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

The Singing Fool (1928)

This even more successful Warners' film was star Al Jolson's follow-up to The Jazz Singer (1927) - this sentimental musical melodrama was best known for Jolson's role as singing waiter and Broadway star Al Stone and his heart-tugging repeated renditions of Sonny Boy in memory of his young son; other popular Jolson songs in the film included There's a Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder, and It All Depends on You.

Sleeping Beauty (1959)

Disney's beloved 16th feature animation featured the dreamlike song Once Upon A Dream ("And I know it's true that visions are seldom all they seem But if I know you, I know what you'll do You'll love me at once, the way you did once upon a dream") that captured the romantic love between Princess Aurora (voice of Mary Costa) and handsome Prince Phillip (voice of Bill Shirley).

Slumdog Millionaire (2008)

The Oscar-winning Best Original Song Jai Ho played during the end credits, in which "Who Wants to Be A Millionaire" TV game-show winner of 20 million rupees Jamal Malik (Dev Patel) danced on a train platform (between two parked trains) with his life-long, elusive, finally-rescued alluring girlfriend Latika (Freida Pinto) - both were positioned in front of dozens of other dancers, in the film's feel-good happy ending.

Small Town Girl (1953)

In this musical romance from MGM, with imaginative choreography by Busby Berkeley, in a number called "Take Me to Broadway," Ludwig Schlemmer (Bobby Van), wearing a white suit with a white carnation, happily became an energetic human pogo stick, literally bouncing and jumping his way through the small town (MGM's backlot) - across a street and over the lawns of various houses to the town. He interacted with passerbys, a milkman, a flower vendor, a mailman, a shoeshine boy, a sweeper, a wooden Indian, and a horse pulling a fruit and vegetable wagon. At one point, he clanged two garbage can lids together, jumped and danced with a little girl and a dog, and gathered a large crowd of people following him.

The film's other memorable number was self-obsessed Broadway star Lisa Bellmount (Ann Miller) singing out "I Gotta Hear That Beat" - she tapped wildly around a huge stage with only a disembodied orchestra, composed of hands holding musical instruments protruding out of the floor.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

Disney's first animated feature film - a classic landmark in cinematic history through a retelling of the Brothers Grimm's classic 1812 fairy tale - featured many memorable sweet songs (a total of eight), including Snow White's (voice of 19 year-old Adriana Caselotti) wistful I'm Wishing at a well, and the Prince's (voice of Harry Stockwell) courting response song One Song; also Snow White sang With a Smile and a Song to the creatures of the forest after fleeing from the Queen's wrath, and she sang the happy work song Whistle While You Work as she cleaned the dwarfs' cottage with her woodland animal friends; the distinctive seven dwarfs performed the famous Heigh-Ho ("Heigh ho, heigh ho, it's home from work we go") as they returned home from their work in the diamond mines; the dwarfs and Snow White sang together for the comical and entertaining musical song/dance The Dwarfs' Yodel Song, followed by her beautiful rendition of Someday My Prince Will Come to the admiring dwarfs - reprised at the film's end when the Prince awakened the Princess with love's first kiss.

Some Like It Hot (1959)

There were two show-stopping Marilyn Monroe (as Sugar) numbers in this great Billy Wilder comedy: a wiggling, hip-swinging rendition of Runnin' Wild on the Florida-bound train; also I Wanna Be Loved By You in which she wore a sheer, see-through gown as she performed in the hotel's nightclub lounge - the spotlight tantalizingly teased the viewer with shadows as it moved over her translucent, backless dress with transparent fabric, just cutting off her breasts; and also she performed her final song, I'm Thru With Love in which she soulfully and sadly sang the poignant tune on the bandstand in the cabaret, while Joe/Josephine (Tony Curtis) listened and then came up to her and gave her a goodbye kiss as a female - a moment of sexual exposure, to affirm the bond between them.

Song of the South (1946)

This rarely-seen Disney feature animation with live-action, based on the Uncle Remus cycle of stories by Joel Chandler Harris, contained the popular Oscar-winning Best Song Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah - sung by James Baskett (who was the first Disney actor to win an Oscar, albeit an Honorary one).

