Old Hollywood Movie Musicals

Caproni

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When discussing musicals from Hollywood's Golden Age, I'd be apt to guess that many fans would think about those big, epic-size musicals that came out of MGM during the thirties, forties, and fifties.

But this nerd doesn't.

If ever I were discussing old Hollywood musicals, it's almost a given that I'll generally think of those glittery Twentieth Century-Fox gems first. Betty Grable, who emerged as one of the biggest stars on the planet, starred in a host of bubblegum musical comedies during WWII, but had Alice Faye, the original queen, not gotten sick in 1940, perhaps Grable wouldn't have taken the crown she eventually owned straight out. In saying that, if Grable hadn't become such a phenomenon in America, maybe Fox wouldn't have generated their own Grable-inspired clone by name of June Haver.

Now, the argument has occasionally been made that Fox's musicals weren't quite as groundbreaking (or good, for the lack of a better word) as those MGM masterpieces. While I'd generally agree with that claim, I'd also readily admit that I wouldn't pass up an opportunity to watch Grable in something cutesy, over something more well-touted as classic.
 

Snarky's Ghost

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Interesting idea for a thread.

First always comes to mind Leslie Howard in GONE WITH THE WIND -- exactly a straight male executive's idea of a "sensitive" man: a pantywaist. Even Mr. Howard conceded he "looked like a gay doorman" at an upscale hotel during some of his early costume-fittings.

Howard didn't even want to do the movie and was very snobby about the material (Clark Gable was hesitant, too, but that was because he didn't want to disappoint the book's fan base).

Turns out Margaret Mitchell agreed with me on several points, as she herself asserted (I would learn many years after I'd said it) that the four leads were pitch-perfect except for Howard who was all wrong. (She also agreed with me that the music score was so overwhelming for WUTHERING HEIGHTS that you couldn't hear the dialogue).

She did, however, view women as soft and gentle creatures and men as impossible pigs, and said as much. But nobody's perfect.

Ashley Wilkes, in the book, was a languid patrician, one haunted by the past. And that was not evident in the bitchy casting of Leslie Howard.

Alternatives for Ashley Wilkes? I might suggest Henry Fonda if he hadn't just plantationed it up with Bette Davis in JEZEBEL. I'd also consider Van Heflin whom actresses liked but was considered "too ugly" by those same straight male studio executives... Or, perchance to dream, James Mason?

 
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Karin Schill

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Gone with the wind is my all time favorite movie. But it isn't a musical.

When I think of musicals the first movies that pops into my mind are:
The sound of music (1965)
West side story (1961)
And
Grease (1978)
 

Snarky's Ghost

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OMG -- the omelette is totally on my face!! I read the title as "miscasts" instead of "musicals"!

:haha: :haha:

Well, I could try to chat about miscast musicals, but that still wouldn't involve GWTW, would it?

"I just hope no one asks me to sing..."


.
 

Caproni

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My girlfriend and I watched Singin' in the Rain not too long ago. It was the first time for her, and the first time I'd personally seen the movie in it's entirety.

 

Angela Channing

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I always think of "Old Hollywood" and "Hollywood's Golden Age" as being the 1950s and earlier and from that period my favourite is Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Carmen Jones (1954).
 
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Caproni

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I always think of "Old Hollywood" and "Hollywood's Golden Age" as being the 1950s and earlier and from that period my favourite is Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Carmen Jones (1954).
Carmen Jones is a definite gem. Every time I watch it I get saddened that Dorothy Dandridge's career burned out so quickly. She had it all: looks, talents, and a lot of unfulfilled promises.

 

Snarky's Ghost

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I always think of "Old Hollywood" and "Hollywood's Golden Age" as being the 1950s and earlier and from that period my favourite is Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942) and Carmen Jones (1954).
Yes, it's mostly a reference to the '30s and '40s -- and sputtering out during the '50s when, despite the image of Hollywood being at its zenith, the old studio was beginning to crumble behind-the-scenes due to new competition from television, and to anti-trust laws which now prevented the studios from owning their own theatres, all of which cut studio profits down to 25% of what they had been just a decade earlier, the end result being oil companies coming in and buying up studio archives and production facilities.

 

Caproni

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I love the studying of old Hollywood. I love the movies, the stars, the look. Hollywood today, if it can still be called that, cannot even come close to comparing to the originality and classiness those Golden Age glitters give me.

 

Snarky's Ghost

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I love the studying of old Hollywood. I love the movies, the stars, the look. Hollywood today, if it can still be called that, cannot even come close to comparing to the originality and classiness those Golden Age glitters give me.
Even in 1949, Norma Desmond was going on about all this new Hollywood trash.
 
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