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What gets your vote for the SILLIEST musical ever?

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On 6/9/2018 at 1:31 PM, MotherofZeus said:

Xanadu is bad -- but in a good way.

 

The Court Jester is not my favorite. 

 

Grease 2 is a horror, but for my money, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band qualifies as a Crime Against Humanity retroactively punishable by the United Nations. It is, bar none (although many will offer some contenders) the most gawdawful piece of musical torture ever crafted.?

My first thought was Xanadu! I thought it was fabulous when I was 10, and still love to see Gene Kelly, but it is rather silly!

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Not so sure if it's exactly silly, but it sure is annoying. Paint Your Wagon. I loved the stage show and the music. Not only was the movie NOTHING like the play, but it was so off-kilter and off-putting, I still cringe today. 

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1 hour ago, Kathy Kacprowicz said:

Not so sure if it's exactly silly, but it sure is annoying. Paint Your Wagon. I loved the stage show and the music. Not only was the movie NOTHING like the play, but it was so off-kilter and off-putting, I still cringe today. 

Thanks Kathy. It seems like PAINT YOUR WAGON and BYE BYE BIRDIE are leading the pack in this discussion.

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There is nothing redeeming about Paint Your Wagon, the film.   $18,000,000 down the drain.  I sort of liked the OC album, but the movie was just painful to sit through.   Has there been a sucessful prostitute movie?   Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was also terrible.  Maybe CanCan or Sweet Charity, but that was about the individual chippy, not the whole brothel.  

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7 minutes ago, Pastiche said:

There is nothing redeeming about Paint Your Wagon, the film.   $18,000,000 down the drain.  I sort of liked the OC album, but was the movie was just painful to sit through.   Has there been a sucessful prostitute movie?   Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was also terrible.  Maybe CanCan or Sweet Charity, but that was about the individual chippy, not the whole brothel.  

What a great idea for an evening of films on TCM--

CAN-CAN
SWEET CHARITY
PAINT YOUR WAGON
BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS

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On 6/8/2018 at 10:55 PM, Princess of Tap said:

"Home on the Range" is the Kansas state song, so I just thought everybody would be singing it if they were in a good mood on an airplane.  LOL

I loved this movie as a child because I was moved by the singer's real life tenacity and courage to continue her career and her war effort work, despite her serious injuries.

I always have loved true stories about women who went out and accomplished something--after others told them that it was impossible.

 

(BTW-- Jane Froman and the pilot really did wade water all those hours until they were rescued.)

 

The music is good and varied in this movie and Susan Hayward accomplishes her usual ballistic performance.

 

*But what I really enjoyed about this film were the supporting actors.  This movie was the first time I ever noticed Thelma Ritter. She would break my heart -- how she had to be tough with Hayward in order to motivate her-- and then leave the room and breakdown.

The casting was good too with Una Merkel as the nun and Robert Wagner as the shell shocked  GI.  Wagner was later to say that this was the film that first got him noticed and jump -started his career.

Your grandpa may have been right about something being corny - - but there's always a certain amount of smaltz and kitsch that you have to have in these kind of old Technicolor biopics.

On another thread, someone was noticing how the non -Technicolor, but black and white, "Yankee Doodle Dandy" was disgustingly boring and too long.  I think today you have to have a certain kind of personality and a certain kind of love of music and performers to truly appreciate legendary artists who have given their whole life up to show business. 

"Funny Girl" just got under the wire. Thank God!

Top Billed-- as corny as you may think some parts of this movie are, don't you think Susan Hayward was very good and convincing in her role as a performer and as a woman?

Thelma Ritter was also in Daddy Long Legs. She basically played the same character, but she was such a good actress. Her presence often saved the film.

Una Merkel was also a gem.Her quips along with Ginger Rogers were priceless. When she elderly and staying in a hospital in Los Angeles, my aunt who worked there met her. My aunt told her that I loved her movies. She autographed a newspaper article wriiten about her. My aunt sais she was so moved that someone remembered her. I wish I could find that paper.

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I think of WITH A SONG IN MY HEART as schmaltzy in spots, but not silly. To the contrary, it's one of the first musical biographies to show a "darker" side to the hero/heroine's life. For example, it makes no bones about the fact that Jane Froman's first marriage to Don Ross, was one of convenience. She married him out of gratitude and appreciation for what he had done for her career and because they seemed to be a good fit professionally. Although they have only one argument/fight onscreen, the narration, the dialogue makes it clear that they've had many similar ones earlier and the narration (Wayne's throughout the film) at one point states that their marriage had changed and both had said things they could never forget. In the scene where Froman decides to undertake the USO tour she hadn't been able to do earlier because of her accident, nurse Thelma Ritter asks Froman how she thinks Wayne will react to the news. Hayward gives a despondent sigh and "I've had it" glance in Wayne's direction (he's in the other room) and despondently says: "It should be a RELIEF to him."

