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Hi everyone!  I'm really excited for this course!

I love movies (musical or not) on TCM and have always wondered what it is that draws me to them.   My husband says it is because it was a simpler time and I think he is right.  I think its also because I can sit down and watch something and I don't have to see a ton of violence or something inappropriate.  Don't get me wrong, I love a good mordern movie, but TCM is just relaxing. I also love the history of Hollywood.  

I would love to know why others watch TCM.

 

 

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I watch TCM because aside from Disney movies, I was raised on old films. My father still believes if you want to appreciate anything today, you need to know where it came from. TCM is a great channel to find undiscovered gems and to rewatch old favorites. Plus, I feel connected to my deceased grandparents when I watch the channel because they all loved it.

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My Grandma was a great movie fan. We watched them together on television. She was born in 1900, and made many a trek to the local theater in the Depression for an escape into the movies.  Her knowledge about movies came from fan magazines and she kept that information flowing during a movie we watched.  I love movies in general, but musicals always make me feel like I would love a soundtrack with singing and dancing for my own life!

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What I love about musicals is what I love about music itself: it can turn the most simple, ordinary moment into something sublimely beautiful. I'm particularly fond of Old Hollywood musicals because they bring everything I love the most: theatre, dance, love stories, extraordinarily talented artists and Jazz music.  

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I grew up listening to musicals because my mother owned every soundtrack and/or OBC album you could imagine. Mostly Rodgers and Hammerstein and Lerner and Loewe, but also others, including Hello, Dolly with Pearl Bailey and Cab Calloway. I spent most of my childhood alone because my brother and sister were years older than me and weren't living at home by the time I was 7 or 8, so I would entertain myself acting out some of the numbers (even though I can't sing or dance and didn't know the story lines until much, much later!) She also would stack them on the record player for me to listen to when I had to stay in bed, like the time I had measles and (not sure if this is an old wives' tale) had to stay in a dark room with no exposure to light for I don't remember how long, maybe a week.

As I got older and got to see the movies and/or stage productions, my love of musicals grew exponentially. I'm mostly stuck in the 50s through 70s, though, not much into the early stuff and not particularly interested in current things on Broadway or in movies. I've heard La La Land and The Greatest Showman are excellent but I have no interest in seeing them, at least so far.

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My mother was a huge movie fan, and we watched many older movies together, starting with the old “Bill Kennedy at the Movies” on channel 50 Detroit back in the 60s and 70s. In the summer, she would even get me up in the middle of the night if she saw a movie she felt I needed to see, like the Margaret O’Brien version of Secret Garden or Katharine Hepburn or Bette Davis in just about anything.

My mother has been gone now for 16 years, and I feel closer to her as I watch the movies on TCM—the only reason I have more than broadcast TV. 

I’m particularly fond of musicals, as a musician (singer and violinist) who has been involved in many theatre productions over the years—including at least 10 times playing Fiddler in Fiddler on the Roof. :)

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I used to watch Bill Kennedy too!  That's where my love of old movies began.  I particularly love musicals because they take me out of this world and put me into a world where all is fun, singing and dancing and even when something bad happens, it all turns out right in the end.  I guess it's to escape for a couple of hours.

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One of the reasons I love musicals is because of how immersive they are.  The feeling of great music combined with great songs just washes over you.   They're guaranteed to make me feel better and forget my troubles any given day.   Bonus if the songs actually move the plot forward

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My Grandma loved movies. How I wish she would have lived to see VCR’s and how you could rent whatever movie you wanted and watched it at home. My Mom is the one who gave me a love of musicals. 

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I love musicals because they're always so carefree (at least until you get into the more message-oriented ones like West Side Story, for example) and fun.  Many of the musicals are thin on plot, but it doesn't matter.  The songs and dancing are top notch.  I defy anyone in a bad mood to watch Singin' in the Rain and not feel better by the end of it.  The amount of joy that Gene Kelly conveys while performing the title number, "Singin' in the Rain," is infectious.  I don't know how anyone could keep a stone face during that song. 

Musicals serve as a great form of escapism which is why they were so popular during the Great Depression.  It's so nice to be able to forget about the horrors of the world and escape into the world of tap and Irving Berlin (for example).  Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Eleanor Powell, Vera-Ellen, Ann Miller, Cyd Charisse, Donald O'Connor, etc. were all so talented and it is such a joy to watch them on-screen.  With very few exceptions, unless you go to a Broadway show or something, there are very few performers who can bring this level of talent to the big screen.  These are people who went through years and years of lessons and performing in vaudeville and Broadway shows before they became stars.  There is no CGI, no doubles, trick photography, nothing.  These are real people doing real dancing.  Gene Kelly choreographed all his routines.  Poor Donald O'Connor had to film the "Make 'Em Laugh" number twice because the first take was messed up.  Gene performed what might be the most famous musical number of all time, "Singin' in the Rain," with a fever.  Ann Miller performed "Shakin' the Blues Away" in Easter Parade wearing a back brace.  She was recovering from a broken back!  It is so much fun to be able to watch these amazing routines become entranced in watching them.

