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I'm a fan of the "Canteen" movies of the 1940s.  Stage Door Canteen, Hollywood Canteen.  These have some great musical acts and show celebrities interfacing with everyday people in a way that was not as common after WWII.  I hear there's a Cowboy Canteen too - have not seen that one yet.

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There are so many I have watched more times than I could count...Singin’ in the Rain, Meet me in St. Louis, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, Westside Story, Oklahoma, and of course The Wizard of OZ - all watched no less than once a year. I grew up watching the classic musicals with my parents. It became tradition to watch them together, many at special times of the year. There weren’t VHS, DVD or streaming available. We had to plan to watch, making it more fun. 

Once I became an adult, I watched them on TCM so that I could watch the uncut uninterrupted movie to escape and for pure entertainment. We began collecting the musicals in different mediums and still watch them when broadcast.

Musicals didn’t solve the problems of the world, but provided pure enjoyment for the time spent watching. 

Once a musical fan, always one.

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I honestly feel that picking a favorite musical is near impossible. It's like picking your favorite movie. A friend of mine and I feel that different films define moments in your life or who you are as a person when you see it. The first film I ever watched, in its entirety, as a child was Wizard of Oz. Even to this day, I can watch it and get lost in the world that the musical sets up for its audience. My father was big into musicals and growing up, he introduced me to all sorts like West Side Story, Singin' in the Rain, 1776, Tom Thumb, My Fair Lady, Meet Me in St. Louis, and so many more. 1776 was always one of my favorites growing up because I was a huge history kid. Singing' in the Rain lead me to fall in love with movies and cinema. In high school, I fell in love with Moulin Rouge, which was something completely different then the musicals I grew up with. It was flashy (in editing and effects) and fast paced, but the message stuck with me. So much so I have a tattoo with the lyrics for one of the songs on my back. Now, I love the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers and High Society. I feel like this evolution says a lot about me. I've just moved away from home and away from my family to be with boyfriend. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is about being whisked away and starting a new life with the one you love. High Society is about mistakes, not being perfect and accepting that, and falling in love with your best friend all over again. I feel connected to these films right now and thats probably why, because I identify with them. They reflect who I am as a person. 

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While I am fond of many types of musicals and have enjoyed watching all of them repeatedly, the one that I have watched the most (and have been most influenced by) is "Top Hat."  I have viewed it in youth, middle age, and (now, at 60) old age. It has meant different things to me at different times in my life, but its importance to me has never waned. When I first saw it in the early 1970's as a teenage film buff, it was a fun movie starring famous people that also provided a window to the historical past.  As an adult, I found myself focusing more and more on the dance sequences and the way Fred Astaire moved.  Later, the charm of the romantic struggle between Fred and Ginger came to the forefront.  With repeated viewings, the many characters have become like old friends and I anticipate scenes before they play out. Now, I have the surrealistic double nostalgia of viewing it as an historical document, while I reflect on my own history of watching it over the course of 45 years. I've never grown tired of it. 

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I like so many, but the ones I've watched so much are Singing in the Rain, West Side Story, and Fiddler on the Roof.

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My favorite musical combines dance and song - Kiss Me Kate, beginning with Ann Miller's tap dance and Bob Fosse as one of the three jesters.  Howard Keel's wonderful voice with Kathryn Grayson is pure delight and, of course, Keenan Wynn's Brush Up Your Shakespeare.  I used this in my Intro to Lit Freshman classes to grumpy students who were sure that they weren't going to like Shakespeare!

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I think for me the better question would be which musical do I NOT watch repeatedly ? My favorite film is THE WIZARD OF OZ. And I can honestly say I've seen it , over the course of my life so far , over 150 times. The sense of wonder, the innocence lost and refound, the friendships . And the songs, of course, keep me coming back to it . It transports me over the rainbow every time  , pun intended . Haha

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The musicals that I have watched more times than  I care to admit that immediately come to mind are, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, Cabaret and Funny Girl.

The top of my list GFB, speaker to me about what strong women who are also beautiful, can both use the system that uses them and find happiness. 

