Greatest Song and Dance
Musical Moments and Scenes

R - 2

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

Road To Morocco (1942)

# 95 "(We're Off On The) Road to Morocco"

This Arabian Nights comedy farce was the third Road film (and probably the best of the lot) with Bob Hope-Bing Crosby-Dorothy Lamour teaming together.

The male leads portrayed two castaways after their freighter exploded - Jeff Peters (Bing Crosby) and Orville 'Turkey' Jackson (Bob Hope), who were both interested in romancing Arabian Princess Shalmar (Dorothy Lamour) in her palace.

It included:

  • the title song (We're Off On The) Road To Morocco (pictured) sung by Hope and Crosby, riding on the back of a two-humped camel in the desert while singing
  • and the hit romantic ballad Moonlight Becomes You (pictured twice) - first performed by Crosby (to Lamour) and then reprised by the trio in a mirage sequence in which they lip-synched to each other's voices

Roberta (1935)

This film was the third teaming of Astaire and Rogers in the least familiar film of the dance series. The two stars took supporting roles:

  • Fred Astaire (as bandleader Huck Haines)
  • Ginger Rogers (in one of her greatest roles as boyhood girlfriend and heavily-accented cafe singer Countess Scharwenka)

In this Broadway adaptation, they danced briefly in a reprise of Jerome Kern's Smoke Gets in Your Eyes (pictured) (also sung by co-star Irene Dunne) - their first formal dance (with graceful backward dips by Rogers).

They also performed the role-reversed song I Won't Dance (pictured), (written specifically for the film and sung by Astaire and Rogers) in which a gold-lamé-gowned Rogers was the one to coax Astaire into a tap dancing solo.

Rogers also performed at the Cafe Russe, singing -- I'll Be Hard to Handle (pictured).

Rock & Rule (1983, Canada)

There were many catchy rock tunes in this post-apocalyptic Rock & Roll animated fantasy. It was heavily populated by anthropomorphic dogs, cats and mice. The film was noted for its performances by Iggy Pop, Cheap Trick, and Earth, Wind and Fire.

The best tunes included:

  • keyboardist/singer Angel's (voice of Susan Roman, singing voice of Deborah 'Blondie' Harry) innocently sensuous Angel's Song (pictured): ("Now I have revealed exactly why I'm here / I'll be your angel if you want to see / How perfect sharing love with an angel can be")
  • Mick Jagger-like rock musician star Mok Swagger's (voice of Don Francks, singing voice of Lou Reed) egotistical My Name Is Mok (pictured): ("My name is Mok, thanks a lot!... Why, I'm the biggest thing since World War III!")
  • and the power duet Send Love Through (pictured), sung by Angel and her lover - punk-rock lead singer-guitarist Omar (voice of Paul Le Mat, singing voice of Robin Zander) to send an all-consuming, blue-eyed, long-toothed demon from another dimension back to where it came from

Rocky (1976)

# 58 "Gonna Fly Now"

John G. Avildsen's Best Picture-winning boxing classic told about a Philadelphia bum and underdog boxer named Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) who overcame all odds to engage in an exciting 15-round world heavyweight boxing fight finale. This original Rocky film was the most accessible, popular and identifiable of the lot of Rocky films, and it packed movie houses.

With ten Academy Awards Oscar nominations and three wins:

  • Best Picture (win)
  • Best Director (win)
  • Best Film Editing (win)
  • Best Actor (Sylvester Stallone)
  • Best Actress (Talia Shire)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Burgess Meredith)
  • Best Supporting Actor (Burt Young)
  • Best Original Screenplay (Stallone)
  • Best Song (Gonna Fly Now)
  • Best Sound

In the most memorable, beautifully-edited sequence of the film, a montage accompanied by the rousing song Gonna Fly Now (music by Bill Conti, lyrics by Carol Connors and Ayn Robbins) (pictured many times), Rocky underwent further grueling training and workouts in preparation for his Bicentennial fight against Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers), after guzzling a glass of five raw eggs. At dawn, he:

