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About Catherine.g.ens

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  1. Now that we are in the 60s and beyond, I'm quite surprised that the professors haven't chosen to highlight Judy Garland's magnificent comeback, 1954's A Star is Born, which in anyone's book is one of the highlights of that decade in musical film, and of Garland's career. Did I miss it, or am I correct that it wasn't featured as part of the conversation? I love High Society but I don't think it's as important as A Star is Born, so maybe it could have been featured instead of that movie for the lecture video, or at least given some attention? Thoughts?
  2. What keeps Jerry Mulligan from being completely unlikeable even though he acts pretty darn unlikeable? He is played by Gene Kelly - enough said!!!
  3. This is one of my favorite dance numbers in any musical. There is an irony running through the scene that captures a larger theme in the movie Singin' in the Rain. The coach is attempting to teach Don and Cosmo (Kelly and O'Connor) in order to ensure they will be able to make a successful transition from silent to sound pictures. At this critical moment in film history, all of a sudden voice coaches were hired by movie studios and filmmakers were forced to become concerned with how people sounded on film. This, of course, is the main premise of Singin in the Rain. And yet Don and Cosmo have so
  4. Yes! Thank you so much for featuring Calamity Jane today and for spotlighting Doris Day. I feel that she doesn't get the attention she deserves when people look at the great movie musical performers. Calamity Jane is such a study in female representations of the 1950s. The duality of the roles Day plays reveal a culture torn about women's roles during this decade. On the one hand, we can celebrate how Calamity fits right in with the men in Deadwood and how confident and comfortable she is with herself as "one of the guys". But then if course, you can also argue that in order for a man to
  5. In this song, "That's Entertainment!", we see four performers who appear to be trying out ideas together in the hopes that they can make something work. This spirit of team problem solving differs from other types of musical numbers we saw in the films of the thirties and forties. The cooperative team effort begins with Nanette Fabray, Jack Buchanan and Oscar Levant attempting to convince Fred Astaire that "everything that happens in life can happen in a show." As the first verse progresses, each of them sing a line at a time, putting in different ideas about what could be in the show, and eac
  6. This is a topic I could discuss all day. My father first sat me in front of Meet Me in St Louis when I was very young, and told me that Judy Garland was in it. I don't know how old I was, but I was young enough to not understand the difference between Judy Garland and the character she played. I was looking for Dorothy in the movie, and I didn't believe my dad when he told me Esther Smith was played by the same person. She was so much more grown up, so much more elegant and beautiful. Nevertheless, I was captivated. Judy made such an impression on me that as a little girl, I just wanted to be
  7. Hello everyone. I am several days behind due to work and life commitments. But trying to squeeze this class in whenever I get the chance, and enjoying it very much! Yankee Doodle Dandy is one of my absolute favorites, as is James Cagney. Everything about his performance in this film touches me very deeply. I feel that Cagney is trying with every fiber of his being to do justice to George M. Cohan's remarkable life and career. But there is more in his performance - a quality of wanting to boost American morale during World War II. Cagney is so true and joyous in his portrayal of Cohan and
  8. Good evening everyone. I noticed in the first clip that Jeanette MacDonald is positioned in the boat facing away from Nelson Eddy. In the first part of the scene, she is unconvinced by him and even mocks him. But when he begins to sing, we see from her expressions that she is impressed. This is something that we see in many musicals; the song functions to further the courtship. By the end of his song, she feels differently about him. In this way, the music actually moves the plot along by furthering their relationship. The tone of the scene is lighthearted as well as romantic. The fact th
  9. I agree, I dislike "Heavenly Music" and "Triplets" too. Now both are in my head!!
  10. Glad you will find it helpful. I’m a teacher, so these things come naturally to me! Haha
  11. I made this for myself as I watch the TCM programming and learn more about musicals this month. Feel free to use it, too! Enjoy! Catherine Movie Musicals Viewing Form.pdf
  12. As others have said, the snappy dialogue, fast paced and upbeat conversations, and the way decisions are made in a very quick fashion are characteristic of lighthearted musicals. The enthusiasm of the characters is definitely larger than life. The backstage story, emphasis on the stage and the musical performance, are themes that are familiar in Depression era musicals. The lavish sets and costumes reflect style of Ziegfeld himself. I can understand why the film was such a hit with audiences, coming in the middle of the Great Depression. Ziegfeld's extravagance must have been a welcome change
  13. I also love both these films and I have been to Salzburg and done the SOM tour too! So much fun!
  14. Hello everyone! I'm so excited to start this course. I've always been obsessed with musicals. It's hard to choose just one that stands out to me, because there are many that I have watched repeatedly. I'll go with the musical that I loved most as a child, Calamity Jane. I absolutely adored Doris Day in that part. The whole thing was appealing to me as a kid because of the lively songs and dances, the fun storyline, the romance between Calamity and Bill, and the setting of the Black Hills of Dakota with the show business element. I have loved Doris Day ever since! Even though it's not the most
  15. The opening scenes of Frenzy and The Lodger involve the same dramatic event; the public discovery of a dead body. However, Hitchcock deals with the subject differently in these two opening scenes. In The Lodger, we first see a close up of a woman, open mouthed, screaming in terror. This is followed by a shot of the body, and a woman who witnessed the murder telling the police what she saw. In contrast, Frenzy begins with a very long aerial shot of London. The discovery of the body is delayed, as we see a crowd gathered by the river listening to a political speech about pollution. While The Lod
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