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

Radio Days (1987)

There were many nostalgic 30's and 40's hit standards (such as In the Mood and That Old Feeling) sung and danced to by radio personalities and heard in the lives of Rockaway Beach New Yorkers in the early 40s in this Woody Allen film; in one scene, Aunt Ciel (Renée Lippin) pretended she was Carmen Miranda as South American Way played on the radio; at the film's end, Diane Keaton also performed Cole Porter's You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To.

Reaching for the Moon (1930)

This Edmund Goulding-directed romantic comedy/farce, starring Douglas Fairbanks and Bebe Daniels, was initially the first musical showcasing of Irving Berlin songs - but all of his songs were removed except for (When the Folks High-Up Do the Mean) Low-Down; the song was notably sung by Bing Crosby in his feature film screen debut as a lead actor (in the same year, he appeared in The King of Jazz (1930) as a member of the Rhythm Boys in a couple of musical skits).

Ready, Willing and Able (1937)

This Ray Enright-directed Warner Bros' musical was about mistaken identity. US college student Jane Clarke (Ruby Keeler) from Broadfield College, who had aspirations to be in show-business, was hired (mistakenly) for the Broadway musical comedy show titled 'Fair Lady'. She danced with Pinky "Pinkie" Blair (Lee Dixon) across giant typewriter keys in the musical highlight of the entire backstage musical film - the final production number titled "Too Marvelous For Words." Black-stockinged, leggy chorines provided the old-fashioned type-bars that tapped the paper as the two tap-dancers moved across the typewriter keys. The production number by Bobby Connolly was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Dance Direction. [Federico Fellini recreated this scene in Fellini's Intervista (1987).]

Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm (1938)

In this Fox film's final scene, Shirley Temple (as Rebecca Winstead) and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson (as Aloysius) wore uniforms while tap-dancing together in the military dance number The Parade of the Wooden Soldiers.

The Red Shoes (1948, UK)

This was Emeric Pressburger and Michael Powell's stylized and Technicolored adaptation of the famous Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale - considered the quintessential ballet film, especially in its 15 minute balletic sequence - it was filled with beautiful, expressive, and vibrantly photographed ballet dancing (by the exquisite Moira Shearer as aspiring ballerina Victoria Page), often led by the authoritarian rule of charismatic ballet impresario Boris Lermontov (Anton Walbrook).

Rhapsody in Blue (1945)

Warner Brothers' and Irving Rapper-directed fictionalized biography of the famed composer George Gershwin (portrayed by Robert Alda in his screen debut) began the trend to produce biopics of composers/musicians; it starred many musicians as themselves: conductor Paul Whiteman, singer Al Jolson, producer George White, pianist-singer Hazel Scott, and singer Anne Brown; it also featured almost two dozen of Gershwin's tunes, including Swanee (pictured) (sung by Al Jolson in blackface at the Winter Garden and in his first film since 1939), Summertime (sung by Anne Brown), The Man I Love (sung by Hazel Scott), and Somebody Loves Me (pictured) (sung by Joan Leslie as Gershwin's mythical girlfriend/singer Julie Adams and Tom Patricola), as well as concert performances (performed by Oscar Levant dubbing for Alda and conductor Paul Whiteman) of Rhapsody in Blue and Concerto in F for Piano and Orchestra.

Rio Rita (1929) and Rio Rita (1941)

RKO's first major all-talking production, one of the first musical spectaculars (filmed in black and white with one rare Technicolor sequence in the last half hour), starred beautiful Bebe Daniels (in her first "talkie") as the south-of-the-border Hispanic title character and John Boles (as a handsome Texas ranger); it was a popular but costly adaptation of Florenz Ziegfeld's successful 1927 Broadway stage musical hit that was filmed virtually as a faithful transcription of the play; it was later remade in 1941 by MGM as a Bud Abbott and Lou Costello vehicle and musical comedy, with Kathryn Grayson as Rita.

Risky Business (1983)

This teen comedy from first-time writer and director Paul Brickman was famed for the scene of college-bound Chicago teenager Joel Goodsen (young and mostly unknown Tom Cruise) making a floor-sliding entrance into his living room while solo dancing and wearing white socks, a pink-striped shirt, and tight underwear, and lip-synching (and air-guitaring) to the tune of Bob Seger's Old Time Rock & Roll.

Road House (1945)

In this dramatic, action-filled film-noir from director Jean Negulesco (his fifth and last noir), jealous, sociopathic nightclub owner Jefty Robbins (Richard Widmark) became infatuated with his own racy torch singer Lily Stevens (Ida Lupino). He had hired her for six weeks as a 'new entertainer from Chicago' for his rural, north Midwestern roadhouse (with a bar and bowling alley) near the Canadian border, paying her a higher salary than normal - he was also hoping to become more personally involved with her. She delivered her debut number - a sexy, low-throated, gravel-voiced hot rendition of Johnny Mercer's One For My Baby (And One More For the Road) (pictured), accompanying herself at the piano in the lounge. The club's cashier Susie Smith (Celeste Holm) commented afterwards: "She does more without a voice than anybody I've ever heard." [The song was originally sung and danced by Fred Astaire in the romantic-comedy musical The Sky's the Limit (1943).] The tale evolved into a vengeful love-triangle plot, when Lily fell for Jefty's life-long friend and handsome business manager Pete Morgan (Cornel Wilde) rather than for Jefty.

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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