  • sprinted beneath an overhead train
  • made another run through the City of Brotherly Love's streets and marketplaces
  • punched a bag
  • did one-armed pushups
  • took punches to his mid-section
  • executed endless situps
  • pounded more hanging slabs of beef in a freezer
  • sprinted along the city's waterway
  • dashed (and flew) up the endless steps of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, taking many steps with each leap

He turned and faced the panorama of the city, with his hands triumphantly raised in the air. Although his first run up the endless steps was overwhelmingly difficult, this run was effortless.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975, UK/US)

There were many wild, energetic song-and-dance numbers in this notorious midnight movie audience participation cult film which spoofed sci-fi and horror B-movies. Songs included:

  • the opening song Science Fiction/Double Feature (pictured) sung by a giant pair of disembodied blood-red lips under the opening credits (voice of Richard O'Brien as Riff Raff, a handyman) - a tribute to Hollywood's B-horror films
  • straight-laced hero Brad Majors' (Barry Bostick) proposed marriage in song to fiancee Janet Weiss (Susan Sarandon) - Dammit Janet (pictured)
  • their expectant number Over at the Frankenstein Place (pictured) before entering a gothic mansion on a rainy night after their car broke down
  • crazed, lingerie-clad transvestite scientist Dr. Frank -N- Furter's (Tim Curry) campy introduction Sweet Transvestite (pictured twice) to newly-engaged Janet and Brad
  • Janet's sexual awakening while wearing nothing but a white bra and panties as she seduced idealized, beefcake love machine creation Rocky Horror (Peter Hinwood) with the song Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me (pictured twice) - as Frank's incestuous sister Magenta (Patricia Quinn), a domestic, and groupie Columbia ("Little" Nell Campbell) spied on them via a video monitor

    "I thought there's no use getting Into heavy petting It only leads to trouble And seat wetting Now all I want to know Is how to go I've tasted blood and I want more...I'll put up no resistance I want to stay the distance I've got an itch to scratch I need assistance Touch-a touch-a touch-a touch me I wanna be dirty Thrill me, chill me, fulfill me Creature of the night..."

  • ex-delivery boy and biker Eddie's (Meat Loaf) rendition of Hot Patootie Bless My Soul (pictured) with his ex-girlfriend Columbia, just before his axe-murder

The film's highlight was the famous song-and-dance Time Warp (pictured): ("It's just a jump to the left...") with unconventional dancers and singers (all Transylvanians) of all races and sizes.

Everything climaxed with a "floor show" medley in an empty theater in front of an RKO Pictures logo, with Rocky, Columbia, Frank, Janet, and Brad (and rival scientist Dr. Everett V. Scott (Jonathan Adams) in a wheelchair) all wearing cabaret costumes - black garters - with Frank as the lead singer, crooning about how they were sexually liberated in Wild and Untamed Thing (pictured): "We're a wild and an untamed thing We're a bee with a deadly sting You get a hit and your mind goes ping Your heart'll pump and your blood will sing So let the party and the sounds rock on We're gonna shake it 'till the life has gone Rose tint my world Keep me safe from my trouble and pain."

Suddenly, in the finale, Magenta (with a Bride of Frankenstein hairdo) and Riff Raff interrupted the performance, singing the final chorus:

"Frank-N-Furter, it's all over Your mission is a failure Your lifestyle's too extreme I'm your new commander You now are my prisoner We return to Transylvania Prepare the transit beam"

They revealed themselves (along with Frank) to be incestuous siblings from outer space (from the planet Transsexual in the galaxy of Transylvania).

Roman Scandals (1933)

This elaborate, escapist Samuel Goldwyn musical production (the last film Berkeley directed for the studio before his incredibly-successful run with Warner Brothers) was one of the racier pre-Code movie musicals.

It featured notable Harry Warren/Al Dubin songs sung by Eddie Cantor, in a fantasy daydream in ancient Imperial Rome. It wove together several risque Busby Berkeley choreographed numbers into the fantasy.

