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bggalaxy

my favorite musical

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MAYTIME

ROSE MARIE

SWEETHEARTS

SMILIN' THRU (1941)

A CONNECTICUT YANKEE IN KING ARTHUR'S COURT (1949)

THE GREAT WALTZ

THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE

SOUND OF MUSIC

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Let's see, I think Seven Brides For Seven Brothers is totally adorable, but my favorite would be The King and I. The story is much deeper and I love the sort of non-romance but yet a sincere caring that goes on between Anna and the King. Very engrossing. Love it!

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Oh yes, someone had mentioned " School Of Rock" all I can say is that movie brings back so many hard rock childhood memories, the guy reminds me of my dad! Awesome.

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My favorites are The Pirate with Gene Kelly & Judy Garland and almost every Ginger & Fred [especially Swingtime, Top Hat, Follow the Fleet, & Flying Down to Rio]

 

I think a good first musical to watch is "Singing in the Rain" because it was really the first movie to make the songs part of the story & not just extra side bits.

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Kelsie, I love SINGIN' IN THE RAIN, too, but I have to disagree that it was the first movie musical to integrate the songs into the storyline. MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS from 1944 has musical numbers that are completely integrated into the storyline. The opening title number introduces us to most of the family as their go about their business on a summer day. The Boy Next Door gives voice to Esther Smith's (Judy Garland) feelings about the boy that she has a crush on, the Trolley Song is another extension of that, etc.

 

Now, I don't know if MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS is the FIRST movie musical to do this, but it's the earliest and best example that I can think of. The first Broadway musical acknowledged to integrate story, dance and song is Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!, which debuted in 1943 (a year before MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS premiered), but the film version wasn't made until the 1950's. So, I'm inclined to think that Hollywood followed the lead set on Broadway.

 

If anyone can think of any earlier examples, please share!

 

Sandy K

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My all time Favorite would have to be Yankee Doodle Dandy. What a movie and what a performance by the wonderfull Jimmy Cagney. The other ones I like are :

 

HIGH SOCIETY

FOOTLIGHT PARADE

GUYS AND DOLLS

WHITE CHRISTMAS

SINGING IN THE RAIN

MAME( BOTH FILMED VERSIONS)

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I adore MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS & Judy Garland is a favorite of mine, but I don't think the songs move the plot of the movie along. True, the Boy Next Door shows her fellings, but you could already kinda tell?

 

Someone told me that MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS only had 3 original songs? I don't know if that's true or not? I guess the trolly song, boy next door, and I'll be home for Christmas? That surprised me cause I thought of it as a musical with a lot of songs, haha, a lot of singing but not songs, I guess?

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Oops, meant to add: "Singin' in the Rain" and "Top Hat" and any of the Astaire-Rogers movies, and also the Broadway Meleody with Eleanor Powell.

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Musicals are my favorites, I can't have just one! Here are some of my favorites that come to mind:

Call Me Madam (Donald O'Connor and Vera-Ellen are wonderful)

Top Hat

Naughty Marietta

The Firefly (I am a HUGE Allen Jones fan)

Silk Stockings

The Music Man

The Best Things in Life are Free (Gordon MacRae fan)

The Harvey Girls

Broadway Melody of 1940

Step Lively (I think George Murphey is an overlooked talent)

Tea For Two

Dames

Moon Over Miami

Hit the Deck

Easter Parade

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After looking at all of the favorites listed by the members of TCM nation I noticed one of my favorite musicals which were not part of anyone's list: "How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying". I believe this film was omitted from many favorite list because, to be quite frankly, there are no memorable or standard songs in this film. You should view this film for the plot line, the dialogue, the acting of Robert Morse, Michelle Lee and Rudy Vallee, the choreography and the sets which make this movie stand out. This is a notable film and a hidden gem.

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thomasterry, I think that there are 2 standout songs in HOW TO SUCCEED---I Believe In You and Brotherhood of Man. The whole score is quite clever and tuneful, IMO. Maybe people haven't listed this musical because it's not shown as much as some others.

