“Dancing and Singing at the Movies” ūüíÉūüŹĹūüé∂

musicals logo

 

It seems every time someone asks the question “What’s your favorite? (fill in the blank film) that’s what happens to me…BLANK; there are just too many. ¬†So, I decided to prep for the next occasion.

With the new film “La La Land” starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone being touted as this generation’s “Singing in the Rain”, I decided to start with the Musicals genre. These are some of my favorites that also made AFI’s list of the Top 5 Musicals of all time!

 

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Can you name yours? ¬†Let’s share.

# FILM YEAR STUDIO
1 SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN 1952 MGM
2 WEST SIDE STORY 1961 United Artists
3 WIZARD OF OZ, THE 1939 MGM
4 SOUND OF MUSIC, THE 1965 Twentieth Century-Fox
5 CABARET 1972 Allied Artists

 

Some of my favorite quotes!

 

Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

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Lina: ¬†[with a voice to peel paint] ¬†And I cayn’t stand’im. ¬† ¬†Holy crap! This line makes the movie for me!!

 

This celebrated musical-comedy was directed and choreographed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen. Starring Kelly, Donald O’Connor, and Debbie Reynolds, it offers a lighthearted depiction of Hollywood in the late 1920s, with the three stars portraying performers caught up in the transition from silent films to “talkies.” (Wikipedia)

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West Side Story (1961)

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[singing]

Bernardo: ¬†“I’d like to go back to San Juan.”

Anita: ¬†“I know a boat you can get on!”

Ha! ¬†Bernardo, you do you, cause I’m gonna do me!

 

Ah, the Sharks and the Jets who turn a knife fight into the coolest, choreographed ballet I’ve ever seen. I also have a particular fondness for this film having performed in a community theater stage production.

Jets

Jets

A musical romantic drama directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins,¬†the film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was inspired by William Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris.

Nominated for 11 Academy Awards and winning 10, including Best Picture (as well as a special award for Robbins), “West Side Story” is the record-holder for the most wins for a movie musical. (Wikipedia)

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The Wizard of Oz (1939)

 

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Cowardly Lion: ¬†”¬†Alright I’ll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I’ll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I’m going in there. There’s only one thing I want you fellows to do.”

Tin Woodsman,¬†Scarecrow: ¬†“What’s that?”

Cowardly Lion: ¬†“Talk me out of it!”

 Oh, Lion Рyou just gotta love him!

Produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, “The Wizard of Oz” is the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum.¬†The classic stars Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale. The co-stars include¬†Ray Bolger¬†(The Scarecrow), Jack Haley¬†(The Tin Man), Bert Lahr¬†(The Cowardly Lion), Frank Morgan, Billie Burke, and Margaret Hamilton¬†(The Wicked Witch of the West), with Charley Grapewin, Terry the dog (billed as Toto), and the Singer Midgets as the Munchkins.

Notable for its use of Technicolor, fantasy storytelling, musical score, and unusual characters, over the years, it has become an icon of American popular culture. It was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, but lost to “Gone with the Wind”. It did win in two other categories, including Best Original Song for “Over the Rainbow” and Best Original Score by Herbert Stothart. (Wikipedia)

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The Sound of Music (1965)

 

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Maria: ¬†“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

 Without a doubt, Maria!  Amen!

 

This song by Christina Perri ¬†“A Thousand Years” isn’t from the film but I felt it perfectly reflected the relationship between Maria and the Captain.

“The Sound of Music”¬†was produced and directed by Robert Wise, and starred¬†Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. An adaptation of the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music, composed by Richard Rodgers with lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II¬†it was based on the memoir The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria von Trapp.

 

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Cabaret (1972)

 

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Sally: ¬†” I’m going to be a great film star! That is¬†if booze and sex don’t get me first.”

This is a very prophetic quote considering the fate of many a would-be star.

 

This stylish, socially conscious musical drama was directed by the legendary choreographer¬†Bob Fosse and stars¬†Liza Minnelli, Michael York. and Joel Grey. The setting is Berlin in 1931 with the Nazis’ violent rise serving as a powerful, ever-present undercurrent in the film.

