On This Day, 1952 – Singin’ In The Rain, premieres at Radio City Music Hall in NYC

Singin’ in the Rain is an American musical romantic comedy film directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Gene Kelly as Donald Lockwood and Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden, featuring Jean Hagen, Donald O’Connor, Millard Mitchell and Cyd Charisse. On the 27th of March, 1952, Singin’ in the Rain premiered at Radio City Music Hall in NYC.

The movie offers a joyfull depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s, with the three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to “talkies”.

Singin’ in the Rain has often been regarded as the greatest musical film ever made and one of the greatest films ever made, as well as the greatest film made in the “Freed Unit” at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It topped the AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals list and is ranked as the fifth-greatest American motion picture of all time in its updated list of the greatest American films in 2007.

In 1989, Singin’ in the Rain was one of the first 25 films selected by the United States Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry for being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly as Kathy and Don, photo: MGM/Getty Images

According to the Filmsite movie review – Singin’ in the Rain (1952) is one of the most-loved and celebrated film musicals of all time from MGM, before a mass exodus to filmed adaptations of Broadway plays emerged as a standard pattern. “It was made directly for film, and was not a Broadway adaptation. The joyous film, co-directed by Stanley Donen and acrobatic dancer-star-choreographer Gene Kelly, is a charming, up-beat, graceful and thoroughly enjoyable experience with great songs, lots of flashbacks, wonderful dances (including the spectacular Broadway Melody Ballet with leggy guest star Cyd Charisse), casting and story.“