The Review at a Glance: (max score: 5 )
Audio/Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Studio and Year: Warner - 1952
MPAA Rating: G
Feature running time: 102 minutes
Disc Format: BD-50
Encoding: AVC (MPEG-4)
Video Aspect: 1.37:1
Audio Format(s): English DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio, Dolby Digital 5.1, French/Spanish Dolby Mono
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen, Cyd Charisse, Millard Mitchell
Directed by: Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen
Music by: Arthur Freed & Nacio Herb Brown
Written by: Adolph Green & Betty Comden
Region Code: A,B,C
Blu-ray Disc release Date: July 17, 2012
Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds in a 60th-anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition newly remastered in 2011 4K transfer of the best-loved Hollywood musical ever-filled with memorable songs, lavish routines and Kelly's fabulous song-and-dance number performed in the rain.
In 1927, Silent movies are giving way to Talking Pictures. Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont are a famous on-screen romantic pair. Lina, however, mistakes the on-screen romance for real love. Don has worked hard to get where he is today, with his former partner Cosmo. When Don and Lisa's latest film is transformed into a musical, Don has the perfect voice for the songs. But Lisa - well, even with the best efforts of a diction coach, they still decide to dub over her voice. Kathy Selden is brought in, an aspiring actress, and while she is working on the movie, Don falls in love with her. Will Kathy continue to "aspire", or will she get the break she deserves?
Singin’ in the rain needs no introduction is a classic musical film that is beloved by fans the world over. Featuring the memorable lyrics/music of Arthur Freed/Nacio Herb Brown and beautifully choreographed dance set pieces built around a wonderfully integrated story of romance/jealousy, friendship and enthusiasm. Gene Kelly’s eponymous dancing is complemented by co-stars Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor as they share the limelight in several of the film’s most popular song/dance numbers, “Make em’ laugh”, “Good morning” “Fit as a fiddle” and the terrific sequence set to the title song “Singin’ in the rain”.
This truly is a charming, funny and endearing film with a contemporary flavor that hasn’t lost its luster 60 years after its release. The large ensemble set pieces are superbly executed (I love the “Broadway Melody” number which includes “You weren’t meant for me” with Kelly and the sultry Cyd Charisse) but for me it’s the smaller pieces the focus on Kelly or O’Connor or both that are mind blowing to watch. This is bolstered by strong performances from the cast, especially Jean Hagen who steals nearly every scene she is in.
For its 60th anniversary Blu-ray debut, Singin’ in the Rain has received a 4k scan of the Technicolor 3-strip negatives and a new DTS-HD Master Audio sound mix. This 3 Disc 60th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition includes a brand new documentary, Singin’ in the Rain: Raining on a New Generation, presented in high definition. In addition to another half-dozen vintage special features, this new limited edition will include a 48-page hard cover book, with never-before-seen production memos and photos. It will also contain reproductions of the original theatrical posters from the film’s premier and a full-size commemorative umbrella. The entire package comes housed in an attractive, sturdy, embossed cardboard case with fitted velvet inserts to hold the contents in place.
Singin’ in the rain is a classic Hollywood film that epitomizes the lavishly entertaining musicals of its period. In 1989 it was among the first 25 films chosen for the newly established National Film Registry for films that are deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation. This Blu-ray offering from Warner Home Video is a befitting one that makes for a perfect fit for fans.
This film is appropriate for all audiences.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100 / EXCELLENT = 83-91 / GOOD = 74-82 / AVERAGE = 65-73 / BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Low frequency extension:
- Surround Sound presentation:
- Dialogue Reproduction:
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- Black level/Shadow detail:
- Color reproduction:
Singin’ in the rain comes to Blu-ray from Warner Home Video featuring 1080p AVC encoded video that has an average bitrate of 29 Mbps and lossless DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio sound that has an average bitrate of 2 Mbps.
Accordingly to Warner Home Video’s press documentation Singin’ in the rain recently underwent a 4k scan of the Technicolor 3 strip negatives and the results are impressive. This film’s 1.37:1 framed high definition video presentation on Blu-ray looks terrific on my 100 inch screen. Colors are tonally balanced with lustrous primaries, clean rendering and delineated secondary hues that all look terrific. Fleshtones are appreciably lifelike with discernible texture and natural depiction. The level of visible detail in facial features, hair and clothing during close-ups is noteworthy. Wide angle shots vary in terms of visual depth but most reveal subtle degrees of refinement and fidelity is never in question. Resolution is excellent as the blend of interior shots and sets featured in the story offer clarity, detail and dimension that belie the film’s 60 years. Of course this also made some of the special effects more obvious but that’s fine. Blacks are noise free, stable and fairly deep. Contrast and brightness are balanced well which enlivens bright scenes and colors while maintaining an appreciable level of visibility and dimension during darker segments. Grain is present and appears undisturbed. Warner is to be commended on this excellent and faithful high definition presentation that is sure to please even discerning fans.
The lossless DTS-HD MA multi-channel mix readily handled the elements contained in the recording. The presentation retains a front loaded perspective with well defined dialogue that has average room penetration. I would have preferred a bit more depth/weight to sounds and voices but that is a limitation of the recording. I would rather have it sound natural than artificially enhanced and I think that this presentation achieves that. The soundfield is one dimensional, with discernible front channel separation and good clarity. The soundstage opens up some during the musical set pieces and provides bass response that is proportionate and adequate. Considering the age of this recording dynamics had fair solidity and impact. Compared to today’s movie soundtracks this presentation sounds a bit dated however all things considered I was pleased with it.
Disc 1 (Blu-ray):
- Feature film in High Definition
- Audio commentary with Stanley Donen, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, Kathleen Freeman, screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, and film historian Rudy Behlmer
- (HD) *New* Singin’ in the rain: Raining on a new generation – 50 minute documentary
- Jukebox – Jump to song feature
- Theatrical trailer
Disc 2 Special Features (DVD):
- Musicals great musicals - 86 minute 1996 PBS special
- What a glorious feeling – 50th anniversary making of documentary hosted by Debbie Reynolds (35 minutes)
- Excerpts from the features of Arthur Freed & Nacio Herb Brown
- “You are my lucky star” deleted scene – 4 minutes
- Scoring stage sessions (audio only)
- Commemorative Limited Edition bundle (see above)
- Bonus DVD of Singin' in the rain
Singin’ in the rain is a charming, funny and endearing musical with a contemporary flavor that hasn’t lost its luster 60 years after its release. It makes its Blu-ray debut from Warner Home Video featuring beautifully restored high definition video that is sure to please even discerning videophiles. Fans have a choice of either the 60th Anniversary Blu-ray/DVD combo release or this 3 Disc 60th Anniversary Ultimate Collector’s Edition that comes housed in an attractive, sturdy, embossed cardboard case with fitted velvet inserts to hold the contents which include a 48-page hard cover book, reproductions of the original theatrical posters from the film’s premier and a full-size commemorative umbrella. Either way you can’t go wrong with this highly recommended and classic film that has found a home in my Blu-ray library.
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