Greatest Song and Dance
Musical Moments and Scenes

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Greatest Song and Dance Musical Moments and Scenes
Film Title/Year and Brief Musical Scenes Description

Adam's Rib (1949)

In the comedic/dramatic tale of two married lawyers (Amanda Bonner (Katharine Hepburn) and her husband Adam (Spencer Tracy)) on opposite sides of a court case (a battle of the sexes), they enjoyed an evening meal together.

Their song-writing neighbor Kip (David Wayne) joined them, and played a new song he had composed in her tribute at the piano: Farewell, Amanda (a Cole Porter tune) (pictured). Adam remained at the table and Amanda stood at the kitchen door - whistling as he sang.

Aladdin (1992)

Disney's animated film included:

  • the Oscar-nominated wild, shapeshifting song Friend Like Me by the spirited Genie (voice of Robin Williams)
  • Aladdin's (singing voice by Brad Kane) romantic, Oscar-winning Best Song A Whole New World sung to Jasmine (singing voice by Lea Salonga) while he took her around the world on his magic carpet

Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

In this popular and lavish film set in turn of the century San Francisco and produced by Darryl Zanuck at Fox, Irving Berlin's many hit songs (a count of 30) were sung by many of the performers, including Alice Faye as band singer Stella Kirby (who became a famous Broadway star). The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and also garnered five other nominations, with Alfred Newman winning the Best Score Oscar.

Alice Faye's songs included the title tune Alexander's Ragtime Band (pictured), Everybody's Doin' It Now , and Now It Can Be Told (with Don Ameche as composer Charlie Dwyer).

In addition, full-throated Ethel Merman (as singer Gerry Allen) sang Say It With Music (pictured) to classical violinist and song-writer Roger Grant (Tyrone Power). She also belted out Blue Skies ("Nothing but blue skies do I see") (with Alice Faye), as well as Pack Up Your Sins and Go to the Devil - and her most famous rendition of Heat Wave with a chorus during a Carnegie Hall band concert.

An immortal rendition of Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In the Morning was wearily sung by Jack Haley (as bandmate Davey Lane) and an army chorus, and Don Ameche performed Easter Parade.

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

This Disney animated classic featured:

  • the White Rabbit's (voice of Bill Thompson) frantic song I'm Late as he dashed along
  • The Mad Hatter's (voice of Ed Wynn) anarchic The Unbirthday Song sung at the Mad Tea Party

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)

Animator Don Bluth's third film began with the show-stopping opening number You Can't Keep a Good Dog Down (pictured), performed by rakish German shepherd dog pound ('death row') escapee Charlie B. Barkin (voice of Burt Reynolds) with accompaniment by nervous dachshund Itchy (voice of Dom DeLuise):

"Oh, you can't keep a good dog down (No sir) / No you can't keep a good dog down / I've seen pain and hurt (That's right) / I've eaten dirt (That's true) / It's hard to buy, but even I / Have been jilted by a skirt (He lies) / Look out, I'm still around / 'Cause you can't keep a good dog down..."

The duet Let Me Be Surprised (pictured) was sung in heaven between Charlie and angelic purplish-pink Heavenly Whippet Annabelle (voice of gospel singer Melba Moore):

"Oh ain't it great (Ain't it great) / When fate lets you wait / The world seems mirthless / You feel worthless / And suddenly there's a big / Bone on your plate"

There was also the out-of-nowhere water-ballet duet Let's Make Music Together (pictured) between Charlie and a giant green musical alligator King Gator (voice of Ken Page):

"Lift our voices together partner / Let's make music forever, baby / And we'll always be friends / Let's make music together / Let's make sweet harmony"

The upbeat gospel finale Hallejulah (during the credits) came after self-sacrificial Charlie died and was taken to heaven rather than hell - when he complained: "Hold it! Hold it! I know we're dead up here, but so's the music. Come on. Heat it up!"

All of Me (1984)

This gender-switching comedy ended with a famous "mirror" dance in which Roger Cobb (Steve Martin) and Edwina Cutwater (Lily Tomlin) joyously danced in a mirror's reflection to All of Me, before collapsing on each other.

All That Jazz (1979)

Roy Scheider brilliantly characterized the self-destructive, flawed and egotistical choreographer/director Joe Gideon (based upon real-life entertainer and this film's director Bob Fosse) - known for his trademark: "It's showtime, folks!" It told the story of Fosse's own making of the Broadway musical Chicago set in the 1920s. [Years later, director/choreographer Rob Marshall made the film version of Chicago (2002), using Bob Fosse's style.]

The film, a cautionary tale about excess (originally titled Dying), opened with the 'cattle call' dance audition sequence featuring George Benson's version of On Broadway.

