Katherine Witt

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  1. 1. I feel that the way that Barbara sang it in the movie helped to show her character's vulnerability. I feel that if she had tried to do it the same as the Broadway musical it would have taken away from the humanity and vulnerability of the character. 2. Omar Sharif's character follows Barbara down the street as she is singing the song. 3. I like the pacing of how her character is walking and singing down the street and Omar Sharif follows her. I also like how you can see in the background the shops and details of the New York street that she is walking down.
  2. 1. I think a stylized dance sequence is fairly common in musicals and doesn't seem too out of place. It's done on 42nd street, Oklahoma, etc. I think it usually is tied in as a daydream or dream sequence. I don't think musical audiences are really too worried about realism to be honest. I think they are good at suspending disbelief to just enjoy the singing and the dancing. 2. I think the fact that he is funny and has an american accent makes it seem like part of his character. So even though he is being gruff with customers the viewer has a tendency to forgive him that.
  3. 1. Representation of males has changed over time as males have changed. The ideals of masculinity have changed as well. Throughout the 50's males were represented in the traditional gender roles as being alpha males, tough, athletic, strong. In the 1960s you can see that males moved in more sensual and sexual ways. They were able to show off their sensuality more. 2. Robert Preston has a more realistic approach to acting. He doesn't seem like he's playing a character. He seems more like an actual person. He has idiosyncratic mannerisms and ways of moving that seem very detailed and specific. Gene Kelly though I love him as an actor sort of seem to just be Gene Kelly in every movie he was in. Robert Preston was more playing a different person and role. 3. I'm not familiar with Robert Preston films that are not musicals. But his portrayal of Professor Harold Hill is one of my favorites. I actually watched the Music Man when I was going into labor with my daughter! It's one of my favorite movies, and part of the reason is because he brings such humanity and character to the role even though the character is a bit of a cad. I would love to see some of his other work. I think he's an excellent actor.
  4. 1. Earlier musicals usually had a star or someone who was an ingenue who was being trained or being helped out by a professional. In this number there is not one person that has precedent over another. They are working together and there is not a person who stands out as the "star" 2. The costuming is not elaborate. Nobody stands out from anybody else. The costumes are just regular clothes that people could wear. They are not brightly colored or stand out more than the others. 3. Their dancing and choreography is in unison. There's just the one time when one of the characters goes off screen because he's not as much of a dancer. Their steps are as a group and nobody gets any solos.
  5. 1. Both of their movements are musical and rhythmic even before they begin dancing. Donald O'Connors movements are mainly about poking fun at the professor and making silly faces, but he does so in a rhythmic sort of way. 2. The straight man is there to make the comedy even funnier and to stand out more. Had they just started dancing to the words of the song without it poking fun at someone it wouldn't be quite as funny. The straight man is there to lend more humor to the situation. I especially like the bit at the end where they start piling stuff all over him. 3. Gene Kelly is the Alpha male type and he's the one that will likely get the girl. Donald O'Connor is the beta male side character who is the funny man and will contribute the laughs which he does excellently in the song Make Em Laugh. The professor serves as a straight foil character to the other two gentleman and represents a stuffy professor type.
  6. 1. I feel like Doris Day strikes a happy medium between masculine and feminine energy. The character of Calamity Jane also reminds me a lot of the character of Annie from Annie Get Your Gun. They are both rough around the edges types of gals, but they still have femininity. They are not portrayed as sexually as an ultra femme character like Marilyn Monroe plays. Oftentimes the men in their lives don't recognize them as sexual people for part of the plot. I can relate a lot to this character as I feel I am in the middle of that spectrum between femininity and masculinity. I have never been ultra femme or interested in frills, etc. 2. I feel like Doris Day does show growth as an actress, but she does also have the tendency to be type cast as either the tomboyish girl or the girl next door. She is very much not very sexualized as a character. She tends to play the wholesome types. 3. I don't think her sunny personality deters from the character. As a kid I was a fan of Doris Day movies and could relate to her a lot as I have the tendency to be the sunny cheery personality. Though I am no longer as wholesome as Doris Day. lol
  7. 1. My first movie of Judy Garland was The Wizard of Oz as Dorothy. I saw it as a kid. I thought she was great as Dorothy. I think her singing voice is wonderful. She did a great job of portraying the youthful innocence of the character. I was a huge fan of her and Mickey Rooney when they did films together as well. 2. I have followed Judy's career and have seen in her in quite a variety of films, so I was already familiar with these scenes and with her versatility so I was not surprised by it. As you say in your video Judy Garland can sing any song and it would sound great. She's one of my faves. 3. I love her in Meet Me in St. Louis. I feel like she just kept getting better with age and maturity. One of my all time favorite clips of her singing is Summer Stock Come On Get Happy from her film Summer Stock from 1950 that she did with Gene Kelly.
