The Varsity Cinema is proud to report that our grand reopening movie is officially considered one of the 10 greatest films of all time, according to the prestigious Sight and Sound poll.
Sight and Sound, the British Film Institute’s world-renowned film magazine, famously conducts a poll of “The Greatest Films of All Time” once every 10 years, dating all the way back to 1952. The attention-grabbing headline from this year’s poll is that odds-on favorites “Vertigo” and “Citizen Kane” were unseated by Chantal Akerman’s psychological domestic drama “Jeanne Dielman” for the top spot.
Meanwhile, “Singin’ in the Rain,” the first film that will screen at the Varsity Cinema’s grand reopening weekend, jumped 10 spots in the poll, from number 20 in 2012 to its current standing as the tenth greatest film of all time.
Starring Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds, “Singin’ in the Rain” is regularly ranked as the greatest of all movie musicals. And for good reason. Few films from the Golden Age of Hollywood (or, indeed, any age) are as funny, romantic or wall-to-wall entertaining.
But “Singin’ in the Rain” isn’t just a great musical; it’s also one of the great movies about movies. An uproarious sendup of backlot dramas, the film centers on Hollywood’s tumultuous transition to talkies at the tail end of the silent era.
Kelly plays Don Lockwood, a silent film star whose career as a leading man is put in jeopardy by the nails-on-a-chalkboard voice of his on-screen partner Lina Lamont (a hysterical Jean Hagen). But as fate would have it, an unusually hostile meet-cute in a passing car introduces Don to Kathy Seldon (Reynolds), a high-minded chorus girl with a heart of gold and the voice of an angel. From there, side-splitting gags and swooning romance ensue across a set of now-iconic song-and-dance numbers.
In addition to starring as lead actor, Kelly shared co-directing credit with Stanley Donen, with whom he collaborated on the film’s choreography. From the synchronized precision of “Fit as a Fiddle” and the madcap cavorting of “Make ‘Em Laugh” to the ebullient joy of “Good Morning” and the romantic rush of the title song, “Singin’ in the Rain” is chock full of all-time movie musical moments.
Don’t miss your chance to see “Singin’ in the Rain” back on the big screen during the Varsity Cinema’s grand reopening weekend, beginning Thursday, Dec. 15.
— Clinton Olsasky