FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #12: The King and I [1956]

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“Etcetera, etcetera, etcetera” You don’t get much more dated than the 1956 musical edition of The King and I. Through all the pomp and circumstance, it’s the trite storyline of a wannabe-modern king and the British school teacher who thaws his barbaric ways that comes through. All that’s wrong with the Western world is brought […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #11: Victor Victoria [1982]

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“I’d sleep with you for a meatball” You’re down on your luck, famished, and unable to get a job despite having a voice like no other. What do you do? Victoria Grant (Julie Andrews) is asking herself that very question when we see her auditioning for Chez Lui—a dump populated by gangsters and hotheads that’s […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #10: Bugsy Malone [1976]

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“I’ve spent my entire life coming back tomorrow” A director with a career infused by music for three decades, Alan Parker’s feature length debut came in the form of Bugsy Malone. Completely populated by kids under seventeen, it’s a gangster film that exists as though in an alternate reality, working on all levels whether treated […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #9: Singin’ in the Rain [1952]

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“Dignity, always dignity” With just two Oscar nominations—for supporting actress and musical score—the lack of love for Singin’ in the Rain at its release shouldn’t be too surprising. Crafted by MGM’s Arthur Freed to reuse the songs he and Nacio Herb Brown wrote for a slew of musicals in the 1930s, the film feels like […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #8: Yankee Doodle Dandy [1942]

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“The first thing I ever had in my hand was an American flag” Shortly after the events at Pearl Harbor thrust America into World War II, a film was released that both paid respect to one of the true patriots of our country and gave the new contingent of men sailing off to fight a […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #7: 42nd Street [1933]

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“Jones and Barry are doing a show” For being the American Film Institute’s 13th best musical on its 2006 list, 42nd Street is surprisingly devoid of song. Depicting the behind the scenes comings and goings of a big scale production, the fact its subject is a musical seems more relevant than it being one itself. […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #6: Hairspray [2007]

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“Good Morning Baltimore” Boy does the trailer for Hairspray really forget mentioning exactly what it’s about. Going through its beats, the advertisement talks about its young star Nikki Blonsky and her character Tracy Turnblad’s dreams of overcoming her weight and society’s bigotry to seize her dreams, dance on TV, and get her man. The jokes, […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #5: Oliver! [1968]

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“Who will buy my sweet red roses?” While I’m reasonably sure I have never seen Carol Reed’s Oscar winning Oliver!, I do recall attending a live performance of it during elementary school. If you asked me two and a half hours ago to give a summation or describe my favorite moments, I would have returned […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #4: The Music Man [1962]

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“You have trouble folks, right here in River City” Could Harold Hill be the best con man in cinema history? A man never for a loss of words, Robert Preston’s rendition of The Music Man puts forth a gentleman of great art, tastes, and disarming charm who is both loathsome and irresistible once you find […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #3: Kiss Me Kate [1953]

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“You louse!” I’m a sucker for multi-layered films depicting simultaneous stories at once, juxtaposing onstage performances with the backstage antics of the actors involved. Kiss Me Kate, screenplay by Dorothy Kingsley and music by Cole Porter, shows the theatrical opening inter-workings of a stage musical, by the same name, styled on William Shakespeare’s The Taming […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #2: Show Boat [1936]

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“Just one big happy family” Based on Edna Ferber’s novel, the James Whale directed and Oscar Hammerstein II scripted Show Boat concerns the show-biz family of Magnolia Hawks and how her life is forever changed once a sheltered childhood makes way for international success. Ushered in by a nicely animated credit sequence of cardboard dancers […]