Singin' in the Rain (1952)
What makes this the greatest movie musical of all time? What
makes it better than, say, "West
Side Story" or "An
American in Paris"? What, besides a top notch script,
terrific songs, incredible dancing, vivid camera work, and a
cast that is absolutely to die for, makes it so good? Perhaps
it is the fact that "Singin' in the Rain" is a movie
about movies, and as everyone knows, Hollywood is never better
than when it focuses on itself. Co-directed by Stanley
Donen and Gene Kelley, "Singin' in the Rain"
comically traces the great transition from silent films to "talkies".
The title comes from the song that is showcased in one of the
most jubilant scenes in this, or any, movie musical.
here for more information about "Singin' In The
here for Jon Matthews review of "Singin'
In The Rain" Click
here for an explaination of Production Numbers: As They
Apply to "Singin' in the Rain" By: Michael Massey
"A Hard Day's Night" (1964)
The good people of Hollywood have never been what one might
call particularly gutsy. They don't like to stray from pre-established
plans. But sometimes an opportunity comes that simply mustn't
be passed up. In 1964, the Beatles had made their American invasion
and had the whole country enthralled. "Perhaps, making
a movie with them might work," thought the big Hollywood
brass. "Let's give it a try." So they did. Granted,
it wasn't a very valiant effort, as the end project, "A
Hard Day's Night", was shot in six days with a shoe string
budget, minimal cast, and really no discernable plot. Fortunately,
the charisma of the Fab Four keeps the film energetic and the
band members (especially John and Ringo) show remarkable gifts
for comedic timing. And the music is swell, too.
here for more information about "A Hard Day's Night"
here for Dustin Gibeson's comparison of "A Hard
Day's Night" and "Help!"
Feeling Adventurous? Take the Musicals
Practice Test to find out whether you are ready
to become a "shimmering star in the cinema firmament".
here for sample essay and discussion questions for this
If you are interested in watching other great musicals click
here to see more of our favorites.
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