[[caption-width-right:320:''"[[EarWorm What a glorious feeling!]]"'']]

->'''R.F:''' Every studio's doing it. All the theaters are putting in sound equipment.\\
'''Don:''' But we know nothing about it--!\\
'''R.F.''' What's to know? You do what you always did! ''Just add talking to it!''

A classic 1952 film from Creator/MetroGoldwynMayer, happened when legendary screenwriters [[Creator/ComdenAndGreen Comden & Green]] were given the keys to the MGM music vaults and told to pound out a script based on what they found inside.[[note]]The only totally original song in the film is the novelty number "Moses Supposes". "Make 'em Laugh" is generally considered a rip-off of Cole Porter's "Be a Clown", though he never complained.[[/note]]

The result is a frothy but [[HorribleHollywood sledgehammer-accurate]] comedy set during the transition from silent film to talkies -- a period of major upheaval in the movie industry, as stars learned to cope with the novel concept of 'talking' and all its attendant requirements. Chief among them being, of course, that now they had to ''act''.

Don Lockwood (Creator/GeneKelly) is the current king of silent Hollywood, one-half (or perhaps [[TheLoad three-quarters]]) of the A-list team [[NameAndName Lockwood & Lamont]]. His "partner" is [[AlliterativeName Lina Lamont]] (Jean Hagen), a bottle-blonde, bubble-brained diva whose ego has long since turned Don off any thought of carrying their romance off-screen... not that he can convince Lina of that.

In the main, however, Don's the Creator/GeorgeClooney of his day: rich, debonair, enjoying the perks of celebrity life to the hilt. Loyally at his side at all times is his lifelong best buddy and current studio musician Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor), who is ''just'' tactful enough to keep quiet about the duo's past as a failed vaudeville act.

Then, fleeing a mob of fans one night, Don's rescued by self-described "serious actress" Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds). She not only proves immune to his movie star charms but accuses him of having no artistic substance whatsoever: "just a lot of dumb show!" Don is incensed, but her words prove prophetic with the unexpected rise of ''Film/TheJazzSinger''. The studio abruptly (as in mid-take) [[FollowTheLeader decides to make the current Lockwood & Lamont picture a "talkie" too]].

Cue frantic -- and cringe-worthy -- attempts on everyone's part to come to grips with the new technical requirements. Unfortunately, no technology in the world can remedy Lina's voice, [[CuteButCacophonic a shrill Brooklyn screech]] [[VocalDissonance completely at odds with her silent image as a refined leading lady]].

Faced with utter ruin when the now wildly-anachronistic ''Dueling Cavalier'' is hooted down at a test screening, Don, Cosmo and Kathy cook up a plan [[CrazyEnoughToWork so stupid it just might work]]: convert the whole mess into a fantasy musical. Of course, Don's erstwhile co-star can't sing any better than she can speak. Thus, inspired by a synchronization accident during the screening, Cosmo also invents dubbing, and arranges for Kathy to secretly record all of Lina's songs and dialogue. Inevitably, Lina discovers the ruse--and is suddenly threatening to ruin ''everyone's'' careers and potentially seize the studio. Maybe she's [[SmarterThanYouLook not as dumb as she looks...]]

Will Kathy be forced to give up her dreams? Or will the power of True Love win out over studio greed? And will Cosmo ever get to "start suffering and write that symphony"?

!!This film provides examples of:
* AbhorrentAdmirer: Lina, for Don. Lina herself, however, is undaunted.
* AddedAlliterativeAppeal: "Well, here comes our lovely leading lady now!"
* AffectionateParody: Of the early Hollywood musicals, spoofing how sound screwed many things up. And like the best affectionate parodies, it pokes fun by being a great example of an old school Hollywood musical.
* AlliterativeName: Lina Lamont.
* AllJustADream: The framing device used to switch ''The Dueling Cavalier'' from accidentally campy to intentionally campy.
* AllLoveIsUnrequited: "Broadway Melody" involves the guy not getting the girl, who wasn't interested in him in the first place.
* TheAllegedCar: Cosmo's.
