Study Guide

Singin' in the Rain Change

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Hollywood is a notoriously fickle place. One day you're hot stuff; the next day you're Brendan Fraser. Technology is just as vulnerable to the industry's changing and often unpredictable trends. Remember the Betamax? What about HD DVD? Yeah, we didn't think so. Singin' in the Rain captures a very specific time in movie history: the transition from silent films to talking pictures. Simply put, talkies were a game-changer, and some people in the movie industry adapted better than others. Heck, some people didn't adapt at all. And some people decided to make a silent film in 2012. It won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Questions About Change

  1. What kind of attitude(s) does the movie show toward the silent movie era?
  2. Let's look at both sides: What kind of attitude(s) does the movie show toward talkies?
  3. Which character do you think is most capable of rolling with the changes? Who's least able to adapt?
  4. In the late '20s, people thought talkies were a passing fad. More recently, people thought 3-D was a passing fad. Technology-wise, what do you think is next for movies? Virtual reality? The return of Smell-O-Vision? Something else?

Chew on This

Singin' in the Rain suggests that success and ego make a person hesitant to change; hungry people adapt.

The talking picture is the best thing that ever happened to Don because it forces him to finally be honest: with the public, with Kathy, and, most importantly, with himself.

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