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bobhopefan1940

Most Hated/Disliked Scene, Dance, Number, Lyric From A Musical

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So, johnm was talking about how much he disliked the "Gotta Dance" number from Singin' In The Rain... It made me want to ask, what is your most disliked musical performance from a musical? Name the musical please and why you dislike that particular performance.

 

bhf1940

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The number in which Fred Astaire dresses up like a beatnik toward the end of "Funny Face" spoils that movie for me. It just seems malicious and a put down of a group of people. (And I don't even like the Beats as poets.) Out of place in such an otherwise charming movie.

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In Summer Stock there is a "hillbilly" number--more of a clown number, really--with Gene Kelly and Phil Silvers that is just embarrassing! And I love them both dearly!

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In Summer Stock there is a "hillbilly" number--more of a clown number, really--with Gene Kelly and Phil Silvers that is just embarrassing! And I love them both dearly!

 

Oh YES... I hate that number! Embarrassing doesn't even begin to cover it. And I picked up somewhere that Garland was set to do that number with them, and didn't show up for work that day. Boy, Gene and Phil really got the shaft on that one didn't they? *lol*

 

Thanks for the replies. Really, that is probably mine... Other than the cat number in Covergirl.

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In Summer Stock there is a "hillbilly" number--more of a clown number, really--with Gene Kelly and Phil Silvers that is just embarrassing! And I love them both dearly!

 

In the same vein, there's a number in By the Light of the Silvery Moon called "King Chanticleer," which features a pigtailed, barefoot, freckled, overall-wearing Doris Day doing a dance in a barn with a giant rooster. I like Doris Day in several of her films and think she was a very talented performer. She does what she can with this number, but nothing can save it. I don't know if it's my least favorite musical number, but it's one of the most squirm-inducing I can recall in a lifetime of watching muscials.

 

Another would be the "Superstition Song" from Lucky Me, which also features poor Doris literally hopping and skipping on a downtown street while she exults the delights of being obsessively-compulsively superstitious. To her great credit, Day thought the film was a dog when she read the script and considered going on suspension rather than appearing in it. Unfortunately, she changed her mind, but, as the last film she made under seven-year contract with Warners (which she likened to a "prison sentence") it undoubtedly gave her even greater impetus to finish off her chores for the studio and get outta there!

 

PS I also read that Judy was supposed to perform "Heavenly Music" with Kelly and Silvers, but called in sick the day it was filmed. Smart girl, though a later brief clip of Judy coming off stage with Gene in the "hillbilly" costume suggests that she did appear in a reprise of the number (which fortunately didn't make it into the film.)

 

No wonder Summer Stock made her sick and took her more than six months to make.

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Smart girl, though a later brief clip of Judy coming off stage with Gene in the "hillbilly" costume suggests that she did appear in a reprise of the number (which fortunately didn't make it into the film.)

 

No wonder Summer Stock made her sick and took her more than six months to make.

 

Yes, I noticed on one of the next scenes she was wearing some sort of hillbilly get-up. Really, I didn't like the film that much when I saw it the first time, but after watching it again... I don't know, it kind of grew on me. Certainly wouldn't put it up there with Gene's Take Me Out To The Ballgame or The Pirate... There are a few scenes which are really charming. I like the scene where Judy makes fun of Gene's dancing while he watches from behind her, smiling. Also, the scene right after they kiss, while she sings and the camera cuts to Kelly in the foreground.

 

That particular hillbilly number was a serious lapse in judgement, but in all - the film was pretty enjoyable. The beginning tractor scene scares me a little, too! And Judy's hair... I don't know why, it just looks a bit matronly. Maybe that's just me. ;)

 

Oh, and I believe Summerstock is on DVD, does anyone know if they included the cut hillbilly number perhaps featuring Garland?

 

>>>I have to add, the only thing that salvages "Heavenly Music" for me is the cute dogs barking in the background! Especially the one that barks RIGHT over Gene Kelly's head...

 

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bobhopefan1940

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Markus, have you ever seen The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle? There's a scene in which Vernon and Irene are practicing in Irene's parlor, and I think the music they are dancing to is "King Chanticleer" (no vocals, however). All the music on that soundtrack is ingrained in my brain, and it's fun to hear the words to some of the songs I know only by melody. So I guess I will have to check out Doris' squirmy number!

