Study Guide

Singin' in the Rain Lies and Deceit

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Lies and Deceit

We're willing to bet that when you hear "Hollywood musical" the first two words that spring to mind are not "lies" and "deceit." But Singin' in the Rain? It's all about deception. Let's rundown the list: First, we've got Lina, whom audiences think is an elegant leading lady, when she's really a screeching heel. Then there's Don, who starts lying through his pearly whites almost immediately, rattling off the details of his dazzling, totally made-up rise to fame. Not even Kathy emerges unscathed: She tries to deceive Don pretty much from the moment she meets him by suggesting that she's an esteemed stage actress. Throw in the fact that all of this is set in the movie industry, a business not exactly known for its realism or honesty, and you've got yourself a recipe for ruses, shams, and all sorts of star-studded trickery.

Questions About Lies and Deceit

  1. How would you describe the movie's attitude toward Hollywood and the movie industry?
  2. Why does Don lie about his entire backstory?
  3. What about Cosmo? Is he deceitful? How does he fit into all of this?
  4. Do you think Hollywood today is more or less deceptive than the 1920s Hollywood depicted in the movie?

Chew on This

Singin' in the Rain differentiates itself from other musicals through its cynicism: Everybody's either lying to himself or herself, or lying to everybody else.

The message of Singin' in the Rain is this: Don't believe everything you read. Or see. Or hear.

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