Singin' in the Rain (1952)
|Year Of Production||1952|
|RSDL / Flipper||No/No||Cast & Crew|
|Region Coding||2,4||Directed By||
Warner Home Video
|RPI||$36.95||Music||Nacio Herb Brown|
|Pan & Scan/Full Frame||Full Frame||
English Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
Italian Dolby Digital 1.0 (192Kb/s)
|Widescreen Aspect Ratio||None|
|Video Format||576i (PAL)|
|Original Aspect Ratio||1.37:1||Miscellaneous|
English for the Hearing Impaired
Italian for the Hearing Impaired
|Annoying Product Placement||No|
|Action In or After Credits||No|
Singin' In The Rain is set around the time when silent movies became 'talkies', circa 1927. Stuntman cum movie idol Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) and his dim co-star Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) are enlisted to star in Monumental Pictures' first talkie called The Dancing Cavallier, which is being thrown together in response to a rival studio's talkie success, but Lina's preening, Brooklyn-accented voice and low-voltage intellect creates difficulties for the production. Don's long time pal Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor, a 1950s version of Jim Carrey) suggests using the velvet voice of Don's elusive love interest Kathy Selden (a teenaged Debbie Reynolds) to replace Lina's intolerable wailings. Along the way, a number of all-smiling, all-dancing songs are delivered during the course of the story.
While I prefer violent future noir cinema laced with sexual perversity and nihilistic themes, the grass-roots film lover in me could not resist the charms of this Stanley Donen musical classic. The humour, characters, and soundtrack all work in concert to create an enjoyable celebration of 1950s post-war idealism: a time when you would go tap dancing in the street to the beat of your optimism, despite the melancholy fall-out from your past.
Sharpness is good given the state of the source material. While MGM have not performed a full restoration, the image is an improvement over the laserdisc release (of course), and hence Singin' In The Rain has never looked better. Many surface textures and background details are apparent, with no sign of edge enhancement. Blacks are generally good, with some darker scenes suffering mild chalkiness.
The best aspect of this transfer is the colour saturation. Since this was the first DVD I'd watched on the Metz DVD player (a rebadged Pioneer) with a better SCART-SCART lead, I had to adjust for lower colour saturation compared to the Marantz, but I am sure that Singin' In The Rain looked the way cinematographer Harold Rosson intended. There was no colour bleed nor low level noise.
Film artefacts included occasional specks and an ever-present mesh of film grain, which is easy to overlook if one's attention is fixed upon the story. I also noticed no compression artefacts.
Dialogue was loud and clear. At high volumes it grated on the ears, so be prepared for that if you pump the volume up for the musical numbers. Synchronization was not a problem.
The songs themselves, which were written before the script, are bold and engaging. High notes and brass accompaniments came across without distortion, although again, the overall sound became fatiguing at high volumes. Cinema EQ or rounding-off options on your DVD player will make it sound smoother. I tend to leave things 'au naturale' unless the problems are too severe to stomach. The bottom end frequencies were almost non-existent.
This is a primitive sound mix...although for the age of the film it remains faithful to the original presentation.
|Surround Channel Use|
NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.
The Region 4 DVD misses out on a Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack. Based on the opinion of Region 1 commentators, this is no loss.
MGM's DVD is as definitive as it can be without fully restoring the negative. The remastered image quality is colourful and framed correctly, and the mono sound at least duplicates the original listening experience. Some supplements would have been nice, but in my opinion, the best extra is always a properly presented movie, especially one of this vintage.
|DVD||Metz DE 71, using RGB output|
|Display||Loewe Ergo (81cm). Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.|
|Audio Decoder||Denon AVD-2000 Dolby Digital decoder.|
|Amplification||Arcam AV50 5 x 50W amplifier|
|Speakers||Front: ALR/Jordan Entry 5M, Centre: ALR/Jordan 4M, Rear: ALR/Jordan Entry 2M, Subwoofer: B&W ASW-1000 (active)|