Amherst Cinema Amherst, MA


Nina Kleinberg


Singin' in the Rain— When the movies started to talk

Filmmaker Nina Kleinberg explains the technologies behind the film industry's transition from silents films to talkies.

Amherst Cinema Amherst, MA

Film Synopsis

When Hollywood attempts the transition from silent films to talkies, a matinee idol hopes to make the cut. But he's hampered by a silent-movie queen with a voice like fingernails on a blackboard.

Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor combine their talents in one of the greatest big-screen musicals ever made, a two-time Oscar nominee that includes the songs "Good Morning," "Make 'Em Laugh," and the iconic title tune.

When the transition is being made from silent films to `talkies', everyone in Hollywood has trouble adapting. Don and Lina are the movies' most popular romantic couple, but when their latest silent film is remade into a musical, only Don has the voice for it. After fruitless practice with a diction coach, Lina still sounds terrible. So Kathy, a bright, young aspiring actress, is hired to record over her voice. Will she take Lina's place as Don's leading lady, on screen and in real life?

About the Speaker

Nina Kleinberg's passion for film began in the late sixties. She attended the University of Southern California for graduate studies in cinema and worked in the film industry for about ten years before moving to the Pioneer Valley in 1988. Nina has hosted several film series at Amherst Cinema, including Film School in 60 Minutes in 2015, Out Of This World! Classic 1950s Science Fiction Movies in 2016, and Print the Legend: Classic American Westerns in 2019.