Thanks to 1971's A Clockwork Orange, a generation of filmgoers can't hear "Singin' in the Rain" without experiencing ultraviolent flashbacks. But if Clockwork survivors can weather the initial waves of revulsion, they might find that a viewing of 1952's Singin' in the Rain washes away the tune's contextual tarnish and leaves only glorious feelings. Ranked at the top of the American Film Institute's 100 Years of Musicals list, Singin' in the Rain uses show tunes from an earlier era (1929-39) to illustrate Hollywood's transition from silent films to talkies. In addition to the charming soundtrack and iconic choreography, most notably the titular sequence in which a sopping Gene Kelly cavorts with his umbrella, Singin' in the Rain offers snappy romance, slapstick comedy (including a pie in the face) and a star-is-born plotline that served as Debbie Reynolds' debutante ball. Vintage shorts precede a free 1:30 p.m. showing at the Kansas City, Kansas, Public Library (625 Minnesota Avenue, 913-551-3280).
Sat., June 7, 1:30 p.m., 2008