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Well, personally, I'm a musical theatre kind of person, but I appreciate movie musicals so I can watch them at home. My list of the top 5 (including ones not made into movies) is as follows:

1.Les Miserables (the musical)

2. Ragtime:The musical

3. Annie Get Your Gun

4. The Phantom of the Opera

5. (tied)Honk and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

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Sandy, I have to agree with you about "I Believe in You" from " How to Succeed...". Had it not become a standard, I wouldn't be able to hum it still today (smile).

 

I just took the time to read completely through this thread, and have seen all the Musicals I love already listed, plus a few more I had long forgotten, and because I've been such a devoted fan of Musicals through a great many years, it really is impossible for me to decide on even a "short list" of my favorites! These days, I've actually had to make a pact with myself to leave one on the shelf for a few months because I was kind of getting tired of it..."Meet Me In St. Louis", and "Singing In the Rain", for example, even though they will always make my personal "Top Ten" list.

 

Just the other day, I pulled out and watched "Fiddler On The Roof", which I have on DVD now, and was once again reminded how much I love this film. And, when you can get a movie like this on DVD, and there are good "Bonus Features" also on the disk, you just can't go wrong!

 

Ok...a few of my very favorites:

West Side Story

The Sound of Music

The King & I

Fiddler On The Roof

Funny Lady

The Music Man

Yentl

Brigadoon

Showboat

Singing In the Rain

Meet Me in St. Louis

South Pacific

Chicago

Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera

Paint Your Wagon

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Mary Lou,

 

Now that you mention "Brigadoon", doesn't that wondrous song "Almost Like Being in Love" belong to its score....I just Love it! IMHO it's on the same level as "Dancing in the Dark" from "The Bandwagon" and "All of You" from "Silk Stockings"....what a coincidence that the lovely Cyd Charisse stars in those three films. She's one of my favorite dancers along with Eleanor Powell, Marge Champion, Rita Hayworth and Ann Miller.

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The Kern/Hamemrstein production of SHOW BOAT (1927) is actually considered to be the first great American musical to integrate song and dance elements into a genuinely mature and dramatic piece of musical theater. OKLAHOMA!, with its' Agnes DeMille dream ballets expressing the character's inner emotions and feelings, brought the integration to another level, but in so doing it was building upon the groundwork laid not only by SHOW BOAT, but also such shows as the Gershwins' OF THEE I SING and Rodgers & Hart's PAL JOEY (which, incidentally, made a Broadway star of a pre-Hollywood Gene Kelly).

 

Two film musicals which pre-date MEET ME IN ST LOUIS in their integration of song and other musical elements to advance the plotline were Ernst Lubitsch's ONE HOUR WITH YOU (1932) and Rouben Mamoulian's LOVE ME TONIGHT (1932), both starring Maurice Chevalier and Jeanette MacDonald. The former, a modern marital farce, also has Chevalier breaking the "fourth wall" in addressing the audience directly on occasion.

 

The latter, with its' score of Rodgers and Hart standards including "Mimi," "Isn't It Romantic?," and "Lover," also times the movement of the camera to a musical underscoring as is evident in the film's first musical "number," "Song of Paree" in which various mechanical and working sounds of an early Paris workday (e.g., a factory whistle, a sweeper's broom, a laborer's hammer, etc.) combine to create a rhythmic musical number as other citizens of the city awaken and begin their workday, culminating in tailor Maurice Chevalier's waking up and singing "The Song of Paree."

 

Minnelli, like most other great directors, was heavily influenced by these musicals, especially LOVE ME TONIGHT, and it's likely that the passing of the title song from family member to family member in MEET ME IN ST LOUIS was inspired by Mamoulian's staging of "Isn't It Romantic?" in LOVE ME TONIGHT. The song is begun by tailor Maurice Chevalier in his shop as he waits for a bridegroom to emerge from the dressing room with the suit he's tailored for him.