-->'''Cosmo:''' I can't understand it. This car hasn't given me a lick of trouble in nearly six hours.
* AllMusicalsAreAdaptations: TheMusical of the film exists, and has had at least one Broadway run, but ''Singing In The Rain'' is famous for being an ''original'' film musical: one of the few that was not based on a previous film, book, play or Broadway production.
* AlmightyJanitor and BeenThereShapedHistory: Cosmo is clearly the greatest technical genius in cinema history. Starting as a lowly pianist for sappy love scenes, Cosmo single-handedly rescues an unreleasable picture in post-production by splicing it into a different movie (paving the way for CutAndPasteTranslation); comes up with the idea of using playback to dub new lines into existing scenes; invents lip-synching on the fly; invents the movie musical; and just generally saves the entire studio from going bankrupt. "[[DudeWheresMyRespect Gimme a raise]]", indeed.
* AlmostKiss: Between Don and Cyd Charrisse in "Broadway Melody". All the mobster has to do is [[GoldDigger offer a diamond necklace to her and Don is rejected]].
* BadBadActing: Cosmo and Don (Don even admits it to Kathy), both humorously and charmingly; Lina, not so much on either count. Don takes it a little too far in the original version of ''The Dueling Cavalier'', to the point where he actually manages to give an even ''less'' convincing performance than Lina.
* TheBeautifulElite: Given this is Hollywood, of course the cast is of good looking people. The "Beautiful Girls" number is all about this.
* BelligerentSexualTension: Inverted. Arguing with Lina only makes her hot under the collar, while Don himself is a block of ice.
-->'''Lina''': [after a take] Oh, Donnie...you couldn't kiss me like that and not mean it!\\
'''Don''': Meet the greatest actor in the world! I'd rather kiss a tarantula!\\
'''Lina''': Oh, you don't mean that.\\
'''Don''': I don't...? Hey, Joe, get me a tarantula!
* BigApplesauce[=/=]TheBigRottenApple: In "Broadway Melody", a rube with aspirations of being a Broadway star (Don) arrives in Manhattan and quickly gains fame, at the expense of his innocence. The sequence ends on a hopeful note, with an identical nerd in glasses greeting a tuxedo-clad Don, continuing the cycle.
* BitchInSheepsClothing: Lina has a nice public persona, but is a prima donna behind the scenes.
* BlatantLies: "Dignity. ''Always'' dignity," says Don when the flashbacks show his un-glamorous rise to fame.
* BreakTheHaughty: [[spoiler:Lina is humiliated when it's shown she doesn't do her own voicework.]]
* BrokenAesop: In-universe. Cosmo has a cute moment of this early on, when he tries explaining to Don that the pseudo-romance with Lina is the price of fame:
-->'''Cosmo:''' Now, you've got the ''glory''. You gotta take the little heartaches that go with it. ''(Beams)'' Now look at me.... I got no glory. I got no fame--I got no big ''mansions''! I got no ''money''! ''But I got''--! ''({{Beat}})'' What ''have'' I got?\\
'''Don:''' ''I'' dunno, what ''have'' you got?\\
'''Cosmo:''' ''({{Beat}})'' I got to get outta here.
* BusbyBerkeleyNumber: WordOfGod is that "Beautiful Girl" and its accompanying montage is a dig on the Busby Numbers which Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen always hated.
* ButtMonkey: The diction coach during the number "Moses Supposes" gets basically shoved around by Don and Cosmo.
* CaptainObvious: The man in the "talking picture" demonstration. Justified somewhat as he is trying his best to sell a totally new and unknown concept, and even then the party-goers don't quite get the idea at first.
-->Hello. This is a demonstration of a talking picture. Notice: [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment it is a picture of me, and I am talking]]. Note how my lips and the sound issuing from them are synchronized together in perfect unison.
* CareerKiller[=/=]CreatorKiller: Both tropes are InUniverse, as the preview of ''The Dueling Cavelier'' is disastrous, and has the potential to wreck the studio and the careers of everyone involved.
* ChandelierSwing: Don's character does one during his climactic fight scene in ''The Royal Rascal'' (which is actually, like much of the footage shown of ''Royal Rascal'', from the real-life 1948 version of ''The Three Musketeers'').
