Must See Musicals: 10 Film Collection

1962
  |  1114 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Collection of ten classic musicals featuring stars such as Judy Garland, Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Doris Day, Howard Keel and Natalie Wood. In '42nd Street' (1933) Dorothy (Bebe Daniels), the leading lady of a Broadway show, injures her ankle before the first night and is replaced by chorus girl Peggy (Ruby Keeler) at the last minute. 'Meet Me in St. Louis' (1944) follows the middle-class Smith family in the lead up to the 1904 World's Fair hosted in St. Louis. Esther (Garland), the second eldest daughter of Alonzo (Leon Ames) and Anna Smith (Mary Astor), falls for her new next door neighbour, John Truitt (Tom Drake). When their romance begins to blossom Esther learns that Alonzo's employer is transferring him to New York where he plans to move the family. In 'Easter Parade' (1948) Don Hewes (Astaire) is one half of a dance team who is ditched by his partner. Deciding he can make a star out of anyone he wants, he chooses lowly chorus girl Hannah Brown (Garland) as his new partner. In 'Annie Get Your Gun' (1950) the rough-edged, backwoods sharpshooter Annie (Betty Hutton) is plucked out of obscurity by Buffalo Bill (Louis Calhern) and groomed for a leading role in Bill's world-famous Wild West show. However, Annie has a rival in the form of rifleman Frank Butler (Keel), a man she soon falls in love with. In 'Singin' in the Rain' (1952), in 1927, Don Lockwood (Kelly, who co-directs) has worked his way up from being a song-and-dance man with partner Cosmo Brown (Donald O'Connor) to become a top movie star. Actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) finds herself the object of Don's affections when she is hired to overdub the awful voice of his co-star with the arrival of talkies. In 'The Band Wagon' (1953) a has-been star of movie musicals (Astaire) agrees to take part in a Broadway show, playing opposite a ballerina (Cyd Charisse). The stars fear they cannot work together, but the show's success is under a bigger threat from its pretentious musical director (Jack Buchanan), who turns a simple story into an overblown monster. When opening night is a flop it is up to the cast to save the show. In 'Calamity Jane' (1953) Day stars as the famous frontierswoman, who would rather hit targets than chase men - until she falls for 'Wild Bill' Hickok (Keel), who would rather shoot Indians than chase after a tomboy like Calamity Jane. In 'A Star Is Born' (1954) would-be singer Esther Blodgett (Garland) finds herself taken under the wing of fading star Norman Maine (James Mason) when she saves him from making a drunken fool of himself on stage. Esther begins to find success and is soon married to Norman but as her star rises, so Norman's falls. In 'High Society' (1956) socialite Tracy Lord (Grace Kelly) is preparing for her second marriage but still has feelings for her ex-husband (Bing Crosby). She also strikes up a friendship with a reporter (Frank Sinatra) who has been sent to cover her society wedding. 'Gypsy' (1962) follows the career of Gypsy Rose Lee from a young woman to 1930s burlesque headliner. Louise (Wood) is forced into the limelight by her theatrical mother, Rose (Rosalind Russell), and eventually becomes the celebrated stripper.