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On 6/3/2018 at 2:30 PM, riffraf said:

You will not want to miss Fred Astaire & Cyd Charisse's homage to Noir in The Band Wagon (1953)!

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Or "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" from Words and Music, danced by Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen.

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Musicals bring such joy to my life. They have an impact on our culture and education, particularly in the arts.   They lift up, inspire, and motivate us to a happier place.  My first musical memory is the Wizard of Oz.  We watched it on TV every year.  Now we can watch anytime we want and as much as we want!   Thank you TCM for making musicals and more available to us!

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On 6/3/2018 at 8:58 PM, Kortney said:

My favorite musical is “Chicago.” I love the sultry vocals and costumes. I can’t help but sing and dance along. You can’t beat a little Fosse!

Agreed.  And Sweet Charity and All That Jazz are favorites of mine too.  The dances are so expressive and, in Sweet Charity, so joyous.

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On 6/3/2018 at 11:03 PM, Dr. Vanessa Theme Ament said:

I agree about the dropping of Bernstein numbers. Apparently, the thinking was his music was not as accessible. Hello? He was amazing. I love "Some Other Time."

And "I Can Cook Too" is so much fun.

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On 6/3/2018 at 11:49 PM, Margo60 said:

These are some of the musicals that are my favorites:  "All that Jazz", "Guys and Dolls", "The Red Shoes", "Cabaret", "West Side Story", "Wizard of Oz", and "Sound of Music".  Really looking forward to visiting the earlier Broadway musicals of the 30's and 40's. Loved the great dancers like Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, and Fred Astaire.

Always loved the lighting, staging effects, and costuming of the different eras.  The dance routines were so flawless, and mesmerizing.  They had great songwriters and composers.

Thank you for mentioning The Red Shoes.  I'm also a fan of the Powell/Pressburger Tales of Hoffmann.

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On 6/4/2018 at 8:02 PM, Margo Erme said:

Many people look at musicals as entertainment or escapism and not "serious" but I think they overlook the themes and lessons that are contained in the musicals, either explicitly or implicitly. The lessons may be subtle but they can be found.

Musicals I never tire of are Singing in the Rain, Caberet, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (because I remember how one of my brothers and I would vigorously dance to it), The Producers, and Bye Bye Birdie.  If I can catch it on stage, I will not miss seeing Pippin.

I think that musicals are heightened realism (which is not the same as realistic).  When words alone fail, song helps express the character's feelings.  And when words fail altogether, dance takes over and communicates to us a character's inner thoughts.

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Four musicals that stop my remote if I'm channel surfing are, The Wizard of Oz - just one of my favorite movies of all time. The Music Man - I love the story and lots of songs that I've been singing (in private, lol) my whole life. Mary Poppins - fun from start to finish. The Blues Brothers - one word to describe it.....cool! And, the songs are right down my alley. My mom took us to see The Music Man and Mary Poppins in the theater when we were kids and I saw The Blues Brothers on the big screen as well. I missed The Wizard of Oz by a couple of years. Or decades.

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1 hour ago, Jim K said:

Or "Slaughter on 10th Avenue" from Words and Music, danced by Gene Kelly and Vera-Ellen.

I second the vote for this number. It’s the highlight of the film, IMO. 

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There are quite a few musicals from all eras that I find myself enjoying watching again and again, But I would have to say Shall We Dance (1937) staring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. I love the overall chemistry of the two, from their witty banter to their song and dance numbers. I never miss singing along and tapping their each of the many splendid numbers. The tap number performed on skates for the number "Let's call the Whole Thing Off." was phenomenal and all the work and detail i  the steps were amazing. one wrong move can end that routine in injury, but the intricate steps, amaze me and how I haven't seen it replicated again (Not counting Gene Kelly skating routine). I have always been a fan of Fred Astaire since I can remember and seeing the passion he has in all his work, films and dance performances shows the talent and craftsmanship he puts in. I watched the film for the first time when I purchase a four film Astaire and Rogers film pact and watched them when I was stuck in bed with a cold. I couldn't get enough of the film and found myself watching it over and over til I could sing and act out along with the films. Dancing, I am also passionate about, so it definitely holds a key to my heart.

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When I was a little girl my mother took a music appreciation night class at a city college.  Many times I accompanied her and I remember sitting in a partitioned booth with head phones that were too big for my little head but I loved listening to "Peter and the Wolf" and "Tubby the Tuba"; additionally my father was a "Barber shopper" who took me to see many stage musicals at the Schubert in Los Angeles.  So I grew up loving music, harmonies, and rhythm.  I enjoy pretty much all movie genres but musicals are my go to.  I will be 62 in July but when I was in high school I was probably considered an "odd ball" because my musical tastes different from most kids.  I often thought I was born in the wrong era because I enjoy music and movies from ragtime to the swing era.  Therefore any Fred and Ginger; Judy and Mickey, and Gene Kelly movie is watched repeatedly---oh and I forgot to include Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye (I'm amazed by the tongue twisting, "git-gat songs" written for him by  wife Sylvia Fine).  However if I was forced to pick a single film of each it would probably be Swing Time; Strike Up The Band, Singing In The Rain; and White Christmas (though Holiday Inn is a runner up because of Fred's pure tapping in the "Let's Say It with Firecrackers" number).