The best of the lot were:

  • No More Love (pictured often) - the setting was a slave market-auction where bikinied, enslaved females danced around a pedestal, while dozens of scantily-clad Roman slave girls (the Goldwyn Girls, one of whom was Lucille Ball in her screen debut), completely nude except for long blonde wigs that strategically reached almost down to their knees, were chained to a round, rotating wall or high-up pedestal; one of the female slaves was grabbed, stripped, auctioned off into slavery, and then when she collapsed from exhaustion, was kicked off the top of the pedestal to her death by her new, unsatisfied male owner; the female slave's dead body was cradled
  • Keep Young and Beautiful (pictured often) - this lively, sexist, un-PC musical number was marked by Cantor (as Oedipus) infamously singing in blackface and giving various semi-undressed females in a Roman bath some "beauty hints" while being tended to by Nubian servants:

    "Athletics, cosmetics, a weighing machine Are part of the feminine daily routine For what? And oceans of lotions and potions you take To keep that old something or other awake Why not? Even after you grow old, baby You don't have to be a cold baby Keep young and beautiful It's your duty to be beautiful Keep young and beautiful If you wanta be loved, dah-dah-dah-dah Don't fail to do your stuff With a little powder and a puff Keep young and beautiful If you wanta be loved If you're wise, exercise all the fat off Take it off, off o' here, off o' there When you're seen anywhere with your hat off Have a permanent wave in your hair Take care of all those charms And you'll always be in someone's arms Keep young and beautiful If you wanta be loved..."

    The scene ended with some of the Roman girls singing more verses and a larger-scale dance number, while the females were cavorting around and being primped and beautified; as the scene came to a final close, Cantor was subjected to a steambath where he was shrunk to midget size (a blackfaced Billy Barty), but after jumping into a cool pool, his blackface disappeared and he returned to normal size, and was heard singing the final refrain:

    "Oh, death where is thy sting I don't care 'cause I've seen ev'rything Keep young and blub-blub-blub-blub"

The Rose (1979)

# 83 "The Rose"

Bette Midler (in her film studio feature debut in a star-making role) gave a powerfully-electric Oscar-nominated performance as Mary Rose "The Rose" Foster - a bisexual, drug-abusing, alcoholic Janis Joplin-like rock-n-roll singer in the late 1960s, in this downbeat musical melodrama .

The ill-fated, self-destructive singer delivered a sweet, melancholic performance of The Rose (pictured), as well as other performances of show-stopping, rousing defiantly-sung numbers in extensive concert sequences:

  • When a Man Loves a Woman (pictured)
  • Sold My Soul To Rock 'N' Roll
  • Keep On Rockin' (pictured)

The film ended during a performance in Jacksonville, Florida. Her two climactic numbers were:

  • Stay With Me (pictured) in which Rose was pleading for her life: ("Stay with me, baby. I'm beggin' you to stay with me, baby")
  • Let Me Call You Sweetheart

She sang the two songs before tragically collapsing and dying on stage of exhaustion and a fatal drug overdose.

Rose-Marie (1936)

Director W.S. Van Dyke's dramatic, black/white musical romance was the second screen version of the popular operetta, and the second screen partnering of Jeanette MacDonald with Nelson Eddy (in their best-known film of eight films, stretching from 1935 to 1942).

The three main characters in the MGM film were:

  • Marie de Flor (Jeanette MacDonald), a popular yet temperamental opera singer
  • John Flower (James Stewart in his second film role), Marie's brother, a fugitive in the Canadian wilderness
  • Sergeant Bruce (Nelson Eddy), a handsome Canadian Mountie in pursuit

The best-remembered duet of a heartfelt love song was Indian Love Call (pictured twice): ("When I'm calling you-ou-ou-ou"), their signature song.