Liza Minnelli won the Best Actress Award for her portrayal of the flamboyant, cabaret performer, Sally Bowles, with the film also garnering Academy Awards for Best Supporting Actor (Joel Grey), Best Cinematography, Best Art Direction, Best Sound, Best Original Song Score and Adaptation, and Best Film Editing. It holds the record for most Oscars earned by a film not honored for Best Picture. “The Godfather” took the prize. (Wikipedia)

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Chicago (2002)

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Although the stylized, Jazz Age hit “Chicago”(2002) didn’t make the AFI Top 5, (#12), I couldn’t omit this sizzling number, Cell Block Tango. “He had it comin'”‚ėļ‚ėļ

 

A film version of Chicago was to have been the next project for Bob Fosse, who had directed and choreographed the original 1975 Broadway production but he died before realizing his vision.

Fosse’s distinctive jazz choreography style is evident throughout and he is thanked in the credits. The movie explores the themes of celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Chicago during the Jazz Age. (Wikipedia)

 

chicago movie

Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Renée Zellweger

 

Starring¬†Catherine Zeta-Jones, Ren√©e Zellweger, and Richard Gere,¬†“Chicago” centers on Velma Kelly (Zeta-Jones) and Roxie Hart (Zellweger), two murderesses who find themselves in jail together awaiting trial in 1920s Chicago.

Queen Latifah

Queen Latifah “Mama”

For her part, the multi-talented rapper, actress, producer, Queen Latifah’s role as Matron “Mama” Morton earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The movie was the winner of six Academy Awards in 2003, including Best Picture. The film was the first musical to win Best Picture since Oliver! in 1968.

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There are definitely a lot more for the list so please, let me know some of your picks in the comments!

 

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If it’s Sunday, breakout the hankies!

Cinema sign

Melodrama Sunday Movie Classics

In a previous post I talked about maybe being a little anal about the rules for Saturday and Sunday afternoon movie watching. I shared my rules for Saturday afternoon movie viewing which is B-horror and science fiction. I also shared 3 of my favorite flicks. The Blob (1958), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) and The Tingler (1959). (hope you check ’em out)

So, for Part 2 I’m showcasing Sunday and my criteria for some great classic melodrama.

I love melodramas because they can be so over the top and cathartic (think movie therapy) and there’s no better day to¬†indulge¬†than on a lazy Sunday, vegging on the couch, better yet if it’s a rainy day.

According to dictionary.com:

Melodrama – Exaggerated and emotional or sentimental, sensational or sensationalized: over dramatic.

Bette Davis is my favorite Melodrama Diva! Talk about emotional and dramatic, she had those attitudes down pat. With her I find myself either talking back to my TV screen or weeping. (this is why rain helps) So, let’s find out about “The First Lady of the American Screen:

Bette Davis

Bette Davis color

¬†Ruth Elizabeth Davis (April 5, 1908 ‚Äď October 6, 1989) known as Bette Davis

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Ms. Davis is regarded as one of the¬†greatest¬†actors in cinema history. Bette Davis was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences¬†and¬†won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice. She was also the first person to receive 10 Academy Award nominations for acting, and was the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. With more than 100 films, television and theater roles to her credit, in 1999, Davis placed second on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest female stars of all time.

Bette was known for her no-nonsense, no-holds barred personality and wasn’t afraid to take on unsympathetic character roles. In the RKO film Of Human Bondage (1934), she played such a character as Mildred, the cruel and vicious waitress. ¬†A film adaptation of the 1915 novel of the same name by W. Somerset Maugham. This melodramatic adaptation about a crippled doctor’s destructive and compulsive passion for this coarse waitress was advertised with the tagline on one of its posters: “The Love That Lifted a Man to Paradise…and Hurled Him Back to Earth Again.”

In her 1st major, critically acclaimed part she insisted on looking hideous to depict the ravages of the disease tuberculosis¬†on the human body. She wasn’t nominated for an Oscar but so impressed fellow artists that they insisted she be a write-in on the ballot.

