Greatest Song and Dance
Musical Moments and Scenes

C - 2

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

Carousel (1956)

This downbeat, serious, semi-bleak and haunting yet ambitious Henry King-directed 20th Century Fox film, made in Cinemascope 55, was a dramatic, romantic-fantasy musical with a flawed, misogynistic central character in a doomed and troubled marriage. It included themes of unspoken love and feelings, and a meditation on death. It was the filmic adaptation of a Rodgers/Hammerstein stage musical that opened on Broadway in 1945.

  • the 'Heaven Can Wait' plot opened with a pre-credits sequence, set in the year 1888. Already-deceased Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae) was working in a heavenly-setting (outside the pearly gates to Heaven?) polishing glass stars for the Starkeeper (Gene Lockhart). He had already been dead for 15 years. Billy began to describe his previous life in 1870s New England and the small town of Boothbay Harbor, Maine, hoping to receive permission to return for a single day to Earth
  • the film consisted of Billy's flashback - a dramatized story of his life, in order to convince the Starkeeper to allow him one day back on Earth. He wanted to deal with the rumored problems occurring there and rectify or make amends for the mistakes he had made
  • the handsome, macho, fast-talking Billy described how he was hired by tough, shrewish, streetwise carousel owner Mrs. Mullin (Audrey Christie) to be a barker at her Mullin's Carousel. Billy came to the attention of lovely, innocent-minded and decent Julie Jordan (Shirley Jones), accompanied by her best friend Carrie Pipperidge (Barbara Ruick), and stood next to Julie as she took a carousel ride, causing jealousy with Mrs. Mullin. When the amorous bad-boy Billy refused to comply and obey Mrs. Mullin (who ordered that Julie must never ride the carousel again), he was promptly discharged from his job.
  • an increasing romantic interest between Julie and Billy grew when they met down the road by the water later that evening, and discussed their feelings about each other, and agreed they were incompatible with each other. Millworker Julie purposely decided to stay behind with Billy, beyond her curfew, knowing that she would definitely lose her job. They sang a beautiful and melodious duet titled: "If I Loved You" about the possibilities of marrying each other. The two kissed twice and walked off hand-in-hand

Julie with Billy Out Late at Night Together

Duet Between Julie and Billy: "If I Loved You" - Ending with Two Kisses
  • in the next scene, they returned to town as a married couple. Due to their financial difficulties, they were forced to live with Julie's Cousin Nettie Fowler (Claramae Turner) at her seaside spa. Billy began to feel embarrassed and humiliated about being idle and unemployed and unable to provide for Julie
  • in town in the month of June, everybody was getting prepared for the season's first clambake and treasure hunt; the energetic, rousing and exuberant dance number "June Is Bustin' Out All Over" (shot on location at a dock harbor in Maine) was performed by all the townsfolk (the ladies in town and various fishermen) on the dock and even on the rooftop of Nettie's seaside Spa
  • the unhappy and bitter Billy was rumored to have hit Julie once (off-screen), but she defended him in regards to the abusive wife-beating charges. Shortly later, Julie announced to Billy that she was pregnant
  • unwisely, he became a deckhand for jailbird sailor Jigger Craigin (Cameron Mitchell), who unfortunately tempted him down a criminal path toward bad behavior, laziness, drinking and card-game gambling. During a clambake and treasure hunt of all the townsfolk on a nearby island, Billy and Jigger snuck back to town to rob one of the rich ship-owners, mill-owner boss Mr. Bascombe (John Dehner) on the dock. He resisted with a gun, and during the botched robbery and altercation, Billy fled but fell from a collapsing pile of crates onto his own knife and was lethally wounded in the abdomen
  • Billy died in the arms of his soon-to-be widowed and pregnant wife Julie. Cousin Nettie consoled the heartbroken Julie with "You'll Never Walk Alone"
  • fifteen years later when the flashback ended, Billy was back in the heavenly, other-worldly setting. The Starkeeper suggested that Billy could help his troubled 15 year-old teenaged daughter Louise Bigelow (Susan Luckey) who had been traumatized with the knowledge that her deceased father was a thief. Billy was allowed entrance to Earth (accompanied by his Heavenly Friend (William LeMassena)), and grabbed a star to take with him
  • in the film's best song/dance number titled "Louise's Ballet," Louise was judged by a procession of disapproving, oppressive and uptight members of the entire Snow family led by patriarchal fisherman Mr. Enoch Snow (Robert Rounseville), and was then rejected by the eldest Snow daughter (Dolores Starr); she was continually haunted by the community's negative view of her due to her father's reputation as a thief and bully