And hey Sarah Last, 1776 ranks way up there on my list too!  I first saw it when I had to take a college history class in the summer of 1977; just as we were learning about America's Revolution and the Continental Congress' struggles to declare independence I happened to see it on TV, it helped to bring an otherwise dry history lesson to life for me.

Edited by Movie Buff 56
omitted wording: " music appreciation"
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West Side Story! I teach this every year to 5th and 6th graders and after many years many of them still thank me for introducing them to this movie. I still cry every time those chords start up for "There's a Place for Us" at the end. And when Maria screams out "Don't touch him!" I weep without fail.

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Anything with Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly! My dad worked a day job + night job in the 70's, so when he brought the Pizza home after 11 pm, I woke up and went downstairs to join him! We watched the black and white classics together, such a way to share I was his Princess. Thank you, Dad!

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There are so many musicals that I absolutely love, cherish and watch over and over again. The real stand out in my life would have to be The Sound of Music. This is the one musical that I can recall watching over and over again back to my earliest childhood memories. In fact I'd say it was one of the top maybe ten movies in general that I watched the most out of my parents' vast vhs collection growing up. I think there was a lot that appealed to me, as a child I connected with Julie Andrews' relationship with the children and the simple fun songs like "The Lonely Goat Herd" and "My favorite Things". As I got older I adored Liesl's song with Rolf and their story held a fascination for me. Now at 28, I love the blossoming relationship between Maria and Captain Georg von Trapp and songs like "Climb Ev'ry Mountain" have become so powerful for me and "I Have Confidence" my own personal mantra! It's just a movie that grows with you and you can watch it throughout your whole life and constantly find new ways you connect with it.

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Just a couple of random thoughts triggered by my musings on favorite musicals...Would Ruby Keeler have been such a star in all those Warner Bros. Busby Berkely musicals if she wasn't married to Al Jolson?  (Have watched "42nd Street earlier and am currently watching "Gold Diggers of 1933).  

As some posters have mentioned "That's Entertainment": One of the saddest things I ever heard was Frank Sinatra's voice over commentary during the "Begin the Beguine" (from "Broadway Melody of 1940) segment in "That's Entertainment"...You can wait around for ever but you'll never see the likes of this again. (or words to that affect).  Sad but true.  Such dedication to craft.  A perfect blending of music (Cole Porter) and the sheer joy of watching two gifted dancers, all captured on film to be celebrated by the likes of us decades later.

And something else; I was saddened to learn Gene Kelly's "Invitation To The Dance" was poorly received after it was such a labor of love for him, but it was obviously a departure from the "standard" musical format.  Gene was always an innovator and pushing the envelope, so to speak. 

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This is a little off the topic of the question, but the musical that comes to mind is not shown often. I find myself watching The Pirate whenever it's on. I don't think the movie is that great (although I laugh hysterically every time Judy Garland says "Macoco!" and faints), but I find myself drawn to the one scene where Gene Kelly is dancing the pirate ballet and he's wearing SHORTS! It's the only movie that I can remember from the golden years of MGM musicals where a man is wearing shorts. It just wasn't done back then - a cultural norm of bygone years. And it's the one film that you can really see how incredibly muscular and fit Gene really was. For male dancers, slacks were the costume and were typically loose and they really hid the physical form from view, unless it was in a period picture where they were wearing stockings & pantaloons. Then you might see some leg definition. 

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Definitely The Wizard of Oz.  It not only brings back fond memories of my childhood, in which we eagerly awaited its TV airing every year (unlike kids today who can just stream it anytime they want), but it always awakens that sense of longing to be somewhere magical, somewhere beautiful and exciting - somewhere to escape!  

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OK.. well, just scraping off the top of my head, I come up with.. Cabaret, Rocky Horror Picture Show, Sweeney Todd (1982 version.)

But then, it's late and I'm tired, and since pretty much all my choices have always depended on my mood at the time...
Like, if you were to ask me tomorrow, it wouldn't surprise me if I answered, Sound of Music, Calamity Jane, any Judy Garland/ Mickey Rooney film.

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Hi Everyone,

I'm a little late to the party, so I doubt anyone will read this.
I've found reading everyone's comments very interesting
The film I go back to the most in recent years is Lili. I love the simpleness and almost quiet nature in which the story is told. The dance at the end is one of the most emotional expressive I've seen in it's simplicity.