* TheCharmer: Cosmo at the party.
-->'''Girl''': Mr. Brown, can you really get me into the movies?\\
'''Cosmo''': Oh, I should think so...
* ChekhovsGun: Lina wants to give a speech but Don subtly stops her... and then we later see she's got a screechy voice.
* ChekhovsSkill: Don's on-the-job training as a Hollywood stuntman comes in handy when escaping [[GroupieBrigade overenthusiastic fans.]]
* ComicalOverreacting: At the premiere of ''The Royal Rascal'', one of the crowd does a FanboySquee, with bugged-out eyes, over Zelda.
** This accidentally happens in ''The Dueling Cavalier'', when acting made for silent movies is given sound, and poorly done sound at that.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: Lina at the ill-fated preview of ''The Dueling Cavalier''. "Sounds good an' loud, doesn't it?"
* CostumePorn: A movie premiere in the film's opening, gleefully skewering the red carpet fashions of the time; Don himself is dressed like Humphrey Bogart by way of P. Diddy. The "Beautiful Girls" sequence is another tongue-in-cheek example.
** The black glitter spiderweb dress worn by Olga Mara in the opening sequence and Cyd Charisse's green sparkly outfit certainly qualify.
* CrazyEnoughToWork: The idea to turn ''The Dueling Cavalier'' into a musical.
* CrowdSong: The 'Gotta Dance' dancing sequence.
* CuteButCacophonic: Lina has a face like a model but a shrill voice with a New Jersey/New York accent.
* DastardlyWhiplash: The villain of ''The Dueling Cavalier'' (at least in the preview cut).
-->"Pierre is miles away, you wench!"
* DeadpanSnarker: Don and Cosmo, generally in reference to Lina. Cosmo in general, really:
-->'''Don:''' I'm no actor. I never was. Just a bunch of dumb show. I know that now. \\
'''Cosmo:''' Well, [[NoSympathy at least you're taking it lying down]].
** And another on during the after-party:
--->'''Don:''' A movie? Didn't we just see one?\\
'''Cosmo:''' You have to show a movie at a party. It's a Hollywood law.
** Kathy has her moments, especially when she's driving Don to his home (at the corner of Camden Drive and Sunset Boulevard):
-->'''Kathy:''' Oh, no offense. Movies are entertaining enough for the masses but the personalities on the screen just don't impress me. I mean they don't talk, they don't act, they just make a lot of dumb show. Well, you know (she does some ''major league'' ''[[WorldOfHam silent acting]]'' ) -- like that.\\
'''Don:''' You mean -- like what I do?!?\\
'''Kathy:''' Well, yes! Here we are, Sunset and Camden!
* DescriptionCut: Don and Cosmo's flashbacks at the beginning of the movie differ a lot from what Don says happened.
* DesignatedVictim: Lina's chief occupation is to be rescued by Don's characters.
* DidntThinkThisThrough: After years of keeping silent before audiences (to appear as a refined lady) and bullying the studio into making Kathy's dub work for her un-credited, Lina decides that she's tired of other people speaking for her and wants to address her audience directly. [[HoistByHisOwnPetard It goes about as well for her as you'd expect]].
* DisneyAcidSequence: The "Broadway Melody" and "Beautiful Girls" numbers, both of which come from waaaaaaay out in left field stylistically. Though setpieces like those were pretty common in movie musicals of that era.
* TheDitz: Lina. Oh, Lina.
-->"They can't make a fool out of Lina Lamont. They can't make a laughingstock out of Lina Lamont. [[CatchPhrase What do they think I am, dumb or something?]] Why I make more money than... than... than UsefulNotes/CalvinCoolidge! ''Put together!''"
* DoomedNewClothes: Don's tux and Lina's dress for ''The Royal Rascal'' premiere. Before the end of the night both are ruined.
* DreamSequence: ''The Dancing Cavalier'' is retconned into an extended dream sequence by Don's character, a stagehand who gets [[TapOnTheHead pasted by a falling sandbag]] and dreams himself in 17th century France.
