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

Pin-Up Girl (1944)

During the early 40s (the war years), one of the most popular stars at the film box-office was 20th Century Fox's' 'pin-up girl' with her famous long-legged gams -- Betty Grable -- who starred in a number of entertaining but mindless musicals such as this one (named to take advantage of her status) - one of the most lightweight of her many starring vehicles; she took the role of canteen lady Lorry Jones who passed out autographed pin-up photos to the soldiers; one of her songs in this film was You're My Little Pin-Up Girl (pictured).

The Pirate (1948)

Director Vincente Minnelli's and MGM's Technicolored musical romance with a Cole Porter score was adapted from S.N. Behrman's 1942 play (starring the sophisticated acting team of Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne) and set in 1830s West Indies; it told about notorious 'pirate' or 'sea wolf' Mack the Black (or Macoco) - a strolling, hammy philandering actor named Serafin (Gene Kelly) (played as swashbuckling Douglas Fairbanks or Errol Flynn with a mustache and black hair) who fooled naive and moony Caribbean girl Manuela (Judy Garland) into falling in love with him rather than marrying duplicitous, fat mayor Don Pedro (Walter Slezak); it was the only Garland MGM film that lost money; it featured the famous tune in the final number Be a Clown (pictured) - reprised in a song-and-dance number by Kelly and Garland in clown makeup and earlier acrobatically danced with the Nicholas Brothers, and Kelly's splendid rumba-rhythmed opening debonair number Nina (pictured) in which he danced with various senioritas; the other Porter songs performed by Garland and cast included the Mack the Black ballet (pictured) staged as a passionate hypnotic dream, You Can Do No Wrong and Garland's lilting profession of love with Love Of My Life (pictured).

Pocahontas (1995)

This under-rated Disney animated feature film (its first one to highlight an actual historical figure) with Alan Menken/Stephen Schwartz musical production numbers (with Academy Awards for Best Song and Score), included the dramatic, show-stopping, imaginative and poignant Oscar-winning number Colors of the Wind sung by Pocahontas (voice of Irene Bedard, singing voice of Broadway star Judy Kuhn) to Captain John Smith (voice of Mel Gibson), to show him the ways of her naturalistic world in the forest; Pocahontas also sang Just Around the Riverbend.

Poor Little Rich Girl (1936)

Fox Studios' greatest moneymaker in the 30s was young Shirley Temple; in this film (loosely based on the 1917 silent feature of the same name with Mary Pickford) with music and lyrics by Mack Gordon and Harry Revel, Shirley (as Barbara Barry) performed an intricate military tap routine in uniform to Military Man (pictured) in the song-and-dance finale with Alice Faye and Jack Haley (who starred as unemployed vaudeville entertainers); she also joined with them for You Gotta Eat Your Spinach, Baby and was featured in the solo Oh, My Goodness (pictured) (sung to her dolls at bedtime): ("I wanna make mud pies, In fact I'd like to be a mess, I wanna make mud pies I know that I'd find happiness...").

Porgy and Bess (1959)

This Gershwin musical from Columbia Pictures, an Academy Award winner for Best Score (Andre Previn and Ken Darby) and an adaptation of the original 1935 Broadway play, was directed by Otto Preminger; it featured an African-American cast including Sidney Poitier (as crippled South Carolina fishing village resident Porgy with singing voice of Robert McFerrin, Sr.), Dorothy Dandridge (as beautiful but disreputable and drug-addicted Bess with singing voice of Adele Addison), Sammy Davis, Jr. (as narcotics-dealing hipster Sportin' Life), Brock Peters (as brutish Crown), Pearl Bailey (as Maria), and Diahann Carroll (as Clara with singing voice of Loulie Jean Norman); the film opened with the trademark song Summertime sung by Carroll, and also featured Sammy Davis Jr.'s rendition of It Ain't Necessarily So.


Postcards From the Edge (1990)

In this Mike Nichols' film, cocaine-addicted film actress/daughter Suzanne Vale (Meryl Streep) gave a rousing performance of the Oscar-nominated country-western song I'm Checking Out (by Shel Silverstein) during the end credits; there's also the scene of her heavy-drinking star mother Doris Mann's (Shirley MacLaine) sexily exuberant cabaret-style performance of the Sondheim song I'm Still Here following Suzanne's own sheepish rendition of You Don't Know Me.

The Producers (1968)

Writer/director Mel Brooks' outrageous musical comedy was highlighted by the distasteful fictional musical Springtime for Hitler performed by a goose-stepping, black-booted Nazi chorus (filmed Busby Berkeley style in a revolving swastika formation from overhead) that sang and danced (with the lyrics: "Don't be stupid, be a smarty, Come and join the Nazi party!"); the remake The Producers (2005) adapted the 12 Tony award-winning (breaking the record held for 37 years by Hello Dolly! which had won 10) Broadway show musical of 2001, starring stage performers Nathan Lane and Matthew Broderick in the roles made famous by Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Director Quentin Tarantino's Oscar-winning independent film was capped by the famous dance scene at the Jack Rabbit Slims restaurant (with a 50's retro atmosphere) in which mob strongman Vincent Vega (John Travolta) danced with the mob boss' moll Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) - they entered the Twist dance contest in which they danced to Chuck Berry's You Never Can Tell, as Vincent attempted to recreate the Batusi (made famous by Adam West in the campy mid-1960's television show Batman), by making a horizontal V-sign with his index and middle fingers of both hands, and drawing them across in front of his eyes, one hand at a time, with the eyes roughly between the fingers.

Purple Rain (1984)

This electrifying semi-autobiographical rock musical drama/concert film starred pop singer Prince as The Kid, who performed such classic rock songs in the soundtrack, such as Let's Go Crazy, When Doves Cry, and the title track Purple Rain.

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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