Study Guide

Singin' in the Rain Scene 12

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Scene 12

Scene 12

Mobsters with Coin Collections

  • We're back in R.F.'s office, presumably the next day. Don and Cosmo pitch him their idea to change The Dueling Cavalier into a musical. R.F.'s all like, "I'm in, but what do we call it?" Cosmo's got it: The Dancing Cavalier. It's settled then.
  • Wait: R.F. has another question. What about the story? They need modern musical numbers.
  • Cosmo pitches one about a young hoofer in a Broadway show: One night backstage, a sandbag falls on his head, and he dreams he's back in ye olden days, so they can still use the original costume stuff from The Dueling Cavalier.
  • R.F. thinks it's an awesome idea. Okay, now it's settled.
  • Cut to Kathy recording a ballad called "Would You?" with the orchestra under Cosmo's direction. Don admires her dreamily. Cut to Lina singing along with Kathy's "Would You?" track in an office.
  • Cut once more to Lina lip-syncing on set in her familiar French Revolution garb with Don. It actually looks good.
  • "Would You?" previously appeared in the 1936 film San Francisco, which starred Clark Gable, Jeanette MacDonald, and Spencer Tracy and was the highest-grossing movie of the year.
  • The last shot of Lina lip-syncing dissolves into a screening of the film in R.F.'s office. R.F., Don, and Cosmo are in attendance, and R.F. tells the guys it worked out perfectly. Also, he thinks Kathy's the bomb, so he's going to give her career a big build-up after all of this is over.
  • Don tells R.F. they have one more number left to shoot; it's for the modern part of the movie. Don says it's called "Broadway Melody," and it's the story of a young hoofer who comes to New York.
  • The camera pans to the empty screening room screen and then transitions to Don singing about Broadway. So, to be clear (kind of), this is the visual concept of a scene from the movie within the movie that we, the audience, are seeing while Don describes it to R.F., asking that R.F. imagine it. Confusing? A little. Just stick with us.
  • Don, as The Hoofer, arrives in New York City dressed like a nerd. At least that's what we're supposed to think because he's wearing thick glasses.
  • He finds an agent and loses the dork specs. Everything moves very fast, story-wise.
  • The agent throws The Hoofer on stage at a semi-seedy nightclub and he performs, first singing and dancing with all of the club-goers, then dancing solo.
  • In da club, The Hoofer meets an alluring woman in green who's sitting with three mobsters. One of them has a giant scar on his face and flips a coin menacingly. Clearly, he's in charge.
  • The woman in green gets up and dances around The Hoofer. It's pretty saucy. Then they dance together, and it gets saucier. We have a feeling Scarface isn't going to like this.
  • Scarface cuts in by waving a fat diamond bracelet in the face of the woman in green. She follows him off the dance floor. Scarface flips his coin. His two thugs flip their coins, too.
  • You don't really see a lot of people who intimidate through coin-flipping. It's pretty much these guys and Two-Face, and that's about it.
  • The club owner whisks The Hoofer away, and we see him quickly dance his way through increasingly nicer venues.
  • Cut to a casino. The Hoofer enters. He's made it to the big time. Hooray! Break out the bubbly! Let's play roulette! Then he spots her: the woman in green. Except now she's all in white. Oh, and she has a wind machine on her. It's all very dramatic.
  • The crowd fades away, and so does the casino.
  • The Hoofer and the woman are still there, but their costumes have changed and they're in an enormous empty room. Instead of a tux, he's in a simple black shirt and pants. She's no longer dolled up like a flapper. Her hair's long and loose, and she's in a little white dress with a train that appears to be forty feet long. Don't worry: There's still a wind machine.
  • They dance a contemporary ballet. It, too, is saucy. The Hoofer gets wrapped up in the woman's ginormous train and they kiss. See? Saucy.
  • Then we flash back to the casino. The woman has a coin. She flips it into The Hoofer's hand.
  • She walks off with the mobster, who's also flipping a coin. Of course. The Hoofer is bummed. He gets his hat and cane and leaves.
  • Out in front of the giant "Casino" marquee, The Hoofer sees a young dancer approach who's singing the same tune that The Hoofer was at the beginning of the sequence. The young dancer reminds him of himself.
  • The Hoofer brightens up, a bunch of dancers come running in—some from the casino, some from seemingly nowhere—and they all sing and dance to "Broadway Rhythm."
  • "Broadway Rhythm" previously appeared in two different flicks, both of which feature other songs poached for this picture: Broadway Melody of 1936 and Babes in Arms (source). Reduce, reuse, recycle, we guess?
  • The number ends by zooming in tight on The Hoofer, who's superimposed over the scene, all smiles. That was a long ballet sequence.
  • Back in the screening room, Don wants to know what R.F. thinks of the "Broadway Melody" number he's just spent fifteen minutes describing in incredible detail and that we've just spent thirteen minutes watching. R.F. says he "can't quite visualize it." LOL.

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