* DreamBallet: Once Don's character strikes it rich in the "Broadway Melody" sequence, he bumps into Cyd Charisse a second time. In Don's imaginings, the dancer turns into a long-haired [[TheIngenue ingenue]] who flies into his arms; a far cry from the reality, which is a floozy.
* DrivingADesk: The scenes in Kathy's car when Don first meets her.
* DudeWheresMyRespect: Poor Cosmo. Despite being HeterosexualLifePartners with Don, helping him rise to stardom and playing the piano for the movies, he is frequently (and literally!) pushed aside for Don in terms of fame. He's usually a good sport about it, although he does lampshade this when he comes up with the plan to have Kathy dub for Lina to save ''The Dueling Cavalier.''
-->'''Kathy:''' Oh Don, that's a wonderful idea! (kisses him)\\
'''Cosmo:''' (sullenly) Huh, I'm glad he thought of it.\\
'''Kathy:''' Oh, Cosmo! (walks over to him and gives him a kiss on the cheek)
* EurekaMoment: Cosmo realizing they can dub over Lina, after he and Kathy mock some of the sound issues at the premiere.
* EveryoneCallsHimBarkeep: Cyd Charrisse's role is simply called "The Dancer".
* EverythingHasRhythm:
** In "Good Morning", Don, Kathy, and Cosmo dance with their raincoats and hats.
** In "Make 'Em Laugh", Cosmo dances with a wall and a dummy.
* ExactWords:
--> '''Don:''' Call me a cab!
--> '''Cosmo:''' Okay, you're a cab.
* ExecutiveMeddling:
** InUniverse, R. F. demands that ''The Dueling Cavalier'' needs to be a talkie after the success of ''The Jazz Singer'', which complicates things for the film, to say the least.
** The studio also is behind the rumors that Don and Lina have a romantic relationship off-screen. Apparently, the studio has done such a good job circulating that bit of gossip that even Lina is convinced.
** Lina blackmails R. F., who was more than happy to give Kathy the recognition she deserves, into erasing Kathy's credits. Luckily, R. F. supports Don and Cosmo's impromptu plan to expose Lina.
* TheFamilyForTheWholeFamily: Cyd Charisse plays the flirtatious moll of a mute, coin-flipping mobster with a scarred face, a la UsefulNotes/AlCapone. His goons flip coins, too. Later, when Don tries his luck with the dancer again, she answers him with a coin flip. Drat.
* {{Fangirl}}: A crowd of them ''rip apart Don's clothing'' at the beginning of the movie. The fans at the red carpet are also hilariously overenthusiastic.
* FilmWithinAFilm:
** The movie starts off at the premiere of Don's and Lina's fictional ''The Royal Rascal''. The footage shown is actually from a real film called ''The Three Musketeers'' (1948) starring Gene Kelly - which is in color and has sound.
** The movie depicts the troubles in making the fictional movie ''The Duelling Cavalier'', later changed to ''The Dancing Cavalier''.[[invoked]]
** Two real-life movies are being referenced. ''Film/TheJazzSinger'' (the first talkie) is mentioned. And in the final shot we see a billboard advertising Don Lockwood and Kathy Seldon, in a picture called...wait for it...''Film/SinginInTheRain''.
* {{Foreshadowing}}: Don keeps Lina from talking during their public appearance at the movie theater.
* ForgottenFramingDevice: In-universe, ''The Dancing Cavalier'' begins with a modern guy getting bumped on the head and dreaming he's in 17th century France, and ends with him still in 17th century France.
* FunPersonified: Cosmo loves to make silly jokes, and most of the comedic numbers involve him.
* FunnyBackgroundEvent: Anytime when Cosmo is on screen. Particularly the man's massive eye roll as Don begins the story of how they got into the movie business with [[BlatantLies "Dignity. Always dignity."]]
* GetTheeToANunnery: "Lemme guess: she's a simple girl of the people, you're a dashing aristocrat, and she won't even give you a [[http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tumbril tumbril]]. Hah!"
* GoldDigger: Cyd Charisse loses interest in Don's character when her beau dangles a diamond necklace in front of her. The mobster's bored expression suggests this is becoming routine for him.