Now that I've said all that and the movie I was watching is over (Gidget), I think I'm going to put in a musical! I own so many, it's hard to choose which one. Eleanor Powell's Born to Dance might win. 

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I think the reason I love musicals so much is the same reason I love film in general: I want to escape. I love films that can transport me somewhere for a few hours. The more outlandish they are, the better. Don't get me wrong; I love dramas, too, but there's a time and a place for those, and I have to be in a particular mood for them. If a film is fantastical, I more easily lose myself in it. Musicals by their very nature require you to buy into this concocted fantasy that people burst into song to express their feelings, and somehow everyone around knows the lyrics and choreography. They're as far removed from reality as you can get, and I love them for it. It's why I'm also such a diehard Disney fan - the company thrives on music and fantasy.

What's especially fascinating to me about musicals is, even though we all consider it a genre, I think it's almost more of a medium than anything. Think about it. Within the musical genre, you have dramas (West Side Story, Les Miserables), comedies (Singin' in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Kiss Me Kate), romances (An American in Paris, South Pacific, The Slipper and the Rose), horrors (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), fantasies (The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Into the Woods), noirs (Chicago, Cabaret, Pennies from Heaven), a Western (Paint Your Wagon), even biopics (The Sound of Music, Funny Girl, Evita). Everything that can be made into a film can also be musicalized for better or worse, and so many musicals are different. To me, adding song to something makes it more fascinating and entertaining to me. It's why I prefer My Fair Lady over Pygmalion and (unpopular opinion time) prefer the musical remakes of Hairspray and The Producers over the originals. Somehow, putting any story through the prism of song and dance shines a (spot?)light on it and makes it more accessible to me. 

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I see musicals as a fantasy genre, using song and/or dance to enhance the story (most post WWII musicals) or interrupt it as an entertaining interlude (many Astaire/Kelly solo numbers).  You need to accept the premise that the viewing experience will incorporate elements of music, much as opera is primarily sung, and ballet is danced.  

It strikes me that most 1930's Warner's musicals had fairly simplistic story lines so that the musical numbers could be the focus.   Songs were not as specific to the plot, which is why you could take any production number from the Goldiggers series and swap it into another;  the production numbers are more like a revue.  After  WWII character development became more important and the music needed to support that.  

I also like that stage-based musicals can capture numbers that were performed much as they were on stage, but with multiple camera angles.  (ex:  Hey Big Spender)  When you have a noted choreographer like Fosse or Robbins, or performer,  the film preserves their work. 
 

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Music is like butter or cheese: It makes everything better!  

The music and lyrics are one way for us to relive the movie long after we've left the theater or turned off the television, much as folks quote favorite lines from movies: "Leave the gun, take the cannoli." "My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die."

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13 hours ago, TheMadKiwi said:

What's especially fascinating to me about musicals is, even though we all consider it a genre, I think it's almost more of a medium than anything. Think about it. Within the musical genre, you have dramas (West Side Story, Les Miserables), comedies (Singin' in the Rain, The Band Wagon, Kiss Me Kate), romances (An American in Paris, South Pacific, The Slipper and the Rose), horrors (The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Little Shop of Horrors, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street), fantasies (The Wizard of Oz, Mary Poppins, Into the Woods), noirs (Chicago, Cabaret, Pennies from Heaven), a Western (Paint Your Wagon), even biopics (The Sound of Music, Funny Girl, Evita). Everything that can be made into a film can also be musicalized for better or worse, and so many musicals are different.

 

That's a really interesting take.  I never thought of it that way before.  Awesome.

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I watch TCM because for as long as I can remember, I have had a strong affection for movies and features of the past, ranging from each studio and genre! I especially love the glamour of old Hollywood actors and actresses, the gorgeous details such as choreography and costumes, etc! It was probably sparked when I was younger, back in 2005 when I first watched The Wizard of Oz and was immediately drawn to movies from the past. As for my love for musicals, I have a very personal connection to music itself, it's one of my favorite things to revisit and just sit and listen to. The appeal of musicals draws back to my love of the Old Hollywood aesthetic, seeing the portrayal and animation of songs on the screen is one of my favorite things to see, especially when mixed with visuals (my favorite example being Mr. Busby Berkeley).

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As stated in another post, I think there are two kinds of musicals - those about singers and musicians and those where the songs move the plot along but are not really about singers, songs and such.

I prefer the second kind. I love the sheer absurdity of someone doing something from everyday life and they break into song and everyone else automatically knows the words and dance steps.

It is great escapism and fantasy.

 

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