Bette_davis_of_human_bondage

Bette as “Mildred” in Of Human Bondage 1934

A little bit of Mildred’s charm:

¬†Let’s take a look at her 10 Oscar nominations and 2 wins:

  • 1935: Won for Dangerous,¬†as a self-destructive, alcoholic actress (really a make-up for not winning Of Human Bondage)

 

  • 1938: Won for Jezebel, as a self absorbed 1850’s southern belle¬†whose insistence on wearing a red-dress to a formal affair (white = chaste) brings scandal and disapproval. Her man “Pres” Henry Fonda was too through with her.

 

  • 1939: Nominated for Dark Victory, as Judith Traherne, an impetuous, terminally ill Long Island socialite. (yes that’s Bette with a drunken Ronald Reagan) Big time tear-jerker! – Bette’s favorite! ¬†

 

  • 1940: Nominated for The Letter, as a low-down, adulterous murderer who has absolutely no remorse for blowing her lover away. However, karma is a bitch.

 

  • 1941: Nominated for The Little Foxes, as Southern aristocrat Regina Giddens – that girl put the cold in cold-blooded. ¬†

 

  • ¬†1942: Nominated for Now, Voyager, as Charlotte Vale – a dowdy, overweight, spinster, abused by her mother but fights back and achieves a starling transformation in body and spirit. An incredible performance! My absolute favorite Bette Davis role!¬†

Charlotte on the edge of a well deserved nervous breakdown:

 

Charlotte’s journey:

 

  • 1944: Nominated for Mr. Skeffington, as Fanny Skeffington, a woman so conceited that she tries to steal her daughter’s boyfriend, loses her looks after an illness but still has the nerve to treat her husband like dirt and still believe she can have any man – no way. In the end she learns the hard way that “a woman is beautiful when she’s loved and only then.” (too bad it’s after her husband goes blind in a concentration camp)

 

  • 1950: Nominated for All About Eve, as Margo Channing ¬†an insecure Broadway star challenged by the younger, conniving Eve – “Fasten your¬†seat-belts,¬†it’s going to be a bumpy night.” ¬†It¬†was selected in 1990 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and was among the first 50 films to be registered.

  • 1952: Nominated for The Star, as Maggie, a washed-up actress trying to revive her career. Notably, at this time in Bette Davis’ career, she was struggling for roles despite her body of work. Bette’s ego was blamed.

 

  • 1962: Nominated for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, as the demented Baby Jane Hudson who tortures and¬†terrorizes her sister Blanche (Joan Crawford) ¬†Much like their real life rivalry. This role renewed her success and paved the way for other deranged characters in such films as: Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964) and The Nanny (1965)

 ♦♦♦♦

Bette continued to perform in film and on television in the 70’s and 80’s. In 1983 at the age of 75 she had a mastectomy as a result of breast cancer. Nine days later she suffered a stroke. Despite her failing health she continued to work until her death in 1989.

This is an in-depth retrospect of “The First Lady of the American Screen”

Enjoy! Don’t forget to bring your hankie.

 

“Dance and Sing Get Up and Do Your Thing” – AFI’s Top 5 Musicals

musicals logo

 

It seems every time someone asks the question “What’s your favorite? (fill in the blank) that’s what happens to me…BLANK. ¬†So, I decided to prep for the next occasion. ¬†Here’s the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 5 Musicals of All time! ¬†West Side Story and Cabaret have already made the list on my Songbird Oscar Winners post. ¬†I think I got this!

Can you name yours? ¬†Let’s share.

# FILM YEAR STUDIO
1 SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN 1952 MGM
2 WEST SIDE STORY 1961 United Artists
3 WIZARD OF OZ, THE 1939 MGM
4 SOUND OF MUSIC, THE 1965 Twentieth Century-Fox
5 CABARET 1972 Allied Artists

 

Some of my favorite quotes from the films!

Singing in the rain poster

Lina: ¬†[with a voice to peel paint] ¬†And I cayn’t stand’im. ¬† ¬†Holy crap! This line makes the movie for me!!

