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The best musical of all time?

 
 
fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Oct, 2002 01:06 pm
Musical
Would you say Bergman's The Magic Flute is a musical?
If yes, it would be my number 1.

Would Yellow Submarine qualify?
If so, it would be my number 2.

What about Beauty and the Beast?
Yes, that'be nummer 3.

None of 'em?. OK. Dancer in the Dark

Gotta be some sort of classic?
Then it's a tie between Singin' in the Rain and Dames
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Mon 28 Oct, 2002 01:23 pm
Welcome, fbaezer!!

I guess a musical theater, that would include at least that particular Mozart opera as well as "Tales of Hoffman," another favorite of mine and "The Red Shoes." I guess that could be three categories:

1. Favorite/best original musical film.
2. Favorite/best musical theater based on a Broadway show.
3. Favorite/best classical musical theater (opera, classical music, et al)

"Amadeus" is really a musical drama. "2001" utilized music more than dialogue! "Phantom of the Paradise" would be on my list of best original filmed musicals.

Please give us your commentary on the Ebert Great Movies which has moved over here!
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Tue 29 Oct, 2002 01:43 am
As to the "greatest" musical, for me it's a tossup between Singin' in the Rain and an American in Paris. Both are just perfect. And how can you beat an all-Gershwin score in American?

That said, most of the others mentioned here are also among my favorites. Seven Brides has what is probably the most athletic ballet sequences of any song-and-dance musical ever made. And Bandwagon has a timeless (even if dated) charm. I remember seeing it as a teenager and being really impressed with the Slaughter on Tenth Avenue sequence.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2002 03:29 pm
An' the weiner is . . . .
No bout a doubt it . . . hands down . . .

Rocky Horror Picture Show[/i]

which is, also, arguably, the longest running motion picture in continuous release . . .
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2002 04:55 pm
I don't think anyone could argue that "Rocky Horror" has had the longest theatrical run of any film, albeit most theaters would show it on a Saturday midnight showing like the old Balboa Theater on the Peninsula in Newport Beach, CA. Ah, those were the days (the theater is gone).
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2002 05:10 pm
Rocky Horror's still running here in Toronto - it's been at the same theatre since, what, 1978 or something.
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mckenzie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2002 09:08 pm
Gonna wash that man right outa my hair ...
Bali Hai ...

SOUTH PACIFIC

Then My Fair Lady is a close second.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2002 09:17 pm
Gotta love a group with such a range of choices. Good thing there is no right or wrong answer. The joy of the subjective.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Wed 30 Oct, 2002 09:58 pm
I love musicals. Always have. This is, mind you, not to say that I commonly mentioned this love affair while sitting in the pub or while driving into Vancouver with my hippy friends to see The Doors or Hendrix. It was a secret affair with precious stolen moments.

One of the factors that made them (those such as you've all mentioned) so remarkable was the depth of artistic talent that they drew on quite aside from the geniuses writing the words and the scores or the dancers and choreographers - set designers, costumers, lighting people, etc - there was such an incredible array of artistic talent evident. For periods like this the term 'golden age' was designed.

But, on the Astaire/Kelley dichotomy, I think of Astaire as the dancer but Kelly as the artist. In the favorite picks you've all made above, it's works with or by Kelly which show up, I think because his artistry went far beyond steps.
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 06:14 pm
That's an excellent distinction you make, Blatham, and I quite agree. Kelly was more than a dancer, he was a consummate entertainer. When Astaire dances, it is pure magic. When he isn't dancing, there isn't much there.
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Thu 31 Oct, 2002 06:21 pm
well dudes, speakin' as a girl, i'd say Kelly was more of an athlete, Astaire more of a dancer. Given an option, (i'd accept either, of course), I'd rather dance with Astaire. Taxi dancing is NOT my style, eh.
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jespah
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Nov, 2002 09:42 am
Psst ehBeth, my Dad's back from vacation. Shall I tell him you love his taste in songs? :-D
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Nov, 2002 10:35 am
I've been thinking about what's been said on this thread. I think I'll start a new thread on the non-singing, non-dancing roles of Gene Kelly. He had a couple, The Three Musketeers probably being the most notworthy. Watch this...no, no, don't watch this space. Watch some other space on this site.
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fbaezer
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Nov, 2002 02:14 pm
Last night, while all in the USA were ballrooming, trickortreating or watching horror flicks, I watched "Hair" on TV.

