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Encyclopedia > Musical film

The musical film is a film genre in which several songs sung by the characters are interwoven into the narrative. The songs are used to advance the plot or develop the film's characters. A subgenre of the musical film is the musical comedy, which includes a strong element of humour as well as the usual music, dancing and storyline. In film theory, genre refers to the primary method of film categorization. ... For other uses, see Song (disambiguation). ... Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theater combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ... For other uses, see Humour (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Music (disambiguation). ... A contemporary dancer rehearsing in a dance studio Dance generally refers to human movement either used as a form of expression or presented in a social, spiritual or performance setting. ...


The musical film was a natural development of the stage musical. Typically, the biggest difference between film and stage musicals is the use of lavish background scenery which would be impractical in a theater. Musical films characteristically contain elements reminiscent of theater; performers often treat their song and dance numbers as if there is a live audience watching. In a sense, the viewer becomes the deictic audience, as the performer looks directly into the camera and performs to it. Musical theater (or theatre) is a form of theatre combining music, songs, dance, and spoken dialogue. ... For other usages see Theatre (disambiguation) Theater (American English) or Theatre (British English and widespread usage among theatre professionals in the US) is that branch of the performing arts concerned with acting out stories in front of an audience using combinations of speech, gesture, music, dance, sound and spectacle &#8212...

Contents

Western musical films

Musical films of the classical sound era

The 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s are often considered the golden age of the musical film, when the genre's popularity was at its height in the Western world. Occident redirects here. ...


The first musicals

In 1928, Warner Brothers released the first all-talking feature Lights of New York (1928) which included a musical sequence in a night club. The enthusiasm of audiences was so great that in less than a year all the major studios were making sound pictures exclusively. The first movie that could be said to be a musical was The Broadway Melody, it was a smash hit and won the Academy Award for Best Picture for 1929. There was a rush by the studios to hire talent from the stage to star in lavishly filmed version of Broadway hits. Warner Brothers produced the first screen operetta, The Desert Song in 1929. They spared no expense and photographed a large percentage of the film in Technicolor. This was followed by the first all color all talking musical feature which was entitled On with the Show (1929). The most popular film of 1929 was in fact the second all-color all-talking feature which was entitled Gold Diggers of Broadway (1929). This film broke all box office records and remained the highest grossing film ever produced until 1939. Suddenly the market became saturated with musicals, revues and operettas. The following all-color musicals were produced in 1929 and 1930 alone: The Show of Shows (1929), Sally (1929),The Vagabond King (1930), Follow Thru (1930), Bright Lights (1930), Golden Dawn (1930), Hold Everything (1930), The Rogue Song (1930), Song of the Flame (1930), Song of the West (1930), Sweet Kitty Bellairs (1930), Under A Texas Moon (1930), The Bride of the Regiment (1930), Whoopee! (1930), The King of Jazz (1930), Viennese Nights (1930), Kiss Me Again (1930). In addition, there were scores of musical features released with color sequences. By late 1930, audiences had been oversaturated with musicals and studios were forced to cut the music from films that were then being released. For example, Life of the Party (1930) was originally produced as an all-color all-talking musical comedy. Before it was released, however, the songs were cut out. The same thing happened to Fifty Million Frenchmen (1931) and Manhattan Parade (1932) both of which had been filmed entirely in Technicolor. The public had quickly come to associate color with musicals and thus the decline in their popularity also resulted in a decline in the use of color. This article is for the 1928 film. ... The Broadway Melody (1929) was the first Sound film to win an Oscar for Best Picture. ... // The Academy Award for Best Motion Picture is one of the Academy Awards, awards given to people working in the motion picture industry by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which are voted on by others within the industry. ... The Desert Song was a notable 1926 operetta with music by Sigmund Romberg and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II and Otto Harbach, respectively. ... Logo celebrating Technicolors 90th Anniversary Technicolor is the trademark for a series of color film processes pioneered by Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation (a subsidiary of Technicolor, Inc. ... Color Fragment from Film. ... opening number - Song of the Gold Diggers. ... The Show of Shows 1929 is an All-Talking musical revue that was photographed entirely in Technicolor (except for two brief black and white sequences). ... The Wild Rose number. ... The Vagabond King is a 1925 operetta by Rudolf Friml, with a book and lyrics by Brian Hooker and W.H. Post, telling a highly romanticized tall concerning the 15th century poet François Villon. ... Follow Thru is a 1930 musical comedy film photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... An editor has expressed a concern that the subject of the article does not satisfy one of the guidelines for inclusion on Wikipedia on one of the following topics: If you are familiar with the subject matter, please expand the article to establish its notability, citing reliable sources. ... Golden Dawn is a 1930 musical operetta film photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... Hold Everything 1930 is an All-Talking musical comedy that was photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... The Rogue Song is a 1930 musical romance film which tells the story of a Russian bandit who falls in love with a princess, but takes his revenge on her when her brother rapes and kills his sister. ... Song of the Flame is a 1930 musical operetta film photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... Advertisment for the film. ... Sweet Kitty Bellairs is a 1930 musical comedy film photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... Under A Texas Moon is a 1930 musical western film photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... The Bride of the Regiment is a 1930 musical operetta film photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... Whoopee! is a Broadway musical comedy which debuted on 4 December 1928. ... The King of Jazz premiered on April 20, 1930, starring Paul Whiteman and his orchestra. ... Viennese Nights is a 1930 musical operetta film photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... Kiss Me Again is a 1931 musical operetta film photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... The Life of the Party is a 1930 musical comedy film photographed entirely in Technicolor. ... Fifty Million Frenchmen is a musical comedy written by Cole Porter and produced on Broadway in 1929. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Logo celebrating Technicolors 90th Anniversary Technicolor is the trademark for a series of color film processes pioneered by Technicolor Motion Picture Corporation (a subsidiary of Technicolor, Inc. ...