 

 

 

West Side Poster

[singing]

Bernardo: ¬†” I’d like to go back to San Juan.”

Anita: ¬†“I know a boat you can get on!”

 

Ha! ¬†You do you, cause I’m gonna do me!

 

 

Wizard of Oz

Cowardly Lion: ¬†”¬†Alright¬† I’ll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I’ll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I’m going in there. There’s only one thing I want you fellows to do.”

Tin Woodsman,¬†Scarecrow: ¬†“What’s that?”

Cowardly Lion: ¬†“Talk me out of it!”

 

Oh Lion – you just gotta love him!

 

 

 

Sound of Music

 

Maria: ¬†“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

 

Without a doubt!  Amen!

 

 

Cabaret poster

 

Sally: ¬†” I’m going to be a great film star! That is, if booze and sex don’t get me first.”

 

Quote is dead on. ¬†What’s up Ms Liza?

 

 

 

 

Some Like it Hot! (1959)

Billy Wilder¬†is one of my favorite directors because he’s not afraid to tackle controversial subject matters like alcoholism, adultery, and sexuality. His 1959 film Some Like it Hot is a fantastic example! ¬†I love this film not only because it’s hilarious and Marilyn Monroe¬†is at the height of her sexiness, but it addresses the issues of gender roles, cross-dressing and gay marriage head on!

United Artists released Wilder’s Prohibition-era farce Some Like It Hot without a Production Code seal of approval, withheld due to the film’s unabashed sexuality including a central cross-dressing theme.

 

 

Okay, so here’s the set-up:

2 speakeasy musicians (Joe and Jerry) in 1920’s Chicago witness the infamous St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. Obviously ¬†– that’s a problem. Busted by the hitmen they try to talk their way out of the situation. However, the gangsters ain’t havin’ it so they do the next best thing – Run!

Okay, so now what? Go drag, book a gig with the all-girl band Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopaters. Hey, it could happen.

 

Introducing Josephine and Daphne

 

Now, let’s meet Joe and Jerry

somelikeithotjoeandgerry

Jerry: You’d bet my money on a dog? Joe: He’s a shoo-in. Max the waiter knows the electrician that wires the rabbit.

 

Joe ( Tony Curtis) is a saxophone playing womanizer who’s borrowed¬†money from every girl on the chorus line at the speakeasy. Jerry (Jack Lemmon) plays the upright bass and is Joe’s best friend. Although tired of Joe’s crap, he covets¬†his prowess with women while simultaneously desiring a stable relationship of his own.

Their bond is put to the test when Joe (as Josephine) zeros in on Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe) and her strut when they arrive at the train station. Sugar plays ukulele and sings with Sweet Sue (Joan Shawlee)¬†and the Syncopaters. By the time they arrive at their destination in Florida, Joe has sweet talked his way into Sugar’s life and is bound and determined to have a taste. Daphne (Jerry) on the other hand has a different experience; dealing with his jealousy of Joe and Sugar’s relationship while maneuvering the advances and courtship of much-married and aging millionaire, Osgood Fielding III (Joe E. Brown).

First of all, Joe E. Brown is a scream! Second of all, check out his career along with this performance.

 

 

And here we go – into the land of whoa, stuff we don’t talk about in 1959 and are really just scratching the surface of today:

Cross Dressing: Designer¬†Orry-Kelly¬†won an Oscar for Best Costume Design for his work. Seeing Marilyn’s gowns, Curtis and Lemmon insisted on wearing Kelly’s designs as well to make them look good as females. They played it straight as Josephine and Daphne which I believe gave weight and merit to the film. They may have looked good, but Marilyn was hot! As a young girl, I went, yes – one day I wanna rock a dress like that!

 

Gender Roles: Challenging what is deemed to be male/female expectations. By embracing their personas, Joe and Jerry learn from Sugar and Osgood what it means to walk in another woman’s shoes and deal with the complexities of being a woman in a man’s world.

 

Gay Marriage:¬†The right to love for love’s sake.¬†This is undoubtedly my favorite scene!

Joe to Jerry/Daphne – “It’s just not being done.”