He also sang the title song Rose-Marie (pictured) (composed by Oscar Hammerstein II, Otto A. Harbach and Rudolf Frimi) to her during a moonlit canoe paddling on the lake. Afterwards she complimented him: "You have a lovely voice." He admitted: "Every word came right from my heart." But then together, they joked about changing the female's name in the song from Caroline to Genevieve or Annabelle.

Rose of Washington Square (1939)

This Fox Studios biopic film, loosely fictionalized and based on the difficult marriage between entertainer Fanny Brice and Nick Arnstein, headlined contralto singing star Alice Faye as musical singing star Rose Sargent. [Note: It was Faye's third and final film pairing with Tyrone Power.]

She sang the torch song My Man for her straying crook/con-man husband Barton Dewitt Clinton (Tyrone Power).

And she performed the title song, another of Brice's signature tunes, the big production number Rose of Washington Square (pictured twice), accompanied by lots of dancers on a "city street" set doing a 'cigarette dance' with disappearing (and magically-reappearing) cigarettes.

One of the film's other major attractions was Al Jolson (as Ted Cotter) reprising his hit standards (in blackface), including:

  • Pretty Baby
  • My Mammy (pictured)
  • Toot-Toot Tootsie (Goo' Bye!)
  • Rockabye Your Baby (With a Dixie Melody)
  • California, Here I Come (pictured)

The most famous song of the film, however, was one that was deleted before the film's release: Al Jolson's rendition of April Showers.

Royal Wedding (1951) (aka Wedding Bells (UK))

This musical from the Freed unit at MGM was directed by Stanley Donen in his first solo assignment (and his second film). Broadway lyricist and screenwriter Alan Jay Lerner was inspired to script the musical - loosely based on Fred Astaire’s early dance career with his own sister Adele (for almost three decades, beginning in the early 1900s).

It contained many song-and-dance numbers with Astaire and Powell as a famed sister/brother dance/song team on Broadway (in a smash hit revue show titled Every Nite at Seven at the 49th St. Theatre):

  • Fred Astaire (as Tom Bowen)
  • Jane Powell (as Ellen Bowen)

The film opened with the musical production number Every Nite at Seven (pictured), with Astaire portraying a king and Powell as his pretty maid.

The two found romance (and eventually married by film's end in a double ceremony) when they took their show to London's Mayfair Theatre, during a sojourn to cash in on Princess Elizabeth II's and Prince Philip Mountbatten's wedding (that actually occurred in 1947):

  • Ellen with English aristocrat Lord John Brindale (Peter Lawford)
  • Tom with newly-engaged dancer Anne Ashmond (actress Sarah Churchill, Winston's daughter!, in her American film debut), the daughter of a Cockney pub landlord

On board the trans-Atlantic ship during the song-dance number Open Your Eyes (pictured) set in the ballroom, rough weather caused the two dancers (Powell in a lilac-colored dress with a purple sash) to slip and slide on the dance floor.

This is the film with the most-remembered Astaire solo dance number: his famous walk-dance on the walls and ceiling of his London hotel room during the song You're All the World To Me (pictured).

[Note: Stanley Donen also co-produced and directed the music video for Lionel Richie's "Dancing on the Ceiling," which paid homage to the 1951 film with its own "dancing on the walls and ceiling" motif.]

Other song-and-dance musical numbers of Astaire and Powell included:

  • their sultry performance wearing colorful costumes (Astaire was clad in a yellow suit and pink shirt) in a lavish Caribbean production number to the tune of I Left My Hat in Haiti (pictured)
  • on opening night in London, their comic, vaudeville-like, slightly vulgar song-dance to the impossibly-titled How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Love You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life (pictured) - [Note: noted to be the longest title of any song in an MGM musical]

In another incredible and inventive dance number titled Sunday Jumps (pictured), a rehearsal session, Astaire danced to a metronome beat with a clothes-horse (or hatstand-rack) and gym equipment in the London-bound ship's workout room. Inserted into the dance was a body-building segment, using wall-mounted weights, parallel bars, a pummel horse, and a suspended boxing bag, to mock and parody his muscle-bound dancing rival/friend Gene Kelly.

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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