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  1. Most often List: Jeanette Macdonald, Bing Crosby, Deanna Durbin, Sonja Henie. One or two good musicals list: Tyrone Power, Frances Farmer, Shirley Ross, John Payne
  2. Let's aay that you have a list of 60 musicals that you like. What female stare appears most often on this list? What male star appears most often on this list? Is there a star on your list who only appeared in one or two good (or great) movies?
  3. Michasl Kidd was also a great innovater. I read that dancers often got hurt preforming his difficul acrobatic numbers. They had to spend hours in rehearsals perfecting their technique. Actress Teri Garr ((Tootsie) credits Michael as the person who led her to becoming an actress. After years of ballet training and ballet perfornances, she auditioned for a broadway play choregraphed by Michael Kidd. During the audition she was so nervous that she made a slight mistake. Then she heard Michael's voice say," Who did that". When she admitted that she made the mistake--Michael asked her to leave. Teri was devastated and tramatized--and this led to her becomming a full time actress. So Michael, uninttenionaly is responsible for Teri's wonderful career! (Because Hollywood and Broadway producers and choreographers were so perfectionistic in thier choices of performers and dancers--I'm always amazed (and usually grateful) that some not so perfect looking people slipped past their scrutinny. (I remember Author John Mueller saying in his book on Fred Astaire that he thought Leslie Caron was to heavy to be a ballet dancer. (He was talking about her performance in "Daddy Long Legs".) I'm sure glad thatshe slipped past the executives at MGM. (She was the dancer Teri Garr and her friends idolized--she saw her in "An American in Paris".)
  4. Thank you Sandy K; and Thank you patful. I wish you and your love ones many blessings in 2008!
  5. I am a great fan of Michael Kidd's "Barn Raising" number from "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers". It thrills and excites me every time I see it! In my opinion, it's the best chorus number recorded on film!! Thank you Michael for this magnificent, magical number!! I love Michael's great solo in the Garbage Can Top dance (from "It's always Fair Weather"). It was wonderful. (Even though it wasn't a ballet number, Michael ballet training was very apparent in this dance. Michael had danced in some great ballet companies.) And "Guys and Dolls" is one of my favorite live threatre productions. I love all the interesting stories that Michael told (in several documentaries) about the how his numbers came about; and about how these numbers came alive during the rehearsals. And I admire Michael Kidd for forgiving Gene Kelly for Gene's Hostile behavior on the set of "It's Aways Fair Weather"--and for forgiving Gene Kelly for cutting from the film Michael Kidd"s long dance solo. (Stanley Donen said that his splended number should not have been cut.) In later interviews, Michael had some complimentary things to say about Gene Kelly. Michael, you did magnificent work. We are going to miss you!
  6. Do Musicals offer safety from some of lifes' harsher realties? --Am I attractive enough; do I have a good enough job; am I pleasent to be around; am I a good moral person; am I so "moral" and judgemental that I place myself and others in bondage; if I suffered abuse, am I becoming an abuser; am I fearful of the opposite/same sex; am I a giver or a taker; do I fear change or am I open to new people and new opportunities; am I rooted with a strong faith in a loving Higher Power, or am I too attached to people, places or things (movies?, songs?, books? etc.); am I a composite of opposites and paradoxes--if so, can I be OK with that, and be compassionate with myself and with you; can I live with not having all the answers--with accepting, as best I can, the mystery and what feels like frightening parts of myself, you, and my Higher Power? My tolerence and acceptance of certain musicals often changes--and is more or less a reflection of where I am at in regard to some of the above issues Message was edited by: musicfan