Louise Judged: "Shame on you!"
"Louise's Ballet"
  • then toward the end of the number, Louise watched as a seductive 'Starlight Carnival' barker (famed ballet dance legend Jacques d'Amboise) performed with dancers who created a rotating carousel under a 'big-top,' before he danced in a pas de deux with her
  • without identifying himself, Billy became visible to Louise and attempted to console her and make amends when she complained about contiinual mistreatment and vilification. He attempted to present her with the gift of a heavenly star, but when she refused, he again acted abusively and slapped her hand. Louise rushed inside her home to tell Julie - not that she was slapped, but that it hadn't hurt and she had felt a kiss; Julie suspected that Billy had returned
  • the last scene took place at Louise's graduation ceremony, attended by an invisible Billy and his Heavenly Friend. The town's beloved doctor Dr. Selden (Gene Lockhart, in a dual role) delivered an inspiring and hopeful speech about not being held back by one's parents' failures. Twice during the speech, Billy directed encouraging thoughts to Louise: "Believe him, darling. Believe!"
Louise's Graduation Ceremony and "You'll Never Walk Alone"

Invisible Billy with Heavenly Friend

Billy To Louise: "Listen to him. Believe him"

To Julie: "I loved you, Julie. Know that I loved you"
  • he also vowed his true love to Julie: ("I loved you, Julie. Know that I loved you"). A view of the setting sun appeared behind the redeemed Billy as he departed to enter into Heaven

Pre-Credits Sequence: Billy Bigelow (Gordon MacRae) at the Entrance to Heaven With His Heavenly Friend and the Starkeeper (Gene Lockhart)

Carousel Waltz - Julie Riding on the Carousel with Billy

Julie with Husband Billy

Energetic and Exuberant Dock Production Number: "June Is Bustin' Out All Over"

Billy's Operatic and Moving "Soliloquy" By the Ocean about Julie's Pregnancy

Billy's Death

After Billy's Death, Julie Was Comforted by Cousin Nettie

Billy Visible to Louise, And Giving Her a Gift of a Heavenly Star

Film's End: Billy's Departure

Casablanca (1942)

# 2 "As Time Goes By"

In this classic romance drama, llsa (Ingrid Bergman) requested that piano player Sam (Dooley Wilson) play As Time Goes By (pictured twice) to the consternation of cafe owner Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart), who later drunkenly requested it himself.

Another memorable and stirring musical moment occurred when Rick nodded to the band leader to permit the playing of The Marseillaise (pictured) - the French national anthem - followed by the memorable duel of national anthems with the patrons joining in to sing and drown out the Germans' anthem Wacht am Rhein.

Chicago (2002)

# 98 "All That Jazz"

Rob Marshall's Best Picture-winning musical and box-office smash was adapted (screenwritten by Bill Condon) from Bob Fosse's long-running 1975 hit Broadway stage musical (originally directed and choreographed by Bob Fosse) and its later revival in 1996.

The same story was previously filmed as Chicago (1927) and Roxie Hart (1942).