* GroupieBrigade: Kathy rescues Don from a textbook example of one of these. Honourable mention to the audiences at the various previews: "She's so refined... I think I'll kill myself."
* HappyRain: It's raining when Don is walking home after Cosmo gives him ideas to save their film and he realizes he's falling for Kathy.
* HaveAGayOldTime:
** When Lina complains of having to speak into a hidden mic during a garden scene: "I can't make love to a '''''BUSH!'''''". "Make love" used to mean having a private, romantic conversation.
** Don also assures Kathy that he isn't going to molest her. "Molest" used to mean something closer to "bother" or "aggravate" than anything sexual.
* HerrDoktor: The demo for the new sound equipment features narration by a creepy technician with an unplaceable accent.
* HeterosexualLifePartners: Don and Cosmo have been friends and business associates since they were kids.
* HonestCorporateExecutive: R.F. is actually very supportive of Don and Cosmo's plan for ''The Dueling Cavalier'' and helps however he can, plans to push Kathy into the spotlight once ''The Dueling Cavalier'' is released, and [[spoiler:helps Don and Cosmo reveal Lina as a fraud with visible glee]].
* HypercompetentSidekick: Cosmo not only gives Don advice when he needs it, he comes up with ideas that save a film.
* HypocriticalSinging: See IronicEcho.
* IronButtMonkey:
** Don started off his Hollywood Career by being a stuntman. Stunts included driving off a cliff on a motorcycle and entering an exploding shed. [[invoked]]
** Cosmo risks life and limb in the name of "Make 'Em Laugh". The sequence exhausted O'Connor to the point of becoming deliriously ill.
* IronicEcho: At the beginning of the movie, Don claims he always played his roles with the utmost dignity, which his flashbacks immediately disprove. Then, Kathy claims she works in a more dignified profession than Don, which turns out to involve jumping out of cakes.
* ItWillNeverCatchOn: What the studio executives believe about sound in films when talking about the upcoming release of ''Film/TheJazzSinger''. {{Lampshaded}} by Cosmo:
-->'''Cosmo:''' That's what they said about [[MotorVehicleTropes the horseless carriage]].
* JukeboxMusical: As was the style for original movie musicals at the time, the songs were all written before the movie was made. There are, if you listen to the score, absolutely ''no proper nouns'' in any of the songs (except for "Moses Supposes," a nonsense song, but the only one original to the film).
* JumpingOutOfACake: Kathy comes out of a cake at a Hollywood party. [[HypocriticalHumor This after she gave Don a lot of grief about how she was a stage actress, as opposed to making "just a lot of dumb show"]] on film, and [[BlatantLies claiming she was "in a more dignified profession"]].
* LadykillerInLove: Don has so many fans admiring him, and then he falls for Kathy.
* LaserGuidedKarma: [[spoiler:Lina pretty much sets up her own downfall by improvising a speech, which reveals that she wasn't doing the singing in the film.]]
* LetMeGetThisStraight: Lina, summing up the plan to get her singing dubbed on stage: "You mean, she'll be back of the curtain singing, and I'll be out in front doing .. .. like in the picture?"
* LiteralAssKicking: In Don's backstory, after he rebuffs Lina for the first time, she retaliates this way.
* LoveMakesYouCrazy: In this case, it makes formerly cynical Hollywood stars (currently wearing expensive suits) toss their umbrellas aside to go dancing and swinging and splashing ecstatically through torrential downpours, all the while singing about how they don't care! because they're just that happy to be in love.
* LoveMakesYouEvil: Lina, thinking she and Don are an item, isn't happy that Kathy is about to take over her career.
* LoveTriangle: Lina, Don and Kathy.
* MeetCute: Don escaping the GroupieBrigade and winding up in the co-driver seat of Kathy's car.
* MerchandiseDriven: Take MGM's old songs, and make a movie out of them.
* TheMillstone: Lina, as her voice can't be changed or fixed, unlike the other problems with the movie being made.
* MinorCharacterMajorSong: "Beautiful Girls." Jimmy Thompson isn't even credited.
