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Opening Salvo For Mad About Musicals Course

578 posts in this topic

8 hours ago, ahaire75 said:

Mine are Singin' In the Rain and Guys and Dolls. If I catch them on TV I usually stop whatever I'm doing and sit and watch. I also am a big fan of White Christmas, that Danny Kaye/Vera-Ellen dance number at the begining is so awesome, even some 60+ years later. 

 Now that I'm an adult they just remind me of a time in my life when things were happy and uncomplicated.  

I'm also a fan of Guys and Dolls!

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I love how I can walk through time with movie musicals and read the values of the time through them.  

One of my favorite trends in the last two decades is the recording of live musical performances to be shown at movie theaters.  I took my daughter to see Newsies last summer.  She loved it.  I've been able to study performances of FalsettosCompany, Sweeney Todd, and Intro the Woods.

I'm excited to rewatch some musicals I haven't seen in years.  I was watching Cabaret once a month during grad school, and now I haven't seen it in 20 years!  Not really kid-appropriate.  Musical kid-shows like Ready, Jet, Go! and Peg + Cat have been more our speed. 

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The films I always find myself coming back to have to be Meet Me in St. LouisSinging in the RainCabaretFunny GirlWest Side StoryMy Fair LadyThe Sound of Music, Chicago and of course 42nd Street and all the great Busby Berkeley films of the 30s! Most importantly, my first love that made me fall in love with musicals..... The Wizard of Oz! and I must include A Star is Born (1954) which I sat through as a child spellbound by Judy Garland.

Oh my god.. did I forget to mention Gigi!??! The King and I

All the old Disney animated classics. 

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SO many musicals! 

What musical have you found yourself watching repeatedly? Gigi, My Fair Lady, Hello Dolly, Singing in the Rain, The King and I, Chicago, Oklahoma, Sound of Music, Disney .... so many others but these are the ones I have watched embarrassingly repeatedly....so many times!

What is it about that musical that you believe makes it enticing to you for repeated viewings? They are happy, make-you-feel-good movies; I love the dancing and the romance; definitely color is important as others have mentioned.  I'd probably watch more musicals repeatedly but it seems they just don't show them on the TV very often. 

"I would even open this topic to explore what musicals provide for us as a culture": an escape from the worries of the world and humanity.  As in all good romances, the musicals I like provide hope. 

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The Harvey Girls and especially when my great grandmother told me she was one bak in the day. The Wizard of Oz has a special place in my heart.  The Unsinkable Molly Brown; Belly Up to the Bar Boys, whew that energy!  Meet Me in St Louis...oh goodness I could go on and on

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My Fair Lady is my favorite. I think the change that happens between Eliza and Henry is impressively portrayed  and really leaves you wondering right up until the end if he is stubborn enough to not admit his love for her. The gowns are beautiful and the story line always make me smile. I always feel like I'm right there watching him teach her to speak like a proper lady.  Both  Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison are some of the most talented people to grace Hollywood; timeless treasures. My favorite part is towards the end after Eliza pays a visit to Henry's Mom and when he comes home Eliza cannot be bothered by him and after how cold he had been to her he realizes hes grown accustomed to her face. SUCH A WONDERFUL ENDING.

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A very CLOSE second for me? The Sound of Music. ahhh Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. I've even been to Germany, Austria and Switzerland and got to see many of the locations they used for filming in Salzburg. It was priceless. My favorite scene is when Maria and the Captain dance the Landler. So magical.

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While reading all these posts all I could think was, oh ya, I love that musical, oh, I forgot about that one and wow! I’ve never seen that one. That’s Entertainment played a big role in my love of movies in general. But the first time I saw Singing in the Rain it was love at first sight. It covers that time in movie history I love, silent movies moving into talking movies and Gene Kelly, need I say more. I can’t count how many times I’ve seen it and I’ve made my kids watch it too.

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The musical I can watch over & over without tiring is "An American in Paris." First, I'm a big Gene Kelly fan so he's a huge draw for me. Second is the choreography of which he was a genius in my opinion; more of an athletic style than Fred Astaire. And third, what would a musical be without the music?! That's the only musical I own the soundtrack to on CD as I love the instrumental interludes, ballets, or whatever they're properly called.

~Diana :)

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I like Cabaret, Fiddler on the Roof, and Sound of Music primarily because of the historical overtones that I only appreciated later in life.  The notions of pogroms and the rise of national socialism were lost on me when I was a child seeing these musicals for the first time.

