Singing in the Rain’s most Famous Scene

A dark rainy night surrounds two characters as they kiss goodnight in the doorway of a city apartment. He leaves optimistic and cheerful as he dances through the adverse weather and singing an upbeat song through the water. The song he is singing is the title track to 1952’s Singing in the Rain. This scene has become a classic use of song and dance in musicals and film in general.  This scene is indicative of what has transpired throughout the film thus far.

The mood that is established in the scene is crucial to its significance. The atmosphere of the setting is a complete contradiction between the feelings and actions of our protagonist, Don, as well as the music of the scene. The large raindrops covered the dark city streets, as people run for cover from the storm. Don on the other hand, is so full of life that he is singing and dancing through the puddles of the deserted city. He croons to the street lights belting out, “What a glorious feelin’, I’m happy again.” It is clear the dark conditions of the weather do not affect Don’s love filled emotions.

The weather, in some ways represents the struggle that comes with the change of time. There is some level of insecurity about the future. As time advances so does technology and leaves behind those who are unable to adapt. Don’s future seems to be in dire straits. Talking movies are in their infancy and many careers are in limbo in between. After the premier of his poorly pieced together first talkie, Don’s career is in definite jeopardy.

Just as his career is at the closest to fading away into obscurity, he finds a glimmer of hope in love. His relationship with Cathy has improved from its initial fascination in its infancy. With her comes the cure to improve his film, which is updating the film into an overdubbed musical. This is the hope in the storm, the reason he is singing such an optimistic and innocent song. As we see, Don makes it through the storm and releases a successful musical.

I can’t finish this paper without mentioning how A Clockwork Orange forever ruined the innocence of this song for me.

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