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> The number in which Fred Astaire dresses up like a

> beatnik toward the end of "Funny Face" spoils that

> movie for me. It just seems malicious and a put down

> of a group of people. (And I don't even like the

> Beats as poets.) Out of place in such an otherwise

> charming movie.

 

Are you writing of the "Clap Yo' Hands" number that Fred sings with Kay Thompson? I love that number! I didn't see it as malicious at all, just a fun spoof--and it seems that Fred and Kay know how ridiculous they are as beatniks. If anything, I see it as members of an older generation not understanding the ways of a younger generation. The beatnik/philosopher host of the party turns out to be a wolf who is using "emphaticalism" as a lure to get Audrey into bed.

 

But, hey, if you don't like the number, oh well. There are plenty of other good numbers in the film.

 

Sandy K

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The "Heavenly Music" number in Summer Stock has grown on me over repeated viewings. I am mesmerized by the giant fake feet on Gene and Phil!

 

And the dogs are adorable!

 

Sandy K

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I hate the lyric that Shirley Temple sings in one of her films (can't remember which one!) in which she is singing to her dad--"marry me and let me be your wife."

 

 

 

Now that is just creepy.

 

Sandy K

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> bhf, what is the "cat" number in Cover Girl? I

> have been racking my brain trying to figure it out.

>

> Sandy K

 

Well, Sandy - That's probably because there was no "cat" number in Covergirl, so tell your brain it's alright and you're not going nuts. ;) I don't know why I was thinking Covergirl, it was Guys And Dolls that had the "cat" number in it! Sorry for the confusion... My bad.

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> The "Heavenly Music" number in Summer Stock

> has grown on me over repeated viewings. I am

> mesmerized by the giant fake feet on Gene and Phil!

>

> And the dogs are adorable!

>

> Sandy K

 

Maybe it will grow on me, too. At least the innitial shock is over with... I just couldn't believe it when they first came on the screen, chuckling. It just about scarred my image of Gene Kelly altogether.

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I'm well aware of the historical fact of minstrel shows as a part of American cultural history--like it or not--and I do not think that such scenes should be deleted, but only put into a historical context for viewers who might not understand what they represent--I really squirm when I see particular individuals in blackface scenes:

 

1.) Fred Astaire in Swing Time (1936) in the Bojangles of Harlem number. The fact that he did it so beautifully doesn't help me. When I think of Fred A., style, grace and artistry come to mind. I don't want to think about this moment in an otherwise nearly impeccable career.

 

2.)Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn (1942), in the Lincoln's birthday tribute, especially the line about when "Lincoln freed the ****". Otherwise, I love his singing, but OUCH.

 

3.) Dennis Morgan was born to play the gentle-voiced tenor Chauncey Olcott in My Wild Irish Rose, but jeepers, those minstrel shows pain me. NO, I don't want them excised, but heck, if TCM trots it out for a well-deserved airing, could they please run a brief disclaimer at the start of the film telling the less savvy members of their audience what's coming up?

 

All of the above musicals are fine, and I'll usually pause to watch them if I find they're running on the tube. But I'll be looking for some ginger ale in the kitchen when these particular scenes are unfolding. Call me when they're over, will ya?

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I have to agree with johnm about the Gotta Dance number, in Singing in the Rain, it just doesn't fit, and has no relation to the rest of the movie.

 

Moira: I usually agree with everything you say, but in the case of black face I can't agree that it should be singled out beforehand. All of today's hot black comics, Chris Rock, Eddie Murphy, and Will Smith have all joked about old movie black face minstrels, both in their stand ups and their movies. If black comics can make jokes about white 'folks speech patterns and habits, why can't it be reversed? The trademark of the original, Original Christy Minstrels was the black face, and they were the first well-known traveling show in the U.S. In addition, when those old movies paid homage to the early minstral shows, it was exactly that, an homage, not necessarily an insult. Even black people laughed at them, in fact some black people weren't enlightened until we whites started being taught in the late 50's.

 

I'm not talking out of my hat either, my father (the original Mr. prejudiced) heard and told many black jokes from and to his black co-workers. In fact, he was angered by many black jokes about white women, and never understood the 'yo momma' thing, and I'm talking about the late 30's early 40's. However, the more you call attention to it, the more it's noticed. I also dislike the Choreography/Danny Kaye number in White Christmas.

