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Hello everyone:

As far back as I can remember I have always enjoyed a musical. I would have to say that "An American in Paris" and "Meet Me in St. Louis" are two of the ones I keep watching over and over. I'm filled with joy when when I'm watching them. It is definitely the optimism and overall good will portrayed in theses films that keep me coming back. Those fantastic musical numbers also play a part. They leave me in a great mood. I think that how a fillm makes us feel as we watch has a lot to with with how many times we see it.

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Musicals I watch over and over....Any Rogers & Hammerstein (soundtracks are in my car), Elvis movies (always a pick-me-up).  Singing in the Rain is tops on my list too (actually is locked into my DVR--as is Mary Poppins).  Really like the feel-good, toe-tappin' musicals that you know will have a happy ending.  I am not a movie-goer; I need to be entertained....not scared, not  gory, I just need something that turns this crazy world into a happy place.

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I would assume that Depression-era musicals continue light, happy themes in a time of severe economic pain, including a working-class woman rising to prosperity and overcoming her humble background, or similar themes. Movies had been and are an escape for audiences, and it was probably very important that movies serve this function during a tough time like the Depression. This is a reason why the clip showed a movie that would be heavy on a broad light perspective of real life. Audience members would not have wanted to see a movie that depicted real life for them at a time when things were so hard for so many. 

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I think that I respond most to a song or dialogue in the movie. Singing in the Rain, the concept of the movie industry, Good Morning. Band Wagon making fun of the theatre, all the music, especially Triplets. Kiss me Kate, Brush up on Shakespeare. Sat. Night Fever, Brooklyn is an actor in the movie, all places I know. And so on.

 

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There are several musicals that I have watched repeatedly:

42 Street; Gentlemen Prefer Blondes; Singing in the Rain; High Society; A Star is Born; Yankee Doodle Dandy;

My Fair Lady; Gigi; Grease; Gypsy; Love Me or Leave Me; Easter Parade; Kiss Me Kate and I could on.  I love musicals, its the excitement and the artistry.  It the music and the dancing and the romance.  There is nothing more entertaining.

 

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I can't even begin to guess how many times I've watched and listened to The Cell Block Tango from the film Chicago. The six parts, the six dancers, the six stories, the creative use of the red ribbons, the increasing intensity of the song, all combine to make a mini-movie, at least for me. The Russian (I think it's Russian she's speaking, perhaps Polish) section entirely in a foreign language except for the two English words, "not guilty" is SO creative. When I saw the film for the first time, at the movies, I had never seen the stage musical and wasn't all that familiar with the story. When I saw The Cell Block Tango on the big screen I was blown away by the dancing and choreography. 

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Singin' In the Rain. West Side Story. The ones that were TV staples, I still watch every time (even with the commercials--I can remember exactly where all the Oz breaks go!): The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music. 

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I am a bit of a nerd. I love to watch films and look at them on the surface, for symbolism in them, social trends of the time, style and art. I have always had a soft spot for musicals of the 1930’s. I was first introduced to the era through Shirley Temple films shown on Saturday Matinee on TV. In college I broadened my interest with Night Owl Theater which was on television when I returned home from work.

My favorite 1930 musicals were the ones done by Busby Berkley with special notes to42nd overall, Foot-light Parade for Shanghai Lil and Gold Diggers 1933 for it political statement in the Forgotten Man number.

Mid Century favorites of mine include: Singing in the Rain, My Fair Lady, Cabaret, and Funny Girl

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On 6/3/2018 at 4:38 PM, LuluInToledo said:

I honestly thought the recent Jesus Christ Superstar has been the best of the bunch so far, for exactly that reason. Yes there was a bit of stunt casting going on (Oh, Alice...), but a lot of the lead/featured roles were played by people with a fair amount of stage experience (Brandon Victor Dixon, Sara Bareilles, Norm Lewis). I think that, along with the clever staging, set, and camera work really made it stand out, and made me kind of hopeful for the whole televised live musical thing going forward.

I can definitely agree with that, and I hope they continue to improve and grow bringing in new admirers of the stage and screen. I admit, I haven't seen Jesus Christ Superstar yet. I think because it's one of my favorite musicals and I'm afraid it will be ruined for me. I guess I will have to suck it up and give it a go. I do love the freedom and spectacle that televised productions give in terms of costumes, set, transitions, etc. With being able to edit and re-do rough scenes, we are able to witness a smoother production, but it loses the realness of the live performance. I'm still torn on them, but I am certainly excited that movie musicals seem to be making a comeback! 

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I love all the musicals with a lot of dance. The choreography always captures my attention. Singing in the Rain, On the Town, Chorus Line.  Any Fred, Ginger, Gene, Donald,or Cyd dancing makes me happy.  Also love Wizard of Oz, Sound of Music, The Music Man, meet me in St. Louis. Too many.   So excited to learn more about them. 