Cabaret gives social commentary about the rise of nazism and the perils and of that time in such a subtle to direct way that I always find scary. The music and the especially the editing just emphasizes this.

Funny girl is just a great love story and emphasizes the choices women have to make to have it all and without success. The music enhances the story and propels it like all good musicals should.

All three are well acted and I just love them.

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It is definitely hard for me to narrow it down to one musical that I come back to over and over again. That’s like asking me what’s my favorite movie. It completely depends on my mood and what I am doing at the time. Gene Kelly, Fred Astaire, Judy Garland are the performers I grew up watching so almost any of their movies are watched multiple times. The reason for rewatching the films comes down to many lift my spirits. Whether I am watching Summer Stock, 1776 or Victor/Victoria I always feel better after watching the musicals. I have had the pleasure of instilling this love of musicals into my daughters and grandchildren and actually got my husband into watching the musicals as well

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I like Yankee Doodle Dandy.  After watching Cagney as a tough guy all the time, I love to see him sing and dance,  It's such a delightful change!

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The Wizard of Oz is my all-time favorite. The characters and the actors who play them are just the best. I have watched this movie so many times I can not count. I watched it as a young girl sitting at home with my mom and I sang every song right along with the movie. I also love all of Judy Garland movies, she was the best actress of all times.

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For me, musicals are definitely an escape. The musicals of the 40's and 50's would have to be my favourites.  I love looking back on all the little details of how society was back then, the women with their gloves and hats, the fashion, etc.  There is so much to look at besides just the music and dancing.  It really doesn't matter which one it is, if a musical is on, I will watch it!  For singing:  anything with Bing Crosby, early Sinatra, Debbie Reynolds, or Doris Day.  Some of my favourites are Swing Time, On the Town, Anchors Aweigh, Singing in the Rain, Tender Trap, On moonlight Bay, the Road movies, Seven Brides, Hello Dolly, Hair.  I could go on and on!  

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Like Suzanne Mr.DougLong That's Entertainment introduced me to a whole host of movie musicals as a kid. My parents owned a video store back in The 80's and 90's (my first job) and our store was known regionally to carry classic films before TCM was a cable network. I also had the privilege of meeting Debbie Reynolds (she introduced herself as "Princess Leia's mom to my brother and me) the summer I turned 8 and my infatuation was solidified. Singing in the Rain, though not the first movie musical i saw --that would be the Wizard of Oz-- was the gateway drug. I watched anything and everything with Debbie in it, Donald Oconnor became my comedic hero and and Gene Kelly the leading man to set the high bar. From then on I watched every video of a musical we had from Gold Diggers of 1933 to Grease and went on to perform in many stage musicals myself. And I too started this month of extended learning with singing along and repeating in time the lines with Victor Victoria last night! This is going to be a great month! 

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12 hours ago, LisaWithAnS said:

Grease and The Little Mermaid are my all-time favorite musicals (justice for animated musicals!), the ones that are a comfort just to have playing in the background. But my real obsession is The Pirate. It has everything--madcap action, colorful costumes, Judy Garland's spunky wit, amazing snoods, the jaw-dropping Nicholas Brothers, an erotic dream ballet, Gene Kelly's thighs...it's a gorgeous, non-stop ride!

Pirate Kiss.gif

Gene Kelly's shorty shorts with the fire baton is what makes the movie!

I also recommend Gene's Toulouse Lautrec segement in the ballet in An American in Paris if you haven't seen it already.

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For me An American In Paris is the best put together musical I have seen.  Music, dancing, scenery all add to this being a great complete musical movie.  The ending scene with the color, scenery and dancing is mind blowing. 

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I have come to love so many musicals. One I can watch over and over again is Singin' In The Rain. It is one of my favorite films and my absolute favorite movie musical. Singin' In The Rain always brings "a smile on my face:)"

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21 hours ago, cathy51 said:

Such a hard choice - I love so many musicals - but the first one that popped in my head was West Side Story. Everything about it moves me.  I always watch when it's on, no matter what point it's at.  And the "Rich Man's Frug" sequence in Sweet Charity is so stylish it makes my eyes pop! 

