Signing in The Rain: Themes and Relevance of The Film

About this sample

About this sample


Words: 983 |

Pages: 2|

5 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Words: 983|Pages: 2|5 min read

Published: Aug 31, 2023

Table of contents

  1. Introduction
  2. Themes in Singing in the Rain
  3. Storyline Structure in Singing in the Rain
  4. Conclusion
  5. Works Cited


“Singing in the Rain” is an American comedy musical film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. This conceptual document is a study on theme and relevance of the film. Through analyzing aspects of emotional, cultural, general and specific relevance. Released in 1952 Singing in the Rain generally and culturally conforms to the ideas of “heterosexual romance and “work life” that were relevant at the time of its publication. These ideas are explored through two interlinked plotlines. One concerning Don and Kathy the other a professional plot linked to his career. The professional plot narrates the modern shift from image to a fusion of image and sound, Lina is determined to stay “Number one” even though she is not capable to advance into this new world of image and sound. This does not stop her from getting what she wants. While disturbing the professional plot she barricades the romance between Don and Kathy. Her stardom is expressed in the beginning linking to the theme of fame. “Singin’ in the Rain” portrays both sides of fame as Cosmo said to Don, 'The price of fame. You've got the glory, you gotta take the little heartaches that go with it. Now look at me: I've got no fame, I've got no glory, I've got no big mansions, I've got no money! But I've got—what have I got?'(Grade Saver) Fame makes our characters act in certain ways in which we would not expect them to react.

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Themes in Singing in the Rain

Conceptually the events that take place are solved within time. Ideas such as relationships (love/belonging), Individuation (Self-actualization) Strategies and Competition (safety) are all addressed and/or solved. In the early days of the film Lina Lamont is convinced that her and Don are a real couple even though this relationship is for publicity which links back to the theme of reality vs expectation. After the first film, the head of studio decides to turn Don’s new film into a “talkie” called The Dancing Cavalier to get ahead of their completion. However, the film is not received well due to Lina’s character flaw (her voice). In the one scene where Don repeats the phrase “I love you” to Lina, it is seen as beautiful without sound (1st screening) yet laughable (2nd screening). These events lead to Kathy overdubbing Lina’s voice. The new version of the film does better than the previous releases. Narrative problems occur throughout the film but our characters are positive and determined thus leading to most of the problem being solved.

Specifically relevant to its time, “bound by the time and place of the film and audience “(Penn). The theme of Technological advancement plays an important role in the execution of the film. Set in Hollywood during the film industry’s shift from silent films to talking films “talkies”, it offers a comical representation of Hollywood. The film opens with the premiere of a silent film featuring the two biggest stars and most famous couple working for Monumenta Pictures, Don Lockwood and Lina Lamont. The studio then undergoes changes to sound and while Lockwood adapts to this new technology and fits well, Lana does not, which makes way for the invention and development of the movie musical—the genre of Singin' in the Rain itself. Film is a unique industry in that artistic developments have been directly connected to technological ones, and Singin' in the Rain demonstrates this. (UK Essays)

Storyline Structure in Singing in the Rain

In terms of emotional relevance, “Singin in the Rain” structures its story according to this general belief. Don’s maturity is juxtaposed with Kathy’s youth and freshness, his massive fame with her wondering-like fandom, her signing with his dancing. This relationship is put to the test as Kathy endures some narrative problems. She is fired from the one studio due to a mistake yet responds by becoming an actress for a “talkie” studio. She is then the shadow of Lina. Her character undergoes personal development and her differences represent the spontaneous and sincerity that Don needed at the start of the film. As a consequence, the closing scenes Don and Kathy represent the perfect synchronization of form and sound, singing and dancing, this symbolizes the accomplishment of “talkies” and the film. Just as sound and image work in sync, Kathy and Don are in sync achieving the films intentions. “Singin’ in the Rain” completes its narrative by valuing 'the married couple' and 'the married print' (the industry's term for the joining together of image and Soundtrack in the finished product) as metaphors of each other (S.Cohan)

Another important theme, Imagination. Imagination is linked to the emotional relevance and personal development of Don. An example is when he decides to tell Kathy he loves her, he takes her inside the studio where he physically changes the lighting and atmosphere in order to get “the proper setting”. He uses the technology available to him, uses his imagination and only then he can tell her how he really feels. Furthermore, the entire “Broadway Melody” is a fabrication of Lockwood’s imagination. As he describes his idea to the studio head, we (the audience) are taken into this world, in truth Simpson could not have possibly seen the musical being presented to him.

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In conclusion, through analyzing aspects of the film's themes factors that influence relevance are presented such as the emotional, cultural, general, and specific relevance. The concept of a movie inside a movie is handled with style which adds to why Singing in the Rain is a classic.

Works Cited

  1. GradeSaver. 'Singin' in the Rain Quotes and Analysis.' GradeSaver, 2019.
  2. Penn, J. (Ed.). 'Bound by the Time and Place of the Film and Audience': Singin' in the Rain and Historical Reception. Music, Sound, and the Moving Image, Vol. 2, No. 2, 2008, pp. 113-131.
  3. UK Essays. 'Singin' in the Rain: Hollywood's Shift from Silent Films to Talkies.', November 2018.
  4. S. Cohan, Steven. 'Soundtrack Available: Essays on Film and Popular Music.' Duke University Press, 2001.
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

Signing in the Rain: Themes and Relevance of the Film. (2023, August 31). GradesFixer. Retrieved July 17, 2024, from
“Signing in the Rain: Themes and Relevance of the Film.” GradesFixer, 31 Aug. 2023,
Signing in the Rain: Themes and Relevance of the Film. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 17 Jul. 2024].
Signing in the Rain: Themes and Relevance of the Film [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2023 Aug 31 [cited 2024 Jul 17]. Available from:
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