rewarded. Singin’ in the Rain, Kelly’s signature film and considered in the industry as the quintessential musical, is celebrating its 60th anniversary with nationwide screenings of the film in 2 days!  At 7pm local time, theaters across America will be showing not only the film but a special documentary prior of an interview with Debbie Reynolds, one of the last surviving actors of the film, sharing her experiences as a 19-year-old leading actress and dancing with the greats.  I’m on cloud nine.  I’ve been beyond giddy for the past month since I’ve found out about the event, and not only is there going to be the nationwide release, but a 60th Anniversary Collector’s Edition will be available July 17th, 2012 that includes a number of goodies like a production book, behind-the-scenes footage, more documentaries on the film, and of course, an umbrella.  All I can say is my half-birthday is coming up in a month, always a reason to celebrate…

©2012 MMallozziI recently made a trip to Los Angeles, the home of Kelly and his family for most of his career (and the location of Singin in the Rain), and I continued my own tradition of visiting Grauman’s Chinese Theatre.  I’m not one to flock to touristy attractions, and yes, this is like the Times Square of LA, but this theater has something no other place has: the footsteps of Gene Kelly at my feet.  No matter how many times I go, I always feel closely connected to the dancer who not only became my idol but who was a mentor of sorts to me.  I was never able to meet the legend, and this is the closest way of me thanking the man personally.  To know that I will be able to see, for the first time, the film that made me fall in love with dance the way it was meant to be seen, is a complete joy.  Thank you, Mr. Kelly.

©2012 MMallozziTHE BARE FEET™ FIVE: 1.  Nationwide screenings:  National screenings of Singin’ in the Rain will be held on Thursday, July 12th, 2012 at 7pm local time.  Be sure to get tickets NOW, most theaters are already sold out!

2.  Collector’s Edition:  Singin’ in the Rain 60th Anniversary Collector’s Edition will be released Tuesday, July 17th, 2012 – all formats including DVD and Blu-Ray versions are available, along with lots of extras!  Available on Amazon.com.

3.  Gene Kelly’s Films:  Kelly was best known for Singin’ in the Rain, especially for the dance from the title song.  But some of my other Kelly favorites include Anchors Aweigh with Frank Sinatra, Gershwin’s An American in Paris, and Brigadoon with Cyd Charisse.

4.  Grauman’s Chinese Theatre:  Located in the heart of Hollywood, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre not only houses personalized cement slabs of major stars from yester-year and today, but also it often is the site for LA movie premieres and regularly offers 25-cent family film showings!  6925 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.

5.  The Artist:  The film The Artist is a beautiful depiction of the life of a Hollywood silent-film actor during the 1920’s at the start of the talking-pictures movement.  This film is a darker, more surreal take on the more upbeat and romantic version of the story in Singin’ in the Rain, and it won the coveted Oscar in 2012 for Best Picture of the Year.