Greatest Song and Dance
Musical Moments and Scenes

F - 2

Greatest Song and Dance Musical Moments and Scenes
F (continued)
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Footloose (1984)

# 96 "Footloose"

In this top-grossing, MTV-inspired pop musical melodrama from Paramount Studios and director/choreographer Herbert Ross with a great soundtrack (and six Top 40 singles), free-spirited teen Ren McCormick (Kevin Bacon) rebelled against a puritanical small Midwestern town's ban on rock-and-roll and dancing, led by fundamentalist minister Reverend Shaw Moore (John Lithgow).

Ren was challenged and dared to play a game of chicken involving two tractors (against Chuck Cranston (Jim Youngs), the abusive boyfriend of Ren's love interest Ariel Moore (Lori Singer)), to the background music of Bonnie Tyler's Holding Out For a Hero (pictured):

"I need a hero, I'm holding out for a hero 'til the end of the night / He's got to be sure, it's gotta be soon, and he's gotta be larger than life"

The film included the sweet tutorial scene in which Ren taught two-left-footed Willard Hewitt (Chris Penn) to dance to the tune of Deniece Williams' chart-topping Let's Hear it For the Boy (pictured).

There was also the over-choreographed Flashdance (1983)-inspired breakdancing session (a solo performance by Ren) in a warehouse, to the tune of the song Never (pictured), performed by Moving Pictures.

The climax was the senior prom in a grain mill outside of town, during Kenny Loggins' title pop tune Footloose (pictured twice), with Ren delivering the film's last lines before everyone hit the dance floor:

"Hey, hey! What's this I see? I thought this was a party. LET'S DANCE!"

I've been workin' so hard
I'm punchin' my card
Eight hours for what?
Oh, tell me what I got
I've got this feelin'
That time's just holdin' me down
I'll hit the ceiling or else
I'll tear up this town.

Now I gotta cut loose
Footloose, kick off the Sunday shoes
Please, Louise, pull me off of my knees
Jack, get back, come on before we crack
Lose your blues, everybody cut Footloose

[Note: Kenny Wormald and Julianne Hough co-starred in the updated remake Footloose (2011).]

For Me and My Gal (1942)

This nostalgic MGM film directed by Busby Berkeley featured hoofer Gene Kelly's film debut and Kelly's (as ambitious song man and dancer Harry Palmer) first teaming with 19 year-old Judy Garland (as aspiring vaudeville singer Jo Hayden).

There were these familiar numbers:

  • For Me And My Gal (pictured), with Garland on the piano, and Garland and Kelly dancing in a coffee shop
  • Oh, You Beautiful Doll (pictured), between Garland and George Murphy (as Jimmy K. Metcalf) in a theatre
  • Ballin' the Jack (pictured), sung and danced by Kelly and Garland

For the Boys (1991)

Director Mark Rydell's film told the story of 1940s, Martha Raye-inspired actress/USO singer Dixie Leonard (Oscar-nominated Bette Midler) who teamed with Bob Hope-inspired entertainer Eddie Sparks (James Caan) to perform for the Armed Forces over a 50 year period.

Dixie's exuberant and bawdy performances for WWII troops included:

  • the sassy Stuff Like That There (pictured): ("I want huggin' and some squeezin' and some huggin' and pleasin', and some stuff like that there")
  • and her loving soulful ballad P.S. I Love You to her Korea-stationed husband Michael (Arliss Howard)
  • the tender, beautiful rendition of the Beatles' ballad In My Life (pictured) to soldiers in Vietnam, marking the last time she saw her son Danny Leonard (Christopher Rydell) when immediately afterwards, the base was attacked by mortar fire and he lost his life

Dixie and Eddie's signature tune I Remember You closed their show - their last song and dance together.

