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Odes to joy

Musicals are often dismissed as shallow. Not so, argues David Benedict. A new retrospective rightly puts this joyful genre back in the spotlight

By David Benedict   November 2011

Gene Kelly’s giddy feet and ecstatic face make the title number of Singin’ in the Rain one of the most memorably joyous moments in cinema

Billy Wilder, director of masterpieces such as The Apartment and Double Indemnity and a man not easily impressed, rated it one of the five best films ever made. Before its release in 1952, its screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green were at a party chatting with Charlie Chaplin when he started raving about a film he had just seen at Sam Goldwyn’s house. It was called Singin’ in the Rain. Had they heard of it?

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