* ModelingPoses: During the "Beautiful Girl" number a bunch of contemporary outfits are shown, and the models are each in a pose typical for the garment (such as the sportswear model holding her tennis racquet as though she was in mid-swing).
* MoodMotif: Cosmo's job is to play these.
* {{Narm}}: An InUniverse example: ''The Dueling Cavalier'' is supposed to be a serious romantic drama, but the introduction of sound and the technical limitations that it imposes, with no knowledge of how to adapt, unintentionally turn it into a hilarious disaster. This was a lot of TruthInTelevision too, as many films did suffer both commercially and artistically when sound was first introduced.
* NerdGlasses: Don's character in the "Broadway Melody" sequence.
* NiceCharacterMeanActor: Lina Lamont. She plays all sorts of glamorous princesses and whatnot (in silent films), but when she actually opens her mouth, you find out she sounds awful and has the personality to match.
* NoCelebritiesWereHarmed:
** R.F. is an affectionate parody of producer Arthur Freed, right down to his catchphrase "I can't quite visualize it..."
** In the montage for the new talkies, one of the singers is a Rudy Vallee impersonator.
** Olga Mara is an amalgam of Pola Negri and Theda Bara; Zelda Zanders is a cross between Creator/ClaraBow and early career Creator/JoanCrawford.
* NoSongForTheWicked: Lina has no singing number, just a brief sound test. Justified in that much of the plot of the film revolves around the fact that her singing voice (And actually, her voice in general) is godawful.
** Averted in the stage version, where she gets "What's Wrong With Me?"
* NotSoAboveItAll: Shocked at Don just leaping into her car, Kathy claims not to have heard of him. Then she later fesses up that she's seen most of his films.
** In an earlier scene, she claimed she worked in something more dignified than silent movies. Turns out, she jumps out of cakes.
* NotSoHarmlessVillain: Everyone spends the first three-quarters of the film mocking and dismissing Lina for being "dumb, or something." When she finds out that Don and R.F. Simpson intend to brush her aside so Kathy can take her place in the spotlight, she proves cunning enough to hire a lawyer to ReadTheFinePrint of her contract and [[LoopholeAbuse exploit a loophole]] that says she doesn't have to agree to anything she doesn't like, which she promptly uses to blackmail R.F. into removing Kathy from the credits and force her to keep working as Lina's (uncredited) voice for the rest of ''her'' five-year contract. Thankfully, she [[DidntThinkthisThrough doesn't think the whole thing through]].
* OhCrap: Everyone's excited about moving into the talking picture business... until they're reminded about Lina's voice.
** Lina herself is excited to address her audience for the first time after the success of ''The Dancing Cavalier''... until she remembers that none of them have ever heard her speak on account of [[CaptainObvious the silent nature of silent films]] and Kathy's uncredited dub work, and is mortified when the audience doesn't recognize her voice and demands a song.
* OldShame: In-universe example. Don would much prefer to forget his days hoofing it as a vaudevillian with Cosmo, as well as his big break as a stuntman.
* PieInTheFace: Kathy tries to whack Don with one... and gets Lina instead, unfortunately for her (as Lina gets her fired for it). This is lampshaded in Kathy's comment as she does it: "Here's one thing I've learned from the movies!"
* PimpedOutDress: Quite a few, this being one of the eras where gratuitous dress decorations were popular. One of the dresses in the opening red carpet scene is covered in ermine tails as though it was fringe. Later, we see a montage of the very latest Jazz Age fashions as part of the "Beautiful Girls" production number. Lina's last dress has a skirt [[FluffyFashionFeathers covered in feathers]] (and the rest of it is completely covered in silver sequins). Lina's dress in ''The Dueling Cavalier'' fits the mold of 18th century dresses, being covered with frills and flowers (which isn't that far off from the real dresses of that time, except they were even more decorated).
* PluckyComicRelief: At Don's side is his lifelong friend and second banana, Cosmo Brown. He is clearly out of his element in the sleazy showbiz world.
* PrecisionFStrike: A G-rated one, but has the same impact - after seeing ''Film/TheJazzSinger'', one of the reactions: "It's ''vulgar''."
