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Opening Salvo For Mad About Musicals Course

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Anything Rodgers & Hammerstein, anything with Kathryn Grayson, Fred Astaire, Julie Andrews...oh my gosh, just too many to choose from.

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For me, it's Mary Poppins, I love the dancing penguins.  Then in no particular order, The Music Man, Little Shop of Horrors (feed me!), Rocky Horror Picture Show though I don't.know if it is considered a musical, Holiday Inn, and the where Fred Astaire dances with Jerry the Mouse.  Oh yeah, Anchors Away.

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All my life I have continually come back to The Music Man. Growing up in Northern Iowa in the city that the musical is based on, The Music Man is required watching, but I took it farther than that. I've easily seen the film over 400 times. I love almost everything about it, but what keeps me coming back is the magnetism of Robert Preston's performance as Harold Hill. He's absolutely perfect and has really ruined the role for any imitators. 

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I was a theatre manager in the 1960s in San Francisco, and cannot forget the audience response to My Fair Lady...just testing the Forum. I will have more to say ...

Edited by FredS
Testing how the Forum works
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I'm very late to the Musical appreciation. I didn't watch much tv as a kid and as a childcare provider, my free time had been sparse. Now (I'm 56) my time is finally my own! I've always got movies playing. I can never change the channel on Meet Me In St. Louis, My Fair Lady, Royal Wedding or Chicago. I'm looking forward to the course to see what I've been missing. I know the songs, though! 

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if there is one musical that i can watch over and over, it's MY FAIR LADY. the reason? i think it's the perfect one, the real thing. original story, adaptation, masterpiece music, production values, costume design, sets, everything is great. not to mention the cast and their wonderful work

this, i must tell, even though i'm a superfan of people like streisand, andrews, doris day, judy garland, liza minnelli,petula clark...  

i would put in second to it, but close behind HELLO DOLLY, or GOODBYE MR CHIPS. i love lots and lots of others, but i do not have a wish to watch them, for some reason or other, as often as the ones i mentioned above

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I usually watch White Christmas every year and never get tired of it - I cry every time I watch it.  I love Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye together.  I love that it has the "veteran" theme as I enjoyed working with veterans for the majority of my life and I love that it is set in Vermont.  The film just makes me feel good.

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I have a couple of musicals movies that I have seen more then once my ultimate favorite is Signing in the Rain. I love watching this movie from start to finish. 

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Judy Garland's genius brings me to her films again and again, especially her work with Gene Kelly, (Summer Stock and The Pirate), Fred Astaire (Easter Parade), and her then-husband, Vincente Minnelli (Meet Me in St. Louis, The Pirate and "The Great Lady Has an Interview" in Ziegfeld Follies).

I am also an absolute sucker for a good Esther Williams water ballet!

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"Singin in the Rain," "On the Town," "The Sound of Music," "Blue Hawaii," and probably several more that I'll remember a few hours later after posting this. I love the catchy tunes, or when a performer sings their heart out or goes above and beyond for their dance number to really sell each moment of the movie. I also love you can get sucked into these movies and forget about reality for an hour or two and it leaves you with such positive feelings at the end. 

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I love Gigi. I love Maurice Chevalier's sweet, sly smile and his little dance at the end of I'm So Glad I'm Not Young Anymore.  I love the scenes of Paris and the profile of Louis Jourdan during his singing of Gigi.  

A close second is the opening number of West Side Story, but it's hard to sit through the entire movie.

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I always watch Singing in the Rain.  I think it’s because I must have been exposed to it as a very young child, and it’s so classy.

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I have watched Singing in the Rain repeatedly. It is the quintessential musical that presents a historical account of how sound was added to movies and how it impacted those involved in making movies. I particularly like the character Lisa Lamont (Jean Hagen) when she disputes her contract with the studio. That is a historic scene! It is relevant today and perhaps will remain relevant for many more decades to come. That scene, however, is not the only social commentary in the movie. The social history of each character is presented in depth as comedy, with all the paradoxes, rivalries, and deceptions of real life. The comic form does not diminish the importance of the social commentary on characters, it adds to the impact of the movie  perhaps even better than if characters were portrayed in dramatic form. 