I think it stood quite well the test of time. Much better than its' predecessors JesusChrist Superstar or the awful Godspell.
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Hazlitt
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Nov, 2002 09:24 pm
Best Musical
Someone mentioned "Brush Up Your Shakespeare." That may be the funniest musical song of all time. It would possibly be tied, IMO, by "How Could You Believe Me When I Told You That I Love You When You Know I've Been a Lier All My Life," done by Fred Astare and Jane Powell in "Royal Wedding."

"Kiss Me Kate," besides the Wynn and Whitmore number, had all those great dances by Ann Miller and Bobby Van. "Too Darned Hot," "Why Can't You Be Good," "I'm Always True to You, In My Fashon," and others. They out shown the stars Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson (although they were great too).

We should mention "Show Boat" in which William Warfield sang "Old Man River." Marge and Gower Champion were wonderful dancing.

Cyd Charise was great with Astaire in "Band Wagon," but she was always too powerful a dancer for him. She was much better with Kelly. Ginger was perfect for Fred. Their dance on that staircase to "Never Gonna Dance" is perhaps the most beautiful thing ever put on the screen.

Another good one, although admittedly not the greatest ever, is "Annie Get Your Gun" with the wondreful Betty Hutton. What energy.
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Lightwizard
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Nov, 2002 09:44 pm
"Kiss Me Kate" was one of the few wide screen 3-D films and despite its shortcomings, a young Bob Fosse leaping in the air in the "From This Moment On" number is worth it all. The film toured in recent years in its original 3-D and the format was used to give perspective to the soundstage just as if one were in a theater.

The "Dancing in the Dark" number in "The Bandwagon" was the best Charisse/Astair dancing but the Mickey Spillane gangster sequence that ended the film is a triumph of staging.

The original sound black-and-white "Showboat" directed by none other than James Whale ("Frankenstein," and the bio film "Gods and Monsters")
features Paul Robeson belting out "Ol' Man River." Far superior to the color remake, the cast includes Allan Jones (Jack Jones dad), Helen Morgan, Hattie McDaniel ("Gone With the Wind" Oscar winner), and Irene Dunne. It's too bad Whale made so few films -- even George Cukor admitted he was a better director than anyone gives him credit for.
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Fri 1 Nov, 2002 09:58 pm
Hazlitt's mention of Warfield makes me want to jump in here with comments on Porgy, but that would be cheating. On the (relative) mis-match between Charise and Astaire, I think I'd argue that her 'power' ought more pointedly to be defined as her sexuality. Kelly could match that, but not Astaire.
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Lightwizard
 
  2  
Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 11:08 am
You're probably right, blatham, and the fact the Charisse was trained in ballet did not make the best dancing techique with Astaire while it did with Kelly. They were only paired again in "Silk Stockings." The Kelly/Charisse "Brigadoon" is a favorite of mine although it was too bad the studio opted for sets instead of on location. Seeing "Silk Stockings" in its wide screen is essential as it was the first time Astaire was able to utilize the scope of the image.

My favorite original musicals for film are:

1. "Singin' in the Rain"
2. "The Bandwagon"
3. "Seven Bridges for Seven Brothers"
4. "Good News"
5. "It's Always Fair Weather"
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blatham
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 11:43 am
LW

The range of your film knowledge is quite boggling, I must say.

My personal aesthetic actually gives a nod to the grace and sophistication (and imaginativeness in choreography) of Astaire, but I think Kelly a rather different sort of contributor to film.

I've briefly changed my avatar in order to run a suggestion past you folks. It has always seemed to me that Kelly, more than anyone else, seems to be the model for the classic comic book heroes of the fifties...isn't that superman there on the left?
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Merry Andrew
 
  1  
Reply Sat 2 Nov, 2002 11:45 am
"Seven Bridges for Seven Brothers" sounds like an interesting film, Lightwizard. Must be one I missed. How about "Bridgadoon"? Embarrassed
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