  7. What would say are some of the "signatures" of your favorite dancers? For Fred Astaire, what comes to mind are: !. Full circle turns (so that is back often faces audience) 2. Top Hat, Tails, and Cane 3. Animated-joyful face when doing a fast (mostly apart from each other) tap duet with a talented female dancer. 4. Wild and frenzied kicking motions and seemingly off balance leaps and turns with his feet (that make you think that he is about to lose his balance and fall down). (See "Flying Down to Rio", "The Gay Divorcee", "Raberta", "Top Hat". 5.. Sand Dances. (See: "Top Hat" and "Belle of New York") I Think Fred's Signature (and Masterpeice) duet dance is "Mr. and Mrs Hoofer at Home" dance from "Three Little Words". I think Fred Astaires signature solo dance is "Seeing is Believing" from "Belle of New York". (It highlighted his great balance (and wasn't full circle turns). For Gene Kelly, what comes to mind are: !. Irish jig-like dancing (See: "Singing in the Rain", "On the Town", "Take Me out to the Ballgame") 2. Straight-back, on his toes, ballet poise when dancing a duet with a female partner. 3. Tap dancing with his knees bent in a crouched (sitting) position, close to the ground (see: "Fit as a Fittle" from "Singing in the Rain". 4. Dancing with kids. I think Gene Kelly's signature (masterpeice) duet dance is his dance on the carousel with Leslie Caron in the "An American in Paris" ballet. I think Gene Kelly's signature solo dance is his irish-jig like sailor solo dance in the "On the Town" ballet. For Eleanor Powell, what comes to mind are: 1. Her dancing in clothes usually associated with men (top hat and tails) (She looked great!) 2. Leaning backward and touching the floor while dancing. 3. Tapping close to the ground. 4. Acrobatic movements. I think Eleanor's signature (masterpeice) duet is her beautiful ballroom dance with George Murphy in "The Broadway Melody of 1938". I think Eleanor Powell's signature (masterpeice) solo dance is her "Broadway Rythum" number from "The Broadway Malody of 1938". I expect some people will disagree with me on some of my choices. Don't be shy. What are your choices? PS. I have to keep editing my message because part of my message keeps not showing up on the board. Message was edited by: musicfan Message was edited by: musicfan Message was edited by: musicfan Message was edited by: musicfan Message was edited by: musicfan Message was edited by: musicfan Message was edited by: musicfan
  8. Can you identify a heartwarming Christmas song I heard on the radio? It was sung by Kermit the frog of the Muppets. In the song he offered a prayer, and part of the song went "....and peace on earth will last throughout the year." Was it from "The Very Merry Muppet Christmas Movie"? What is the name of the song? I heard that some singers regularly change some of the lyrics to to the classic "Meet me in St. Louis" song "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas". I heard that they delete "until then, we will have to muddle through some how" and add replace it with something like "place a shinning star high upon the bow"--is this true? If this is true--this changes completely the signifigance of the song. And thats a shame! Another couple of movies that had some very heartwarming and poignant scenes are: "Rythum on the Range" (1936) and "Pennies from Heaven" (1936). Francis Farmer from "Rythum on the Range was especially poignant and moving. More so the even Judy Garland was in some of her greatest movies. Have a blessing filled Christmas everyone!!
  9. I cherish the Heartwarming song sung by a well-known character actor at Christmas time in "Remember the Night". I cherish the romantic scenes between Pamela Britan and Frank Sinatra in "Anchors Aweigh". I cherish tender scenes between Deanna Durbin and her pretend Father in "Mad about Music". I cherish the "Meet me in St, Louie" number sung by a young girl and her Grandfather in the beginning of "Meet me in St. Louis". I cherish Jimmy Sterward's misty-eyed and crying scenes in "It's a wonderful life. I cherish the The Alan Jones Scenes (and song) at the close of "Showboat" (1936); I cherish the romantic scenes and the dancing duets in "An American in Paris" and "The Sky's the Limit". I cherish the misty eyes that occured while Deanna Durbin sang the very moving and poignant "Love is All" in "It's a date". I cherish the Love Scenes in "The Clock" (1945). I cherish Judy Garland's Pignant eyes in "Listen Darling". I cherish Tom Drakes love Scenes in "Meet me in St. Louis." I cherish the coming back home scenes of Gordon Macrae at the end of "Carosel". I cherish all the Debera Kerr Scenes in "Separate Tables".(1958). On television, I cherish the Lawerence Welk Chrismas Duets and dances; The 1950's and early 60's Chrismas scenes from the best of Perry Como Vol. 1; The Christmas scenes between Chuck Connors and Johnnny Crawford in "The Rifeleman". What are some of your special tender scenes? . Message was edited by: musicfan
  10. Was it so bad to have pictures that the whole family could watch together? (This wasn' t true of some of the pre-code musicals.) And the code did allow female ingenues such as Leslie Caron (in "An American in Paris") and male ingenues such as Fred Astaire (in "The Sky's the Limit") to get away with certain sexual suggestiveness. Of course I didn't agree with the racial discrimination aspect of the Code. What is your opinion?