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The Wizard of Oz, easily. I believe it was my first live-action film, and even if it wasn't, it was the first to make an impact on me. Musicals and fantasies are my two favorite genres, so I gravitate towards things that blend the two. The Wizard of Oz is the perfect example of that. It's a film that's simple enough that you can easily digest it, popping it in at any given moment without it wearing you out. At the same time, it's a film that has so much going for it that you can spend endless time analyzing and dissecting it. There are countless films I adore and rewatch often, but if I'm not careful, I become complacent with them, and my mind will start to wander during viewings. Somehow, Oz never grows stale or ordinary. Every time I watch it, I'm 3 years old again. 

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I have a few movie musicals I cannot stop watching, but my top two are these:

Let's begin with a movie musical that totally captivated me, Funny Girl. Barbra's performance and her overall unique quality wows me every time. The first time I ever watched the musical I was so entranced and moved to tears by the end. Movies that have comedy and are completely heart wrenching are my favorites. I did a Funny Girl set for my recital in college, but did not do it justice because well Barbra is Barbra. I started with "People" (my number one favorite song ever), "The Music That Makes Me Dance" (unfortunately did not make it in to the film, but I would definitely recommend listening to it if you haven't), and ending with of course "My Man." 

Judy Garland is the reason why I am here and I owe my taste in music to her. I bought her version of A Star is Born and watched it every day for a week. The music just completely blew me away. Especially with Judy's raw, powerful emotions that she puts in to every song lyric. When she sings "It's a New World" intro a cappella to James Mason then the strings come in has always taken my breath away. I become absolutely mesmerized at how she can be so tender and passionate. She truly is the world's greatest entertainer. Judy's and Barbra's A Star is Born soundtracks are my two favorites of all time and are totally worth listening to.

Who wouldn't want to watch movie musicals all day and be transported in to a world of song and dance?

I believe music and dance is an universal language. It is an outlet to feel and/or express our emotions when we cannot find something else to help us. 

 In the words of Judy, "forget your troubles c'mon get happy, chase all your cares away."  

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Let me start out by saying that while I’m not new to TCM, I am new to the message boards and the courses. I am really excited to interact with my fellow classic movie lovers, and even though it’s only day one of Mad About Musicals, I’m already enjoying myself!

For me, each stage of my life thus far has been associated with a different musical or group of musicals that I have watched repeatedly. As a child, I watched The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music and Annie repeatedly because they guaranteed a happy ending. I credit my late grandfather, a classic movie buff and in my opinion the first TCM super fan, for introducing me to the musicals that dominated my adolescence, all of which starred Gene Kelly—Singin’ in the Rain, On the Town, The Pirate, For Me and My Gal, An American in Paris—because I was (and continue to be) mesmerized by his trifecta of charm, grace and fluidity. As I got older, I was enthralled by West Side Story and Carousel because something about those doomed love stories spoke to me. Finally, as an undergrad I took a film course that involved a close reading of Cabaret, which is the antithesis of a typical musical, and I realized for the first time that a musical can be both entertaining and socially conscious without being formulaic.

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I remember staying up all night to watch the road trips with Bob Hope , Bing Crosby and Dorothy L'Amour.. If the movie code hadn't been in place maybe we would have seen Anna taking those milk baths?

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On 6/3/2018 at 12:33 AM, Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament said:

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?

My favorite musical is Oh! What a Lovely War from 1969. I love that its a satire, musical, and historical retelling and re-imagining  of World War One. It is a British film and the British sense of humor with its wit, sarcasm, and irony is delicious. It contrasts fun upbeat songs with the horrors of the war or of the manipulation of the elites/royals/upper military personnel that are at once entertaining but it makes you think. All of the songs are real songs from WW1 and they're all British (the American Tin Pan Alley song "Over There" is used) so it lends a sense of authenticity and cultural relevance. The film is set on Brighton Pier and the its just really clever how the film contrasts amusement and fun with the beginnings of the war (and the beginnings of the movie) with the dark and serious perversity of war towards the middle and end of the movie. Its just a brillant movie all around and you learn a lot about WW1. I don't recall learning much about it in school and this movie made me interested in it.

Plus, I'm a bit of an Anglophile so the fact that this is a very British film is appealing to me.

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I was about eight years old when my parents took me to the theater with the rocking chair seats to see That's Entertainment. And while I loved Mary Poppins and The Wizard of Oz and any number of other Disney musicals -- the singing and dancing and glamour and style and charm of those MGM movie musical clips made my eyes grow big and wide with love at first sight. And thus a life-long love affair was begun.

