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  1. 1. A more theatrical performance wouldn't have worked because in this scene, Fanny isn't "performing". She's sharing her feelings with Nicky. 2. Nicky looks on in interest while Fanny avoids contact with him while singing, like she's off in her own little world.
  2. 1. As you look back to the masculine performances in musicals of past decades, what changes in male representation and performance would you say are most noticeable? Male characters tend to be less aggressive and rely more on charisma to achieve their goals. 2. What other specific qualities do you notice about Robert Preston in either or both of these clips? In the clip from "The Music Man", Harold Hill is basically inventing a social problem for the sole reason of selling products. At first, he's interacting with only one person before a crowd starts to form. In a smooth, fast-paced delivery, he convinces the crowd that playing pool is causing their kids to become troublemakers. The clip takes place in a large outdoor area, allowing him to be more energetic in his movement. In the clip from "Victor/Victoria", Toddy is performing in a Paris nightclub singing a song about how wonderful Paris is. His demeanor and singing style in the clip appears to be very casual. The clip takes place in a crowded indoor area, limiting his movement to wandering through the audience while singing.
  3. 2. This is the introduction of Mama Rose in the film. Comment on Rosalind Russell's entrance and performance especially as a traditionally trained stage and film actress. Rose is a ruthless stage mother who thinks her daughters are entitled to stardom and won't rest until her dream (not theirs) comes true. She takes control of the theater the moment she enters the scene.
  4. 2. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikable in a scene in which he acts pretty darn unlikable? He appears friendly for most of the scene. When he's "rude" to the student, it's obvious he comes in contact with these types of people on a regular basis and that frustrates him but overall he looks like a likable guy.
  5. 1. How do the pre-dance movements of O'Connor and Kelly compare to their actual dance movements? Right before the actual dance movements, they do a little strut while reciting the rhyme, and it seems like they're really getting into the whole lesson, but on their own terms. When they grab the professor's tie, the musical number officially begins. 2. Watch the professor all the way through and consider the role of the straight man. The professor obviously doesn't know what to make of the whole situation since diction is his expertise, not singing and dancing. Throughout the whole dance number, he shows a combination of discomfort and confusion.
  6. 1. As you reflect upon female representation in the 1950s, where do you think this film character falls in the continuum? Why? Jane is definitely a independent, energetic, tomboy who has clearly been living a "masculine" lifestyle for quite awhile. She interacts with the men as an equal to them, even though they don't quite see her like that. Later on in the second scene, she shows that even a tomboy can have a softer, gentler side. 3. Does Doris Day's bright and sunny persona add or detract from the role of Calamity Jane in your opinion? Please defend your answer. I don't think the persona detracts from the role because, in my opinion, having Jane as a bright and sunny character shows the audience that she is happy with who she is and doesn't feel the need to make major changes in order to please people.
  7. 1. It looks like the shift from Petunia at Joe's bedside to her taking care of the laundry is showing a passage of time; Joe is slowly but surely recovering and Petunia can concentrate on the household chores while still being able to assist her husband. The scene shows us that while Petunia may not approve of Joe's gambling habit, she still loves him dearly and is not ready for him to leave her just yet. 2. If it were Petunia singing about her child, the lyrics would need to be changed to reflect that. The message would be the same (unconditional love for a loved one), but the song's execution would be different.
  8. 1. Thinking like a director and editor, describe how each shot spotlights key actions. Practically in every shot Shirley is in control is of the situation and Dennis is looking for a way out. 2. It's interesting to examine how musicals segue into musical numbers. How does this sequence prepare us for the singing. As Shirley starts running after Dennis, the music intensifies, which lets the viewer know that the singing is going to start.
  9. 1. Describe how the scenes in today's Daily Dose were designed to promote American values for audiences during World War II. Be specific. Refer to props, set design, settings, etc. in your answer. Cohan is visiting the White House to meet the president, which would be considered a great honor for an American citizen. As he walks toward the Oval Office, he passes by portraits of past presidents. When he begins recalling his life and career, we see a 4th of July parade with veterans marching and onlookers waving American flags. 2. Listen carefully to the dialogue in these scenes. In what way dialogue and/or the screenplay work to boost American morale? Quote specific lines of dialogue in your response. The African-American butler's admiration for Cohan shows that in order for America to remain a great nation, we must work to look past racial differences. Cohan says that he "was a cocky kid back then, always carrying a flag, attending a parade, or following one", indicating that 4th of July parades were an annual tradition in his family growing up and they had a positive effect on him. When FDR says, "That's one thing I admire about you Irish-Americans. You carry your love of your country like a flag, right in the open. It's a great quality", he is acknowledging that immigrants are the foundation of America and that they deserve respect. 3. Since this is the opening of a biographical musical, how differently do you think this film would be if it opened with the Fourth of July parade scene in Providence, Rhode Island vs. the opening with FDR in the Oval Office? Defend your answer. If the film opened with the parade, the viewer might not get the context of why it would be important when it comes to Cohan's life and future career. The Oval Office opening gives an older Cohan a chance to look back and reflect on what he has accomplished in his life.
