Meryem Ersoz requests:
> And now, I have a question of my own. I teach a one-term history of film
> class and--like many others I'm sure--have that uncomfortable task of
> choosing the ONE film to stand in for the history of entire genres. I feel
> quite stuck on which full-length feature musical to choose in order to
> represent The Musical. I have two shorts, St. Louis Blues with Bessie
> Smith and Black and Tan Fantasy with Duke Ellington, (along with the
> requisite Jazz Singer clip) to talk about the coming of sound. Can anyone
> suggest a feature-length musical which would complement these choices?
Although it thoroughly avoids any kind of racial reference, I can think
of no better film as a prototypical musical than SINGIN' IN THE RAIN.
Not only is it a fine example of the zenith of the fully-formed movie
musical before the genre was overwhelmed by cinematized Broadway hits,
but it also deals with the very history of movie musicals themselves.
Most of the musical numbers are from previous Freed-scored or produced
MGM musicals and there are references within the plot or musical
numbers to Jeannette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy; Mickey Rooney and Judy
Garland; Busby Berkeley; and others. Add to that a plot that springs
from the success of THE JAZZ SINGER itself, and you should have a lot
Donald Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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