I love many more films. It is indeed very hard to pick just one.
I have a deep love for In The Good Old Summertime. I watched it practically on repeat as a kid.
I remember sewing clothes for my barbie dolls while watching.
I of course love Judy Garland, who doesn't? I also loved/love Harvey Girls.
I remember getting Seven Brides For Seven Brothers and Brigadoon for St.Nick's Day 1996. That was a very happy day. I'm sure my mom was glad that there weren't DVDs yet, allowing for an intermission between viewings by means of rewind. *laughs*

I breathed musicals and classic films growing up.
I love Astaire & Rogers films, Singin' In The Rain, Kiss Me Kate, Funny Face, Unsinkable Molly Brown (oh my god, Debbie Reynolds in that), An American In Paris, Funny Girl, Easter Parade (gets watched every Easter), Hello Dolly, Bye Bye Birdie, Gigi just to name a few.

I really only came to love West Side Story (film) after seeing a touring production that wasn't very good. Then I saw the masterpiece that film truly is.

I use to sing 'Papa Can You Hear Me' from Yentl at the top of my voice while on my swing set at about 7 years old. These musicals were as much a part of my childhood as Disney films.

I haven't watched any of these films mentioned and others I own in a while. So, hopefully this course will give me an excuse to get reacquainted with them.

These films make me happy and I want to go out and dance and sing (either of which I can do).
It's hard to separate the nostalgia that has become attached to these films to really find the right words to express why they touch me like they do.
They bring comfort. Sometimes when I can't sleep I put one on and relax into it's familiarity and in no time I'm off to dreamland.

I find it a bit hard to think of them in terms of culture. It's not something I think about that much.
Horror films are said to feed on our anxieties at the time. I guess in that sense musicals represent our need for joy expressed in song and dance.

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Such a dilemma to narrow it down to just ONE musical! I know that a musicophile is one who loves music, but what would be the best term for someone who loves musicals? A musicalophile? That would be me. I was born in that "basket" and I've proudly carried it all of my life. The first musical I remember seeing was Showboat, on stage in Kansas City, at the Starlight Theatre, which is still presenting musical venues! Hooked on musicals ever since! I have a nice collection of DVD musicals that I view often and whenever a musical is presented on TCM, I drop EVERYTHING and watch it! I have been a trained dancer since the age of four and musicals that highlight dancing seem to be my favorite but it's so impossible to narrow it down to just one. So, I guess I would have to pick a period musical, specifically set in the Victorian era as the criteria to narrow down my choice. My choice(s) would be Meet Me In St. Louis, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, My Fair Lady, The Music Man, Yankee Doodle Dandy, et al. Not only do I love musicals, I try to "connect" myself to them by extracurricular research, for example: After viewing Meet Me in St. Louis, many times, I decided to "visit" the addresses Judy Garland sings about in The Boy Next Door, 5135 and 5133 Kensington Avenue. Those addresses do exist although the Victorian houses there do not resemble the sets in the movie but are abandoned and boarded up and the neighborhood is quite run down. Sad. After viewing Molly Brown, many times, I went to visit the Molly Brown house in Denver. Not as ornate as the movie version but the museum is kept in good condition for tours. For The Music Man, my daughter-in-law who has a children's musical theatre production company in the LA area, enlisted me to design/construct costumes for her production of this show, as well as several of her other shows. Attached is the costume I made for Marion the Librarian. So, I guess, if I have to narrow it down, it would have to be the Victorian era musical. ?

CEH as marion.jpg

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I LOVE all of the musicals of all time periods and I'd like to share a bit of trivia about another more contemporary musical that I went to see at the Starlight Theatre in Kansas City, my hometown. Several years ago, Starlight was presenting Finian's Rainbow with Paul Williams as Og. Starlight is an outdoor/under the stars theater, so it's subject to the unpredictable weather. Yep. It started raining prior to the production. Many people left but I decided to stay and so glad I did because Paul Williams decided that the "show must go on" even if it wasn't the "scheduled" production. He walked out on the stage under a large umbrella and proceeded to sing and dance to Singing in the Rain!! What a showman!! ?

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Where do I even begin?? 

Musicals are what drew me into old Hollywood at age 12 1/2. Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers became my favorites, and I repeatedly watched all ten of their films. I'd even draw Rogers's gowns, and memorize their dance steps. Besides Astaire-Rogers musicals, "Meet Me in St. Louis," "White Christmas," Holiday Inn," and "Singin' in the Rain" were huge staples. I also watched lesser known musicals such as "Two Weeks with Love," "I Love Melvin," "Three Little Words," etc. If it was made in the 1930's-1940's, then I've probably seen it and loved it! 

The plots, characters, actors, songs, dances, costumes, lighting, and overall presentation are what make these (and so many others) musicals stick with me. They are a source of escape, joy, and good clean fun. They are enticing and addicting, and I thank my lucky stars that my parents introduced me to them! 

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The musicals that would make me stop what I was doing to watch are White Christmas, Holiday Inn and Fiddler on the Roof.  My love of "old movies" is rubbing off on my family too!  My husband liked Holiday Inn so much, he bought the DVD and my 11 year old daughter told me she was singing the songs from Holiday Inn to herself.  Every year we watch White Christmas continuously while our kids make cookies at Grandma's house.  I can't overlook Disney - although not considered traditional musicals, Disney has made some great movies with great songs.

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