  10. 1. What other aspects of battle of the sexes do you see indicated in this clip or in the film Top Hat? I don't really see a battle of the sexes; I see more of a display of equality between Fred and Ginger. 2. How does this film distinguish itself from other Depression era musicals we have watched or discussed this week? I haven't seen the film in full, but based on the clip it looks like it has a more personal feel than the other musicals. 3. What possible reasons might there be for the changes in roles between men and women depicted in these screwball comedy musicals that distinguish themselves from earlier musicals in the 1930s? I think society was starting to recognize strong-willed and successful women who are in control of their lives and screwball comedy musicals were starting to reflect this part of society.
  11. 1. What do you notice about the Lubitsch touch? How do the props, dialogue, and the staging help you understand the character of Alfred (Maurice Chevalier)? The Lubitsch touch is a sort of visual storytelling rather than a lot of verbal exposition; it is left to the audience to draw their own conclusions. The props and dialogue tells us a lot about Alfred: Props: The introduction of the garter tells us that Alfred is a bit of a womanizer. When being "shot" with the gun by the husband, he doesn't even flinch, implying that he's been through these situations before and can tell when a gun is loaded with blanks instead of regular bullets. Dialogue: Alfred saying "She's terribly jealous" with a chuckle tells us that he doesn't really understand why a woman would be angry about her lover fooling around with another woman; the whole situation is amusing to him. Also, the ambassador's reprimand of Alfred tells us that Alfred's womanizing is causing a great deal of frustration and embarrassment to his country. 2. 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? Other than dialogue, there's actually very little sound in the scene (the gunshots, the outside crowd). We hear Alfred and his lover arguing even before they physically enter the scene, giving the audience the sense that they (the audience) have just stumbled right in the middle of the characters' conflict. 3. What themes or approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression-era musicals? The characters appear to be wealthy, upper-class, and unconcerned with the types of issues that the audience would be concerned with.
  12. 1. What do you notice about the interaction between the two characters in these two scenes? In the first scene, the two characters barely have any eye contact. It looks like a very awkward situation and Bruce attempts to break the ice by serenading Marie, who was obviously impressed but decided to downplay her feelings. In the second scene, Marie is obviously embarrassed when she sees Bruce in the saloon because she doesn't want him to know that she's working there and doesn't want him to have a low impression of her. Bruce is obviously surprised when he sees Marie but realizes this is probably the only job she could get and is sympathetic and understanding, since he goes after her when she runs off after being upstaged by the other woman. 3. What do these clips tell you about the male/female relationships as they are depicted in the films of this era? What norms might you expect are supported under the Hollywood Film Code? The clips tell us that the relationships tend to start slowly and innocently with the characters getting to know to know each other before getting serious. Also, the male characters tend to make the first move. As for Film Code norms, relationships pretty much had to start out subdued; characters couldn't really be all over each other within the first few minutes of meeting.
  13. 1. Do you agree that the clip exhibits a brighter perspective of life than might be realistic? I definitely agree because everyone featured in the clip looked like they were one of the "1%". 2. What themes and approaches might you anticipate from this clip in other Depression era musicals? One theme would be the idea of an up-and-coming professional finally getting their big break. As we see in the clip, Anna Held seems to be on the road to superstardom, due to Ziegfeld and Billings, who both seem to be big-time producers, wanting to work with her. 3. Since this is a musical that was made after the motion picture code was enforced, how might you imagine it might have been filmed or scripted differently if it had been pre-code? Well, Held's stage costume would have been showing a lot more skin and she would have been shown undressing after the show. Also, instead of sending her flowers, Ziegfeld probably would have met with her personally in her dressing room. Post-code, the idea of two unmarried people meeting alone in such a private location would have been a big issue.
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