As film historian/author John DiLeo noted of WITH A SONG IN MY HEART in his recent book, TEN MOVIES AT A TIME: A 350 FILM JOURNEY THROUGH HOLLYWOOD AND AMERICA 1930 - 1970. he considers SONG to be "The official kickoff to the 1950s brand of musical biography, though in many ways it's just as its 1940s counterparts. By splitting its attention between showbiz cliches and a story of genuinie pain and courage, it feels like a transition to the better richer biographies to come mid-decade." 

Recognizing the film's flaws, and that much of Froman's genuinely dark and tragic story is told in a superficial manner, DiLeo nevertheless concludes: "Director Walter Lang delivered an entertaining uplifting drama, a skin-deep and colorfully palatable look at a dark situation.It remains refreshing that WITH A SONG IN MY HEART is a 1952 musical biopic about something other than pendulum career swings or a new show in second-act trouble."

I'd agee. The scope of Froman's horrific accident may be underplayed (the film ignores that her other leg was also severely damaged and that one arm was severely lacerated with pieces of glass and metal from the plane that continued to rise to her skin's surface for years), but, as DiLeo notes it's "positively stark" compared to the short shrift given to Cole Porter's crippling riding accident in NIGHT AND DAY, and the Froman/Ross marriage in SONG is a heckuva lot darker than the relentlessly sunny (and fake) retellings of the unions of George M. Cohan in YANKEE DOODLE DANDY and Al Jolson in THE JOLSON STORY.

 

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On 6/12/2018 at 5:55 AM, Sarah Last said:

I have never actually seen this movie, but my pick would have to go to Paint Your Wagon.  There is nothing sillier than imagining Clint Eastwood in a movie musical.

You wouldn't say that if you'd seen the movie. Instead, you'd be saying the exact same thing about Lee Marvin.

 

My vote goes to the Pied Piper of Hamelin from 1957, directed by Bretaigne Windust. Let me list just a few reasons:

1. Directed by Bretaigne Windust? 

2. Edvard Grieg provides all the music.

3. The film is almost entirely in rhyme. Try keeping that up for an hour and a half.

4. Please, Lori Nelson, take off that hat!

5. Hamelin's sister city is named Hamel-out.

All of that silliness is mitigated by valiant performances from Claude Rains, Jim Backus, Doodles Weaver, Van Johnson (and Van Johnson again), Lori Nelson, and one absolute knockout performance by none other than Kay Starr.

 

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7 hours ago, Lanin said:

You wouldn't say that if you'd seen the movie. Instead, you'd be saying the exact same thing about Lee Marvin.

 

My vote goes to the Pied Piper of Hamelin from 1957, directed by Bretaigne Windust. Let me list just a few reasons:

1. Directed by Bretaigne Windust? 

2. Edvard Grieg provides all the music.

3. The film is almost entirely in rhyme. Try keeping that up for an hour and a half.

4. Please, Lori Nelson, take off that hat!

5. Hamelin's sister city is named Hamel-out.

All of that silliness is mitigated by valiant performances from Claude Rains, Jim Backus, Doodles Weaver, Van Johnson (and Van Johnson again), Lori Nelson, and one absolute knockout performance by none other than Kay Starr.

If I'm not mistaken this was one of the first TV movies filmed in color. At a time when there were not a lot of TV movies being made. So they obviously had quite a budget for it.

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There are plenty of silly musicals on both stage and screen that work on both: I would argue that The Music Man is one of those -- totally ridiculous and yet it works (except maybe for Ronnie Howard --who knew he would grow up to be a great moviemaker?).  The ones that annoy me the most are the ones that don't work well in both settings.  Lucille Ball in the movie Mame leaps to mind.  She's no Angela Lansbury and can't seem to carry a tune in that movie.  On the other hand, I really like Barbra Streisand in Hello Dolly! while I find Carol Channing off-putting, so it works both ways. I've never seen nor heard the stage version of Paint Your Wagon but I'm guessing it must have been better than the movie.  Here's hoping, anyway.

 

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I gotta go with "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." I love musicals, but this mess is unwatchable. I have never understood how the Broadway version won so many Tonys. I guess audiences were just different then.

Funny-Thing-Happened-Color-Compact.jpg

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7 hours ago, arpirose said:

 

 

You think PRIMROSE PATH is a silly musical? Not sure I understand why you included it here. I always thought it was a romantic drama. In some ways the plot is like MIN AND BILL where we have a mother of ill repute and a daughter who will make a better life for herself. Marjorie Rambeau plays the mother in both pictures, by the way.

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That posting was an accident.  I was trying to remove the video image from the post.  However, I couldn't remove it  It accidentally posted. I was meaning to post the song Girlfriend of the Whirling Dervish from the Garden on the Moon (1938), which is the ultimate of silliness. Here is the video that I was  attempting to post.

