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

Anchors Aweigh (1945)

This quintessential musical sequence, the delightful highlight of this film, featured "Pomeranian sailor" Joseph Brady's (Gene Kelly) live-action magical dance with animated mouse Jerry - the character from MGM's "Tom and Jerry" cartoons, during The King Who Couldn't Dance number.

(Note: Jerry spoke and sang, and although cat Tom appeared as the valet for Mouse King Jerry, he didn't dance or talk).

Animal Crackers (1930)

In the start of this Marx Brothers comedy film, when Captain Spaulding's (Groucho Marx) entourage arrived, the excited guests broke into song in the trademark Hooray for Captain Spaulding production number to honor the fearless explorer from Africa.

At one point, Spaulding lept about, spun around, and hopped - rotating like a corkscrew with one leg in a strange wild dance. Almost immediately, after showing contempt for his elaborate welcome, Spaulding sang that he was leaving: I Must Be Going.

[Note: Hooray for Captain Spaulding became Groucho Marx's theme song, and its music was used for his hosted TV game show You Bet Your Life.]

Annie (1982)

Ten year old orphan Annie Bennett (Aileen Quinn) belted out this sentimental film's anthem Tomorrow ("Tomorrow! Tomorrow! I love ya, tomorrow! You're only a day away!") more than once.

Also included in the film was:

  • the orphans' song It's a Hard Knock Life as they worked and cleaned throughout the orphanage
  • You're Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile ("Who cares what they're wearing on Main Street or Saville Row? It's what you wear from ear to ear and not from head to toe that matters") performed by some of the orphans
  • the nasty, opportunistic song Easy Street sung by the greedy trio of orphan manager Mrs. Hannigan (Carol Burnett), her no-good unscrupulous brother Rooster (Tim Curry), and Rooster's girlfriend Lilly (Bernadette Peters)

Annie Get Your Gun (1950)

This entertaining, romanticized, and fictionalized MGM film became one of the Freed Unit's most successful (profitable) pictures, and won the Oscar for Best Musical Score.

It was based upon Irving Berlin's Broadway hit about the 19th century sharpshooter of the title, Annie Oakley (blonde Betty Hutton).

There were two show-stopping Irving Berlin songs:

  • the massively-staged, rousing rodeo finale There's No Business Like Show Business (pictured) sung by sharpshooting backwoods cowgirl Annie Oakley and her compatriots
  • the competitive challenge duet Anything You Can Do (I Can Do Better) (pictured) between Hutton and Howard Keel (in his film debut in his first Hollywood musical as Frank Butler)

Annie Hall (1977)

This film contained the scene of aspiring but timid singer Annie Hall's (Diane Keaton) Saturday nightclub audition with an unsteady, shaky rendition of It Had To Be You (pictured).

She was forced to perform in a distracting and noisy environment - with microphone feedback, the loud crash of dropped plates, a ringing telephone, uninterested oblivious patrons, and other audience distractions which made it an awful debut experience.

Later, she performed more self-assuredly with a captivating rendition of Seems Like Old Times (pictured).

Antz (1998)

This DreamWorks computer-animated film contained the marvelous Guantanamera sequence in which worker ant Z-4195 (voice of Woody Allen) and Princess Bala (voice of Sharon Stone) broke from the monotonous dancing of the group and improvised by dancing the Batusi from the Batman TV series:

"Why does everyone have to dance the same way? That's completely boring!"

Afterwards, the musical film also included Z's joyful, infatuated singing of the Lerner and Loewe classic Almost Like Being In Love ("...There's a smile on my face, for the whole insect race / It's almost like being in love!...").

The ant colony also serenaded with Give Z a Chance - a variation of the famous John Lennon song Give Peace a Chance.

Anything Goes (1936, and 1956)

This archetypal 1930s Paramount film musical from director Lewis Milestone, based upon the 1934 stage musical, was set on a luxury ocean liner voyaging from New York to Southampton.

The plot told of the romantic endeavors between various passengers - including Bing Crosby, Ida Lupino, Arthur Treacher, and Ethel Merman.

It included classic Cole Porter songs from the original stage musical, including Ethel Merman's brassy renditions of You're the Top (a duet with Bing Crosby), I Get A Kick Out of You, and the title tune Anything Goes.

Applause (1929)

This landmark musical drama with innovative sound techniques from director Rouben Mamoulian (his first sound film) provided a more realistic and cynical look at seamy backstage life.

The chorus line of burlesque dancers in the Zenith Opera House in the film was composed of unattractive, pudgy and washed-up chorines rather than conventional cute blondes.

The film featured real-life torch singer Helen Morgan as fading, "washed-up" burlesque star Kitty Darling - the ailing self-sacrificing mother of convent-bred daughter April Darling (Joan Peers).

In one early scene, Kitty sang the plaintive What Wouldn't I Do For That Man to a photograph of her unscrupulous, predatory, unfaithful and brutish "Bad Boy" lover Hitch Nelson (Fuller Mellish, Jr.) while he was down the hall (in a triangulated, split-screen view) kissing another chorine.

There was also a disturbing end scene in which April forced herself to dance sordid burlesque in front of leering, middle-aged men in place of her ailing mother who was dying from self-poisoning in the dressing room.

At Long Last Love (1975)

Homage to musicals of the 30s was attempted by director Peter Bogdanovich in this innovative and original film from Fox, although it was a disaster at the box-office due to its lack of sparkle, dull screenplay and miscasting.

It contained 16 witty Cole Porter songs (including You're the Top, I Get a Kick Out of You, But in the Morning, No, Most Gentlemen Don't Like Love, It's De-Lovely, Did You Evah?, Just One of Those Things, and the title song) and virtuoso performances, not from the leads (miscast Burt Reynolds or Cybill Shepherd), but from supporting players Madeline Kahn, Duilio Del Prete, Eileen Brennan, Mildred Natwick, and John Hillerman.


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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