* PrettyInMink: Several fur wraps and capes are worn by the actresses, especially in the opening scene where Zelda wears an ermine cape paired with a dress trimmed with ermine tales, another actress wears a full length chinchilla cape, and Lina wears a cape trimmed with white fox including the huge collar (a style common in that decade and the next) to frame her glamorous (but silent) face for the crowd.
* ThePrimaDonna: Lina, such as getting Kathy fired for ruining her dress.
* PrimaDonnaDirector: Roscoe Dexter rapidly turns into this as the challenges of working on a talkie flick materialize.
* PungeonMaster: Cosmo. Begged by Don to help him by calling him a cab: "OK -- you're a cab."
* QuitYourWhining: Cosmo does this to Don by singing "Make 'Em Laugh."
* RecycledScript: In-universe, ''The Royal Rascal'' and ''The Dueling Cavalier'' are pretty much the same film before the latter's turned into a musical. Several comments from various characters imply that this is in no way unusual for Lockwood and Lamont's films.
-->"If you've seen one, you've seen them all."
* ReTool: ''The Dueling Cavalier'' gets retooled into a talkie, and then becomes a musical after terrible previews.
* TheRoaringTwenties: Covering both UsefulNotes/TheSilentAgeOfHollywood and the UsefulNotes/RiseOfTheTalkies.
* RomanticRain: The titular song comes when a lovestruck Don goes skipping through a heavy rain after parting from Kathy, and the two lovebirds started a new life with their First Kiss at the doorstep while it was raining.
* RubberFace: Cosmo makes a lot of goofy faces during "Make 'Em Laugh", and a few others in the rest of the film.
* RuleOfCool: Why do Don and Cosmo break into dance during "Moses Supposes"? Or ever? Because it's cool and fun to watch, that's why!
* SameLanguageDub[=/=]NonSingingVoice: The entire plot is an in-story example of both.
** Gets confusing (and funnier) when you find out that Jean Hagen (who played Lina) actually does some dubbing for Debbie Reynolds (who played Kathy). So Jean Hagen dubs Debbie Reynolds dubbing Jean Hagen.
** Not only that, but in the songs "Would You" and "You Are My Lucky Star", Reynolds (and by extension, Kathy's voice coming out of Lina's mouth) is actually dubbed by Betty Noyes (although not because Reynolds' voice was no good), which is ironic, considering the premise of the movie.
* SanityBall: The one time Lina is on track about something is during the ''Dueling Cavalier'' filming scenes, when she finally gets fed up and exclaims "WELL I CAN'T MAKE LOVE TO A BUSH!" when she's trying to do her lines since she has to turn to Don when she speaks to him.
* SecondFaceSmoke: In the "Broadway Ballet" sequence, done to Don's character by Cyd Charisse's vamp.
* SerendipityWritesThePlot: InUniverse, the out of sync sound in the preview gives Cosmo an idea to dub over Lina's role.
* SetBehindTheScenes: Much of the movie is backstage or around the film studio.
* ShesGotLegs: In the "Broadway Ballet" extravaganza, Cyd Charisse's entrance is marked by her slowly handing Gene Kelly his hat back after he drops it... using one of her very long, very beautiful legs to do it.
* ShoutOut: Don's first musical film, ''The Dancing Cavalier'', is about a modern guy who gets knocked out and dreams of being an aristocrat in old-time France. In real life, this was the premise of the 1943 musical film ''[=DuBarry Was A Lady=]'', which was Gene Kelly's first musical film for MGM.
** Cosmo's "Ridi, Pagliacci, ridi!" before "Make 'Em Laugh". (Translation: "Laugh, clown, laugh!") ''{{Pagliacci}}''[[note]]Pronounced "Pal-Yat-Chee"[[/note]] was an {{Opera}} fairly well-known at the time.
* TheShowMustGoOn: Verbatim from Cosmo, getting Don to stop thinking about Kathy.
* ShowWithinAShow: The movies being made, with the most focus on ''The Dueling Cavalier'' and how to make it a success.
