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

Monterey Pop (1968)

This was the first contemporary music (rock 'n roll concert) industry film; it was filmed at the historic Monterey International Pop Festival in California, featuring such performers as Jimi Hendrix (setting his guitar on fire), The Who, The Mamas and the Papas, Janis Joplin (singing the incredible Ball and Chain), The Who (smashing their equipment), and more.


Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

The loopy, anarchic Camelot Song (Knights of the Round Table) that broke out after King Arthur (Graham Chapman) spotted the castle Camelot in the distance to his Knights of the Round Table: (and Patsy (Terry Gilliam) downplayed the sight: "It's only a model!" King Arthur: "Shh!"). It featured high-kicking, helmeted knights in a chorus line, and such looney lyrics as: "We're Knights of the Round Table / We dance whene'er we're able / We do routines and chorus scenes with footwork impecc-a-ble / We dine well here in Camelot / We eat ham and jam and spam-a-lot!" After the number was concluded, King Arthur memorably reconsidered and sighed: "Well, on second thought, let's not go to Camelot. It is a silly place."

Morocco (1930)

This film featured sultry seductress and bewitching singer Amy Jolly's (Marlene Dietrich in her American film debut) famous gender-challenging cigarette-smoking, tuxedo-clad androgynous cabaret act in Lo Tinto's North African cabaret - in an early scene, she sang Quand L'amour Est Mort with smoky eroticism, and topped it off by kissing a woman in the audience full on the mouth - one of the earliest (if not the first) female-to-female kisses; in a slightly later scene, the seductive Dietrich, wearing a skimpy black dress and with a feathery boa draped over her shoulders, also performed What Am I Bid for My Apple?: ("An apple they say, keeps the doctor away, while his pretty young wife has the time of her life, with the butcher, the baker, the candlestick maker, oh what am I bid for my apple?")

Moulin Rouge (1952)

Director John Huston's fictional biopic of French post-impressionistic artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (Jose Ferrer) was set in a "wild, wicked, wonderful" gay nineties Paris. Looking ravishingly and stunningly beautiful, prima donna Jane Avril (Hungarian actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, without any skill in lip-synching or dancing - her singing was dubbed by Muriel Smith) made a grand entrance as she descended a staircase, singing It's April Again (pictured) - subsequently known as The Song from Moulin Rouge (Where Is Your Heart): "Away, away, the river goes rolling. O may, O may our love remain true. It's April again, and lovers are lining the banks of the Seine. It's April again, and every eye is shining."

Moulin Rouge! (2001)

In Baz Luhrmann's dazzlingly colorful, whirling and kinetic modern musical with stunning Oscar-winning costuming and its story about a tragic love, there were many popular rock and soul songs performed by actors and singers, highlighted by Lady Marmalade performed by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya and Pink; also included were Ewan McGregor's (as penniless but lovelorn writer/poet Christian) performances of The Sound of Music and Elton John's Your Song with Placido Domingo; other songs were sung by McGregor and Nicole Kidman (as tubuculosis-afflicted courtesan Satine) - including the Elephant Love Medley (featuring over a half-dozen love songs and ballads) on a Parisian rooftop under a heavenly blue sky, and their duet Come What May; the film introduced the Moulin Rouge with the feverishly dreamlike can-can musical performance of red-lipped chorine Kidman perched on a flying trapeze-like swing above an audience of top-hatted gentlemen in cool-blue light and singing a Marilyn-to-Madonna Sparkling Diamonds medley ("Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend" and "Material Girl").

The Muppet Movie (1979) and subsequent Muppet films

The film's opening crane shot contained the astonishing image of Kermit the Frog (voice of Jim Henson) sitting on a log in a Mississippi swamp, strumming a banjo and singing the Oscar-nominated The Rainbow Connection; other highlights included Kermit and Fozzie Bear's (voice of Frank Oz) road song Movin' Right Along, Miss Piggy's (also voice of Oz) ode to love at first sight for Kermit Never Before and Never Again, Dr. Teeth (also voice of Henson) and the Electric Meyhem's psychedelic Can You Picture That?; Kermit and pianist Rowlf the Dog's (also voice of Henson) torch song I Hope That Something Better Comes Along, and Gonzo's (voice of Dave Goelz) sweet, wistful song I'm Going To Go Back There Someday around a nighttime desert campfire; and in the climactic Magic Show culminating in a hole being blasted through the roof of the studio set to allow a rainbow to cascade in, the cast reprised The Rainbow Connection: ("Life's like a movie, write your own ending, keep believing, keep pretending, we did what we set out to do..."); all of the subsequent Muppet films would feature catchy original tunes, including The Great Muppet Caper (1981) which featured the romantic Oscar-nominated song The First Time It Happens, followed by The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984) with all the familiar puppet characters reprising their roles in the Big Apple and referencing the classic Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland "Let's put on a show" musicals - and with Miss Piggy in a diva role; later, A Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) featured many Christmas-themed songs including Kermit's (as Bob Cratchit) One More Sleep 'Til Christmas.

