Singin' in the Rain

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Singin' in the Rain Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Often considered the finest musical of all time.
  • NR
  • 1952
  • 102 minutes

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 14 reviews

Kids say

age 7+
Based on 38 reviews

Did this review miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive, diverse representations in books, TV shows, and movies. Want to help us help them? Suggest a diversity update

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

Offers a fascinating glimpse of film history, wherein the silent era gave way to talking pictures.

Positive Messages

Themes include perseverance and teamwork. The characters don't always behave responsibly, and sometimes their actions result in the ridiculing or embarrassment of others. But some eventually team up and work together to solve a sticky problem. Ultimately, love, creativity, and hard work are demonstrated by the characters.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Oddly, despite the movie's good nature, not many of these characters are particularly admirable. Don is a bit of a spoiled movie star. Cosmo is smart, but also a clown and a goofball. And Kathy seems pure-hearted, but in her first scene with Don, she says mean things and hurts his feelings. Still, the good people do eventually begin to work together to solve their problems.

Violence & Scariness

Some passionate arguing. Fans are seen tearing at Don's clothes.

Sexy Stuff

Don flirts heavily with Kathy (and somewhat inappropriately on their first meeting). Don and Lina share an intense kiss while shooting a movie.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Lina is seen holding a cigarette in a holder, but she doesn't smoke it. Cyd Charisse is seen smoking. During a musical number, some dancers are holding martini shakers. In another number, dancers drink champagne.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Singin' in the Rain is widely considered to be the best Hollywood musical ever made, and while it's on and working its magic, that's hard to dispute. There's some flirting and kissing and brief incidents of smoking and drinking, and some characters argue. The characters are a bit on the rowdy and/or naughty side here and there, but they're good-hearted and good-natured at the core. This movie will make anyone's day, provided kids are about 6 or older.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byalicewas April 2, 2019

Great singing and dancing, but a bit of blackface

This is a wonderful classic film and a lot of fun, but I was horrified to discover a (thankfully) very brief blackface scene of white actors playing drum-playin... Continue reading
Parent of a 7 and 9-year-old Written byelainec1 January 13, 2016

Great singing, dancing and story but forward a racy scene

We were all enchanted watching this together! Gene Kelly makes dancing look effortless and the innocence of "Singing in the Rain" number can bring te... Continue reading
Teen, 17 years old Written bymibblei May 21, 2019
Teen, 13 years old Written bypaper boiy March 15, 2021

movie cool

It was a bit odd at times but still really tho cause you get to see a lot of drama

What's the story?

In SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, silent movie star Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) is paired on screen with the ultra-annoying Lina Lamont (Jean Hagan), who would like to be paired with him off screen as well. Sparks fly when Don encounters actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), which makes Lina jealous. When the first talkie, The Jazz Singer, becomes a hit, the stars of the latest Lockwood/Lamont movie, The Dueling Cavalier, are coached in vocal technique in an attempt at a talkie, but the results are disastrous. Meanwhile, Don and Kathy have fallen in love. After an all-night brainstorming session, Don, Kathy, and Don's best friend, Cosmo (Donald O'Connor), decide to turn the production into a musical, dubbing Kathy's voice for Lina's. But it's not long before Lina and Kathy are put on the spot and have to face the music.

Is it any good?

This film is often considered the finest musical of all time. Certainly Singin' in the Rain has it all: classic musical numbers and a witty script that's unusually sharp and satiric for a musical comedy, especially one making fun of the industry that produced it. Asked to name the top 10 moments in the history of movies, most people would include the title number from this movie, in which Kelly splashes and sings in the rain -- a "glorious feeling" that's contagious.

Only in a movie containing that sequence would O'Connor's sensational "Make 'Em Laugh" number be mentioned second. It's a wildly funny pastiche of every possible slapstick gag, done with energy and skill so meticulous that it appears entirely spontaneous.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • How is Singin' in the Rain different from modern films? What is it missing? Does it still entertain modern audiences?

  • Discuss the history of movies and the period in which silent movies gave way to "talkies." What were some of the problems? What were some of the benefits?

  • Are there any role models in this film? If so, who and why?

  • How do the characters in Singin' in the Rain demonstrate perseverance and teamwork? Why are those character strengths important?

Movie details

Our editors recommend

For kids who love musicals

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate

Streaming options powered by JustWatch

About these links

Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase. Thank you for your support.

Read more

Our ratings are based on child development best practices. We display the minimum age for which content is developmentally appropriate. The star rating reflects overall quality.

Learn how we rate