  8. 1. It tells us that she is a devoted wife and that she has been taking care of her husband in his illness. That even though they have had struggles in their marriage she is still committed to helping take care of him and be there for him in times of sickness and difficulty. She is still very much in love with him. 2. I think some of the wording maybe would change a bit or mean a bit different. If she were kissing a child that is a different sort of kissing and tenderness. A mother's love is different than romantic love. To be honest if she were singing this to a dying child I think it would be even more tragic, because I think there is nothing more sad and tragic then a life cut short before its time. 3. Films starring and featuring African Americans are very important. During this time there was still segregation both in the civilian world and in the army. African American soldiers during World War II were starting to get a taste of freedom by visiting European countries and after World War II many of them began advocating for civil rights. I'm sure that the films starring African Americans helped to pave the way for American audiences to sympathize with and have a greater cultural understanding and empathy towards African Americans.
  9. 1. Key actions highlighted by shots In the opening shot she is blocking his path. This begins the set-up of the song where she is pursuing him. They run out up the stairs and out to the bleachers and this helps to set up the opening music for the song to begin I like how he is holding a baseball and looks at it when she sings, "start playing ball with me" Then he throws her the ball, but then she throws it away I like how she runs towards him and he backs up and she sings "it's inescapable" like he is trapped in place She runs forward and he slams back up to the wall and she starts singing to him about fate. I like how she knocks on the wood when she sings it's knocking at our door. When she sings "you're mine and I am yours" she points to her and to him. I think the editor and the director did a good job of connecting the action to the words of the songs. I also like the set up to the song. So they are in the locker room and she chases him outside as the opening music begins. And starts singing when they're out on the bleachers.
  10. 1. The scene begins with him getting to meet the President of the United States. He tells him the story of his childhood. There is a lot of flag waving, parades, crowds of people cheering. They joke around about naming George Cohan after George Washington. 2. The butler reminisces that George Cohan was singing and dancing "all about that grand old flag." Cohan wrote patriotic tunes. FDR asks him "Well hello there, how's my double?" He is referring to Cohan playing him in a role. So there is an emphasis on patriotism, portraying presidents, patriotic songs, parades, etc. 3. I think that this gives it a narrative set-up and reason for George Cohan to be narrating his life. It also adds to the patriotism of the movie.
  11. 1. Battle of the Sexes I feel like the fact that she is also wearing a jacket and pants helped to show that she wanted to be approached as an equal. They are both excellent dancers and they are both showing off their dancing abilities. Though she is still sort of following his lead by doing steps he was doing. But I feel like for the time period this was showing that a woman can do the steps just as well as a man. 2. How is this different than other musicals from the 30s. Ginger Rogers plays a more active role I think. I feel like her characters are more than just a pretty face. She's very talented and a great dancer, but she is not just a passive character that let's the men in her life make the decisions that affect her. Nor is she a background character just being supportive of the male character. 3. Screwball comedy changes I think this reflects changing times and women taking more active roles in the workforce and in society.
  12. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, the dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)? I feel like the props such as the close up on the garter and all the guns in the drawer show that this character is a player and a cad. The dialogue also shows that he is a charmer and smooth talker. The staging in a fancy hotel room shows that he is well off. Based on this scene, what are some of the things you notice about the scene’s use of sound? Describe a specific sound or line of dialogue you hear and what you think it adds to the scene’s effectiveness. I like the sound of him arguing with her in french through the door. I also liked the way that they used the sound of trying to get the door open. I also liked the use of sound with the gunshots. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? I would anticipate that there will be dramatic scenes showcasing the new sound technology. I also anticipate that there will be beautiful girls, elegantly dressed men, and rich and fancy sets. People wanted to forget about the daily troubles of life and focus on glittery and glamorous people and places.
  13. The clip showcases a brightly lit theater and everyone is dressed very richly and in fancy clothes. It’s definitely not a realistic portrayal of life during the great depression for the vast majority of people. There is the extravagant display of flowers that would have been costly and the tip he gives to the doorman. Money is something that people just take flippantly and for granted. I anticipate that there will be a lot of light-hearted singing and dancing. The focus will be on escapism and helping people forget daily struggles rather than any realism. A lot of musicals focus on the glamorous side of show business without showcasing the real struggles of what it was like. I imagine that pre-code this clip would likely have the two rivals being more physical or violent with one another. The costumes of the females would likely be more risque. Rather than having orchids delivered Ziegfeld maybe would have delivered them himself to the singer when she was scantily clad.
  14. This is another one of my very favorite musicals. I have always wanted to be in a musical myself, but I never trusted in my own singing voice. I had only ever sung in choirs, but not in musicals. A couple of summers ago I fulfilled a lifelong bucket list item of being in a musical myself. I was in the community theater production of Fiddler on the Roof. There were not enough male actors to play all the roles, so I played the role of the beggar. It was a small role, but it was so much fun. I got to wear a long fake beard, and I was able to sing "To Life" which is one of my most favorite songs in that show. The lead actors in the show were real life husband and wife and when they sang "Do You Love Me" it was so wonderful and they had such great chemistry together. It was a wonderful experience. I'm glad it has been revived on Broadway again.
  15. As a librarian, Marian the Librarian is one of my favorite songs! I actually watched this musical when I was in labor because it is one of my favorites and it relaxed me. I love every version of it that I have watched and I have seen several. Such great and catchy tunes.

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