Well, as you're reading this I'm currently conked out on a flight to Bangkok (AGHH) nervous as SHIT. While I'm away, some lovely lovely ladies have written me guest posts to keep you all going, I'll try and update on my travels as much as possible via twitter (@mmargaretssmith) and Instagram (@exxploring). Guest post number one comes from the wonderful and really prrrreeeetty funny Lauren, of The Devil Wears Tartan... She's absolutely one of my favourite bloggers and I'm loving reading her updates on her recent move to London, also... my God I love this movie!
Hi everyone! My name is Lauren and I'm really excited to be doing a guest post here on one of my favourite blogs. I'm a fellow Scottish lass and I've just moved to London to try and get someone to pay me to write for a living. Like Margaret, I'm a huge film fan and wanted to use this opportunity to force my agenda on all of you when it comes to my passion for musical cinema. You can find me over at my blog, the devil wears tartan. Enjoy!
It's an absolute pleasure to know with almost complete certainty that a tattoo I have is one-of-a-kind. You have to be over 60 years of age, or my sister, to “get it” but that's what I love about it.
Growing up, my sister and I would tend to get ill simultaneously and spend our days off school at our great auntie Helen's house where we discovered the joy of musicals from the 50s and 60s. Gigi, White Christmas, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Calamity Jane, Meet Me in St Louis- we devoured them all.
But the one that always stood out for us was Singing in the Rain. So years later, when I decided to get a tattoo dedicated to my sister, I referenced my favourite dance scene of all time.
Considering how often I see it on “Best movie” lists, it always amazes me how few people have seen Singing in the Rain. Musicals get written off as lame before people stop to realise how many popular culture references come from films like this.
So when people ask me about my tattoo and I say it's from a film scene where Gene Kelly has diction lessons and sings a song called "Moses supposes", I tend to get blank faces. Or that judgemental look that suggests I'm weird for liking one of the most popular and influential musicals of all time, starring a man who changed the face of cinema for almost a decade. They also seem to forget that the beloved Disney films they all watched as children are musicals too...
Because if you haven't seen it, you don't know what you're missing!
Firstly, Gene Kelly is a babe. Let's just get it out there now and accept it. Look at that face. That man can tap dance in roller skates (YouTube immediately please) and if you don't find that sexy then I really can't help you.
Although generally a comedy, the film is about the demise of the silent movie industry and its effect on stars and production companies as they have to completely adapt to the requirements of scripts and sound. It was a difficult time for the industry, with silent stars losing their jobs left, right and centre.
The leading lady of the film is played by Debbie Reynolds, who was just 19 at the time and had no dance training. Gene Kelly was known as being extremely strict, verging on tyrannical and lost his temper with Reynolds. She was found crying outside the studio by Fred Astaire and, like the sweetheart he was, he offered to give her lessons on the side.
The film has so many scenes, songs and moments that are ingrained into other TV and film scenes that you might not even know that's where they came from in the first place. Next time you have a spare 103 minutes, put the kettle on and your feet up and give it a watch. I promise you won't be disappointed.
Look! It's Gene Kelly with Frank Sinatra, dressed as a sailor! *sighs*