“I’m a Boy”

 

This final scene is pure – Subversive Brilliance!

Despite Joe’s argument to Jerry and Jerry’s argument to Osgood about how outrageous their marriage would be – in the end, love will not be denied.

 

Billy Wilder, the Austrian-born American filmmaker¬†is regarded as one of the most brilliant and versatile filmmakers of Hollywood’s golden age. Wilder is one of only five people to have won Academy Awards as a producer, director and screenwriter for the same film (The Apartment).¬†The American Film Institute has ranked these four Wilder films among their top 100 American films of the 20th century:

In 2001, AFI selected Some Like It Hot as the number one comedy film of all time.

BillyWilderParamountPubPhoto1942

Billy Wilder

 

Thank you, Billy Wilder for directing, producing and writing this screenplay. Art should be provocative, revolutionary; pushing the conversation forward. Humor and politics are not mutually exclusive. Question what is accepted. Fight for what is right.

If it’s Sunday, breakout the hankies!

Cinema sign

Melodrama Sunday Movie Classics

In my last post I talked about maybe being a little anal about the rules for Saturday and Sunday afternoon movie watching. I shared my rules for Saturday afternoon movie viewing which is B-horror and science fiction. I also shared 3 of my favorite flicks. The Blob (1958), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957) and The Tingler (1959). (hope you check ’em out)

So, for Part 2 I’m showcasing Sunday and my criteria for some great classic melodrama.

I love melodramas because they can be so over the top and cathartic (think movie therapy) and there’s no better day to¬†indulge¬†than on a lazy Sunday, vegging on the couch, better yet if it’s a rainy day.

According to dictionary.com:

Melodrama – Exaggerated and emotional or sentimental, sensational or sensationalized: over dramatic.

Bette Davis is my favorite Melodrama Diva! Talk about emotional and dramatic, she had those attitudes down pat. With her I find myself either talking back to my TV screen or weeping. (this is why rain helps) So, let’s find out about “The First Lady of the American Screen:

Bette Davis

Bette Davis color

¬†Ruth Elizabeth Davis (April 5, 1908 ‚Äď October 6, 1989) known as Bette Davis

Born in Lowell, Massachusetts, Ms. Davis is regarded as one of the¬†greatest¬†actors in cinema history. Bette Davis was the first female president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences¬†and¬†won the Academy Award for Best Actress twice. She was also the first person to receive 10 Academy Award nominations for acting, and was the first woman to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Film Institute. With more than 100 films, television and theater roles to her credit, in 1999, Davis placed second on the American Film Institute’s list of the greatest female stars of all time.

Bette was known for her no-nonsense, no-holds barred personality and wasn’t afraid to take on unsympathetic character roles. In the RKO film Of Human Bondage (1934), she played such a character as Mildred, the cruel and vicious waitress. ¬†A film adaptation of the 1915 novel of the same name by W. Somerset Maugham. This melodramatic adaptation about a crippled doctor’s destructive and compulsive passion for this coarse waitress was advertised with the tagline on one of its posters: “The Love That Lifted a Man to Paradise…and Hurled Him Back to Earth Again.”

In her 1st major, critically acclaimed part she insisted on looking hideous to depict the ravages of the disease tuberculosis¬†on the human body. She wasn’t nominated for an Oscar but so impressed fellow artists that they insisted she be a write-in on the ballot.

Bette_davis_of_human_bondage

Bette as “Mildred” in Of Human Bondage 1934

A little bit of Mildred’s charm:

¬†Let’s take a look at her 10 Oscar nominations and 2 wins:

  • 1935: Won for Dangerous,¬†as a self-destructive, alcoholic actress (really a make-up for not winning Of Human Bondage)

 

  • 1938: Won for Jezebel, as a self absorbed 1850’s southern belle¬†whose insistence on wearing a red-dress to a formal affair (white = chaste) brings scandal and disapproval. Her man “Pres” Henry Fonda was too through with her.