Busby Berkeley

The taste in musicals was finally revived once again in 1933. Director Busby Berkeley began to enhance the traditional dance number with ideas drawn from the drill precision he had experienced as a soldier during the First World War. In films such as Gold Diggers of 1933, 42nd Street (1933), Berkeley choreographed a number of films in his unique style. Berkeley's numbers typically begin on a stage but gradually transcend the limitations of theatrical space: his ingenious routines, involving human bodies forming patterns like a kaleidoscope, could never fit onto a real stage and the intended perspective is viewing from straight above. Kaleidoscopic Choreography from Footlight Parade, 1933 Busby Berkeley (November 29, 1895 – March 14, 1976), born William Berkeley Enos in Los Angeles, California, was a highly influential Hollywood movie director and musical choreographer. ... It has been suggested that Drill (military) be merged into this article or section. ... Ypres, 1917, in the vicinity of the Battle of Passchendaele. ... 42nd Street is a 1933 musical film, set on the famous Manhattan street of that name, which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. ...


Musical stars

Musical stars such as Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers were among the most popular and highly respected personalities in Hollywood during the classical era; the Fred and Ginger pairing was particularly successful, resulting in a number of classic films, such as Top Hat (1935), Swing Time (1936) and Carefree (1938). Fred Astaire (May 10, 1899 – June 22, 1987), born Frederick Austerlitz in Omaha, Nebraska,[1] was an American film and Broadway stage dancer, choreographer, singer and actor. ... Ginger Rogers (Virginia Katherine McMath, July 16, 1911 – April 25, 1995) was an Academy Award-winning American film and stage actress and singer. ... Duke Ellington wearing a top hat. ... This article is about the film. ... Carefree is a 1938 film starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. ...


Many dramatic actors gladly participated in musicals as a way to break away from their typical typecasting. For instance, the multi-talented James Cagney had originally risen to fame as a stage singer and dancer, but his repeated casting in "tough guy" roles and gangster movies gave him few chances to display these talents. Cagney's Oscar-winning role in Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) allowed him to sing and dance, and he considered it to be one of his finest moments. James Francis Cagney, Jr. ... Academy Award The Academy Awards, popularly known as the Oscars, are the most prominent and most watched film awards ceremony in the world. ... Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 biographical film about George M. Cohan, starring James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf, Irene Manning, George Tobias, Rosemary DeCamp and Jeanne Cagney. ...


Many comedies (and a few dramas) included their own musical numbers. The Marx Brothers' movies included a musical number in nearly every film, allowing the Brothers to highlight their musical talents. This article is about the comedian siblings. ...