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The very  first movie  musical I remember seeing in a theater was "White Christmas", at the Circle Theater in Indy.That "dates" me. But from then on I was  hooked on film. It didn't have to be in Technicolor, wide-screen, or 3-D. In fact, most of my early viewing was  done on my parents Sylvania. My brother Steven, and I would watch all the Friday horror films(presented by  Selwin on channel 8).All of them made way before me. 
But musicals - there is nothing like them. There are very few musicals I don't enjoy. Here are my top 3 - "White Christmas" - (of course), "Singing in the Rain", and shoot - i give up - the list is too long.... Any Busby Berkeley.

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What started my love of musicals is a rather forgotten gem of Disney's called Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I have so many now that I love, including Meet Me in St Louis, Grease, and My Fair Lady! Also another underrated gem starring Julie Andrews called Star! from 1968. The musical numbers in that movie are really phenomenal. I also have a soft spot in my heart for anything Doris Day or Fred Astaire are in. Her voice and his dancing just always puts a smile on my face. 

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I have 6 musicals that make me want to rewatch from time to time and inspired for my own story/art ideas (I'm aiming to be an animation artist/stroyteller):

Mary Poppins: needs no introduction as it's one of Walt Disney's best live-action films of all times and it has everything: great story, compelling characters, memorable songs and dance, the classical hand-drawn animation scene with the Jolly Holiday Penguin dance sequence, and themes of family and work plus great morals to carry from. Me personally, I come back to it for the Penguin dance scene, the Step in Time dance sequence, the fun word play lyrics, and also the great character moments that help drive the plot and conflict. 

Top Hat: has some of Fred Astaire's memorable dance scenes including Top Hat, White Tie, and Tail sequence that gave him the trademark, Cheek to Cheek with Ginger Rogers, and Fancy Free. I really do enjoy the way he executes his movements and posing that makes the sequence appealing to the eye, plus the full body shot in this case helps see the action clearly. It's clear he and Hermes Pan planned out the steps and staging and Fred being a perfectionist, would do them over and over until he gets them "right". He's like a real life animated being! 

Singin in the Rain: I come back to it for the story which is really amazing regarding the mains trying to adapt to the sound era when silent movies are waning in popularity with trial and error, plus the singing and dancing to go along with it. Gene Kelly, Donald O'Conner, and Debbie Reynolds really have great character moments and songs to help drive the story and situations. The dancing are also spectacular which Moses Supposes has some of the most energetic duo dancing on screen. I think everyone has already said how great the iconic name drop song was and is still among the favorites of fans, so I totally agree with them.

West Side Story: Every time I go back to rewatch, I really am still impressed with how well adapted the film is from the original Broadway show and taking inspirations from Romeo and Juliet. It's a neat story with some of the best ballet/jazz dance scenes shot on camera, and Jerome Robbins being one of the most well-known choreographers, with Robert Wise, helped shape the camera movements and choreography to translate well that works. The Prologue, America, Rumble, Quintet, and Cool are some of my favorite musical moments in there.

The Band Wagon: I think this might be underrated in the eyes of the masses, but it has been mentioned as one of MGM's best musicals of the time, with Fred Astaire still showcasing the best of his dances on screen at an older age (with the story of him moving back to Broadway from Hollywood to help develop a drama or a comedic musical, which I really liked). Cyd Charisse had her great moments in her dance scenes including the Dancing in the Dark where she and Fred did their thing without a need of dialogue. And the Girl Hunt Ballet is also impressive since this inspired Michael Jackson in his music video of "Smooth Criminal" (I mean, Fred did comment on Michael's Billie Jean dance in the concert as amazing).

La La Land: Seems weird that I added in a very recent musical in this category, but I think this film represents how the original movie musicals of today can possibly go forward even if they might not reach the same heights as the Golden Age era (unless you're Disney Animation). Damien Chazelle's knowledge of the musicals from the Golden Age, and French New Wave really shows in this. As his previous film Whiplash was about the harsh realities of fulfilling your passions, La La Land was about the grounded, honest, yet a bit more positive outlook of reaching your passions. I come back to it every once in a while for its beautiful story, likable characters, fun nods of the past, themes of your creative passions and love, where Jazz music should go if going to the past, or revolutionize it. with and some intriguing songs. Even though the dances are low key and not as innovative (Ryan and Emma aren't as great as Fred, Ginger, Gene, Donald, Debbie, Judy, etc.), their limitations and honest performance still help keep me invested in their character arcs and how the story will play out. Some of my favorites: "Another Day of Sun", "A Lovely Night", "Planetarium", "City of Stars", "Audition", and "Epilogue". I still enjoyed it to this day, and hope that any filmmaker wishing to make new original musicals can learn from this and tell unique and fun and even compelling musical stories relevant to today's tastes with the right actors, musicians and dancers.