Also there was the impromptu bowler-top hat and tails song-and-dance act performed in Joe's apartment by his girlfriend/lover Katie Jagger (Ann Reinking, Fosse's real-life lover essentially playing herself) and his pre-teen daughter Michelle Gideon (Erzsebet Foldi).

The film also included the sweaty and sensual Air-Rotica dance sequence "Take Off With Us" with sexy and half-naked Sandahl Bergman.

In the spectacular finale - the film's most outstanding number - television host O'Connor Flood (Ben Vereen) sang Bye Bye Life (originally Bye Bye Love) with Gideon to a heavenly studio audience in a hallucinatory dance-musical number during Gideon's near-death experience after a heart attack - with chorus girls dancing around his hospital bed. This dark finale ended with Gideon zipped into a body bag.

American Hot Wax (1978)

This revisionistic Paramount musical biopic told the fictionalized story of Ohio disc jockey and record producer Alan Freed (Tim McIntire) (also known as "Moondog"), whose music was considered dangerous to 1950s' censorial sensibilities. The FBI organized a campaign to destroy rock 'n' roll and its promoters, one of whom was Freed, who had staged the first rock-n-roll concert ever ("The Moondog Coronation Ball") in 1952 in Cleveland for a racially-mixed audience. He had been championing black musicians and R&B music, both precursors to rock.

Freed popularized the term 'rock-n-roll' on his radio show (especially after his move to NYC when he made WINS a Top 40 R&R radio station), and also appeared in some milestone mid-50s rock movies, including Rock Around the Clock (1956) and Rock, Rock, Rock (1956). He also hosted the ABC dance show The Big Beat in 1957, until a scandal involving black Frankie Lymon (Carl Earl Weaver in the film) dancing with a white girl (from the studio audience) on camera forced the show to be cancelled. When charged (and convicted) of accepting 'payola' bribe money from record companies in the early 1960s, his life went into a tailspin and he died of alcoholism in 1965 at the age of 43.

The film featured performances by Chuck Berry ("Reelin' and Rockin'" and "Roll Over Beethoven"), Jerry Lee Lewis ("Great Balls of Fire"), Frankie Ford ("Sea Cruise"), Screamin' Jay Hawkins ("I Put a Spell on You"), and the Chesterfields ("Why Do Fools Fall in Love?"). The film ended with Freed's quote: "You can stop me, but you're never gonna stop rock & roll!"


An American in Paris (1951)

In this superb Best Picture-winning prestigious musical from MGM (director Vincente Minnelli and producer Arthur Freed, and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner) that recycled some Ira and George Gershwin tunes, ex-GI American painter Jerry Mulligan (Honorary Award-winning Gene Kelly) faced a choice: to become a kept man, or to fall in love with a beautiful Parisian dancer?

Jerry performed the much-remembered song/dance I Got Rhythm (pictured) to neighborhood street children in Paris. He also delivered an enchanting romantic song/dance Our Love is Here to Stay (pictured) that was tenderly presented to waifish perfume shop clerk Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron) on the quay next to the bank of the Seine River (a studio-built Paris).

Also included in the film was vaudeville star Henri Baurel's (French music hall star Georges Guetary) elaborate and lush Folies Bergere-like rendition of I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise (pictured) with lavish-costumed chorus girls. Other numbers included Lise's Embraceable You with six facets of her personality appearing simultaneously, and Jerry's song/dance with Henri in the Latin Quarter titled S'Wonderful.

The most extravagant number was the closing audacious 17-minute symphonic American in Paris (pictured) ballet of Jerry and Lise dancing before lavish, colorful and impressionistic backdrops, fountains and artistic settings based on the works of famous and celebrated French painters (Dufy, Utrillo, Renoir, Van Gogh, Rousseau, and Toulouse-Lautrec) - he pursued her through the continually-changing backdrop of Paris.

An American Tail (1986)

Fievel and sister Tanya Mousekewitz (voices of seven year-old Phillip Glasser and Amy Green) both sang the Oscar-nominated, soulful and sweet ballad Somewhere Out There in parallel to each other and at a full moon after Fievel was separated from his family during a fierce storm during their voyage to NYC in America in the late 1800s.

The popular song was also reprised during the credits with the voices of Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram.

Greatest Song and Dance Musical Movie Moments and Scenes
(alphabetical by film title)
Introduction | A - 1 | A - 2 | B - 1 | B - 2 | B - 3 | C - 1 | C - 2 | D - 1 | D - 2 | E | F - 1 | F - 2 | G - 1 | G - 2
H - 1 | H - 2 | I - J | K | L - 1 | L - 2 | M - 1 | M - 2 | N - O | P - 1 | P - 2 | R - 1 | R - 2 | S - 1 | S - 2 | S - 3 | T | U - V | W | X - Z

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