Singin’ In The Rain – 70th Anniversary Edition (4K UHD Blu-ray Review)

Warner Bros is rightfully celebrating the milestone of Singin’ In The Rain turning 70 years old with a brand new 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray showcasing its newest restoration. In addition they returned it to the theaters for one of those flashy, limited, Fathom events Turner Classic Movies screenings with an intro from Ben Mankiewicz. Their latest home video iteration doesn’t include any new bonus features, but it does restore the original mono theatrical mix in lossless format for the first time ever. The extras from the Ultimate Edition Blu-ray aren’t here, but the ones from the standard Blu-ray release remain. This new release will also be getting a Best Buy exclusive 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray steelbook. You can order this standard edition by clicking on the paid Amazon Associates link that follows the review below.


When the transition is being made from silent films to `talkies’, everyone has trouble adapting. Don (Gene Kelly) and Lina (Jean Hagen) have been cast repeatedly as a romantic couple, but when their latest film is remade into a musical, only Don has the voice for the new singing part. After a lot of practice with a diction coach, Lina still sounds terrible, and Kathy (Debbie Reynolds), a bright young aspiring actress, is hired to record over her voice.

70 years later, Singin’ In The Rain remains one of the most magical contributions to cinema ever achieved. Even by today’s standards it still functions as a perfect film from top to bottom. The film marvels in it combination of swelling charm, unearthly cast chemistry, chuckle-inducing comedy, wonderful dance numbers and instantly addictive songs. Lightning certainly was captured in a bottle as the film has found accolades from generation after generation.

While the film is known for its song and dance, the more straightforward dramatic scenes in between may be overlooked for their own “song and dance”. There’s a rhythm, beat and timing to the way the character to character dialogue works in the film. It has a bounce and a cadence that is almost song and dance-like in its performance. This cast obviously feels comfortable with one another, has a lot of trust, respect and generosity between them as everyone bops around person to person. Sure, its not the only kind of movie we’ve seen do this. Many of the films of the 30s and 40s found a normalcy in delivery quick, bouncy dialogue. But Singin’ In The Rain has almost made it an art and dance to a degree that you aren’t even realizing you are jamming out to straight dialogue delivery. We even get to see the titular song in the film as its own characters as it bounces around and evolves throughout the film to shower it in mood and experience.

Singin’ In The Rain is also one of the earliest examples of movies about making movies. The film deals with some Hollywood behind the scenes politics both of yesteryear and still present in today’s landscape. Some of it, like the overall crux of transitioning from silent pictures to “talkies” has the core of just being one of the many transition periods the medium continually faces (The next would be…gasp…COLOR!). The ideas of forced coupling, fan culture and being stuck in doing the same old same to routinely garner an audience while putting a leash on your artistic integrity are all found here and explored in both surface level fluff and some deeper fashions.

Everyone partaking in the film is giving their best and forever memorable. Of course, the moment forever tied to the film is Gene Kelly literally singing “Singin’ In The Rain” in the rain. Which, I feel lands it in one as one of those films where people have seen the clip and heard it talked so much they figure they have a full idea what the film is without actually having sat and taken it in. Similar to that of a Rocky, Saturday Night Fever or Jaws; the “yeah, I know what that is without ever having seen it” but then being blown away/stunned when they actually finally sit and watch the film start to finish. There’s more than just that scene to take away from the film. The comedy of seeing the first talkie of Don and Lina played before an audience, “Make ’em Laugh”, “Good Morning”, Lina’s “love to hate her” villain and plenty of Donald O’Connor’s antics. Plus the golden romantic comedy stuff going on between Debbie Reynolds and Gene Kelly is all-time great levels (even though the film came out prior to 1980). That’s just a taste of what makes the film one of the best ever.

Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and company made pure magic back in 1952 and called it Singin’ In The Rain. Its a film I didn’t wind up finally seeing until college and was absolutely swept away by. One that I’ve constantly returned to, always impressed, always laughing, always charmed. A film I’ve shown to many and a film I recently shared with my 7 year old daughter who absolutely ate it up. Its timeless and has been able to continually hit the same highs and maybe even more than it did 70 years ago. The film is a treasure and it is one of those situations where it honestly feels like a privilege and an honor to be able to write my thoughts about it here for this latest home video release.