 

Anne

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2.)Bing Crosby in Holiday Inn (1942), in the Lincoln's birthday tribute, especially the line about when "Lincoln freed the ****". Otherwise, I love his singing, but OUCH.

 

But I'll be looking for some ginger ale in the kitchen when these particular scenes are unfolding. Call me when they're over, will ya?

 

Yes, I can't help but agree. I HATE that scene... The movie is such a wonderful movie, and I get that was an excepted form of entertainment at that time. I always cringe when those sort of scenes come on, I think it was such a sad time in black history especially on film. You never saw a black person play anything but a servant... Which is sad.

And I see they have movies now where all races are sort of teased at and made fun of... Like you had that White Chicks movie that came out sort of recently. I guess things just seemed more mean spirited back in the golden age.

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Anne,

My wish for some historical context for the types of films that I mentioned is based on my concern for younger or naive viewers of whatever color, and I'm especially concerned about potential viewers who are children. They don't know any better when they view these often largely entertaining films and as I mentioned, I do not think these scenes should be deleted, simply explained. I don't think that it would intrude on the historical integrity of the films to have a small, concisely worded "heads up" for the audience in advance of such a screening.

 

I understand that some present day comedians use racial tension for humor, but it pains me greatly when I hear a black performer use the "n" word, or do or say hurtful things in an attempt to grab attention. I believe that they demean themselves and their audience. Too many people went through hell to try to change assumptions and attitudes that you mentioned as having witnessed as a youngster.

 

Btw, I know what you mean about that "Choreography" number of Danny Kaye's in White Christmas. I find the in drag "Sisters" number with Kaye & Crosby kind of creepy too *lol*. To be honest, I only find Kaye bearable in The Court Jester, but that's just me. Most of the time, I enjoy Crosby's singing and emoting.

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Danny Kaye is a performer that I could take only in small doses. My late wife who was of Irish - African descent thought that the " n " word was the most hateful word in the English language !

 

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ken123

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bhf, after I posted to you about the cat number, I was lying in bed thinking to myself, "I wonder if she meant the Papa, Pet Me Nice number from Guys and Dolls..." And I see that IS what you meant!

 

I don't like that number, either. It's kind of embarrassing. The number that is in the stage version is "A Bushel and a Peck", no great shakes as a song, either, and also kind of cutesy, but inoffensive, at least!

 

Sandy K

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Ken123:

 

I understand what both you and moira are saying, but if there were a statement made before a movie made to protect children, in the first place they wouldn't understand what it meant, and in the second, children have no prejudices unless they've been taught, and then they would only look for the episode mentioned. My two grandchildren have lived with their highly prejudiced step dad for years, yet they both have their little asian, black, and indian friends and they don't see any difference between them and their friends.

 

Also, if we had statements regarding certain black references, we would soon be expected to have references to female abuse as in The Quiet Man, or American Indian abuse as in all western movies until about 1965, or child abuse as in How Green was my Valley. You see, we can find ignorance in the finest and sweetest of movies, but one or two scenes, or musical numbers does not degrade the whole movie, especially considering the time the movie was made. Find something from the last 15 years, and then you have something to censure.

 

Anne

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I am not in favor of censorship, it is up to the parents to teach there children proper and improper behavior when referring to people of other nationalities, races, or religions In my grammar school days, middle 1950 to early 1960's two of the nuns at the far West Side ( Chicago ) that I attended used improper language when referring to Black citizens. It was not the " an " word. Being of a certain age they felt that the term that began with a " J " was OK. I am sure that they didn't mean anything racist, but I still cringed everytime I heard the term used, and I am not attempting to be " holier than thou "

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I, too, dislike the part of the "Choreography" number with Danny Kaye. However, I always thouht that was the point of the song. Once Vera-Ellen and John Brascia join the number, I find it superb.

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I enjoyed the choreography number, but especially like the part where the

dancers all moved like a ship in response to the sailor's theme.

 

And then it really picked up for me after Vera Ellen stepped in.

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Yes, it's saying numbers have to be about "something", instead of just about dancing. I love it, but I can see how others might hate it.

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