Greatest Song and Dance
Musical Moments and Scenes


Greatest Song and Dance Musical Moments and Scenes
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Easter Parade (1948)

This memorable MGM film by director Charles Waters was set in 1912, with a storyline of how vaudeville dancer Don Hewes (Fred Astaire, coming out of retirement) turned an aspiring chorus girl protege Hannah Brown (Judy Garland) into a star after he was dropped by his Broadway-bound dance partner Nadine Hale (Ann Miller).

This was Astaire's and Garland's first and only teaming together, and producer Arthur Freed's fifth collaboration with composer Irving Berlin. The film won the Academy Award for Best Musical Score.

It was filled with seventeen Irving Berlin songs, including:

  • the dance number It Only Happens When I Dance With You (pictured) between Astaire and partner Ann Miller in a hotel suite
  • Miller's strong song/dance rendition of Shakin' the Blues Away
  • Astaire's slow-motion version of Steppin' Out With My Baby
  • the gleeful Astaire/Garland comic duet (We're) A Couple of Swells (pictured) while dressed as tramps
  • the opening rendition of Happy Easter
  • the marvelous vaudeville montage sequence with Astaire and Garland entitled When That Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam (pictured)
  • and the closing performance of the title number Easter Parade (pictured twice)

Easy Rider (1969)

# 29 "Born to Be Wild"

This was a late 1960s "road film" tale of a search for freedom (or the illusion of freedom) in a conformist America, in the midst of paranoia, bigotry and violence. The iconographic "buddy" film was a story of a contemporary journey eastward through the American Southwest by two self-righteous, anti-hero, free-wheeling, long-haired, social misfits / dropouts / hippies.

After a brief prologue depicting the purchase of white powdery cocaine in Mexico, the two main characters appeared in Los Angeles and sold the drugs to their Connection (Phil Spector, the famous rock and roll producer in a cameo role) in a Rolls Royce. The drug deal was finalized to the tune of Steppenwolf's The Pusher (pictured), a song which was overtly against hard-drug pushers and dealing.

The stash of money was used to finance a trip cross-country on high-handled motorcycles by the two protagonists, part-time drug dealers:

  • "Captain America" Wyatt (Peter Fonda), cool and introspective, riding a shiny, silver-chromed low-riding bike with a 'stars-and-stripes' tear-drop gas tank, wearing a tight leather pants held at the waist by a round belt-buckle and a black leather jacket with an American flag emblazoned on the back. He also wore a 'stars-and-stripes' helmet
  • Billy the Kid (Dennis Hopper), mustached, shaggy and long-haired, with a tan-colored bush hat, fringed buckskin jacket, shades, and an Indian necklace of animals' teeth

The two took to the open road on their motorcycles, crossed the Colorado River and passed through unspoiled buttes and sand-colored deserts, as the credits began to scroll, accompanied by the sound of the popular song by Steppenwolf: Born To Be Wild (pictured numerous times). It was the start of a beautiful adventure as they traveled through memorable landscapes of America's natural beauty, accompanied by the pounding of rock music verses:

Get your motor runnin', Head out on the highway, Lookin' for adventure, And whatever comes our way. Yeah, darlin' gonna make it happen, Take the world in a love embrace Fire all of the guns at once and Explode into space. I like smoke and lightnin', Heavy metal thunder, Racin' with the wind And the feelin' that I'm under...Like a true nature's child, We were born, born to be wild, We can climb so high, I never wanna die. Born to Be Wild Born to Be Wild...

8 Mile (2002)

# 93 "Lose Yourself"

Best Original Song: Lose Yourself

This semi-biographical urban drama included Jimmy 'B-Rabbit' Smith Jr.'s (controversial rap star Eminem) performance of the Oscar-winning Best Song Lose Yourself (pictured twice)

You better lose yourself in the music, the moment / You own it, you better never let it go, oh / You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow / This opportunity comes once in a lifetime, oh

Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

Writer/actor/director Woody Allen attempted to recapture the era of Hollywood musicals with this musical comedy and a large cast (mostly non-professional dancers and singers).

The soundtrack contained many old 30s and 40s standards, such as non-singing actor Edward Norton (as Holden) singing Just You, Just Me in the opening scene and My Baby Just Cares for Me (pictured).

One memorable song in a hospital setting was the old standard Makin' Whoopee (pictured).

And in the 'ghostly' number Enjoy Yourself (It's Later Than You Think) (pictured), spirits came alive and danced at a funeral:

"Enjoy yourself, it's later than you think Enjoy yourself, while you're still in the pink The years go by, as quickly as you wink Enjoy yourself, enjoy yourself, it's later than you think."

It also included a romantic, graceful, and gravity-defying flying dance between divorced couple Joe (Woody Allen) and Steffi (Goldie Hawn) on the banks of the Seine River in Paris on Christmas Eve (with homage to Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron in An American in Paris (1951)) after she wistfully sang I'm Thru With Love (pictured).

Also memorable was the song/dance Hooray for Captain Spaulding (pictured) with a decorated ballroom full of dancing Groucho Marxs.

Evita (1996)

Best Original Song: You Must Love Me

Director and screenwriter Alan Parker honored Tim Rice's book of the musical play Evita and Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1978 Broadway musical in this melodramatic and musical screen adaptation. The film was most notable for its record number of costume changes (85).

The wife of Argentinian president and dictator Juan Perón, Eva Duarte Perón (pop singer Madonna) emotionally belted out Don't Cry For Me, Argentina (pictured) from a balcony (filmed in Buenos Aires' Casa Rosada presidential palace) to an adoring crowd.

The film's only original new song You Must Love Me (pictured), in which Evita pleaded for loving reassurance, was an Oscar winner (music by Webber and lyrics by Rice) for Best Original Song, although Madonna was snubbed for an acting nomination.

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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