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HI Everyone.

I thought it might be fun to get started with an opening topic for a discussion where anyone who would like to contribute to this topic can, even before we officially begin the course modules on Monday. So, here is a question for anyone to ponder and respond to: what musical have you found yourself watching repeatedly, and what is it about that musical that you believe makes it enticing to you for repeated viewings? Let's start there as a place to explore what musicals provide for us as individuals and as a film community. I would even open this topic to explore what musicals provide for us as a culture. So there we are. This is where I would like to start. Have a great weekend.

 

Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament

Professor, TCM Presents Mad About Musicals
Endowed Chair, Telecommunications
Ball State University

 

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The Happiest Millionaire..I like Tommy Steele. His quirky dancing, optimism and brit aire. Mary Poppins.and The Sound of Music as well... Julie Andrews with her incredible voice and cheeky disposition. It brings back a time of innocence.

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I never get tired of watching Chicago.  It's just one great song and dance number after another with almost no let up at all.  Plus it's kinda noirish, so there's that too.

Also have never gotten enough of Rocky Horror or The Gay Divorcee (because: Fate is a foolish name for chance.)

 

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From yesteryear to modern films, I never seem to grow tired of viewing some titles repeatedly. I grew up watching great musicals such as Gypsy, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Calamity Jane, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Meet Me in St. Louis, Mame and countless others. I should be embarrassed for the number of times i have sat down and viewed The Sound of Music or The Music Man, but with every passing year my fondness for these titles seems to grow. 

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I'm a tap dancer so 42nd Street definitely! And all the Fosse stuff - Sweet Charity, All That Jazz, etc. because of the dancing too.

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I think the main four musicals that I always come back to are Cover Girl, On An Island With You, Singin' in the Rain, and High Society, though there are many, many others! I'm trying to think of a theme that connects the four and one that would explain why I keep watching them again and again, and I think it's because they're all visually appealing, are beautifully shot in Technicolor, have talented stars and inspirational songs that help lift my spirits, and have a steady romance that I always end up rooting for. I think you could say that about most musicals, though! ?

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Some of my favorite musicals include Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, My Fair Lady, Brigadoon, Camelot, Cabaret, The Wizard of Oz and Funny Girl. Out of those listed, Funny Girl has to be my favorite for many reasons, but mostly due to Barbra Streisand's extraordinary performance. She commands the film as her own and gives every moment on screen her all, resulting in arguably one of the greatest musicals of all time. She is the greatest star!

Color is another factor that comes into play with the films I listed. I agree with annsblyth that technicolor adds to the appeal of many musicals, it definintely is an element in all of my favorites. It helps create the fascinating world on screen that we can escape into if only for a could of hours. Black & White musicals can be just as appealing if the music is right and other visual elements are used. Shows like Cabin in the Sky, Showboat, or any Busby Berkeley film may lack color, but they contain the heart and soul of the musical, the music, and in some cases visually stunning numbers as well. 

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I am 55 and love the musicals.  The ones that always draw me back are Singin in the Rain, Seven Brides for seven Brothers and yes---42nd street!  

These movies are timeless to me.  

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I've been a lifelong film student and my first love was the musical.  My parents took me to see That's Entertainment! when I was 8 and from that point on, I couldn't get enough. 

I think the reason that musicals speak to me is the joy of putting music in all situations.  Life would seem less dreary sometimes if it had a beautiful orchestral soundtrack.  Most musicls are positive and have happy endings.  Everything is resolved and everyone is happy at the end.  Real life doesn't provide that so it's a nice escape.

I never tire of Fred Astaire.  I will revisit any of his films.  He is so smooth.  I love Judy Garland's vulnerability.  She can tear your heart out with her eyes and her voice. 

I'm not sure I can narrow down any one, or even ten musicals that I come back to.  Certainly, The Band Wagon (1953), The Pirate (1948), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Good News (1947), Two Girls and a Sailor (1944), and Guys and Dolls (1955)

I love them all.

 

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I have always had a yearly tradition of watching 1776 on the 4th of July.  I have always considered 1776 one of the best musicals for learning about American History.  The movie is absolutely perfect and so are the actors and the music.

