I arrived at the Richmond BART station at 9:44. One of the few places that was open at 10:30 was Abe’s Pizza, and I had the carnivore slice. The frozen yogurt shop closed early because the college students were gone for their winter break. I watched the news and then watched the Blu-ray disc of “Singin’ in the Rain” again. I liked how Don Lockwood gave his autobiography in the beginning, although if he’d done it today, the fans could have done some fact checking and quickly exposed him. One of the things that struck me was how funny Gene Kelly was. I liked the bits with him doing stunt work. You could see how great a dancer he was from “Fit as a Fiddle.” I was watching for Debbie Reynolds. The script throws us off by having her not recognize Don immediately, which really would have been in character. If she was struggling with her career, I don’t know how she can afford to have a car, unless she borrowed it. In her first number, the choreographer has her doing some interesting things like tossing candy out to the audience. She does have a number with both Don and Cosmo, which was “Good Mornin’.” One of her funny lines after that song was her suggestion that Don become a ditch digger. She does a Marni Nixon in being Lina’s singing voice. I kept thinking that “The Dueling Cavalier” wouldn’t have made a very good movie with its stupid, patched together plot. Why was it necessary to have a modern section to the picture? Apparently, this movie within the movie ends with the main character still unconscious, because it doesn’t go back to the modern part for the closing shot. I thought that Jean Hagen, Millard Mitchell, and Cyd Charisse were all great in this movie. It’s funny how Lina doesn’t say anything for a long time, and then you discover why. The movie looks good in Blu-ray. My test has always been the dance sequence with Cyd Charisse and her green dress. It seemed that Debbie Reynolds was a little bit younger in “Singin’ in the Rain” than Carrie Fisher was in “Star Wars.” Debbie had singing and dancing talent that I don’t think that Carrie had, although Carrie had the writing ability. The one acting moment that I didn’t think was totally convincing was the laughter when Don’s clothes got caught in the car door and ripped. I never get tired of watching “Singin’ in the Rain” because there is so much in the humor, and the songs are so good. Even “Moses Supposes” is interesting because the word “erroneously” is in the lyrics. My one complaint is that “Make ‘Em Laugh” is too much like Cole Porter’s “Be a Clown.” Debbie Reynolds’ death made me think about my own mother and how my brother’s death affected her. I was glad that I didn’t have to go to work on a Thursday so that I could go out to buy items like ear buds and calendars.
Some of the people who died on December 30 include Richard Rodgers (1979), John Gregory Dunne (2003), Artie Shaw (2004), and Luise Rainer (2014). Today is a birthday for Matt Lauer (59), Meredith Vieira (63), Michael Nesmith (74), and Sandy Koufax (81).