The Freed Unit

During the late 1940s and into the 1950s, a production unit at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer headed by Arthur Freed made the transition from old-fashioned musical films, whose formula had become repetitive, to something new. In 1939, Freed was hired as associate producer of The Wizard of Oz, and rescued the film's signature song, Over the Rainbow, from the editor's scissors. Recruiting his own workers, mostly from Broadway and the New York stage, Freed was responsible for bringing such talents as director Vincente Minnelli to the world of film. Starting in 1944 with Meet Me in St. Louis, the Freed Unit worked independently of its own studio to produce some of the most popular and well-known examples of the genre. The products of this unit include Easter Parade (1948), On the Town (1949), An American in Paris (1951), Singin' in the Rain (1952) and The Band Wagon (1953). This era allowed the greatest talents in movie musical history to flourish, including Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Ann Miller, Donald O'Connor, Cyd Charisse, Mickey Rooney, Jane Powell, Howard Keel, and Kathryn Grayson. Fred Astaire was also coaxed out of retirement for Easter Parade and made a permanent comeback. For alternate meanings of MGM, see MGM (disambiguation). ... Arthur Freed (September 9, 1894 - April 12, 1973) was born Arthur Grossman in Down Ton Ton Village. ... The Wizard of Oz (film) redirects here. ... For other uses, see Over the Rainbow (disambiguation). ... For other uses of Broadway, see Broadway. ... This article is about the state. ... Vincente Minnelli (February 28, 1903 – July 25, 1986) was a famous Hollywood director and accomplished stage director, often considered by critics to be the father of the modern musical. ... Meet Me in St. ... Easter Parade is a 1948 musical film starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland. ... This article is about the 1949 film. ... An American in Paris is a 1951 musical film inspired by the 1928 classical composition by George Gershwin. ... For other uses, see Singin in the Rain. ... The Band Wagon is a musical comedy film, released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in 1953, which tells the story of an aging musical star who wants to star in a Broadway play that will restart his career. ... Judy Garland (born Frances Ethel Gumm; June 10, 1922 - June 22, 1969) was an Academy Award-nominated American film actress and singer, best known for her role as Dorothy Gale in The Wizard of Oz (1939). ... For the similarly-named American actress, see Jean Kelly. ... Ann Miller was born on April 12, 1923 and died on January 22, 2004. ... Donald David Dixon Ronald O’Connor (August 28, 1925 – September 27, 2003) was an American dancer, singer, and actor who came to fame in a series of movies in which he co-starred alternately with Gloria Jean, Peggy Ryan, and Francis the Talking Mule. ... Cyd Charisse Cyd Charisse is an American dancer and actress. ... Actor Mickey Rooney speaks at the Pentagon in 2000 during a ceremony honoring the USO. Mickey Rooney (born Joseph Yule, Jr. ... Jane Powell (born April 1, 1929) is an American singer, entertainer and actor. ... Howard Keel, born Harry Clifford Leek (April 13, 1919 – November 7, 2004) was an American actor who starred in many of the classic film musicals of the 1950s. ... Kathryn Grayson (born February 9, 1922) is an American actress and singer who was born Zelma Kathryn Elisabeth Hedrick in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. ...


The post-classical musical films

The 1950s musical

Since the 1950s, the musical film has declined in popularity. One reason was the change in culture to rock n' roll and the freedom and youth associated with it. Elvis Presley made a few movies that have been equated with the old musicals in terms of form. Most of the musical films of the 50s and 60s, e.g. Oklahoma! and The Sound of Music, were straightforward adaptations or restagings of successful stage productions. Rock and roll (also spelled rock n roll, especially in its first decade), also called rock, is a form of popular music, usually featuring vocals (often with vocal harmony), electric guitars and a strong back beat; other instruments, such as the saxophone, are common in some styles. ... The 1943 musical play Oklahoma!, written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II (see Rodgers and Hammerstein), was adapted into an Academy Award–winning musical film in 1955, starring Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones (in her film debut), Rod Steiger, Gloria Grahame and Eddie Albert. ... Rodgers and Hammersteins The Sound of Music is a 1965 film directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews in the lead role. ...


The musical film today

After the 1960s, filmmakers tended to avoid "musical films" in favour of using music by popular rock or pop bands as background music, in the hope of selling a soundtrack album to fans. However, there are exceptions to this rule. Films about actors, dancers or singers have been made as successful modern-style musical films, with the music as a diegetic part of the storyline. Most animated movies also include traditional musical numbers; some of these movies later became live stage productions, such as Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King. Wendy loves High school Musical. A soundtrack album is any album that incorporates music from a particular feature film. ... According to Gerald Prince in A Dictionary of Narratology, diegesis is (1) The (fictional) world in which the situations and events narrated occur; (2) Telling, recounting, as opposed to showing, enacting. ... An animated cartoon is a moving picture generated by photographing drawings frame-by-frame, as opposed to a normal movie, which is produced by shooting 24 frames a second of actual moving persons or objects. ... For other uses, see Beauty and the Beast (disambiguation). ... This article is about Disneys 1994 film. ...


