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Sing a-n-d Act


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When ONE HUNDRED MEN AND GIRL premiered, it was noted for Deanna Durbin's ability to sing _and_ act.

 

I think we've all seen films, classic and modern alike, where someone is hired for their singing ability but they really can't lick the dialogue.

 

Then there are hambone performers who try to cut it as singers: Jimmy Durante and Martha Raye come to mind...although they both were musically talented, I think people loved them because of their hamminess and how entertaining they were.

 

Original_movie_poster_for_the_film_One_H

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> Irene Dunne is the best example. I always preferred the 1936 Showboat to the MGM version because she really breaks my heart as Magnolia. I feel her sadness when Gaylord leaves.

 

Great example! She can do serious drama, whereas her contemporaries like Jeanette MacDonald really can't. Plus, when it's required of her to do a musical number, like she does in so many roles, she is just superb. In her non-musical pictures, a song from her adds just that right bit of something extra.

 

I think it would've been interesting if she had done a film noir. She very easily could've essayed the type of chanteuses that Ann Sheridan and Lizabeth Scott were doing in those kinds of pictures.

 

Or if she had done a western as a dance hall girl. She would've been great in the part that Vera Ralston does in JUBILEE TRAIL.

 

Did she ever play a chorine in a gold digger type musical? When you think about it, there are so many genres that Irene Dunne could've excelled in...she was a truly versatile actress.

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I can think of a couple of actresses who were primarily known for dramas, but actually possessed very fine singing voices: Rhonda Fleming and Maureen O'Hara. Both did sing occasionally in films, and both even recorded albums, but they definitely should have been given more opportunities to display their talents. I'm sure there are others as well. I also thought of Jane Russell, but she did actually sing in a great number of her films.

 

Terrence.

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Well, I mentioned Irene Dunne, and "The Awful Truth" was on yesterday. That scene where she has the voice recital and Cary Grant shows up and manages to fall out of his chair is priceless. Love her reactions as she just keeps on singing. Not too many actresses can do straight drama, great comedy, and sing as well!

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> George Sanders had a fine singing voice, which he used in "Call Me Madam."

 

Good point...and he appears in BITTER SWEET with Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. He is third-billed but I can't remember if he does any singing. Maybe just as part of the chorus, since MacDonald and Eddy usually did all the big numbers in their films.

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Surprised no one mentioned Bing Crosby.

 

crosby-reynolds-42-holiday-inn-2.jpg

 

By the way I like to say who is the *worst* at doing both acting and singing at the same time. Bobcat Goldthwait singing Santa Claus to Coming to Town in "Scrooged".

 

scrooged3.jpg

 

Edited by: hamradio on Feb 6, 2011 2:22 PM

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> {quote:title=traceyk65 wrote:}{quote}

> > {quote:title=ValentineXavier wrote:}{quote}

> > Marlene Dietrich should have been the first one mentioned!

>

> True, but her singing is sort an acquired taste. I personally like it, but there a lot of people don't.

Better not let the 'boys in the back room' hear you say that... ;):D

 

Dietrich made her name playing Lola Lola in *The Blue Angel*, and often had singing parts in her films. Had she not been a celebrated actress, I'm sure she could have made a name for herself as a cabaret singer.

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> I don't know whether you are being tongue in cheek, but later in life, when her film career was winding down, Marlene DID tour with a singing act, with a young Burt Bacharach spending time as her accompanist.

 

And she was already a well--known musical stage star in Berlin (and was beginning to make her mark in films), before von Sternberg "discovered" her. I think she'd recorded "Jonny" and "Peter" before she ever left Berlin.

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the movie is not exactly of classic age, but i was reminded tonight on the way home as i listened to my ipod, that i always loved janet leigh's somewhat off key "one boy" in bye bye byrdie...starts out maybe a little too high for her, but then it dips way down low & she hits the notes better, then--deep enough to rival alice faye!

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> {quote:title=finance wrote:}{quote}

> I don't know whether you are being tongue in cheek, but later in life, when her film career was winding down, Marlene DID tour with a singing act, with a young Burt Bacharach spending time as her accompanist.

 

Not tongue in cheek at all, just countering tracyk65's assertion that Marlene's singing was an "acquired taste," and not widely appreciated. Touring a singing act after a successful acting career doesn't necessarily prove one is a good singer, just that one has a following from the acting. My assertion was that if she hadn't been a film star, she could have been a singing star.

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I assume the thread is about actor that known as actors that can ALSO sing (Mitchum comes to mind), because if the thread is about who are the best actor singers than it is hand down Frank, than Bing in my view. Dean and Sammy get a mention but they still are not in the league of Frank and Bing.

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