The Sound of Music (1965)

# 10 "The Sound of Music"

Generally considered the most popular musical of the 60s and the film that saved 20th Century Fox studios - this excellent Robert Wise-directed Best Picture-winning film musical featured music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It was adapted for the screen from the successful 1959 Broadway stage musical play about the singing family of Maria Von Trapp in Austria; its famed iconic soaring opening, long-range images were taken by a helicopter that swooped down for a view of the Austrian Alps and mischievous Maria (Julie Andrews) with arms extended and whirling on a verdent hill to the title song The Sound of Music ("The hills are alive, with the sound of music..."); the remainder of the screen musical presented many other standards, including Maria's songs to the Von Trapp children - her music lesson in the beautifully-staged Do-Re-Mi, My Favorite Things, and the tender and poignant Edelweiss; an adolescent romance was capsulized in the song Sixteen Going on Seventeen between the eldest Von Trapp daughter and a shy town boy; Maria also arranged two charming songs for performances by the children: The Lonely Goatherd (using marionettes) and So Long, Farewell as each of the Von Trapp children bid partygoers goodnight; the film ended with the family's stirring flight from Nazis during WWII by ascending over the Alps to the tune of Climb Ev'ry Mountain.

South Pacific (1958)

There were many Rodgers and Hammerstein musical numbers in this widescreen Joshua Logan-directed 20th Century Fox film which was shot mostly on location on the Hawaiian island of Kauai. It was adapted from the 1949 musical play based on two short stories by James A. Michener from his 1947 book Tales of the South Pacific. The story told of a problematic romance between Mitzi Gaynor (as Navy nurse Ensign Nellie Forbush) and Rossano Brazzi (as French plantation owner Emile de Becque); it included the hit standards: Gaynor's I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair (pictured), sly native trader Bloody Mary's (Juanita Hall) haunting Bali Ha'i (pictured), Younger than Springtime, There is Nothin' Like a Dame (performed by Ray Walston as Luther Billis with his troop buddies, but dubbed) (pictured), the beautiful Some Enchanted Evening, Gaynor's A Cock-Eyed Optimist, and Lt. Joseph Cable's (John Kerr) romantic Younger Than Springtime (pictured) sung to Bloody Mary's exotic young daughter Liat (France Nuyen). Some of the musical numbers were experimentally filmed with saturated and intensified tinted hues of pink, metallic blue or canary yellow - a much-criticized aspect of the film.

South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

There were lots of subversive, profanity-laced songs (written by co-creator Trey Parker and Hollywood composer Marc Shaiman) that ripped off and spoofed traditional theatrical musicals such as Bye Bye Birdie and West Side Story in director Trey Parker's animated musical set in the small town of South Park, Colorado, including Blame Canada (Oscar-nominated for Best Original Song), What Would Brian Boitano Do?, Kyle's Mom's a Bitch, and Terrance & Philip's Uncle F**ka.

Stand Up and Cheer (1934)

Although much of this Fox feature film was forgettable, Shirley Temple's rendition of Baby Takes a Bow was the song-and-dance performance that really skyrocketed the young child star's career for the studio.

A Star Is Born (1954)

Director George Cukor's dramatic epic musical from Warner Bros. was derived from a non-musical version of the William Wellman-directed film of 1937 (while also borrowing from George Cukor's What Price Hollywood? (1932)), starring Fredric March and Janet Gaynor. It was filled with Harold Arlen/Ira Gershwin songs showcased by Judy Garland (in her last great tour-de-force role as aspiring Esther Blodgett/Vicki Lester, similar to her own life's rise-to-fame story); the musical numbers were highlighted by the classic The Man That Got Away (pictured) performed in a darkened nightclub (with stacked chairs all around), as well as the extravagant 18-minute production number Born in a Trunk medley (added after the film was completed) (pictured twice) featuring I'll Get By, You Took Advantage of Me, Black Bottom, My Melancholy Baby, and Swanee; other great songs included Lose That Long Face and It's a New World.

A Star Is Born (1976)

In this third film version of the same story (also filmed in 1937 and 1954) in a rock music setting, Barbra Streisand starred as newcomer rock star Esther Hoffman opposite aging and alcoholic rock star Kris Kristofferson (as John Norman Howard); in a film with many of the songs penned by Paul Williams and Streisand, the best known was Evergreen (Love Theme from A Star is Born).

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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