Yes! Rich Man's Frug! As charming as Shirley MacLaine is in that movie, I wouldn't want to watch the whole movie start to finish too many times but I could definitely watch that dance number over and over again.

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Of course, The Wizard of Oz, which I've seen uncounted times. West Side Story. My piano teacher when I was a teen had me practice the score and I know how complicated Bernstein's music is. A non-traditional choice: Dirty Dancing, because of Patrick Swayze's grace and talent.

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The Wizard of Oz, which I didn’t see until I was an adult. My parents never showed me Wizard of Oz or Sound of Music. (They were’t really into musicals and had probably already seen them repeatedly by the time I came around.)I love Judy Garland. I watched with my 4-year old and he was hooked! Yankee Doodle Dandy is another one I recall watching on TCM that I really enjoyed. I took The Hitchcock course last year, which was much more in my wheelhouse compared to musicals.  There are many classic musicals I have not seen, but I am looking forward to viewing and learning about many more musical films through this course! 

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Two great musical numbers that stand out to me: Robert Morse in How to Succeed in Business, singing "I Believe in You". And Stubby Kaye in Guys and Dolls", with the mesmerizing "Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat" (and the devil will take you under by the fancy tie 'round your wicked throat.)

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Singing In the Rain, On the Town, Mame, Funny Girl, Meet Me In St. Louis, Holiday Inn....so many I can't possibly choose. 

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Like many of you, there are too many to choose from, and no one common theme. I love Singin' in the Rain, White Christmas, Bells are Ringing, On the Town, Holiday Inn, Meet Me in St. Louis - the hits just keep on coming. And I have no clue if this is popular or will be mocked - but I have thoroughly enjoyed The Greatest Showman as something fresh and modern. I am so excited to see how this course goes!

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The list, in no particular order:

Footlight Parade (James Cagney, Ruby Keeler, and Joan Blondell are splendid.)

Gold Diggers of 1933 (Ginger Rogers, Ruby Keeler, Joan Blondell, and Aline MacMahon are wonderful.)

Hit the Deck (the fun house romp scene is timeless) (sweet and hilarious)

Gigi (just so gorgeously filmed)

Two Girls and a Sailor (June Allyson and Van Johnson!! And don't forget Gloria DeHaven's voice!!)

Fiddler on the Roof (To Life!!)

Two Weeks with Love (the music is great; the costumes and scenery really put this one over the top for me)

And b/c I love Donald O'Connor's fancy footwork, Anything Goes and Call Me Madam

Of course, it's like choosing a favorite child - close to impossible, but these are the musicals I return to again and again, on rainy days, snow days, etc. 

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As with music in general, my taste in musical movies is decidedly pre-1964!  Exceptions might be Disney musicals.  But musicals of the 20s, 30s and 40s are a time capsule on a era that was transitional between the two world wars and which mirrored the optimism that followed the end of World War II.  

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Yankee Doodle Dandy".  Not for the biographical aspect, because as w/most movie bios, YDD isn't really historically or biographically accurate. No, I enjoy this musical most because of Cagney.  His previous musicals of the 30's surely shocked many of his gangster-portrayal fans w/his dancing talents. While many of those were simplistic, formulaic & somewhat "cheesy", YDD is a true tour de force for Cagney in a much grander scaled, big-hollywood musical with substance and class.  Plus it gave him an opportunity to emulate the dancing style of his much-admired Cohan. 

But aside from this musical providing him (and us) w/the fullest range of his dancing & performing skills, it was Cagney's improvised bits at their best that appealed to me most. Perhaps the best was the introductory scene between him and the young aspiring dancer character portrayed by Joan Leslie.  I'm sure director Michael Curtiz never instructed Cagney ad infinitum on all the bits of business Cagney so hilariously & brilliantly did while removing his "old man" make up.  Especially stomping on his wig and exclaiming "Got it!"

Seen this pic so many times I can't count.  But I roar at that scene each time.

  

 

 

Edited by Zea
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