Study Guide

Singin' in the Rain Language and Communication

Language and Communication

KATHY: Oh, no offense. Movies are entertaining enough for the masses, but the personalities on the screen just don't impress me. I mean they don't talk, they don't act, they just make a lot of dumb show. Well, you know. (demonstrates) Like that.

In other words, Kathy thinks silent film actors don't communicate jack.

DON: You mean I'm not an actor. Pantomime on the screen isn't acting.

KATHY: Of course not. Acting means great parts, wonderful lines, speaking those glorious words. Shakespeare. Ibsen.

If the movie suggests that dancing is the truest form of expression, and that people lie their faces off when they speak, where does the silent film stars' pantomime fit in? Is it more like speech or more like dance?

R.F.: Don, believe me: It will be a sensation! "Lamont and Lockwood: they talk!"

LINA: Well, of course we talk. Don't everybody?

Some of us better than others, Ms. Lamont. Some of us better than others.

DON: Kathy, I'm trying to say something to you, but I'm such a ham, I guess I'm not able to without the proper setting.

Don can't communicate his emotions verbally, so he has to dance them out. Try dancing out your frustrations the next time your sister borrows your skirt without asking.

DINSMORE: No, no, Miss Lamont. Round tones, round tones. Now, let me hear you read your line.

LINA: And I cayn't stand'im.

DINSMORE: And I can't stand him.

LINA: And I cayn't stand'im.

DINSMORE: Can't.

LINA: Cayn't.

DINSMORE: Caaaan't

Lina: Cayyyyn't

Bless you, Phoebe Dinsmore.

DICTION COACH: Moses supposes his toeses are roses, but Moses supposes erroneously. Moses he knowses his toeses aren't roses as Moses supposes his toeses to be.

Instead of telling the diction coach that the lesson is silly and unnecessary, Don and Cosmo express the sentiment through a madcap song and dance routine. (And by tossing garbage on his head.)

R.F.: Lina, did you send this stuff out?

LINA: I gave an exclusive story to every paper in town.

She may not know how to sing, dance, or construct a grammatically correct sentence most of the time—in other words, she may not be able to personally communicate—but Lina sure knows how to harness the power of mass communication and control her PR.

LINA: If we bring a little joy into your humdrum lives, it makes us feel as though our hard work ain't been in vain for nothin'. Bless you all.

This is why you're forced to take English every year, kids.

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