Greatest Song and Dance
Musical Moments and Scenes


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

Key Largo (1948)

The John Huston-directed Warners' gangster film included the disturbing scene in which desperate alcoholic moll Gaye Dawn (Oscar-winning Claire Trevor) was goaded by her gangster boyfriend Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson) into a rugged rendition of Moanin' Low in front of him and his henchmen in exchange for a drink.

The King and I (1956)

In this opulent Fox production (by director Walter Lang) of the Rodgers and Hammerstein 1951 musical play (based on Margaret Landon's factual book and the film Anna and the King of Siam (1947)), widowed English tutor Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr partially dubbed with singing voice of Marni Nixon) and the polygamous bald King of Siam in the 1860s, Mongkut I (Oscar-winning Yul Brynner reprising his original stage role) danced energetically and joyously in the memorable number Shall We Dance? (pictured); other famous tunes included Getting to Know You (pictured) (sung with the King's children), Hello, Young Lovers, I Whistle a Happy Tune, and the novelty song The March of the Siamese Children.

King Creole (1958)

This Michael Curtiz-directed film version of the story in Harold Robbins' novel A Stone for Danny Fisher (and inspired by Rebel Without a Cause (1955)) starred Elvis Presley in one of his finest early performances as troubled high-school dropout and New Orleans musician Danny Fisher who was drawn back into his criminal past with gangsters as a singer in a mob-owned nightclub (led by crime boss Walter Matthau); among other upbeat songs (King Creole, Trouble and Hard Headed Woman), the film was highlighted by Presley's opening Creole duet Crawfish (pictured) with black female vocalist Kitty White (as a street vendor).

King of Jazz (1930)

This was one of the most important early musicals (and early two-strip Technicolor films) -- it also contained the first Technicolor sound cartoon ever made - by Walter Lantz - featuring Oswald the Lucky Rabbit; it was an unscripted vaudeville revue of production numbers as a tribute and "scrapbook" honoring and showcasing "King of Jazz" band leader Paul Whiteman (Himself); it featured a young Bing Crosby (lead singer of The Rhythm Boys trio) performing Mississippi Mud and So the Bluebirds and the Blackbirds Got Together (pictured) and the memorable song Happy Feet; also notable was Al Norman's astounding rubber-legged dance that featured "impossible" double-jointed, loose snake-hips dance steps (pictured), and trick violinist Joe Venuti played Pop Goes the Weasel; the most striking numbers were 500 cowboys with John Boles in the climax of Song of the Dawn, the extravagant My Bridal Veil and the 10-minute reprised jazzy playing of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue (pictured) inside a giant baby-blue grand piano by the Whiteman Band; the film ended with The Melting Pot Medley (pictured) featuring dozens of chorines.

Kiss Me Kate (1953)

MGM's witty version of Cole Porter's successful, Tony-award winning 1948 Broadway musical, directed by George Sidney, was the first stereo-optic 3-D musical - in full Technicolor (although it could be argued that Paramount's Those Redheads From Seattle (1953) was first). It was also the first Cole Porter musical to retain most of its songs from the play-within-a-play stage production (although some of the lyrics had to be edited down to satisfy Code censors). Mostly based on Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, it was the second of three Golden Age Broadway musicals based on the bard's plays (sandwiched between 1938's The Boys From Syracuse (filmed in 1940 and based on The Comedy of Errors) and 1957's West Side Story (filmed in 1961 and based on Romeo and Juliet). It featured stars Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson in the feuding lead roles as Petruchio (actor Fred Graham) and Katherine (ex-wife Lilli Vanessi). It featured many notable and dazzling songs from various performers, including Why Can't You Behave? (by singer-dancer Ann Miller in her greatest film role, to boyfriend Tommy Rall), Always True To You In My Fashion, the title song Kiss Me Kate (pictured), and the show-stopping Brush Up Your Shakespeare (pictured) (a comic duet delivered by Keenan Wynn and James Whitmore); Grayson and Keel sang duets to So in Love (pictured) and Wunderbar (pictured); the song-and-dance numbers included From This Moment On (pictured) and the Hermes Pan-choreographed Tom, Dick or Harry - both featuring Ann Miller, Tommy Rall, Bobby Van, Carol Haney and a young Bob Fosse (the latter two were also especially good in their dance duet From This Moment On); in addition, one of the film's sizzling numbers was showcased by Ann Miller as a tap-dance solo in Too Darn Hot.

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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