Lina Lamont Dances For No One

Wednesday, July 8th, 2015

Lina Lamont Dances For No One

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I Love You, KiTR Because that dialog always makes me think of…

Wednesday, October 8th, 2014

I Love You, KiTR

Because that dialog always makes me think of Singin’ in the Rain. Hope it doesn’t sound too snarky. Because I do love you. Also: I love you. And did I mention that I love you? I do.

This isn’t my paper-anniversary contribution. Still trying to figure that out. This is just in the meantime.

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jaynaneeya: Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse | Singin’ in the Rain,…

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013


Gene Kelly and Cyd Charisse | Singin’ in the Rain, 1952

Would someone please explain this scene to me? It’s supposed to be from the movie they’re making, but isn’t Lina supposed to be the co-star? Who is Cyd Charisse supposed to be, and why on earth would Lina allow Don to do a whole really long musical number with a different woman in her film?  I love this movie, but this part has never made sense to me.

I assume the question was meant to be taken rhetorically, but I’m happy to talk about the scene anyway, since it’s the awesomest thing about the movie (well, it’s in a tie with the actual singing-in-the-rain part, I guess).

So the question becomes, are you asking me to explain the scene in-universe or out-of-universe? In-universe is tricky, as you indicate. As I recall, the scene is really taking place in Don’s head. I mean, this whole play-within-the-play (or in the case of this part in particular, the play-within-the-play-within-the-play) is during Don explaining the big musical number to R.F. So you can explain it in-universe as Don dancing with some awesome dancer of his imagination, rather than with any particular real person from the story. And yeah, maybe Lina is likely to make trouble, but Don wouldn’t have to worry about that for the purposes of his fantasy.

Out-of-universe, the question is easier to answer: The scene makes no sense at all. Like most of the film, it’s a weird jumble of impressionistic story elements meant to evoke the 20’s and the transition to talkies and (mostly) to have an excuse to re-use all those songs from the Arthur Freed catalog. 

Cyd Charisse is there because without her there isn’t anyone else who can be a credible dance partner for Kelly. Donald O’Conner has some cute business with him in the vaudeville sequence, and the umbrella does a great job in the titular scene, but if the only other person dancing with Kelly was Debbie Reynolds it would have been pretty sad. As it is, though, the ballet is just… wonderful.

A blog post I came across while googling for background: An Embrace of Artifice: “Singin’ In The Rain” through a “Broadway Melody”.

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