Gene Kelly, and Cyd Charisse performances are of course superb and memorable. Their dance numbers are always in the background of excellent scene design, and special effects that required professional craftsmanship.

As we try to decipher fake information from the authentic these days, Singing in the Rain illustrates how technology can be deceptive and misleading, when Jean Hagen lip-syncs Debbie Reynolds. The movie, simply has layers and layers of art, history, sociology, and character study. It is a rich work of art and each time I view it, the movie reveals a new aspect to me. 

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Swing Time (Never Gonna Dance is sublime and unsurpassed)

Band Wagon (Dancing in the Dark is perfection)

Victor/Victoria (perfect casting and endless invention)

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On 6/3/2018 at 7:54 AM, Pirate Santa Karl said:

"Must See" musicals are the ones I will drop everything to watch, any time, any place. "Must See" musicals are movies I seek out to see on the Big Screen, at the movie theatre. "Must See" musicals are the one where I sing along and quote the best known lines. "Must See" musicals are the ones I watch over and over and over again!

These are a few of My Favorite Things (see what I did there?)

* "Singin' in The Rain" (maybe the best ever)
* "Gold Diggers of 1933" (Ginger sings "We're In The Money" in PIG LATIN and so much more)
* "Footlight Parade" Jimmy Cagney, Joan Blondell, Dick Powell, Ruby Keeler, Frank McHugh and great Busby Berkeley staging. 
* "Meet Me In St Louis" Amazing and gorgeous MGM Technicolor, brilliant casting, great songs
* "Yankee Doodle Dandy" Jimmy Cagney AND Walter Huston singing and dancing? I am THERE!
* "The Band Wagon" More Arthur Freed era brilliance from MGM (love Jack Buchanan)
* Almost all of the Fred & Ginger films, especially the ones directed by Mark Sandrich 
* "Mary Poppins" a favorite from my childhood
* "The Wizard of Oz" another favorite from my childhood
* "A Star Is Born", every version but especially the Judy Garland/George Cukor edition ("The Man Who Got Away" might be my favorite musical number ever)
* "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg" amazing, beautiful, unique, special.  

Oh there are so many many more I could list! It might be easier to list the musicals I don't like!
 

But that's another post for another Sunday morning...

Let's Movie! Let's Musical! 

Yes to The Man Who Got Away! It might even get better with every viewing. Every single time her voice just amazes me. Good pick

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On 6/3/2018 at 6:09 AM, Sarah Last said:

I have always had a yearly tradition of watching 1776 on the 4th of July.  I have always considered 1776 one of the best musicals for learning about American History.  The movie is absolutely perfect and so are the actors and the music.

 

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The one I've watched the most and can never pass up is West Side Story. It's a great adaptation of an adaptation, but it's the dance numbers that draw me in the most -- "America," "Cool," "Dance at the Gym" and the opening number are all pretty spectacular. Rita Moreno is a queen. 

Speaking of dance numbers, when I think of what I love most about movie musicals, big dance numbers are probably at the top of the list. The Stormy Weather finale with the Nicholas Brothers is something else -- I dare you to watch it without your jaw dropping to the floor. The fantasy ballets in both Singin' in the Rain and An American in Paris, "This Is Me" from The Greatest Showman and tap number of Fred Astaire's are all favorites.

La La Land is a new favorite. It shows that the things that made the classics such hits still work today. It's a movie that I watch with a smile on my face the whole time. 

I'm excited for this course!

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An interesting topic and like most here I don’t think I could limit myself to a single film. In reading replies I found movies I’d forgotten or hadn’t seen yet. Coupled with recently compiling a list of my favorite films from each year I found there too that there were a number of movies I missed but would still love to see. But back to musicals.

For me growing up meant classic movies. As a child my uncle would have me mow his lawn and afterward he’d make lunch and we’d watch classic films on the UHF stations out of Cleveland. This was in the 60s before tape and discs. I grew up watching and appreciating them and then watched them on my own on late night shows. Little did I realize it was an education in movies. 