Disclaimer: Screen captures used in the review are taken from the standard Blu-ray disc, not the 4K UHD Blu-ray disc.

Encoding: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: 4K (2160p)

Aspect Ratio: 1.37:1

Layers: BD-66

Clarity/Detail: Singin’ In The Rain comes to 4K Ultra-HD Blu-ray for the first time with an incredible 4K restoration and transfer. Popping in the standard Blu-ray, it looks like some compressed, noise-ridden dated DVD now by comparison. This image is more more crisp, clear and open feeling. Major improvements in color saturation, texture and detail radiate in this beautiful image. Warner Bros transfer alone here will have it competing for “best of year” titles come December.

Depth: Depth of field is marvelous here and really opens up the sets seen in the movie and makes the film look bigger and more spacious than ever. Pushback is grand and really lands the scale of small rooms and big theater halls. Movements are smooth and filmic with no issues coming from any distortions related to rapid motions.

Black Levels: Blacks feature a natural look and really push to make the image much more noticeable here with improved levels of saturation and contrast. The natural levels make for fantastic shading, sharpness and nighttime/dark room sequences. Even the black and white film footage seen from backgrounds and the like impresses. No crushing witnessed.

Color Reproduction: Colors are quite gorgeous here in the image with much improved saturation, showcasing different tones and tints all around. The colors are still quite flashy, but bring with them a little bit more of a natural edge in the image. Purples, yellows, blues, reds and more really have a life of their own here in the image.

Flesh Tones: Skin tones are natural and consistent throughout the entirety of the film. Facial features and textures like make-up strokes, lip texture, wrinkles and more are clear as day in any given distance in the frame.

Noise/Artifacts: None


Audio Format(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Original Theatrical English 2.0 Mono DTS-HD MA, French 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, German 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, Italian 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, Spanish (Castilian) 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital, Spanish (Latin American) 2.0 Mono Dolby Digital

Subtitles: English SDH, French, German SDH, Italian SDH, Spanish (Castilian), Japanese, Korean, Spanish (Latin American)

Dynamics: While the disc has a 5.1 option, it is the same track as offered on the previous Blu-ray format release of the film, I’ll be reviewing a different audio track. New, or should I say “returning” to this 4K Ultra-HD release is the original mono theatrical mix. And its in lossless form to boot. While it doesn’t carry the power or engulfing nature of the 5.1 mix, this wonderful mono blend has a good balance and strong enough volume to be quite a fulfilling experience with excellent dynamic range. There’s a charm to hearing it as originally intended and this was a pretty solid treat in getting the songs untethered and pure as they once were when visiting it theatrically.

Height: N/A

Low Frequency Extension: N/A

Surround Sound Presentation: N/A

Dialogue Reproduction: Vocals are clear and crisp and can take over in wonderful ways, either in some boisterous dialogue scenes or in commanding a song.


Singin’ In The Rain – 70th Anniversary Edition comes with the standard Blu-ray edition and a redeemable digital code. The standard Blu-ray is the same disc that has always been available on the format.


Audio Commentary

  • By Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor, Cyd Charisse, Kathleen Freeman, Stanley Donen, Betty Comden, Adolph Green, Baz Luhrmann and Rudy Behlmer

Musical Numbers – Selectable in by song or Play All.



Singin’ In The Rain: Raining on a New Generation (HD, 50:48)


Theatrical Trailer (SD, 4:07)


Singin’ in the Rain is one of the shining examples of a perfect film in the history of Hollywood, holding up and delighting for 70 years. Warner Bros has showcased that in all its glory with a stunning 4K restoration and lossless original theatrical mix audio presentation for a fantastic disc. The extras are the same as the standard Blu-ray which came before, however missing are the extras that once came with the Ultimate Edition Blu-ray release of the film. Nonetheless, this is a must have in any film lover’s collection and the restoration work is a must have upgrade.

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Brandon is the host, producer, writer and editor of The Brandon Peters Show (thebrandonpetersshow.com) on the Creative Zombie Studios Network. At Why So Blu he is a Writer/Reviewer. Brandon is a lifelong obsessive film nerd. As eager to educate in the world of film as I am to learn. An avid lover of horror, schlock and trash. You can also find older essays on his blog Naptown Nerd (naptownnerd.blogspot.com).

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