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my favorite musical

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Yes, it's nice to see those Pre-Code films, isn't it? Even though I do enjoy the "Post Code" muscials as well.


On the other hand, I recall reading in one of Peter Bogdanovich's books his opinion that LMT was not as well-crafted as the Lubitsch musicals such as THE LOVE PARADE and ONE HOUR WITH YOU (even though they obviously inspired LMT).


It thus didn't surprise me when the Chevalier/MacDonald THE MERRY WIDOW showed up as one of Bogdanovich's choices on TCM's "The Essentials" a few months back. I don't believe he cited this as the "best" or his "favorite" musical during his commentary on the film, but I'm sure he regards it more highly than the oft-cited "Freed Unit" musicals of MGM.

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When I first saw the cast for my favorite musical, my jaw dropped. I knew this film had to be something special. I was probably 17 when I first read about it. It wasn't until about two years later that I finally got to see it. After months of anticipation I was able to snatch it up on its release date when TCM helped put it out on DVD. It turned out to surpass even all my wildest expectations of its potential greatness.


The cast included Frank Sinatra, Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Celeste Holm, and Louis Armstrong and his band. The composer - Cole Porter. The film I speak of is HIGH SOCIETY.


Granted I'm only 21 and I still have loads of films to discover, it is difficult for me to imagine a finer musical. From the music to the story to the acting, it's hard to find a complaint. Perhaps it is because I saw this film first, but I consider it greater than its predecessor, THE PHILADELPHIA STORY (an all-time classic). HIGH SOCIETY deserves more praise, and I'm one that's more than willing to give it.

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Good choice with High Society, I happen to be listening to my favorite song from it as I am typing this---True Love. I love Philadelphia Story but I have to agree that High Society deserves more acclaim then it gets. I love the Did ya Evah number with Frank and Bing, it's so funny. Grace Kelly makes a great Tracy Lord I think. For a remake, I think it is tastefully done with lots of good songs so it ranks among my favorites also. I agree about the cast also, they picked the perfect cast for it. I'm 21 also and so it's nice to see someone my age appreciating musicals as I do--that's very rare where I live.

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I think HIGH SOCIETY is a cute film with a nice score and a genial cast, but I agree with the general critical concensus that it's drained all the bite out of the original PHILADELPHIA STORY script. Kelly is gorgeous, of course, but petulant and pouty where Hepburn was brittle and disdainful, and though she and Crosby generate some genuine onscreen chemistry during the lovely "True Love" flashback, otherwise he seems too old for her (not too surprising, given that he was 25 years older than she was). The girl who played "Dinah" in the remake was atrocious: coy, arch mannered and bland, and a blight on the memory of Virginia Weidler in the original film.


In fact, the only one of the lead performances I thought measured up to the original was Celeste Holm's in the "Liz Imbrie" role played by Ruth Hussey, and Louis Calhern didn't do a bad job as "Uncle Willie," though even he wasn't as good as Roland Young Unfortunately, both Holm and Calhern were given too little to do in the film.


I do enjoy the score, particularly "Now You Has Jazz," "True Love" and "Well, Did You Evah?" but, otherwise I feel HIGH SOCIETY is marred by the same sort of sated sluggish, smug superficiality which characterized most '50s remakes of classic '30s & '40s films which never should have been remade in the first place.

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As I read over the posts and saw all the different musicals that I like, I can say I do not have a "favorite musical". It all depends on what my mood is at the time, who do I want to hear, do I want to fall in Love with Judy Garland or Barbara Streisand or perhaps I want to be standing on the foot bridge in Music Man hearing the bells.


More recently I have been thinking of getting out the "Holiday Inn" dvd where Bing Crosby sings "White Christmas" for the first time and even though I know they do a voice over for Marjorie Reynolds singing; I still love her and the twinkle in her eyes when Bing sings the Easter Parade song and others makes you know she loves him - and the way the women dance so close it those high heel shows, it's just a fun movie for me this time of the year. At the end when she is singing White Christmas with tears in her eyes and Jim ( Bing Crosby) shows up, well - it's truly a favorite scene for me. I know everyone says "White Christmas" is the classic and it is OK - but I prefer Holiday Inn with Bing Crosby and his on screen rival Fred Astair doing their antics to win Marjorie Reynolds heart. Likewise, the Irving Berlin songs are great.


Of course, 10 minutes from now I could be more in the mood for a different musical - it's ironic, when I was younger I didn't like musicals, now that I am older I like them more than war or westerns.

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  • 1 month later...

Ok... I posted a list of my favorite musicals before, and I have decided to do a non-ordered listening of all musicals that I enjoy:


-Once On This Island

-West Side Story

- Honk!

-Anything Goes

- Wicked

-Joseph and the Amazing technicolor Dreamcoat

- Mame

-Guys and Dolls

-Les Miserables


There are soooo many others, but my brain is dead right now, I can't think very well. Oh, well. You get the point. I hope.

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I love almost every musical with Astaire, Kelly or Crosby. except i didnt care for Thousands Cheer (1943) or The Story of Vernon and Irene Castle (1939) here is a list of my favorites


Broadway Melody of 1940

Anchors Away

On the Town

Shall we Dance?(1937)

Holiday Inn

Ziegfeld Follies (1946)

Road to " " (all of them especially Morocco)

Singin' in the Rain

The Bandwagon (the movie that made me fall in love with musicals)

For Me and My Gal (prob my all time fav)

High Society

An American In Paris


Silk Stockings

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An American In Paris and Singin' In the Rain deserve endless credit.

I will always consider Hello, Dolly! the funniest musical.

The music of Guys and Dolls is so highly enjoyable and I loved Marlon Brando in it, although he had never done a musical before.

My Fair Lady, because of Rex Harrison as Prof. Henry Higgins, is one of my favorites.

I love the Music Man, and it very well may be my favorite musical but I can never choose just one.

I also love most of the Rodgers and Hammerstein films.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This one isn't my favorite but because of its underdog status plus its manyattributes--i REALLY like it:

" The Belle of New York"--

I think the performances by Astaire and Vera --Ellen are totally enchanting-especially in the "Oops!" number! I really like the score and the fantasy element. My favorite song is " Seeing's Believing."

Anybody elase like this musical?

Would love to hear your thoughts...

All the Best!


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Shelly, I've seen THE BELLE OF NEW YORK several times. It really is a charming little musical. I love the scene where Fred and Vera-Ellen dance on and off of the streetcar. Another great number is "I Wanna Be a Dancing Man" with Fred doing a soft-shoe routine. I'd love for this one to be on dvd.


Sandy K

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  • 2 weeks later...

I have SO many:


Singin' In The Rain

An American In Paris

The Bandwagon


The Wizard Of Oz

West Side Story

Sweet Charity

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

On The Town



There's a cute new musical out on the Disney Channel..... It's called "High School Musical" Trust me it can't compare to anything that the MGM did but for 2005 it's not half bad. The real letdown is that the main characters who fall in love.....DON'T KISS they just sort of dance off the screen at the end. Just watch it to see the main guy with his shirt off!

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I recently watched "Strike Up the Band" and " Babes on Broadway" on the old wonderful laserdisc format!-. What wonderful films! Rooney and Garland were absolutely magical. I applauded after each number. My God, R & G were supremely talented.! Who of the current crop even comes close? Absolutely no one! There's a REASON we love classic films.They're incredibly entertaining! Garland, of course, is brilliant and Mickey Rooney is simply amazing. Check these films out again if you want to feel pure cinematic pleasure.

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