Monday, February 11, 2013

If Ever A Wonder of Which There Was

Talk about good timing. Even though it's never been my favorite genre, I've been thinking about doing something about musicals lately. In December for a brief moment I was excited about Les Miserables, it had such a great trailer. (Then of course I saw the movie, and notsomuch.) And then just the other week there was the 40th anniversary of Cabaret, a musical that I unabashedly enjoy. So the genre's have been doing the two-step with some jazz hands across my brain. 

And then suddenly what should arise but, in honor of the 90th anniversary of Warner Brothers, a big beautiful new boxed-set of 20 of WB's most cherished musicals. The Best of Warner Brothers - 20 Film Collection: Musicals is out on DVD tomorrow. Look at the movies that are on it!

The Jazz Singer 
 Broadway Melody of 1929 
42nd Street 
 The Great Ziegfeld 
Wizard of Oz 
Yankee Doodle Dandy 
An American In Paris 
Show Boat 
Singin In The Rain 
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers 
A Star Is Born 
The Music Man 
Viva Las Vegas 
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 
That’s Entertainment 
Victor, Victoria 
Little Shop of Horrors 

I mean there are five movies that I've not only already seen but I love on that list, and with my musical-batting-average that's an astonishing percentage. But then there are fourteen films that I haven't ever seen! And now's my chance.

A few years ago I did a couple of posts at The Film Experience wherein I had you the readers pick a musical for me to watch, which I'd then review, and I think it's time to trot out "Make Me Watch A Musical" again. I am giving it to you, the people, the choice - which three musicals from The Best of Warner Brothers - 20 Film Collection: Musicals should I review? (I'm leaving out the films I have already seen.)
The polls close at 7pm on Wednesday, February 13th.
Choose wisely, keeping in mind my delicate constitution, please.


Jee Jay said...

for the love of all that is holy, whatever you do, do NOT see the 1951 'Show Boat' if you have not already seen the 1936 version.

The early one, directed by James Whale, is a tremendously moving American music drama. The 1951 version is only pleasant cotton candy.


joel65913 said...

My choice for the first set was 42nd Street. I've always loved James Cagney but I wasn't a big fan of Yankee Doodle Dandy, and if you don't like him you'd HATE the film since he's most of the show.

Tough choices on the last two sets. Except for An American in Paris which I equate with dental surgery the second group are all enjoyable films. Can't agree with Jee Jay about Show Boat which has fantastic songs plus Ava Gardner at her peak, it's a personal thing of course but I prefer this version to the Whale film. I voted for A Star is Born though, it's Judy Garland's greatest performance and a fine film as well.

Set three boils down to two really. Camelot has great music but miscast actors and a draggy pace and That's Entertainment is a wonderful documentary with endlessly wonderful clips but it's not really a movie per se. So that leaves Viva Las Vegas and Victor/Victoria. VLV is one of Elvis's best films, true that is not a high bar but in this case it is a fun movie with two stars bursting with charisma and chemistry. But I voted for Victor/Victoria it has a more complex setup and story and a deep bench of talent.

Anonymous said...

Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is actually pretty good despite some of the eye rolling sexism. The sets are beautiful and some of the brothers are really hot (I think you'd like that).

Anonymous said...

You need to see "The Great Ziegfeld" if for no other reason than the heartbreaking, Oscar winning performance by Louise Rainer. I've never forgotten the 'telephone scene.'

Anonymous said...

Another plug for "The Great Ziegfeild ". For Ms Rainer's work.

Really it's less of a musical than simply a film about characters who work as musical artists.

Glenn said...

Gosh, don't whatever you do watch SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS. Absolutely appalling movie, that.

I chose 42ND STREET because it's not a musical until the end. Also AMERICAN IN PARIS thanks to Kelly's arse, and VICTOR VICTORIA because, well, duh. Although THAT'S ENTERTAINING is a great place to start for all musicals since it's just a compilation of all the best.

Anonymous said...

Victor Victoria is just dreadful. The director opted out for a stupid more hetero friendly version. The performances are far too broad and and very rarely work. Even the lovely Lesley Ann Warren fails to impress. Blake Edwards is far too slap happy. That shtick may work in some of his other films but with this material it's so distracting and bizarrely out of place. A major failure.