Category Archives: Musicals

Rosalie

Rosalie (1937) Fans of Eleanor Powell will wonder how she detoured into this Jeanette MacDonald/Nelson Eddy overblown costume piece — and in the role of Jeanette MacDonald no less! Whereas delicate Jeanette would have floated through this pageant with an air of fluttering dignity, pants-wearing […]

Fantasia

Fantasia (1940) The world’s top conductor Leopold Stokowski was a bit of a rock star, associated with dating Greta Garbo and jetsetting around the world. Walt Disney pioneered family entertainment with the risky, but wildly successful Snow White. The two couldn’t have been more opposite, […]

Rock & Rule

Rock & Rule (1983) director Clive A. Smith music Deborah Harry, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, Cheap Trick, Earth Wind and Fire starring (voice) Catherine O’Hara Ever get a song stuck in your head? When Debbie Harry supplied her talents for the underwhelming animated musical Rock […]

Meet Me in Las Vegas

Meet Me in Las Vegas (1956) Cyd Charisse headlines as an uptight ballerina in a Vegas show (??). Dan Dailey is an unlucky rancher who loves to gamble. A chance meeting in a casino leads them to discover they have an unbeatable winning streak as […]

Till the Clouds Roll By

Till the Clouds Roll By (1946) Suppose you were so boring that when Hollywood decided to make the movie of your life they had to add extra characters that never really existed just so you could be more interesting…? Set to the music of Jerome […]

Night and Day

Night and Day (1946) What befits a legend more than a completely false biography? Night and Day is a fictional account of the fictional marriage between America’s most aristocratic and prolific songwriter Cole Porter and society divorcee Linda Lee Thomas. They met while drifting through […]

St Louis Blues

St Louis Blues (1958) It’s actually the fictional biography of W. C. Handy the Grandfather of Blues, a talented composer who translated the voice of his people into timeless music, a scholar and savvy business man who in real life was among the first to […]

The Dolly Sisters

The Dolly Sisters (1945) The Dolly Sisters bears little resemblance to the real life twins whose scandalous affairs and gambling wins made them the toast of Jazz age society and Ziegfeld’s darlings. And it’s hard to tell whether this campy musical is intentionally tongue-in-cheek or […]

The Great Ziegfeld

The Great Ziegfeld (1936) Coney Island’s sideshows had PT Barnum… Monte Carlo’s Ballet Russe had Diagalev… and Broadway had Florenz Ziegfeld Jr, a huckster, a gambler, and a womanizer of exquisite taste who introduced his signature showgirls, brought vaudeville comedians uptown, and staged elaborate productions […]

Goldwyn Follies

Goldwyn Follies (1938) Ziegfeld’s Follies has a little bit of everything and something for everyone (except plot). The good thing about a follies is that they showcase a variety of talent, each to their best, and then move along before a singer has to dance […]

Down to Earth

Down to Earth (1947) Rita Hayworth dazzles as the Greek goddess Terpsichore, muse of song and dance. When she discovers a Broadway show will portray her as a man-hungry jazz mama, she schemes to get down to Earth to set the producer straight. Somehow Terpsichore […]

Xanadu

Xanadu (1980) Although it’s often compared with Down to Earth, the 1947 musical about a meddling muse starring Rita Hayworth, Xanadu exists firmly in it’s own girly space-time continuum. An era of blousy peasant skirts slit to the waist, rollerskates, leg warmers, and hair ribbons. […]