Music for Millions (1944)

Billed as a tearjerking "romantic drama of young love," this Henry Koster-directed WWII-era musical featured big-nosed Jimmy Durante (as piano player Andrews), who led a rousing rendition of Umbriago (pictured) for an audience of soldiers. The film ended with real-life conductor and pianist Jose Iturbi's orchestra playing Handel's Messiah with the "Hallelujah" chorus.

The Music Man (1962)

Warners' adapted composer Meredith Willson's story/score and the spirited 1957 stage musical into this popular and cheerful production set in 1912 in River City, Iowa, with well-known songs sung by infamous con-man "Professor" Harold Hill (Robert Preston reprising his stage role) including Ya Got Trouble ("Ya got trouble, folks, right here in River City with a capital 'T' and that rhymes with 'P' and that stands for 'pool'!") (pictured), Marian the Librarian (portrayed by Shirley Jones) (pictured), and the climactic end credits reprise of the hit song 76 Trombones (pictured), with Hill striding triumphantly in front of the now- 'professional' marching band in the town composed of dozens of teens; ensemble musical numbers include the town's singing of The Wells-Fargo Wagon (highlighted by then-child actor Ron "Ronny" Howard's lisping, singing climax) (pictured), the town ladies' disapproving Pick-a-Little, Talk-a-Little merged with The Buffalo Bills barbershop quartet rendition of Goodnight, Ladies, and Buddy Hackett's (portraying Hill's ex-con partner Marcellus Washburn) lively song and dance Shipoopi (pictured); also memorable was the singing of the charming tune Gary, Indiana and the inventive opening Salesman Song in which a train car full of salesmen mimicked train sounds while complaining about the fraudulent Hill ("Yesssssss, ssssssssssir! Yesssssss, ssssssssssir!")

My Darling Clementine (1946)

Although this was a John Ford western, it contained one memorable dance sequence in the town of Tombstone to celebrate the half-erected construction of a church a delightful open-air dance; Marshall Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) asked schoolmarm Clementine Carter (Cathy Downs): "Oblige me ma'am?" She accepted and as they made their way up to the raised dance floor, everyone was told to part deferentially around them and make way: "Sashay back and make room for our new Marshal and his lady-fair"; Wyatt gracefully whirled her around in a rigid mechanical waltz step, as everyone clapped from an outer circle.

My Dream is Yours (1949)

In this Michael Curtiz-directed Warner Bros. musical comedy (a Technicolored remake of the musical Twenty Million Sweethearts (1934)), a young mid-20s Doris Day (in her second film as war widow and aspiring radio singer/star Martha Gibson) starred with Jack Carson (as hot-shot promoter Doug Blake), and sang the film's highlighted hit I'll String Along With You to her young son; this film was most notable for its animated dream sequence (directed by Friz Freleng) using Franz Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsody" as the basis for the Freddy Get Ready sequence that combined live action with an animated Bugs Bunny (voice of Mel Blanc) and Tweety.


My Fair Lady (1964)

Best Director George Cukor's and Warners' Best Picture-winning screen musical came eight years after the amazing success of the Alan Jay Lerner & Frederick Loewe Broadway play of George Bernard Shaw's Pygmalion. Filmed in 70mm Super Panavision, it told the rags-to-riches story of an incorrigible phonetics instructor - Professor Henry Higgins (Oscar-winning Rex Harrison who performed the Broadway stage show in 1956) - and his bet that he could pass off a street urchin flower seller - Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn replacing the stage's Julie Andrews, with singing dubbed by Marni Nixon) - as a lady; the many memorable songs set in an idealized Edwardian London included Eliza's wistful dreams and desires for success (and chocolates) in Wouldn't It Be Loverly? (pictured), and her triumphant and joyful song with Higgins' friend Col. Pickering (Wilfrid Hyde-White) and Higgins entitled The Rain in Spain (I Think She's Got It) (pictured) after Eliza showed marked improvement in her speech tutoring; early on, Higgins sang Why Can't the English? (pictured) to reveal his snobbery about the misuse of the English language, and he eloquently proclaimed his eternal bachelorhood in I'm an Ordinary Man; Eliza's scoundrel dustman father Alfred P. Doolittle (Stanley Holloway) delivered two rousing songs: With a Little Bit of Luck and Get Me To the Church On Time (pictured); toward the middle of the film, Eliza expressed her bitter and vengeful fantasies toward Higgins in Just You Wait (pictured): ("Just you wait, 'enry 'iggins, just you wait! / You'll be sorry, but your tears'll be too late!"); one of the musical's best-known songs was Freddy Eynsford-Hill's (Jeremy Brett) ode to Eliza titled On the Street Where You Live (pictured); Eliza also sang the demanding Show Me: ("Words, words, words, I'm so sick of words... Don't talk of stars, burning above. If you're in love, show me! / Tell me no dreams filled with desire. If you're on fire, show me!") and the beautifully romantic I Could Have Danced All Night; and a baffled and confused Higgins queried with the misogynistic Why Can't a Woman Be More Like a Man!, while Eliza claimed she no longer needed Henry and could be independent in her rendition of Without You: ("There'll be spring every year without you / England still will be here without you"); one of the loveliest songs in the soundtrack was Higgins' regretful I've Grown Accustomed to Her Face (pictured) when he finally realized his love for Eliza.

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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