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MGM musicals - WHY?


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I saw some of those awful cornball musicals on TCM the other day, I mean how dated can you get, the old silent films are much more entertaining than those over-acted silly nonsensical so-called musicals, give me Astaire and Rogers anyday!

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> Like what are you talking about? Singing in the Rain?

> South Pacific? My Fair Lady? Are they MGM?

>

> Give me a break (even though I know you are just

> trying to be provocative)!

 

I think he's referring to the musicals that ran on Ann Miller day. I taped a few of them. I only watched NEW FACES OF 1937 and while some of it is REALLY dated and creaky there was a charm and fun to it that I enjoyed.

 

Eh, maybe i'm just easily amused.

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I think you need to be kind of specific here. There were so many musicals made, that naturally there's plenty of lemons in the mix, but there are also plenty of great ones. Are you going to argue that silent movies don't hare their share of both?

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I'm not a big fan of the splashy MGM musicals either, but ironically enough,most of Ann Miller's day was filled with B musical/comedies from RKO. Not all, but most. ;) And I kinda dug on those, they were fun, haven't seen all of them yet, but what I watched was a hoot! :)

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I also enjoyed the films Ann Miller did at RKO and Columbia, if only for HER numbers in them. MGM Musicals were a mixed blessing in my book. I also agree that the reputation of the splashy MGM stuff is overblown. Of course there are several exceptions ("The Merry Widow (1934)","The Wizard of Oz", "Meet Me In St Louis", "Seven Brides for Seven Brothers" and "Gigi"). While I'm in the minority, I never cared for "The Barkleys of Broadway", "An American In Paris" or "The Bandwagon" as films. I only like certain moments that they all contain. I always found MGM adaptations of Broadway musicals with few exceptions ( "Kiss Me Kate" , "The Unsinkable Molly Brown") not too good either. I think "Panama Hattie" "Babes in Arms", "On The Town", "Du Barry Was A Lady" are horrible adaptations, destroying what were great scores from the likes of Cole Porter, Rodgers/Hart or Leonard Bernstein on Broadway. I enjoy the screenplay to Singin' in the Rain, but always found it overrated as a musical. I think all the musical numbers were done better by other artists in the 1930's and the new ones like "Moses Supposes", I detest. As for "Make Em Laugh", plagarism comes to mind, (a ripoff of "Be a Clown" from "The Pirate"). My favorite musicals are either the Astaire/Rogers musicals of the thirties and the early Paramount musicals with Jeanette Mac Donald and Maurice Chevalier. I also enjoy some of the Alice Faye musicals like "Alexanders Ragtime Band" and "On the Avenue". Then I jump in my tastes to some of the adaptations of the great Broadway Musicals that came in the fifties and sixties. I love " Oklahoma". "The Music Man" and "The Sound of Music". MGM musicals were musicals of moments for me. That's why "That's Entertainment" works so well. Try watching the entire film that many of those numbers come from and I don't find them all that entertaining. Put the great moments together in an anthology like "That's Entertainment Parts 1, 2 and 3" and it's worth watching. Examples of what I consider to be dull films with some moments to put in those anthologies: "Two Girls and Sailor", "Speak Easily", "Royal Wedding", "Rosalie", "Broadway Rhythm", "Lovely to Look At", "It's Always Fair Weather", "A Date with Judy", "Small Town Girl" (they should have released only the Ann Miller number and canned the rest of the film), Cynthia (?), those horrificly dull musical biographies like "Words and Music" or "Till the Clouds Roll By" and every Esther Williams film ever made. Again, they are musicals of moments with some great musical numbers. As for some of the others, "Showboat" was much better when done by Universal with much of the Original Broadway Cast in 1936 and "The Pirate" is alot of fun, but it has to be one of the worst Cole Porter scores ever written. Regardless, if we're talking about great film musicals of the studio era, give me those beautifully integrated musicals with superb direction and writting such as "Shall We Dance", "Top Hat, or "Swing Time" at RKO or "Love Me Tonight" & "One Hour with You" at Paramount anyday.

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The OP is absolutely right!

 

Why would we need junk like The Wizard of Oz, An American in Paris, Singin' in the Rain, The Bandwagon, Meet Me in St. Louis, On the Town or Seven Brides for Seven Brothers?

 

Heaven knows humanity is much better served by the likes of Disney's High School Musical and any number of sequels that will surely follow it!

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Didn't mean to offend you on Esther Williams. As i stated - just my preference. Aside from her moments in the water, I never liked Esther Williams. I never found her to have much personality on screen or much talent outside the MGM swimming pool. As for the comment from the other poster -the original poster never stated that they prefer "High School Musical" to MGM musicals. They were just stating a preference for the kind of classic musicals they did like, expecially the Astaire/Rogers musicals which all but one weren't produced by MGM. I agree with the original poster, maybe not the way they expressed it. I know I'm in the minority and most people on this message board revere the MGM musical stuff. God Bless MGM for having made so many millions of people so happy.

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Don't apologize. I also think Esther Williams was terrible! - You wrote a very interesting post with very thought out opinions. All these limited-in-thought posters can say in response to your post is that they don't agree on Esther Williams when you wrote so much more of interest, or they totally belittle your opinion by accusing someone of liking "High School Musical" if you don't like MGM corn. I don't agree with all of your post, but I do appreciate your offering an intelligent opinion all your own. I'll PM you on my thoughts, as not to also get the wrath of these posters. Not everybody has to like everything or should be accused of liking High School Musical if they state an opinion on what they do like.

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I can't say I'm a fan of Esther Williams films generally. Hey, if you dig them, more power to ya, and they have a nice place on TCM, no worries. Those types of films just aren't my style I guess, but I'll tell ya what: I totally LOVE the trailers and previews of her films, cuz she was a ****, man! :) And in those swimsuits?? Ooo la la!

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Well I can't imagine Esther Williams having the same kind of appeal today, because the world today is very different than it was in the 40's and 50's.

 

And that's where having an opposable thumb comes in handy - just click that little button on your remote and change the channel whenever there's a movie on you don't feel like watching. :)

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Well I can't imagine Esther Williams having the same kind of appeal today, because the world today is very different than it was in the 40's and 50's.

 

No kidding!

 

And that's where having an opposable thumb comes in handy - just click that little button on your remote and change the channel whenever there's a movie on you don't feel like watching.

 

Wow! - We can actually change the channel - We all didn't know that!

 

It would be great if you would add something intelligent to this thread than just stating the obvious. It's really annoying when the only reply someone has is 'Just change the channel" or "You can choose not to reply on this thread".

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Hi P.F. No apology necessary where Esther Williams is concerned. It's all good. We all won't be fans of the same films or stars. And that's cool. I would warn you to be careful with any Private Messages you get from certain posters. Some folks are just a little too intense for their own good. Love reading your comments. I might disagree, but please keep 'em coming. Your thoughts are quite expressive. Thanx!

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