* SidekickSong: "Make 'em Laugh", Cosmo's attempt to cheer Don up by hurling himself around a living-room set until he resembles a one-man [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Looney Tune]] -- amazingly, all done with almost no camera cuts. (Actor Donald O'Connor, a four-pack-a-day smoker at the time, was bedridden for several days after filming it.)
* SmokingIsGlamorous: Lina at the release party. Cyd Charisse's nameless dancer in 'Broadway Melody' later takes it to an even higher level.
* SoBadItsGood: The audience's reaction to the sneak preview of ''The Dueling Cavalier''. The actors and executives don't take it half so well. [[invoked]]
* SpinningPaper: Done twice.
* StylisticSuck: The preview for ''The Dueling Cavalier'' was this to a degree. It was still largely based on how silent films fell flat when sound was slapped on them, including adapting real incidents. It's just that all those incidents happened over several films, while the preview scene put them all in one movie.
* ThatSyncingFeeling: Lina is forcing Kathy to dub all her performances from now on. When she's asked to sing a song at the movie premiere, she has Kathy behind the curtain singing for her. Don then pulls open the curtain, revealing Kathy to the audience, but Lina is not made aware until Cosmo starts filling in for Kathy.
* TitleDrop: The movie is named after its TitleThemeTune.
* TongueTwister: The diction coach has a book full of these.
* TraintopBattle: FilmWithinAFilm example. During a scene where Don and Cosmo wander around the studio, one of the events going on around them is the filming of a train-top fight scene (on a train carriage that's fixed in place in front of a WraparoundBackground).
* TroubledProduction: InUniverse with ''The Dueling Cavalier''. It starts out fine when it's just following the formula for the previous films Don and Lina have done, but then it's switched from silent to a "talkie" and the production becomes a mess. The one scene we see being filmed with sound turns into a disaster, and the preview shows this happened to the whole film.
* TrueArtIsAngsty:
** [[InvokedTrope Invoked]] by Cosmo:
-->"I'm out of a job! At last I can start suffering and write that symphony."
** He even flips it around when he's immediately told his job as a composer will still be needed at the studio.
-->"At last I can ''stop'' suffering and write that symphony!"
* {{Tsundere}}: Kathy seems like this, but it's an act to cover up that she's a big fangirl of Don's.
* TutuFancy: There's a fantasy ballet sequence in which Cyd Charisse wears a completely impossible-in-real-life dress with a crepe train that's a mile or so.
* UnreliableVoiceover: Don does a combination of this and UnreliableNarrator. The film opens with him and Lina on the red carpet, and he narrates his rise to fame through a flashback, citing such things as his [[BlatantLies elegant, well-heeled parents and the fine arts academies he attended]]. His motto throughout, he claims, was "Dignity... always dignity." Meanwhile, what we're actually seeing is -- for starters -- Cosmo and himself as kids tapdancing in poolhalls for nickels.
* VisualPun: "I must tear myself from your side," followed by Don's jacket [[DoomedNewClothes tearing in half]] as he walks away.
* VocalDissonance: Lina, in the worst way.
* TheVoiceless: Implemented (briefly) at the beginning of the film: the viewer doesn't hear Lina speak for the first time until the funniest possible moment.
* WaitingForABreak: Don and Cosmo in the opening narration, later mirrored in the "Broadway Melody" number. In both versions, Don ekes out a living in pool halls and Vaudeville before graduating to the big leagues.
* WhatCouldPossiblyGoWrong: The studio boss doesn't see the problem with just adding sound to silent movies, and just asked that it be slapped on a film already in production. The preview of that film is a big wake-up call to the folly of that idea.
* WhoWritesThisCrap: During the disastrous screening for "The Dueling Cavalier", someone in the audience asked if someone was paid to write the dialog, which ironically was in response to a line that Don ad-libbed (when he found the scripted line too difficult to say).
* WomanInWhite: Cyd Charrise's dancer swaps her green cocktail dress for a white gown in the casino "Broadway Melody" number. Don's character enters a dream sequence where he imagines her a virginal, ballet-dancing beauty. But she hasn't really changed.
* WorldOfHam: From the opening reel to the end credits. The ''Dueling Cavalier'' director, Roscoe Dexter, probably takes the cake.