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Camelot is an all-time favorite. Swing time, Top Hat, An American in Paris...musicals make you feel good, its the purist escapism in film.

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Musicals are one of my favorite movie genres. Holiday Inn, Fiddler on the Roof, The Sound of Music, My Fair Lady, the more recent Enchanted, and any number of animated Walt Disney musicals (perhaps we need a course just for those!). In some instances, the storyline draws me back. The dancing is fun, but it’s never the primary draw for me; that honor goes to the music and lyrics!

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My favorite is Singin’ in the Rain. I can’t help it. But I’ve always liked It’s Always Fair Weather, especially “Baby You Knock Me Out”.

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Easy answer, Yankee Doodle Dandy!! I guess it is considered a biographical musical, the theme of the story, James Gagney’s acting and above all else his dancing, just wow!! I have watched this so many times and am always entertained and just left feeling good!!

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My mom used to diss modern avant-garde movies. She didn’t like the non-linear plots and the twists and ambiguities, and I used to argue with her that’s there’s no odder turn in a movie than for a group of people to suddenly burst into organized song and dance! THERE’s surrealism for you! Just depends on what you’re used to.

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Oklahoma, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, The Wizard of Oz, My Fair Lady, anything with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, anything with Gene Kelly...could go on and on!  Looking forward to learning more.

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It was 'The Wizard of Oz' that started my deep interest and love for movie musicals and classic movies generally. I was watching it every day for a month before I was introduced to 'Meet Me in St. Louis' to broaden my film experience!

Judy Garland was the driving force in 'Oz' - she was so warm and real, she shone on screen and inspired me so much. <3

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I grew up on musicals, so picking a favorite is impossible. Bursting out into song was just something that happened in my family. My go-tos for the classics (generally) are: Singin’ in the Rain; Oklahoma; Meet Me in St. Louis; and Hello Dolly. For modern musicals: Across the Universe; Mama Mia; and Annie. 

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Oh boy, that’s a tough one. Give me a musical with Eleanor Powell. I just love to watch her dance. She is incredible!

The first musical that I fell in love with was My Fair Lady. I loved the costumes and the chemistry between the characters. And, of course, the music. I think I saw it twenty times. Then Gigi. 

I also love quirky musicals like Godspell. I guess I like them all. Lol

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Hello everyone. The musicals that I watch repeatedly are White Christmas, Meet Me in St. Louis, Holiday Inn and usually any Fred and Ginger musical.  There are so  many good musicals out there that it is hard to really choose.  But, I do like Christmas musicals most of all.

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1 hour ago, Suzanne1228 said:

I've been a lifelong film student and my first love was the musical.  My parents took me to see That's Entertainment! when I was 8 and from that point on, I couldn't get enough. 

I think the reason that musicals speak to me is the joy of putting music in all situations.  Life would seem less dreary sometimes if it had a beautiful orchestral soundtrack.  Most musicls are positive and have happy endings.  Everything is resolved and everyone is happy at the end.  Real life doesn't provide that so it's a nice escape.

I never tire of Fred Astaire.  I will revisit any of his films.  He is so smooth.  I love Judy Garland's vulnerability.  She can tear your heart out with her eyes and her voice. 

I'm not sure I can narrow down any one, or even ten musicals that I come back to.  Certainly, The Band Wagon (1953), The Pirate (1948), Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Good News (1947), Two Girls and a Sailor (1944), and Guys and Dolls (1955)

I love them all.

 

Like you Suzanne, my childhood viewing of That's Entertainment! when it came out was a game changer. And like you, I'm hard pressed to choose just one. Certainly one that withstands multiple viewings is An American in Paris (1951).

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It would be like picking my favorite child to pick my favorite musical. My friends and familiy have never been into musicals so I’ve made it my job to teach the young ones coming up. I have a special niece who loves them as much as I do because of the many times I babysat and put a musical on. We go to all the  touring broadway shows and I make sure we see the revivals of old shows that we saw on tv when available. I’m so excited to see them all but for dancing alone will pick seven brides for seven brothers. 

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