 

The customer then picks up the refrain as he leaves the shop and is overheard by a musician as he gets into a waitng cab. The musician then starts transposing the song into notes while he rides a train which includes a troop of soldiers among the passengers (conveniently in the next car from the musician.) The soldiers then sing the song in chorus as they march through the French countryside and are overheard by a passing gypsy, who runs back to his camp and plays it for his fellow gypsies on his violin. The strains of the violin are then overheard by Princess Jeanette MacDonald in her chalet and she concludes the song. Thus, entirely through music and movement, the two leading characters, Chevalier and MacDonald) are romantically linked long before they have actually met.

 

After tailor-in-disguise Chevalier is later billetted at the chateau, Mamoulian uses the passing from household member to household member device again to show the cathartic effect the young man's presence has had on the household as various members sing choruses of "Mimi," a song Chevalier introduces to MacDonald, and finally, after Chevalier's ruse is discovered and he leaves the chalet, the various residents express their surprise, shock and, in some cases, disdain, for his ruse in the marvelously witty, "The Son-of-a-Gun Is Nothing But a Tailor." As this song and the others in the score prove, no one wrote wittier or more brilliant lyrics than Lorenz Hart!

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"LOVE ME TONIGHT" is easily one of my top five favorite musicals, if not my "top one". When I purchased the DVD Edition, it was the first time I saw the movie and I was in AWE. It's really flawless; too bad it underwent cuts before its release and for it's re-release after the enforcement of the Production Code (1934).

 

"ONE HOUR WITH YOU" is also priceless entertainment!! as "MONTE CARLO" and "THE LOVE PARADE". Lubitsch and Mamoulian were both geniuses!!!

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Yes, Feaito..."Almost Like Being in Love" is from Brigadoon. Gene Kelly sings it. There were several lovely songs that were outtakes in the movie, but can still be found on the Soundtrack for Brigadoon (CD available at Amazon): "From This Day On", "There But for You Go I", and "Come to Me, Bend to Me", which means that I'm going to have to buy this CD one of these days if I want to hear them again (smile).

 

I absolutely agree with you about Cyd Charisse. She has a very special place in my heart, along with Eleanor Powell, Marge Champion, and Ann Miller. Although I adore Rita Hayworth, I just don't tend to think of her when I think of the great dancers from these musicals I love (smile). Tell me the name of the movie(s) you're thinking of re. Rita, if you will. ML

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Mary Lou,

 

When I'm thinking of Rita, I'm mainly thinking of "You Were Never Lovelier" and "You'll Never Get Rich", plus "Cover Girl". I love the score and songs from these films, no less than Porter and Kern! And in "You Were Never Lovelier" it's also featured a wonderful rendition by Xavier Cugat of the Chilean song "Chiu, Chiu, Chiu", plus the sexy, wonderful dancing of beautiful Lina Romay.

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I Think that I read that Astaire praised highly Hayworth's dancing abilities, after working with her in both films, "You were Never Lovelier", "You'll Never Get Rich", with Rita at her ravishing best!! I Like Rita better in B&W than in Color, although she looks good in "Cover Girl".

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Agreed, Feaito:

 

Lubitsch was the first director to focus on character-driven musicals over lavish production number, and with THE LOVE PARADE he proved that such intimate musical films could be successful and admired. I love Astaire and Rogers, but they're often inaccurately credited with making the musical film a more intimate and character-driven art form when in fact Lubitsch, Mamoulian, Chevalier and MacDonald beat them to it be a few years.

 

Incidentally, have you listened to Miles Kreuger's commentary on the LOVE ME TONIGHT DVD? In it I believe he states that LOVE ME TONIGHT is, in his opinion, the best musical ever made. It's certainly one of them.

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<>

 

Aw g'wan, I'm blushing!

 

Seriously, thanks for the nice compliment, ML. I'm flattered you enjoyed reading my comments.

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Yes Markus, I listened to it and I quite agree with Him.

 

In fact "LMT" is the musical which has impressed me and surprised the most, while watching it for the first time.

 

And above all, it's a Pre-Code!

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