42nd Street (1933)

# 97 "42nd Street"

Talented Broadway dance director Busby Berkeley's highly-regarded choreography in this wildly-successful Warners' production (produced by studio chief Darryl Zanuck) included landmark, spectacular designs, scores of chorus girls, large extravagant and escapist musical 'production numbers', sumptuous art deco sets, surrealistic imagery, optical effects, zoom lenses, fast-paced timing and rhythmic editing, and wise-cracking bawdy dialogue.

This classic 'backstage' musical film about putting on a show told the story of how a chorine understudy (Ruby Keeler in her film debut as Peggy Sawyer) became a star at the last minute to replace ailing chanteuse Dorothy Brock (Bebe Daniels) - the same plot had already been used in the studio's first all-color sound feature On With the Show! (1929).

This film featured penned tunes of composer Harry Warren (and co-writer lyricist Al Dubin), who contributed:

  • You're Getting to Be A Habit with Me (pictured) (sung by Bebe Daniels on stage)
  • Shuffle Off to Buffalo (pictured twice) (about newlyweds on their honeymoon on a train named the Niagara Limited) (sung and danced by Ruby Keeler and Clarence Nordstrom as "The Groom")
  • Young and Healthy (pictured twice) (sung by Dick Powell as Billy Lawler amidst dazzling white chorines on revolving turntables)
  • and the climactic title song 42nd Street (pictured twice) in which star Ruby Keeler tap-danced heavily atop a taxi - when the camera pulled way, it revealed that she was on a set that depicted the intersection of Broadway and ("naughty, gaudy, bawdy") 42nd Street (a mammoth set with rows of identical-looking chorus girls) -- and then she was perched atop the skyscraper-skyline of NYC with Powell

In the heart of little old New York,
You'll find a thoroughfare.
It's the part of little old New York
That runs into Times Square.
A crazy quilt that "Wall Street Jack" built,
If you've got a little time to spare,
I'd like to take you there.

Come and meet those dancing feet,
On the avenue I'm taking you to
Forty-Second Street.
Hear the beat of dancing feet,
It's the song I love the melody of,
Forty-Second Street...

The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (1921)

One of the first memorable dance scenes in this silent film was Latin lover Rudolph Valentino's sensuous tango (pictured) performed in a smoky cantina while dressed in an Argentinian gaucho costume, and playing the role of "youthful libertine" Julio Desnoyers.

French Cancan (1954/1955, Fr.) (aka French Can Can)

In this Technicolored backstage musical romantic comedy, director Jean Renoir recreated and colorfully chronicled the revival of Paris' most notorious dance, the CanCan, at the Moulin Rouge nightclub in 1880.

The final twenty minutes of the film included the great dance sequence of opening night at the Moulin Rouge.

Frozen (2013)

Best Original Song: Let It Go

Walt Disney's 3-D magical musical fantasy, the Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature Film, was loosely inspired by the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale The Snow Queen. It became a major box-office triumph at the time - as the highest-grossing animated film of all-time (at $1.287 billion, domestic).

Its second Oscar (from its two nominations) was Best Original Song for Let It Go (sung by Idina Menzel as older blonde sister Queen Elsa), with music and lyrics by the husband-wife team of Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez.

The cursed Snow Queen of the Nordic Kingdom of Arendelle had been ostracized after the public learned of her powerful occult ability to create and control ice and snow (she had lost control and had caused eternal or perpetual winter), something she had tried to suppress and keep a secret for many years. While in solitude, she realized that she could 'let go' and feel free. While joyously singing (and discarding her glove which held back her powers), she created a living snowman named Olaf and an ice castle to live in.

A more popular version of the song was performed by actress/singer Demi Lovato during the film's closing credits.

Funny Face (1957)

Stanley Donen directed this glamorous and colorful film from Paramount with George Gershwin music, derived from the Gershwin's 1927 musical of the same name, and somewhat a redo of An American in Paris (1951).

