Studios are celebrating, and it’s good for business if you’re in the business of collecting Blu-rays. Universal is celebrating their centential with releases of a number of classics, and it recently yielded us a Jaws Blu-ray that’s to die for. The same can be said for this Singin’ in the Rain collector’s edition from Warner Bros. In recent years, WB has put out new editions of Ben-Hur, The Wizard of Oz and Gone with the Wind, each including more than just the movie. Much more than just the movie. But it’s not just a bevy of special features that makes this release of Singin’ in the Rain so special, it’s the film itself that demands your attention. Vibrant and biting, this Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds led musical is dazzling on Blu-ray. It’s sharp and crisp and bursting with a lively soundtrack that is almost too much for the format to handle. Given the fact that it’s a film from 1952, charting the times of conceited silent film star trying to make his way in the new world of talkies, that’s quite the accomplishment.
The remastering of the film to celebrate birthday number sixty is great. But as I mentioned, there’s plenty more than just the movie. In this 8″ by 11.5″ by 2.75″ box set are several discs, including the aforementioned Blu-ray feature. Two other discs of supplements exist, including a number that were part of the 2002 DVD release. There’s a Raining on a New Generation documentary that’s new and focused on how this timeless classic continues to impact future generations. If you want to know what the teacher from Glee has to say about Gene Kelly, it’s in here. There’s commentary. There’s outtakes. There’s a 48-page hard cover book with all kinds of production stills and memos. And a commemorative umbrella. No seriously, a commemorative umbrella.
For those interested only in the special features of this set that aren’t designed to keep you dry in a rain storm, but rather keep you inside, here’s the full listing of extras:
Singin’ in the Rain: Raining on a New Generation: All-new Documentary presented in High Definition on Blu-ray
Commentary by Stanley Donen, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, Kathleen Freeman, screenwriters Betty Comden and Adolph Green, filmmaker Baz Luhrmann, and film historian Rudy Behlmer
Great Performances: Musicals Great Musicals: The Arthur Freed Unit at MGM, a 1996 PBS documentary about the career of producer/songwriter Arthur Freed
The Making of Singin’ in the Rain
You are My Lucky Star: Outtake musical number
Nacio Herb Brown/Arthur Freed Film Excerpts (a collection of 12 film clips from earlier films with Freed/Brown songs
Scoring Stage Session Cues
It would be criminal to recommend you forgoing the movie-only edition (which is available) in order to save a quick buck. If you’re not sure about whether Singin’ in the Rain belongs in your collection, you should (a) rent it and (b) stop calling yourself a fan of movies. Those who are sure will want to pick up this limited, numbered set and find a nice spot for it on a shelf somewhere. Because as remasterings and re-releasings go, I doubt there’s going to be a better iteration of Singin in the Rain as this one.
Singin’ in the Rain 60th Anniversary Collector’s Edition is available on Blu-ray now. Check out the set’s brief trailer below.
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