 

  • 1939: Nominated for Dark Victory, as Judith Traherne, an impetuous, terminally ill Long Island socialite. (yes that’s Bette with a drunken Ronald Reagan) Big time tear-jerker! – Bette’s favorite! ¬†

 

  • 1940: Nominated for The Letter, as a low-down, adulterous murderer who has absolutely no remorse for blowing her lover away. However, karma is a bitch.

 

  • 1941: Nominated for The Little Foxes, as Southern aristocrat Regina Giddens – that girl put the cold in cold-blooded. ¬†

 

  • ¬†1942: Nominated for Now, Voyager, as Charlotte Vale – a dowdy, overweight, spinster, abused by her mother but fights back and achieves a starling transformation in body and spirit. An incredible performance! My absolute favorite Bette Davis role!¬†

Charlotte on the edge of a well deserved nervous breakdown:

 

Charlotte’s journey:

 

  • 1944: Nominated for Mr. Skeffington, as Fanny Skeffington, a woman so conceited that she tries to steal her daughter’s boyfriend, loses her looks after an illness but still has the nerve to treat her husband like dirt and still believe she can have any man – no way. In the end she learns the hard way that “a woman is beautiful when she’s loved and only then.” (too bad it’s after her husband goes blind in a concentration camp)

 

  • 1950: Nominated for All About Eve, as Margo Channing ¬†an insecure Broadway star challenged by the younger, conniving Eve – “Fasten your¬†seat-belts,¬†it’s going to be a bumpy night.” ¬†It¬†was selected in 1990 for preservation in the United States National Film Registry and was among the first 50 films to be registered.

 

  • 1952: Nominated for The Star, as Maggie, a washed up actress trying to revive her career. Notably, at this time in Bette Davis’ career, she was struggling for roles despite her body of work. Bette’s ego was blamed.

 

  • 1962: Nominated for What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, as the demented Baby Jane Hudson who tortures and¬†terrorizes her sister Blanche (Joan Crawford) ¬†Much like their real life rivalry. This role renewed her success and paved the way for other deranged characters in such films as: Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte (1964) and The Nanny (1965)

 ♦♦♦♦

Bette continued to perform in film and on television in the 70’s and 80’s. In 1983 at the age of 75 she had a mastectomy as a result of breast cancer. Nine days later she suffered a stroke. Despite her failing health she continued to work until her death in 1989.

This is an in-depth retrospect of “The First Lady of the American Screen”

Enjoy! Don’t forget to bring your hankie.

 

Too”Blazing”Hot?

Blazing Saddles_movie_poster

I’ll never forget the day my boyfriend (now husband) came to me super excited about, in his words, “the funniest movie he’s seen” and there’s another showing in half an hour!. ¬†Okay I say, skeptical, but I’m game. ¬†He couldn’t stop talking about his favorite “moment” – the “campfire and beans scene.” ¬†As the end credits rolled I agreed, this was the funniest movie I’d ever seen and my favorite “moment” was — holy crap — I can’t name just one. ¬†Lili von Shtupp “I’m Tired”, “The sheriff is near” or “Mongo only pawn in game of life.” ¬† Awwh, it’s too hard to pick just one! ¬†Blazing Saddles is probably one of the most quotable movies of all time.

The movie was nominated for three¬†Academy Awards, and is ranked No. 6 on the¬†American Film Institute‘s¬†100 Years…100 Laughs¬†list.

“Mongo only pawn in game of life”

Mongo

 

But, I wonder, how would Blazing Saddles be received by audiences today?

This film was released in 1974 but reflecting today on the welcoming scene for Sheriff Bart, it could just as well have been President Obama’s¬†Inaugural Reception. ¬†In the western town of Rockridge the women clutched their purses and the men drew their guns. ¬†A Black Sheriff, no way! ¬†For some, The President’s election and re-election evoked some of those same feelings. ¬†A Black man in the White House, no way! ¬† Yes, it’s 2014 but yes for some, the stereotypes still¬†exist. ¬†There are those who wish the country could go back to the “good ole days” when if you were white it’s alright, but, if you’re black get back. ¬†It’s irrational and built on fear, but racism has always been apart of the fabric of this country.