I used That's Entertainment as a syllabus for musicals to see: the Rogers/Astaire classics; the Busby Berkeley oeuvre (I'm to this day fascinated by how he not only choreographed those numbers, but got those incredible shots); the Andy Hardy series; anything with Gene Kelly, who is partially responsible for my precocious jump into womanhood (that tuchus...) 

I'll stop and watch anything with singing and dancing while channel surfing, much to the chagrin of my family. But the movies I know practically by heart, the ones I return to over and over are Singin' In the Rain, High Society (because Cole Porter rocks my world), How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (Robert Morse is so charming and not typically matinee handsome), On the Town (Ann Miller and Jules Munshin make me smile as does Alice Pearce), The Band Wagon (I love the Triplets number -- I can't help myself), and Bye Bye Birdie (Paul Lynde. That is all.) I think that movies like this are so beloved because they're accessible. And emotional. They can take us to a time and place both in the context of the movie, as well as in the context of our own lives in terms of when/where we were when we first saw it. Whenever I see Judy Garland in that tuxedo jacket, hat over her eyes, in Summer Stock, you know darn well I'm going to belt out "Get Happy" right along with her. And when I watch The Pirate, I'm always going to ponder the similarities of "Be a Clown" and Singin' in the Rain's "Make 'Em Laugh." I know I'm not alone with my musical-watching idiosyncrasies -- I suspect many of us here have them. ?

I believe we watch a film first and foremost to be entertained. Music -- whether it be in the form or song or a component of dance -- only enhances that entertainment. It adds gravitas or humor, happiness or surprise. And it's relatable. I once attended a Sound of Music sing-a-long, where the audience was all ages, shapes, sizes and so on -- and the only thing we all had in common was our love for the film and knowing the heck out of those songs. Music truly is universal. 

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On 6/3/2018 at 5:06 PM, KoalaBalloon said:

 One of my favorite trends in the last two decades is the recording of live musical performances to be shown at movie theaters.  I took my daughter to see Newsies last summer.  She loved it.  I've been able to study performances of FalsettosCompany, Sweeney Todd, and Intro the Woods.

Agreed! I still have Falsettos on my DVR. I hope this trend continues, as it's a wonderful way to put live stage performances in front of audiences who don't have opportunity to go to NYC to see them there. 

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Guys and Dolls, The Music Man, The Sound of Music, A Hard Day's Night, Chicago, and Mama Mia because the songs are great and performances stellar. I'm also a sucker for love stories and happy endings.

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Going on the criteria of "Movie Musicals I have watched more times than might be considered sane," I would have to go with The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I used to be one of those kooks who went every Saturday night back when I was in college, knew all the audience participation lines, and all that jazz. I can't necessarily say it had a lot to do with the movie actually being all that good (Tim Curry's performance as Frank and the soundtrack not withstanding.) It had so much more to do with the community of weirdos that came together over it, as well as the active role the audience gets to take in the viewing of the film.

In terms of movie musicals that are near and dear to my heart, I've always had a great fondness for Funny Face. It might be the glamorous setting, the absolutely gorgeous costumes, or just Fred being Fred, but I'll drop whatever I'm doing if I come across it. 

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38 minutes ago, janey said:

anything with Gene Kelly, who is partially responsible for my precocious jump into womanhood (that tuchus...) 

*tentatively raises hand*

Same.

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Hi Everyone,

 

I just wanted to say Funny Girl! I'm not really big on musicals but I have to say I hope this course will change my mind as I want to work on one one day.

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It seems that most of us can't pick just one. I found I couldn't pick just one either. There's No Business Like Show Business is one of my all-time faves. Other go-to movies when I'm looking for a musical pick-me-up are Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, An American In Paris, Singing In the Rain, Meet Me In St. Louis, Hello Dolly, Willy Wonka, The Blues Brothers, and Moulin Rouge, and no holiday is complete without White Christmas.

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Think my brother and I started with Strike up the Band on B&W TV.  Think Singing in the Rain is certainly one of my all time favorites - but there are so many.  Including JC Superstar which few if any have mentioned yet.  So Toto and I are looking forward to a great June with the professor and TCM.  Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge with all of us!

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I love Bye, Bye Birdie. I could watch it forever but the ultimate for me is White Christmas. The dancing and singing are effortless! 

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This is a hard question to narrow down.  I LOVE Fosse and his work, did a papers on him for 2 college classes.  I have repeatedly watched everything he ever choreographed.  My Mom like musicals so I grew up watching them.  Gene Kelly, is a favorite.  Someone mentioned Tommy Steele earlier.  I love him as well.  I love Camelot, Brigadoon, On The Town, Anchors Aweigh, Take Me Out To The Ballgame, Finian's Rainbow.  Might be easier to list musicals I don't like.

I remember I wanted to see The That's Entertainment movies at first because Frank Sinatra and Gene Kelly were in them.  But I found myself just sitting there fascinated by all the clips from Movies that I had never heard of before.

 

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