One of the world’s most beloved movies, Singin’ in The Rain (1952, dir. Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen) ticks all the boxes: a musical-comedy satire of 1920s Hollywood, full of great musical numbers, colorful sets and wonderful performances by Gene Kelly, Jean Hagen (in an Oscar-nominated role), Debbie Reynolds and the focus of this month’s COMEDY GOLD, Donald O’Connor.
In the Make ‘Em Laugh number, Cosmo (O’Connor) tries to cheer up his best friend, Hollywood star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), by, well, making him laugh. After telling him that the first thing an actor learns is that ‘the show must go on’, he delivers what is possibly one of the greatest musical performances of all time. Everything from playing the piano then effortlessly jumping on it, to pratfalls, wall-climbing and playing out an entire relationship with a dummy, all while singing perhaps one of the catchiest tunes in the movie. The scene is vaudeville-worthy and it’s physical comedy at its absolute best. So demanding was the routine that O’Connor was apparently in bed for three days after the shooting. The show must indeed go on!