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

Destry Rides Again (1939)

As a lusty, tawdry, frontier saloon singer and hostess/bad girl named Frenchy, Marlene Dietrich excited her western audience with a rendition of See What the Boys in the Backroom Will Have (pictured) - she wore a black cowgirl/bolero outfit on stage, and first asked her audience: "Anybody thirsty?" - and then placed her leg up on a chair and began belting out the saloon song - in the midst of the song, she kicked another saloon-girl tart in the hind-end in the audience who had taken attention away from her, and sat in the lap of a cowboy; and during the finale, she strutted down the length of the bar and to emphasize one line of the lyrics, she made her throat quiver by grasping the flap of skin below her chin and jiggling it; earlier in the film, she sang the rousing Western number Little Joe the Wrangler with a whiskey, monotoned, deep-throated voice - a ribald elegy for a unlucky cowboy, and she also sang You've Got That Look (That Leaves Me Weak) (pictured) while wearing a feather boa ("You've got that look, That look that leaves me weak, You with your eyes across the table technique, You've got that look, That look between the lines, You with your let's get more than friendly designs. I should be brave and say, 'Let's have no more of it'! But oh what's the use when you know...I love it! You'll only kill my will before I speak, So turn on that low left hook that look that leaves me weak!").

Dick Tracy (1990)

Actor/director Warren Beatty's visually-stunning big-budget action film based on the comic-strip detective starred pop singing star Madonna as seductive nightclub singer Breathless Mahoney who was featured with three torchy songs: the Oscar-winning Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man), More, and What Can You Lose (with Mandy Patinkin) from a musical score by Stephen Sondheim.

Dirty Dancing (1987)

This box-office sleeper hit about coming-of-age showed repressed, sweaty, off-limits scenes of early 1960s 'dirty dancing' among the staff at a Catskill Mountains summer resort hotel, with its macho resident dance instructor and sexy suitor Johnny Castle (Patrick Swayze), who progressively taught 17 year-old Frances 'Baby' Houseman (Jennifer Grey) expressive R 'n' B dance moves; in his red-lit bungalow, she asked: "Dance with me," and he accommodated her (as he danced shirtless and she stripped to her bra) - to the tune of Cry to Me; in the climactic show, their final dance featured the film's theme song (I've Had) The Time Of My Life.

Doctor Dolittle (1967)

This Best Picture-nominated Fox film musical adaptation of a favorite children's story by director Richard Fleischer was considered overproduced and flat, although it starred Rex Harrison as the title character animal veterinarian who spoke in many animal tongues, and featured the Oscar-winning song If You Could Talk to the Animals (pictured) and the ridiculously romantic ode When I Look In Your Eyes (pictured) sung to a female seal dressed in a bonnet.

The Doors (1991)

Director Oliver Stone's documentary-style biopic included Val Kilmer's uncanny portrayal of 1960s Doors frontman lead singer Jim Morrison, including his own singing on stage as the rock great - especially in the Ed Sullivan Show scene in which he refused to self-censor words in his performance of Light My Fire - he mocked the camera with a huge grin and stressed the forbidden word "higher".

Down Argentine Way (1940)

Fox's 'peaches-and-cream' Betty Grable (as vacationing American heiress Glenda Crawford in South America) had a star-making role opposite Don Ameche (as Ricardo Quintana) in this enjoyable and garish "south-of-the-border" musical - the studio's first 'exotic' Technicolored musical; it featured Carmen Miranda's (aka the "Brazilian Bombshell") American debut - appearing in a few of the film's nightclub scenes; Grable sang and danced to the Oscar-nominated Best Original song Down Argentina Way ("You'll find your life will begin The very moment you're in Argentina...") in a light blue top.

Dreamgirls (2006)

The many songs in Bill Condon's lavish adaptation of Michael Bennett's Broadway musical, highlighted by spurned lead-turned-backup singer Effie Melody White's (Jennifer Hudson) show-stopper And I'm Telling You (I'm Not Going), preceded by the group's breakup song It's All Over; other major songs included girl group The Dreams' signature song Dreamgirls ("I'm your dream girl") and Family; also, the cabaret torch song by solo-ing Effie One Night Only that was stolen by The Dreams' manager Curtis Taylor, Jr. (Jamie Foxx) and turned into an opulent disco hit by Diana Ross-like backup-turned-lead singer Deena Jones (Beyonce Knowles) at Studio 54; and the three memorable songs by James 'Thunder' Early (Eddie Murphy): Cadillac Car, Steppin' to the Bad Side with The Dreamettes as backup singers, and the exuberant, drug-fueled solo Jimmy's Rap during a nationally televised program, culminating with his pants falling down

The Duke is Tops (1938)

This vintage, low-budget, independent film made specifically for black audiences was completed in less than two weeks in the late 30s - it featured 21 year-old Lena Horne's screen debut as singer Ethel Andrews (billed as 'The Bronze Nightingale'); the highlight number of the film was Lena Horne's I Know You Remember; although the film was little seen at the time of its initial release, it was re-released as The Bronze Venus (1944) with Horne's name above the title, after her cross-over success in Cabin in the Sky (1943) and Stormy Weather (1943).

Dumbo (1941)

There were many memorable songs in this Disney animation, including the nightmarish song-and-dance of the Pink Elephants, When I See An Elephant Fly sung by minstrel show crows, and the touching Baby Mine sung by Mrs. Jumbo to her young son Dumbo.

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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