Catalogue


Singin' in the rain /
Peter Wollen.
edition
2nd ed.
imprint
London ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan on behalf of the British Film Institute, 2012.
description
87 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 19 cm.
ISBN
9781844575145 (pbk.)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
Subjects
More Details
series title
imprint
London ; New York : Palgrave Macmillan on behalf of the British Film Institute, 2012.
isbn
9781844575145 (pbk.)
catalogue key
9073939
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 85-87).
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1993-09:
The British Film Institute continues its series of Lasky-ite books featuring famous authors on famous films with the recent publication of Laura Mulvey on Citizen Kane, Peter Wollen on Singin' in the Rain, Colin McArthur on The Big Heat, and Taylor Downing on Olympia. Previous books in the series, which will ultimately comment on 360 film classics, include Ed Buscombe, Stagecoach (1992), Penelope Houston, Went the Day Well? (1992), Richard Schickel, Double Indemnity (1992), and Salman Rushdie, The Wizard of Oz (1992). Mulvey provides an accessible account of previous scholarship on the 1941 Orson Welles classic, as well as a psychoanalytic reading of the film that sees Kane as "suspended between a pre-Oedipal love for his mother and rivalry with his father and the post-Oedipal world in which he should take his place." She explores Welles's anti-fascist politics in terms of the film's implicit critique of conservative media magnate William Randolph Hearst. Wollen situates Arthur Freed's Singin' in the Rain (1952) within a history of American dance, the evolution of the Freed unit at MGM, and post-WW II investigations by the House of Representatives Un-American Activities Committee ("a plot to blacklist Kathy Selden launched by an informer"). His analysis of the title number makes astute observations about the use of sound and Kelly's ecstatic descent into the pleasures of infantilism as he splashes about in puddles. McArthur looks at Lang's Big Heat (1953) in terms of its relation to the William P. McGivern novel on which it is based, to its production, distribution, and marketing by Columbia Pictures, and to its reception by the press. The book concludes with a scene-by-scene analysis of the film's narrative and dramatic structure. Olympic documentary filmmaker Taylor Downing recounts the history of the making of Olympia (1938), Nazi filmmaker Leni Riefenstahl's record of the 1936 Olympic games, held in Berlin. Downing is particularly good at describing how certain shots were made. Though he acknowledges the political nature of the film, he argues that it transcends the political context which led to its creation, refusing to see that its celebration of physical beauty and athletic prowess is integral to a fascist aesthetic. The Mulvey and Wollen volumes are recommended for general and academic collections at all levels; Downing and McArthur, more narrowly, to general readers and undergraduates. J. Belton; Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick
Summaries
Main Description
Sixty years after its release,Singin' in the Rain(1951) remains one of the best loved films ever made. Yet despite dazzling success with the public, it never received its fair share of critical analysis. Gene Kelly's genius as a performer is undeniable. Acknowledged less often is his innovatory contribution as director. Peter Wollen's illuminating study ofSingin' in the Raindoes justice to this complex film. In a brilliant shot-by-shot analysis of the famous title number, he shows how skilfully Kelly weaves the dance and musical elements into the narrative, successfully combining two distinctive traditions within American Dance: tap and ballet. At the time of the film's production, its scriptwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and indeed Kelly himself, were all under threat from McCarthyism. Wollen describes how the fallout from blacklisting curtailed the careers of many of those who worked on the film and argues convincingly that the film represents the high point in their careers. In his foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Geoff Andrew looks at the film's legacy and celebrates the passion, lucidity and originality of Wollen's analysis. Summing up its enduring appeal, Andrew writes: 'Singin' in the Rainisn't just a musical, it's a movie about the movies.'
