Singin' in the Rain (1952)
My favorite musical of all time, this classic starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O'Connor is a great rainy-day movie.
My "Art of Film" class in college had us watch this movie, mostly because the film has some real references to film history. The setting of the musical is Hollywood in 1927-28, when the movie industry was caught up in the transition from silents to talkies. Many silent film stars lost their worth when they could no longer pantomime, and this movie plays upon that era. Also notable in film history is the fact that Nacio Herb Brown's songs from past MGM movies are brought together in to a sort of package musical movie. The movie was built around the list of Brown's songs.
My favorite scene is "Make 'Em Laugh" which has Donald O'Connor doing his famous wall walk-up-flip and other crazy dancing antics that always make me laugh out loud. Debbie Reynolds is also cute as a button when Gene Kelly jumps into her moving Model T to escape crazed fans, and she acts as if he's nobody special.
The film's major plot line is that Debbie Reynold's character, Kathy, must dub over the former silent screen star Lina Lamont because Lamont's voice is like nails on a chalkboard. Ironically, in some of these songs Debbie Reynolds is actually dubbed by another woman, Betty Noyes. Truly an example of life imitating art.
Trivia and historical references aside, the supporting cast is phenomenal, the dancing sequences are outstanding, the songs are timeless, and the entire movie is a great example of the fabulousness of the golden age of Hollywood.