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
Screenshots

Footloose (1984)

In this top-grossing, MTV-inspired pop musical melodrama from Paramount Studios and director/choreographer Herbert Ross with a great soundtrack (and six Top 40 singles), free-spirited teen Ren McCormick (Kevin Bacon) rebelled against a puritanical small Midwestern town's ban on rock-and-roll and dancing, led by fundamentalist minister Reverend Shaw (John Lithgow); the film included the sweet tutorial scene in which Ren taught two-left-footed Willard (Chris Penn) to dance to the tune of Deniece Williams' Let's Hear it For the Boy; also Ren's famous solo Flashdance (1983)-inspired gymnastic dance in an abandoned farm equipment warehouse to Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out For a Hero ("I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night / He's got to be sure, it's gotta be soon, and he's gotta be larger than life"); and the over-choreographed climax was a breakdancing session at the senior prom performed during Kenny Loggins' title pop tune Footloose (pictured), with Bacon delivering the film's last lines: "Hey, hey! What's this I see? I thought this was a party. LET'S DANCE!" [Note: Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough co-starred in the updated remake Footloose (2011).]


For Me and My Gal (1942)

In this nostalgic MGM film directed by Busby Berkeley and featuring hoofer Gene Kelly's film debut and Kelly's (as ambitious song man and dancer Harry Palmer) first teaming with 19 year-old Judy Garland (as aspiring vaudeville singer Jo Hayden), there were these two familiar numbers: For Me And My Gal (pictured), and Oh, You Beautiful Doll, and their dance number Ballin' the Jack (pictured).


For the Boys (1991)

Director Mark Rydell's film told the story of 1940s, Martha Raye-inspired actress/USO singer Dixie Leonard (Oscar-nominated Bette Midler) who teamed with Bob Hope-inspired entertainer Eddie Sparks (James Caan) to perform for the Armed Forces over a 50 year period; her exuberant and bawdy performances for WWII troops included the sassy Stuff Like That There (pictured) ("I want huggin' and some squeezin' and some huggin' and pleasin', and some stuff like that there"), and her loving soulful ballad P.S. I Love You to her Korea-stationed husband Michael (Arliss Howard); also her tender, beautiful rendition of the Beatles' ballad In My Life (pictured) to soldiers in Vietnam - and Dixie and Eddie's signature tune I Remember You that closed their show.


42nd Street (1933)

Talented Broadway dance director Busby Berkeley's highly-regarded choreography in this wildly-successful Warners' production (produced by studio chief Darryl Zanuck) included landmark, spectacular designs, scores of chorus girls, large extravagant and escapist musical 'production numbers', sumptuous art deco sets, surrealistic imagery, optical effects, zoom lenses, fast-paced timing and rhythmic editing, and wise-cracking bawdy dialogue. This classic 'backstage' musical film about putting on a show told the story of how a chorine understudy (Ruby Keeler in her film debut as Peggy Sawyer) became a star at the last minute to replace ailing chanteuse Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels) - the same plot had already been used in the studio's first all-color sound feature On With the Show! (1929). This film featured penned tunes of composer Harry Warren (and co-writer lyricist Al Dubin), who contributed You're Getting to Be A Habit with Me (sung by Bebe Daniels), Shuffle Off to Buffalo (about newlyweds on their honeymoon on a train named the Niagara Limited), Young and Healthy (sung by Dick Powell as Billy Lawler amidst dazzling white chorines on revolving turntables), and the climactic title song 42nd Street in which star Ruby Keeler tap-danced heavily atop a taxi - when the camera pulled way, it revealed that she was on a set that depicted the intersection of Broadway and ("naughty, gaudy, bawdy") 42nd Street (a mammoth set with rows of identical-looking chorus girls) -- and then perched atop the skyscraper-skyline of NYC.




The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

One of the first memorable dance scenes in this silent film was Latin lover Rudolph Valentino's sensuous tango performed in a smoky cantina while dressed in an Argentinian gaucho costume, and playing the role of "youthful libertine" Julio Desnoyers.

French Cancan (1955)

In this Technicolored backstage musical romantic comedy, director Jean Renoir recreated and colorfully chronicled the revival of Paris' most notorious dance, the CanCan, at the Moulin Rouge nightclub in 1880; the final twenty minutes of the film included the great dance sequence of opening night at the Moulin Rouge.

Funny Face (1957)

Stanley Donen directed this glamorous and colorful film from Paramount with George Gershwin music, derived from the Gershwin's 1927 musical of the same name, and somewhat a redo of An American in Paris (1951); it starred Fred Astaire (as carefree fashion photographer Dick Avery) and Audrey Hepburn (as Jo Stockton, a fashion model transformed from a beatnik type in a NY bookshop) - they were paired together in one of the loveliest song-and-dance numbers ever performed in film - He Loves and She Loves - danced in the green countryside at the Chantilly churchyard near Paris (with Hepburn in a white wedding dress) along with S' Wonderful (pictured); other memorable numbers were the film's first number Think Pink! (the new fashion edict by Quality Magazine's fashion editor Maggie Prescott portrayed by Kay Thompson), How Long Has This Been Going On? (sung in Hepburn's book shop), the title song Funny Face sung and danced by Astaire to Hepburn in his photographic darkroom (illuminated by a single red lightbulb) where he photographs and prints her picture, Astaire's heartfelt song and dance with his umbrella as a prop titled Let's Kiss and Make Up (pictured), and the lively and joyful on-location, split screen tour of Paris (a parody of Cinerama travelogues) titled Bonjour, Paris! (pictured) performed by Astaire, Hepburn, and Thompson.



Funny Girl (1968)

Director William Wyler's first musical film, a Columbia Pictures adaptation of the Jule Style-Isobel Lennart-Bob Merrill stage musical that starred singer Barbra Streisand (reprising her Broadway role) in a biopic about comedienne/entertainer Fanny Brice, opened with the Oscar-winning star (sharing the award with Katharine Hepburn) reprising her role and in the first scene telling her mirror reflection: "Hello, gorgeous!"; her most memorable songs included her performance of the chart-topping, mega-smash hit song People (ironically, the title song Funny Girl was nominated for an Oscar instead) - a song of emotional longing, the remarkable final song Don't Rain on My Parade that was sung on the bow of a tugboat, and a compelling rendition of My Man.


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)

Director Richard Lester's romp-filled adaptation of the successful Broadway musical comedy (with compositions by Stephen Sondheim) set in Ancient Rome included the famous, bouncy opening number Comedy Tonight ("Something familiar, something peculiar, Something for everyone: a comedy tonight!") sung by the ensemble group and crafty slave Pseudolus (Zero Mostel), and the incisively funny Everybody Ought to Have a Maid - sung by Pseudolus, henpecked Senex (Michael Hordern), Marcus Lycus (Phil Silvers) and erotic-pottery-collecting servant Hysterium (Jack Gilford); the film won an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment.


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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