Edited by ClayKurei28
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Most under-rated movie musical of all time- "State Fair" (62 remake). Additional songs by Rodgers on his own (music AND lyrics)!I

 

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Asking to pick one is like asking me who was my favorite dog I have had, impossible. I grew up in the entertainment industry, film the exhibitor side, and TV & theatre as a stagehand.(grip in movies) My first movie that I worked was a screening of Fiddler, the next was Cabaret, including the NYC premier.  So I have had a lot of movie ingrained in my system. So they have become favorite, That's Entertainment I & II led to snippets of many musicals. But in no certain order, Singin the Rain, any Fred & Ginger, Kiss me Kate, Cabaret, Rocky Horror, Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Yankee Doodle, Annie get your Gun, Band Wagon. Songs from each run through my  head all the time.

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Top 3: The Wizard Of Oz because I grew up on it, and because Over the Rainbow has got to be the greatest single song ever; Singin' In the Rain because it's all about movies and the three stars are incredible; and West Side Story, to me the greatest music and lyrics of all.

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There are so many musicals that i love that choose my favorite may be harder than i thought.

Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire are my top performers. Everything they work on are in my top list.

The music, the colors, the choreographies, set and costumes! just amazing!

I believe that i enjoy musicals that much because of their way to transmit a message to the audience in a very optimistic way. Some characters may encounter hardships and sadness , but they just "dance" through it.

They don't need any big Hollywood car destructions, bombs or tint the screen in red to delivery their point. 

i enjoy that type of movies as well, don't get me wrong (don't live in a cocoon), however they won't last decades like "Singing in the rain".

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I am just a fan of the movie musical. There are too many for me to choose from. Anything with Fred Astaire, Shirley Temple (I had her doll as a child.), Gene Kelly, Barbara Streisand, or Julie Andrews. And of course anything Disney. Some of the newer ones are definitely part of my guilty pleasure movies, like From Justin to Kelly or Bride and Prejudice. I must say though I was not a fan of La La Land.

Edited: Oooo! And how could I forget, Xanadu, Grease, and Grease 2.

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So much depends on what makes a particular musical a favorite. I love South Pacific because it was the first cast recording I ever heard...and The Wizard of Oz because I associate it with specially planned family times (my mom always made homemade malts when we watched...and Into the Woods because I do the same thing with my grandchildren. But, for sheer energy and passion, All that Jazz. 

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The Music Man. I never tire of the songs, Robert Preston's charisma, Shirley Jones's gumption, and how it makes me feel. It was the first musical that I watched with my father in which kicked off my love of musicals. So, I guess, there is a bit of nostalgia playing into my love of this musical as well. 

Love Me Tonight is one that I wish I could see more often. I could watch the opening sequence repeatedly.

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When I was about 12 years old, I developed the biggest crush on Gene Kelly while watching On the Town.  About 15 years later, I went on to play "Ivy Smith" in a stage production of the show.  I was so disappointed in the book of the stage show!  Not the film at all!  But I learned that there are some instances where the film might actually improve upon a book.  Especially since, in this case, it was based upon a ballet by Jerome Robbins.  Nevertheless, because of Gene Kelly's charm and Leonard Bernstein's brilliant score, I find myself closing my eyes and swaying to the music of this fantastic show any time I hear it.

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I have so many favorites! The ones that I’ve watched over and over: Meet Me in St Louis, Singing in the Rain. And, I have the same level of excitement and enjoyment even after many, many views. Am excited to begin this course and am looking forward to seeing musicals that I’ve not discovered to date. 

You really can glean a taste of the culture of the times from these films. The political views, biases, and nuances of the era are evident in each production. I not only gain entertainment value, but also gain cultural insight into the eras of the past. 

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I inherited my love of musicals from my mom (still with us at 88!).  I even think the first movie I saw at the theater was "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" followed by "Cat Ballou", "Mary Poppins", "The Sound of Music" and "Hello Dolly."  But I have to say the one the left a lasting impression was "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers."  Just something about Howard Keel singing "Bless Your Beautiful Hide."  Never forgot that one!!??

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