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Utopian transition to sound

by Kate Fortmueller

In "Entertainment and Utopia," Richard Dyer talks about how musical numbers function as moments of utopia and wish fulfillment. In this sequence from Singin' in the Rain (1952) we encounter a moment of industrial wish fulfillment. Variety pronounces (before bursting into flames) that the studios convert to talkies and we suspect that this might wreck havoc on the industry. When the film immediately transitions to a Busby Berkeley-esque musical number it indicates not simply business as usual, but an elevated and improved business. In this sequence is the film simply commenting on the transition from silent to sound film, or, is it perhaps commenting on other (contemporary) technological shifts?

Singin' in the Rain (1952) - Studios convert to talkies

This Busby Berkeley-esque sequence narrates the transition from silent to sound film.

from Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Creator: Stanley Donen
Posted by Kate Fortmueller
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