The many showstopping numbers included:

  • seductive vaudeville star diva Velma Kelly's (Oscar-winning short bobbed Catherine Zeta-Jones) spectacular opening song (And) All That Jazz (pictured) after she murdered her sister and her lover
  • scheming prison matron Mama Morton's (Queen Latifah) When You're Good to Mama (pictured)
  • Roxie's naive husband Amos' (John C. Reilly) woeful Mr. Cellophane while dressed like a vaudeville clown
  • and the large-scale Cell Block Tango (pictured)

Also there was:

  • the wildly fantastic and satirical We Both Reached for the Gun (pictured) in which slimy, high-priced hot-shot Chicago lawyer Billy Flynn (Richard Gere) was imagined as a ventriloquist and God-like puppet master (with Roxie as his dummy) who was defending both Kelly and another murder suspect - small-time dancer Roxie Hart (Renee Zellweger)
  • and also by Billy Flynn, Razzle Dazzle (pictured) ("Even if you're stiffer than a girder, they'll let you get away with murder / Razzle dazzle 'em, and they'll make you a star!")

The show-stopping blazing finale featured Nowadays/Hot Honey Rag (pictured) in which bitter rivals Roxie and Velma, newly released from prison, teamed up as a popular act.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968, UK)

This classic, colorful children's/family fantasy-musical (resembling Mary Poppins (1964) but with mixed reviews, and The Love Bug (1968)), directed and co-scripted (with Roald Dahl) (and based on the novel The Magical Car by Ian Fleming) by veteran British filmmaker Ken Hughes, starred Dick Van Dyke (as eccentric flying car inventor Caractacus Potts) and Sally Ann Howes (as Truly Scrumptious), the beautiful daughter of candy maker Lord Scrumptious (James Robertson-Justice).

Widower Potts and Truly boarded the magical "fine four-fendered friend" car - miraculously transformed and now called "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" for an 1910 adventure with Potts' two children, Jemima (Heather Ripley) and Jeremy (Adrian Hall), to the gaudy fictional kingdom of Vulgaria, ruled by Baron Bomburst (Gert Frobe) and his Baroness (Anna Quayle).

The composing team of Richard and Robert Sherman wrote twelve original songs for the film which included:

  • the production number Toot Sweets (pictured) sung (and danced) in Lord Scrumptious' candy factory
  • the Oscar-nominated title tune (pictured) - "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" referring to the sounds the car made
  • Hushabye Mountain
  • the sweet Doll on a Music Box (pictured) - dressed as dolls, Truly and Potts sang for the Baron and Baroness
  • P O S H (Posh) (pictured) performed by Lionel Jeffries (Grandpa Potts), kidnapped in a flying shed
  • Lovely Lonely Man (pictured) sung by Sally Ann Howes in a lovely garden setting

A Chorus Line (1985)

This over-dramatic modern-day backstage musical directed by Richard Attenborough, an adaptation of Michael Bennett's highly-successful stage production, opened with the Broadway audition number I Hope I Get It (pictured) where dozens of hopeful dancers tried to impress choreographer and ruthless director Zach (Michael Douglas) - who viewed them from the audience's seats in the darkness - for a spot in the 8-person chorus line.

It also included the slightly bawdy song about plastic surgery titled Dance 10, Looks 3 (pictured) sung by pink-costumed Val (Audrey Landers): ("Tits and ass / Bought myself a fancy pair / Tightened up the derriere").

Other numbers included:

  • the soulful Who Am I, Anyway? by ill-fated auditioner Paul (Cameron English)
  • Zach's former girlfriend Cassie's (Alyson Reed) desperate Let Me Dance For You - performed as a sensual dance solo, both in present day and flashback
  • Cassie also delivered the torch song What I Did For Love

There were two renditions of One - first as a robotic, menacing vision of conformity, then reprised in the showstopping finale (pictured), featuring over a hundred identical chorus members (costumed in shimmering gold), multiplying geometrically on stage.