  11. I just needed to add: That many of the Astaire-Roger films were blockbusters! That dance studios were flooded with couples--who wanted to learn how to do the latest Astaire-Rogers dances. That there are magical, romantic moments in the Astaire-Rogers (Astaire-Leslie, Astaire-Charisse) movies that I will treasure forever! That Fred Astaire, in addition to being a great dancer and a great and humble person (I saw his TV specials, and his appearance on the Dick Cavett show) was a great singer! In his television appearances and his records from the 50''s are some very romantic and touching interpretations of songs by famous composers. (Many of these songs were made famous by Fred Astaire.)
  12. As a fan of Turner Classic Movies, I have noticed that, in Many of the A & B musical and non-musical movies of the 30's and 40's, you will find some very intimate dancing. In the nightclub scenes you will often see cheek-to-cheek dancing--where the dancers are in a hug-like embrace, chest to chest, waist to waist, pelvis to pelvis, as they sway in suxual-like rhythm to the music. Even in Andy Hardy-like movies such as, "State Fair (1945)", and "Rich, Young and Pretty" (1951) you will find such dancing. Professional dancers (such as Murphy & Powell) would expand on this, and incorperate beautiful ballet-like poises, (lighter-than-air) lifts and twirls, and soft embraces and caresses to their ballroom numbers. A bit of this was present in the Astaire-Rogers "Change Partners" dance, and theAstaire-Charisse' "Dancing in the Dark"dance. I'm not sure that the public-at-large were able to grasp all the subtle sexual nuances in the Astaire-Rogers dances that were so apparent to many book authors, who wrote on the dances of Asaire and Rogers. I think the public was charmed by the skinny, common looking Fred Astaire endeavering to suduce, in a sophisticated way, the rather tough, yet poignant Ginger Rogers. (Fred Astaire had script control, and he would cross out any mushy love scene that was present in any of his scripts.) And Astaire- Rogers danced like they were made to dance together! Ginger was plyible and flexible to Fred's fast, complex steps, turns, twirls, dips, and other difficult movements. They made these movements look effortless! And Ginger didn't look lost when Fred would do his ballet-like solo twirls and turns during their ballroom-tap-jazz numbers. I think by-in-large that the public were amazed by Fred Astaire's great artistry! By his great ballet-like lightness, agility, poise, and fluidity! And I think the were amazed by the deep and realistic emotions displayed by Ginder Rogers throuhout the movies she did with Fred Astaire. Off the dance floor, she was the center of attention. I recently viewed a DVD on the life of the great ballet choreographer George Balanchine (produced by PBS Masters). In the documentary, Balanchine stated, in effect, that he believed that women, because of thier lightness, agility, and body make-up were the best dancers--and the true dancers. ( He liked women dancers who were tall, very slim, and who had long legs.) He said men were good for lifts and leaps--but they were not really dancers. Yet Balanchine is often quoted as saying that his favorite dancer is Fred Astaire. My pointe is Fred Astaire could do things that other male dancers could not do. And he had the respect and admiration of many, if not all, of the notable male dancers of his time. When he walked he was dancing!