It starred Fred Astaire (as carefree fashion photographer Dick Avery) and Audrey Hepburn (as Jo Stockton, a fashion model transformed from a beatnik type clerk in a Greenwich Village NYC bookshop). Avery promoted Jo to his magazine associates, Maggie and Dovitch (Alex Gerry), that Jo was the new "Quality Woman", although Maggie was very reluctant - and held her magnifying glass up to an enlarged picture of Jo:

Maggie: Look at her. I think her face is perfectly funny. The 'Quality Woman' must have grace, elegance and pizzazz.
This is the first time I've ever seen you lack imagination. Every girl on every page in 'Quality' has grace, elegance and pizzazz. Now, what's wrong with bringing out a girl who has character, spirit and intelligence?

Jo and Avery were paired together in one of the loveliest song-and-dance numbers ever performed in film - He Loves and She Loves (pictured) - filmed in soft-focus and danced in the green countryside at the Chantilly churchyard near Paris (with Hepburn in a white wedding dress). A similar song and setting was S' Wonderful (pictured) that ended the film.

Other memorable numbers included:

  • the film's energetic first number Think Pink! (pictured) (the new fashion edict by Quality Magazine's fashion editor Maggie Prescott portrayed by Kay Thompson)
  • How Long Has This Been Going On? (pictured) (sung in Hepburn's book shop, draped in a green sash)
  • the title song Funny Face (pictured) sung and danced by Astaire to Hepburn in his photographic darkroom (illuminated by a single red lightbulb) where he photographed and printed her picture
  • Astaire's heartfelt song to Hepburn Let's Kiss and Make Up (pictured), following by his dance with his umbrella as a prop
  • and the lively and joyful on-location, split screen tour of Paris (a parody of Cinerama travelogues) titled Bonjour, Paris! (pictured) performed by Astaire, Hepburn, and Thompson, culminating in their visit to the Eiffel Tower

Funny Girl (1968)

# 13 "People"
# 46 "Don't Rain on My Parade"

Director William Wyler's first musical film, a Columbia Pictures adaptation of the Jule Style-Isobel Lennart-Bob Merrill stage musical that starred singer Barbra Streisand (reprising her Broadway role), was a biopic about comedienne-entertainer Fanny Brice.

Of its eight Oscar nominations, it only won one award: Streisand's Best Actress Oscar. The other nominations were for: Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Supporting Actress (Kay Medford), Best Song ("Funny Girl", with music by Jule Styne and lyrics by Bob Merrill), and Best Score.

It opened with the Oscar-winning star (sharing the award with Katharine Hepburn) reprising her role and in the first scene telling her mirror reflection: "Hello, gorgeous!" (pictured twice).

Her most memorable songs included:

  • her performance of the chart-topping, mega-smash hit song People (pictured), Streisand's signature song, a song of emotional longing performed with suitor Nick Arnstein (Omar Sharif)
  • the tear-inducing Oscar-nominated title song Funny Girl (pictured) - (ironically, it was nominated for an Oscar instead of People)
  • a compelling on-stage rendition of My Man (pictured) before a black backdrop
  • and the remarkable final song Don't Rain on My Parade (pictured) that ended up being sung on the bow of a tugboat (seen in an extreme zoom close-up)

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)

Director Richard Lester's romp-filled adaptation of the successful Broadway musical comedy (with compositions by Stephen Sondheim) was set in Ancient Rome. The musical won an Oscar for Best Music, Scoring of Music, Adaptation or Treatment.

It included the following numbers:

  • the famous, bouncy opening number during the credits Comedy Tonight (pictured): ("Something familiar, something peculiar, Something for everyone: a comedy tonight!") sung by the ensemble group and crafty slave Pseudolus (Zero Mostel)
  • the incisively funny and jaunty Everybody Ought to Have a Maid (pictured) - sung by Pseudolus, henpecked Senex (Michael Hordern), Marcus Lycus (Phil Silvers) and erotic-pottery-collecting servant Hysterium (Jack Gilford)
  • the reprise of the song Lovely (pictured), performed by Pseudolus and Hysterium

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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