Here is the history of this film. Dick Powell was the first person assigned to the film. He refused to do it.  A very young John Payne is the singer,  Betty Davis went on suspension for refusing to do the film.  Margaret Lindsay took her place.

One more thing, the song was used in The Looney Toons/Merry Melodies cartoons.   ThE Looney Toons are One of my favorite cartoons as well as THE BULLWINKLE CARTOONS FROM TV. I like the Tex Avery cartoons as well.

 

I know that Primrose Path doesn't belong here.  It is one of my favorite Ginger movies along with Stage Door , Tom Dick and Harry and Bachelor Mother.

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Thanks for explaining. I happen to like GARDEN OF THE MOON. The silly musical number is just so much fun. Silly in a good way. John Payne does a nice job with his part. And Pat O'Brien is in the cast too. 

Bette was trying to typecast herself in serious dramas...and she succeeded.

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The first and only time I saw Paint Your Wagon, I wondered if the agents for the leads stayed he managers after the film. What are Clint and Lee doing singing? No. No. No. It's so ridiculous, Mel Brooks can't send it up any further than it already is. 

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Oh god... Don't get me started on Seven Brides for Seven Brothers.

I can't be in the same room.

My husband will tease me and say "there is something great on TCM tonight!" Then I sit down and...UGH....

And I love Howard Keel.

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On 6/8/2018 at 11:18 PM, TopBilled said:

My grandfather used to call things like this cornball.

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Is WITH A SONG IN MY HEART the silliest, most corny musical ever? I tend to think so. It's entertaining, I will give it that much, but some of the schmaltzy musical numbers are just outrageously over the top. Having them sing 'Home on the Range' just before the plane crashes was about the silliest thing I have ever seen in a movie of this type. I guess I will have to read one of the three biographies about Jane Froman to see if they really did sing where the deer and the antelope roam moments before the wing caught on a wave and they overturned. Though I strongly suspect they did not.

I remember as a child, when they played this movie on "Saturday Night at the Movies", I was afraid to take a plane for years.  That is my only memory of this movie, but I plan to watch it again one day.  This time, I won't be afraid.  :)

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Might not be considered musicals exactly, but the Marx Brothers movies almost all contained music -- Chico playing the piano, Harpo of course playing the harp, and the songs of Groucho.  Loved them all but some stand out more than others: The Laws of My Administration and The Country's Going to War from Duck Soup (probably my favourite flim), Whatever It Is, I'm Against It from Horse Feathers, and Hello I Must Be Going / Hurray for Captain Spaulding from Animal Crackers. Marx Brothers simply have no equal.  

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12 minutes ago, Kathie2 said:

I remember as a child, when they played this movie on "Saturday Night at the Movies", I was afraid to take a plane for years.  That is my only memory of this movie, but I plan to watch it again one day.  This time, I won't be afraid.  :)

It airs occasionally on TCM and has been released on home video by Fox. You might find a copy of the DVD at your local public library. If you're brave enough! :) 

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Almost any of the early ones with Maurice Chevalier- and I say that as a true Chevalier fan. He minces and moues, overacts or forgets to act at all. The plots are trite little vehicles that showcase his skill as a lover. Did I mention I absolutely adore his films?   This song from Love Me Tonight (1932) is brilliantly shot and edited and makes this "silly" picture one of my favorites!  

 

 

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41 minutes ago, Charlie's Girl said:

Might not be considered musicals exactly, but the Marx Brothers movies almost all contained music -- Chico playing the piano, Harpo of course playing the harp, and the songs of Groucho.  Loved them all but some stand out more than others: The Laws of My Administration and The Country's Going to War from Duck Soup (probably my favourite flim), Whatever It Is, I'm Against It from Horse Feathers, and Hello I Must Be Going / Hurray for Captain Spaulding from Animal Crackers. Marx Brothers simply have no equal.  

My favorite has always been "Lydia the Tatooed Lady" from At the Circus:  

 

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Speaking of Chevalier, there's a really silly but really classic straw hat number in FOLIES BERGERE DE PARIS (1935):

Screen Shot 2018-06-16 at 12.08.17 PM.jpg

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Well said about Paint Your Wagon. What were they thinking?

My nominee for silly musical is Jesus Christ Superstar. Sample lyric:

"Did you mean to die like that?
Was that a mistake or
Did you know your messy death
Would be a record breaker?"

Ouch Mr. Rice. Unwatchable.

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20 hours ago, maureenbridget said:

Well said about Paint Your Wagon. What were they thinking?

My nominee for silly musical is Jesus Christ Superstar. Sample lyric:

"Did you mean to die like that?
Was that a mistake or
Did you know your messy death
Would be a record breaker?"

Ouch Mr. Rice. Unwatchable.

Jesus Christ Superstar is one of my favourite films.  On our annual "must watch" list.  Have to see it at least once a year. 

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