Mel nig

 

Directed by: Mel Brooks

Written by: Mel Brooks, Richard Pryor, Andrew Bergman, Norman Steinberg and Al Unger

Songs: Mel Brooks

Starring Cleavon Little
Gene Wilder
Harvey Korman
Slim Pickens
Madeline Kahn
Mel Brooks

It’s a brilliant film! ¬†The writing, the acting, the concept. ¬†And what a concept. ¬†A Black sheriff in an all white 1874 small western town. ¬†What could possibly go wrong?

The film is an in your face satire about racism in the old west as opposed to the Hollywood cowboy myth. ¬†Liberal uses of the N word and plenty of references to black men being sexually”gifted.” ¬†Lili: “Is it true what they say about you people?” ¬†Also, you know black men all want white women.

Lili von Shtupp goes there:

 

“Where the white women at?”

 

I’m not really sure how Blazing Saddles would touch people today, but in 1974 I got the feeling that black and white laughed at the jokes and understood their own truth within the satire. ¬† Have the voices of hate overshadowed our ability to laugh and rebuke racism or are the hate filled voices of today outliers? ¬†Is the majority of the country trying to go backwards or are we embracing progress and the commitment it takes?

Harvey Mel

 Blazing Saddle Quotes:

  • Jim: [consoling Bart] What did you expect? “Welcome, sonny”? “Make yourself at home”? “Marry my daughter”? You’ve got to remember that these are just simple farmers. These are people of the land. The common clay of the new West. You know…¬†morons.
  • ¬†Bart: I better go check out this Mongo character.

[Bart reaches for his gun]

Jim: Oh no, don’t do that, don’t do that. If you shoot him, you’ll just make him mad.

  • Mexican Bandit: Badges? We don’t need no stinking badges.
  • ¬†Lili Von Shtupp: Hello, handsome, is that a ten-gallon hat or are you just enjoying the show?

If you have seen the movie give it a revisit and let me know what you think. ¬†Or if you haven’t, check it out and let me know your thoughts in the comments.

“Dance and Sing Get Up and Do Your Thing” – AFI’s Top 5 Musicals

It seems every time someone asks the question “What’s your favorite? (fill in the blank) that’s what happens to me…BLANK. ¬†So, I decided to prep for the next occasion. ¬†Here’s the American Film Institute’s list of the Top 5 Musicals of All time! ¬†West Side Story and Cabaret have already made the list on my Songbird Oscar Winners post. ¬†I think I got this!

Can you name yours? ¬†Let’s share.

# FILM YEAR STUDIO
1 SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN 1952 MGM
2 WEST SIDE STORY 1961 United Artists
3 WIZARD OF OZ, THE 1939 MGM
4 SOUND OF MUSIC, THE 1965 Twentieth Century-Fox
5 CABARET 1972 Allied Artists

 

Some of my favorite quotes from the films!

Singing in the rain poster

Lina: ¬†[with a voice to peel paint] ¬†And I cayn’t stand’im. ¬† ¬†Holy crap! This line makes the movie for me!!

 

 

 

West Side Poster

[singing]

Bernardo: ¬†” I’d like to go back to San Juan.”

Anita: ¬†“I know a boat you can get on!”

 

Ha! ¬†You do you, cause I’m gonna do me!

 

 

Wizard of Oz

Cowardly Lion: ¬†”¬†Alright¬† I’ll go in there for Dorothy. Wicked Witch or no Wicked Witch, guards or no guards, I’ll tear them apart. I may not come out alive, but I’m going in there. There’s only one thing I want you fellows to do.”

Tin Woodsman,¬†Scarecrow: ¬†“What’s that?”

Cowardly Lion: ¬†“Talk me out of it!”

 

Oh Lion – you just gotta love him!

 

 

 

Sound of Music

 

Maria: ¬†“When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

 

Without a doubt!  Amen!

 

 

Cabaret poster

 

Sally: ¬†” I’m going to be a great film star! That is, if booze and sex don’t get me first.”

 

Quote is dead on. ¬†What’s up Ms Liza?