Made during the McCarthyite witch-hunts of the early '50s, MGM's Singin' In The Rain plays as a Technicolor love-letter to a studio system on the verge of dissolution. One of Hollywood's finest musicals, it unfolds during the transition from silents to talkies, as a trio of actors (played by co-director Gene Kelly, vaudeville star Donald O'Connor and newcomer Debbie Reynolds) attempt to save the costume drama The Duelling Cavalier by turning it into a musical and redubbing the grating voice of the lead actress (Jean Hagen).
A movie about movie-making, in which sound is married to image, it smoothly integrates its several superbly choreographed song-and-dance numbers into the storyline.
The abiding memory, though, is of Kelly in the title number, twirling his umbrella, athletically pirouetting around lamp-posts, and tap-dancing through puddles with carefree abandon. Gotta dance, indeed...