In the early 2000s, the musical film began to rise in popularity once more, with new works such as Moulin Rouge! and Across the Universe (film); film remakes of stage shows, such as Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera, Rent, and Dreamgirls; and even film versions of stage shows that were themselves based on non-musical films, such as The Producers, Hairspray and Sweeney Todd. Under the mainstream radar, there have been acclaimed independent musical films, such as Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Dancer in the Dark; and foreign musical films, such as 8 Femmes, The Other Side of the Bed, Yes Nurse, No Nurse and Clear Blue Tuesday. In 2004, the New York Musical Theatre Festival presented a week-long festival of modern movie musicals that included 10 independent features made since 1996, as well as several programs of short movie musicals. Moulin Rouge is a 2001 Academy Award-winning jukebox musical film directed by Baz Luhrmann. ... Across the Universe is an award-winning 2007 musical film directed by Julie Taymor and written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais. ... This article is about the 2002 film. ... The Phantom of the Opera is a 2004 Joel Schumacher directed film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber and Charles Harts internationally successful 1986 stage musical, which is in turn based on the novel The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux. ... Rent is a 2005 film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name. ... Dreamgirls is a 2006 American musical film jointly produced and released by DreamWorks Pictures and Paramount Pictures. ... The Producers is a 2005 film based on the 2001 Broadway musical of the same name, which is in turn based on the 1968 movie starring Zero Mostel, Gene Wilder and Andréas Voutsinas. ... For the 1988 film, see Hairspray (1988 film). ... For other uses, see Sweeney Todd (disambiguation). ... Dancer in the Dark is a multi award-winning musical film drama released in 2000. ... Each year, during a three-week fall Festival, the New York Musical Theatre Festival presents more than thirty new musicals at venues in New York Citys midtown theater district. ...


Indian musical films

Main article: Bollywood

Another exception to the decline of the musical film is the Indian film industry, especially Bollywood, where the vast majority of films have been and still are musicals. Thanks to the incumbent Bollywood formula of the often garish and unrealistic "song and dance" routine, and the lack of an independent Indian popular music scene until the late nineties, the Indian film and popular music industries have been intertwined since virtually the beginning of film production in the country. Some top playback singers are celebrities in India due to the demand for so-called filmi singles and albums. This trend continues even to date, although a few of the newer Bollywood films (usually in the English language or art genres) are breaking the mold by releasing films with no songs (such as Black, Matrubhoomi and 15, Park Avenue). Bollywood (Hindi: , Urdu: ) is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India. ... The Indian film industry is the largest in the world in terms of the ticket sales and the number of films produced annually (877 feature films and 1177 short films were released in the year 2003 alone). ... Bollywood (Hindi: , Urdu: ) is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India. ... Open seat redirects here. ... Bollywood (Hindi: , Urdu: ) is the informal name given to the popular Mumbai-based Hindi-language film industry in India. ... For the music genre, see Pop music. ... A playback singer is a singer whose vocals are pre-recorded for use in films. ... For other uses, see Celebrity (disambiguation). ... Timeline and Samples Genres Classical (Carnatic and Hindustani) - Folk - Rock - Pop - Hip hop Awards Bollywood Music Awards - Punjabi Music Awards Charts Festivals Sangeet Natak Akademi – Thyagaraja Aradhana – Cleveland Thyagaraja Aradhana Media Sruti, The Music Magazine National anthem Jana Gana Mana, also national song Vande Mataram Music of the states Andaman... Black (Hindi: ब्लॅक) is a Hindi and Indian English film released in 2005 and directed by Sanjay Leela Bhansali. ... Matrubhoomi (traslation: Motherland) is an Indian film. ... 15, Park Avenue is a movie made by the acclaimed Indian Bengali director Aparna Sen. ...


Lists of musical films

This is a general list of musicals, including Broadway musicals, West End musicals and film musicals, whose titles fall into the A-L alphabetic range. ... This is a general list of musicals, including Broadway musicals, West End musicals and film musicals, whose titles fall into the M-Z alphabetic range. ... The following is a list of musical films, listed in chronological order. ... A list of films produced by the Bollywood film industry based in Mumbai ordered by year of release. ... This is a list of popular Bollywood films in reverse chronological order. ...

See also


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