"Well, of course, we talk,"" says Lina Lamont, "Don't everybody?-.
Well, yes Lina, everybody do talk, but up until now, you didn't have to in your movies. In 1927, the era the of the talkies was ushered in with the Warner Brothers' "The Jazz Singer."" For a large number of actors though, this meant the end of their careers. Why? There were two major problems: talkies required the actor to have a pleasant and understandable speaking voice and the ability to use it to act. Lamont can't speak properly to save her soul, and Lockwood is too obtuse and awkward with his lines. Lamont's voice would peel paint from fifty yards, and Lamont can't act his way out of a bucket. Memo to Don: acting is a lot more than just "pantomime on the screen-.
Singin' in the Rain takes a look at the issue of Hollywood's transition from silent films to talkies, and it does it with comical and romantic overtones. The cast includes Gene Kelly as a conceited silent-screen matinee idol (Don Lockwood), and his on-screen love interest Jean Hagen (Lina Lamont.) It is truly a relationship made in hell, as Lockwood can't stand Lina, and she thinks, because of the paparazzi and the fan magazines, that he is her fiancé. Debbie Reynolds enters the film as a young chorus girl (Kathy Selden) with a beautiful speaking and singing voice and a growing affection for Lockwood; while Donald O'Connor plays Lockwood's best friend and comic sidekick, Cosmo Brown. .
The movie at its heart is a satire of show business and Hollywood. It is also an exposé of the ruthless ambition that lurks behind many of Hollywood's idolized stars. It was build around the comic possibilities of the transition from silent films to talkies in the 1920's. It has often been said that Hollywood is never better than when it satirizes itself and this is certainly no exception. Some of the film's best moments occur in sequences that were filmed on sound stages that were recreated to look like they had during the silent era.