But to pick one is still impossible. Each movie we see creates an image in the mind based on our own personal histories, memories of events that they remind us of. It’s why some of us love some movies others hate and hate movies others love. So here’s my movies:

Gold Diggers of 1935 left an impression on me, stunned by their rendition of “Lullaby of Broadway”. Three Little Words, was fun and the tune stays with me to this day.  Singin’ in the Rain not only taught us about movies but displayed the talents of the three leads perfectly. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers was raucous fun. On the Town had great tunes and Kelly doing yet another amazing job. Hans Christian Anderson was a childhood favorite. White Christmas was a great movie and has become a yearly tradition in our home (my wife and I were able to see it on the big screen this past year as the Ft. Wayne Cinema Center screened it for the holidays). The Music Man continues to stun me with Robert Prestons performance; it also was my first childhood crush in Shirley Jones. Bye Bye Birdie was bright colorful, the tunes were great and brings back memories of seeing it at a drive-in of all places. Robin and the Seven Hoods was my exposure to the Rat Pack. Yellow Submarine came as I grew into rock music. 1776   I didn’t appreciate until I was older. Jesus Christ Superstar was a movie based on an album I listened to non-stop in my teens. Grease reminds me of dating my then girlfriend and now wife. Xanadu seriously Gene Kelly returning to the big screen and not loving it? Campy and fun it doesn’t deserve the hate most give it. Little Shop of Horrors once more tunes you could sing and more fun. Across the Universe I’ve only seen once but the renditions of Beatles tunes here is so well done. And more recently I’ve loved watching The Greatest Showman more than once in both the theater and at home. It IS what classic movie musicals were.

A little long winded, which I can be, but I’m 60 now so cut me some slack. I also came into the discussion late. LOL.

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I must admit that I have watched "That's Entertainment," "II,"  "III," and "That's Dancing" more times than I can recall.  So many of my favorites are included in the clips:  "The Band Wagon," "dance numbers from "Kiss Me Kate," "Brigadoon," and on and on.....I never fail to watch "Funny Face," and "Gigi."  MGM Musicals top the charts for me, but Warner Brothers had the Doris Day films like "Romance on the High Seas," and those were also great.  I always loved the films where Xavier Cugat, Jose Iturbi or Carmen Miranda just happened to be around for a school dance or concert, and were nice enough to "save the day!"

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My Fair Lady and Meet Me In St. Louis are always in constant rotation.  The music is wonderful, the colors are so vivid and the costuming are stunning!

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I have two musicals that are my go-to for repeat viewing:

Top Hat 

Chicago 

They are opposite ends of the spectrum technically, emotionally and socially.  

To me they represent the dichotomy of the movie musical reflective of their time and place made more interesting because the era of their story lines are similar.

Which is better?  Which film is the more glamorous? After viewing which film make you feel better? 

Chrisbots

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Hi. I have to say that "Singing in the Rain" is one of my all time favorites. I love most musicals but this stands the test of time for it's catchy tunes and the wonderful performances of Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor. I also love the over the top performance of Gene Kelly. Every song propels the story forward and the dancing is so fun and joyous!

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I've had a crush on Betty Grable ever since my parents took me to see Coney Island when I was 6 years old. And she's still my favorite musical performer today.  But, ironically, she's not in my favorite movie musical.  That would be MGM's Show Boat from 1951.  I saw it in a movie theater the summer it was released and it knocked my socks off.  I own it on DVD and watch it once a year.  And after each viewing I say: "Yup, it's still my all-time favorite!"  Now I wish a restored version would be released on Blu-ray.

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Always on my list is An American in Paris, well basically anything with Gene Kelly, and I adore Funny Face with Fred Astaire and Audrey Hepburn. When you examine the styles of Gene and Fred, your first impression is they are different; but in actuality they are very similar in timeless perfection and joy in movement. 

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20 hours ago, atmiller said:

I cannot think of a movie musical that I have seen only once.  I love musicals, I have even watched 
"Working Her Way through College" more than once (I like Gene Nelson)....

 

I too have watched Working Her Way Through College (1952) a number of times & up until then I did not realize what a talent Virginia Mayo was, dancing and singing some very complex numbers with the equally talented Gene Nelson.  Since then I have connected the dots of her career, a gangster's moll in White Heat, sword & sandal flick The Silver Chalice, westerns Colorado Territory, historical drama Captain Horatio Hornblower and comedies The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, she could do it all with apparent ease. 

ShesBackonBroadwayStill2.jpg

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