Cinderella (1950)

This Disney feature film animation (with three Oscar nominations: Best Music Score, Best Sound Recording, and Best Original Song) was about a rags-to-riches transformation. It featured music and lyrics by Mack David, Jerry Livingston, and Al Hoffman, in:

  • the Oscar-nominated Best Original Song Bibbidy-Bobbidi-Boo (pictured), sung by the Fairy Godmother (voice of Verna Felton) as she transformed a pumpkin into a coach and Cinderella's (voice of Ilene Woods) rags into a beautiful white gown, etc.
  • Cinderella's A Dream Is a Wish Your Heart Makes (pictured), sung with her animal friends who were encouraged to continue believing and dreaming (similar to Pinocchio's When You Wish Upon a Star)

Citizen Kane (1941)

During the newspaper office party scene, the Charlie Kane Song (pictured) number was a rousing, intricately-edited song and dance production featuring a line of marching band members dressed in the costumes of Catherine the Great's Russia followed by dancing chorus girls carrying rifles.

The stage show was led by a baton-wielding comic named Charles Bennett (in a white-striped blazer and a straw hat) who provided a singing tribute to Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles): ("There is a man - a certain man / And for the poor you may be sure / That he'll do all he can! / Who is this one? / This fav'rite son?...") - soon after, Kane himself joined the chorus girls in the dance routine.

The film also portrayed Kane's wife Susan Alexander's (Dorothy Comingore) disastrous debut playing the lead in the unsuccessful Salaambo (pictured) (with a stagehand's wordless review high up in the theatre - holding his nose in disgust at the embarrassing performance).

A Clockwork Orange (1971, UK)

In Stanley Kubrick's futuristic sci-fi film's chilling rape scene, Alex DeLarge (Malcolm McDowell) and his "droogs" beat up an old man and raped his wife while Alex incongruously sang Singin' in the Rain (pictured) (the original Gene Kelly version would be reprised during the end credits with a memorably dark subtext).

The Horrible Rape Scene - to the tune of "Singin' in the Rain"

Cover Girl (1944)

# 92 "Long Ago (And Far Away)"

This elaborate 1940s musical was from Columbia Pictures (Columbia's first Technicolor musical) and first-time musical director Charles Vidor. The Jerome Kern and Ira Gershwin songs complemented the entire film along with great photography by Rudolph Mate. The film's sole Oscar win from five nominations was Best Score.

It was designed to showcase iconic red-headed star Rita Hayworth (as ambitious showgirl and top magazine cover girl Rusty Parker).

It also featured a joint appearance with rising and exuberant young dancer Gene Kelly (as Brooklyn nightclub owner/dancer Danny McGuire), as well as comic roles played by Phil Silvers (as Genius) and Eve Arden (as Cornelia "Stonewall" Jackson).

The most famous number was the beautifully-timed landmark Alter Ego dance (pictured) performed by the athletic and imaginative Gene Kelly, in which he literally danced with a semi-transparent reflection of himself (double-exposed) in a storefront glass window - the spectacular solo ended with Kelly heaving a trash can barrel at his telltale image.

Other numbers included:

  • the opening production number The Show Must Go On (pictured)
  • the haunting Oscar-nominated Best Song ballad Long Ago (And Far Away) (pictured twice) sung and danced as a duet by Kelly and Hayworth (singing voice dubbed by Martha Mears) (music by Jerome Kern and lyrics by Ira Gershwin)

    Long ago and far away, I dreamed a dream one day. And now that dream is here beside me. Long the skies were overcast, But now the clouds have passed. You're here at last! Chills run up and down my spine, Aladdin's Lamp is mine. The dream I dreamed was not denied me. Just one look and then I knew, That all I longed for Long ago was you...

  • the lively song/dance Put Me to the Test (pictured)
  • and the celebrated, bright, and joyful Make Way for Tomorrow (pictured) (sung and danced by Silvers, Hayworth, and Kelly) in a restaurant

Curly Top (1935)

Fox's burgeoning 7 year-old superstar Shirley Temple starred as curly-haired orphan Elizabeth Blair.

In one scene, she sang the delightful Animal Crackers in My Soup (pictured) ("In every bowl of soup I see Lions and Tigers watching me I make 'em jump right through a hoop Those animal crackers in my soup").

Later, she sang When I Grow Up.

She also tap-danced on top of a piano to the tune of Curly Top (pictured).

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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