  13. I always enjoy watching "Broadway Melody of 1938". In George Murphy's book, Say...Didn't you used to be George Murphy", George had the following comments about this movie: "....I was concerned about one thing, which I explained to [Eleanor Powell] when we first met. I had seen her on Broadway and in at least one film, and she always seemed to be doing the same routine. I thought in the movie we were going to do together we ought to vary the dances. ....Eleanor agreed and we immediatly went to work practicing a waltz, a schottische soft-shoe number and an entirely new variation of a tap dance. ....It seemed to me there had to be a better way to shoot these long musical numbers. I went back to Metro and talked with Blanche Sewell, then the studio's top film editor of musical films. ....She and I finally concluded that if the sound track were used as a common denominator it would be possible to cut a dance up into several sections. The idea--then quite revolutionary--was for Blanche to splice the many segments together in the cutting room, guided by the sound track. ....That night I sat down and drew a diagram for a routine that would be done on a set representing Bryant Park, just back of the New York Public Library. ....The next morning I took the diagram to Roy Del Ruth, the director, and explained the plan for breaking up the number into five segments. ...."Okay," Ruthe interruptted finally, "if you feel so strongly about it, why don't you shoot the number yourself?" And I did.....This new technique, I believe, revolutioniized the shooting of musical numbers in Hollywood." Just as Gene Kelly brought out the best of Leslie Caron's ballet ability and his own ballet ability in "an American in Paris" (my favorite dance musical), George Murphy brought out the best of Eleanor Powell's ballet ability and the best of his elegant light-footed dancing ability in "The Broadway Melody of 1938" (my second favorite dancing movie). All the dance numbers in this movie were splendid! And, after seeing Murphy and Powell's breathtakingly beautiful, graceful, and intimate ballroom dance--which had great lifts and elegant twirls--I have come to think of them as being the best ballromm dance team in the Golden Age of Hollywood. (Most people probably feel that Astaire & Rogers deserve that honor--but I will stick with Murphy and Powell. I Think Fred Astaire was great in his joyful tap dances with Vera-Ellen ("Mr and Mrs. Hoofer at Home" and "Where did you get that Girl") in "Three Little Words"; And his fun tap dance with Joan Leslie in "The Sky's the Limit"; His great tap dance with Eleanor Powell in "The Broadway Melody of 1940"; His wonderful"The Shorty George" tap number with Rita Hayworth in "You were Never Lovlier"; His wonderful tap number with Ginger Rogers in "The Barkleys of Broadway". And Astaire & Rogers were great in their high-speed tap-ballrom exhibition dance ("Dance in Swingtime") from "Swingtime". Yet (un-like a lot of people) I don't detect alot of intimacy in Fred's ballroom dances with Ginger. After holding Ginger close to him for a few seconds, he would send most of the dances a good distance apart from her. Intimate hugs, embraces, kisses, and lifts were rare-- (Ginger's short very intimate cheek-to-cheek hug of Fred in their ballroom dance in "Roberta"; Fred and Audrey Hepburn's intimate song and dance "S Wonderful" from "Funny Face" are the only examples of intimacy that come to mind. An explanation of why Fred was reluctant to publicly show affection can be found in the book ?Fred Astaire: His Friends Talk? (Sarah Giles, 1988). Most of his ballroom dances, seem to me to have been high-speed exhibition dances.) Other example of intimate dances that I love are:The intimate dance between Maurice Chevalier and Jennette Macdonald in "The Merry Widow"; The beautiful courtship dance of Bambi Linn and James Mitchell in "Oklahoma"; Marge and Gower Champion's lovely "Someone to watch over Me" ballet-like dance from "Three for the Show"; Bing Crosby's warm and tender waltz with his female partner in "One in a Million"; Cyd Charisse' s beautiful ballet duet with her partner in "Meet me in Las Vegas"; The great tender ballet "Reflections of 1960" ( masterpiece!), from "The Glory of the Kirov".As you can see, I love slow, flowing (skate-like dancing) ballroom-ballet dances with graceful lifts, intimate embraces, and intimate eye contact between the dancers. When I see examples of this on such dance television shows as "So You think you can dance", I observe tears of tender joy coming down the faces of many of the people in the television audience (and I feel the tears coming down my face). What are some of your favorite intimate dances from films you have seen?
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