Description for Bookstore
This new edition is published in the Film Classics 20th anniversary series of special editions, with a new foreword by Geoff Andrew, and a stunning new jacket design by Louise Weir
Long Description
Sixty years after its release, Singin' in the Rain (1951) remains one of the best loved films ever made. Yet despite dazzling success with the public, it never received its fair share of critical analysis. Gene Kelly's genius as a performer is undeniable. Acknowledged less often is his innovatory contribution as director. Peter Wollen's illuminating study of Singin' in the Rain does justice to this complex film. In a brilliant shot-by-shot analysis of the famous title number, he shows how skilfully Kelly weaves the dance and musical elements into the narrative, successfully combining two distinctive traditions within American Dance: tap and ballet. At the time of the film's production, its scriptwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and indeed Kelly himself, were all under threat from McCarthyism. Wollen describes how the fallout from blacklisting curtailed the careers of many of those who worked on the film and argues convincingly that the film represents the high point in their careers. In his foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Geoff Andrew looks at the film's legacy and celebrates the passion, lucidity and originality of Wollen's analysis. Summing up its enduring appeal, Andrew writes: 'Singin' in the Rain isn't just a musical, it's a movie about the movies.'
Bowker Data Service Summary
'Singin' in the Rain' remains one of the best loved films ever made. In a shot-by-shot analysis of the famous title number, this text shows how Gene Kelly binds the dance and musical elements into the narrative, and argues that the film was the high point in the careers of those who worked on it.
Main Description
Sixty years after its release,'Singin' in the Rain' (1951) remains one of the best loved films ever made. Yet despite dazzling success with the public, it never received its fair share of critical analysis. Gene Kelly's genius as a performer is undeniable. Acknowledged less often is his innovatory contribution as director. Peter Wollen's illuminating study of'Singin' in the Rain' does justice to this complex film. In a brilliant shot-by-shot analysis of the famous title number, he shows how skilfully Kelly weaves the dance and musical elements into the narrative, successfully combining two distinctive traditions within American Dance: tap and ballet. At the time of the film's production, its scriptwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, and indeed Kelly himself, were all under threat from McCarthyism. Wollen describes how the fallout from blacklisting curtailed the careers of many of those who worked on the film and argues convincingly that the film represents the high point in their careers. In his foreword to this special edition, published to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the BFI Film Classics series, Geoff Andrew looks at the film's legacy and celebrates the passion, lucidity and originality of Wollen's analysis. Summing up its enduring appeal, Andrew writes: ''Singin' in the Rain' isn't just a musical, it's a movie about the movies.'
Long Description
Sixty years after its release, Singin' in the Rain remains one of the best loved films ever made. Yet despite dazzling success with the public it never received its fair share of critical praise. Gene Kelly's genius as a performer is there for all to see. Acknowledged less often is his innovatory contribution as director. Peter Wollen has finally done justice to this landmark film. In a brilliant shot-by-shot analysis of the famous title number, illustrated by specially-produced frame stills, he shows how skilfully dance and musical elements are woven into the narrative. However, with Hollywood menaced by McCarhtyism, the Popular Front ethos in which the film was conceived could not long survive. Wollen argues convincingly that Singin' in the Rain was the high point in the careers of those who worked on it. In his new introduction, Geoff Andrew expands upon Wollen's study, while praising its passionate, and enlightening, celebration of the film. Andrew looks at the connection between sound and image, body and voice, but also considers recent films that have built upon these themes.
Long Description
Forty years after its release, Singin' in the Rain remains one of the best loved films ever made. Yet despite dazzling success with the public it never received its fair share of critical praise. Gene Kelly's genius as a performer is there for all to see. Acknowledged less often is his innovatory contribution as director. Peter Wollen has finally done justice to this landmark film. In a brilliant shot-by-shot analysis of the famous title number, illustrated by specially-produced frame stills, he shows how skilfully dance and musical elements are woven into the narrative. However, with Hollywood menaced by McCarhtyism, the Popular Front ethos in which the film was conceived could not long survive. Wollen argues convincingly that Singin' in the Rain was the high point in the careers of those who worked on it. In his new introduction, Geoff Andrew expands upon Wollen's study, while praising its passionate, and enlightening, celebration of the film. Andrew looks at the connection between sound and image, body and voice, but also considers recent films that have built upon these themes.
Table of Contents
Foreword
'Singin' in the Rain'
Notes
Credits
Bibliography
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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