Fred Astaire, Singin' in the Rain (Movie - 1952)
Credit: Singing in the Rain: The Everett Collection

No matter how well you know the smart, funny, ageless musical Singin’ in the Rain, a new DVD special edition makes you feel like a virgin. Boy, look at Gene Kelly’s pancake makeup, and how it can’t hide the scar near his dimple! More than ever, the sheer formal discipline of ”Singin,”’ from costumes to choreography, feels like a lost art.

Alas, these days no ”special” DVD is complete without a second disc’s worth of testimonials, and that’s where the title hits flat notes. A number of reminiscing witnesses are so aged they can hardly speak, let alone find fresh insights. It’s painful to watch ”Singin”’ scribes Betty Comden and Adolph Green laboring to recount basic information.