Must See Musicals: 15 Film Collection

1962
  |  1617 min
Rated TBC by the BBFC

Synopsis

Collection of 15 classic musicals featuring stars such as Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Doris Day and Howard Keel. In '42nd Street' (1933) the leading lady of a Broadway show sprains her ankle before the first night and is replaced by a chorus girl (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 as second eldest daughter Esther (Garland) falls for new neighbour John Truitt (Tom Drake) and initially has difficulty winning his affections. In 'Easter Parade' (1948) Don Hewes (Fred 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 a lowly chorus girl (Garland) as a replacement. In 'Annie Get Your Gun' (1950) backwoods sharpshooter Annie Oakley (Betty Hutton) is plucked out of obscurity by Buffalo Bill (Louis Calhern) and groomed for a leading role in his 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 'On Moonlight Bay' (1951) tomboy Marjorie (Day) pairs up with college jock Bill (Gordon MacRae) and soon wedding bells are in the air. However, their plans are disrupted by the onset of World War I. In 'April in Paris' (1952) chorus girl Ethel 'Dynamite' Jackson (Day) is mistakenly invited to attend an American arts festival in Paris. She finds herself accompanied by the beleaguered diplomat (Ray Bolger) who mismailed her invitation. In 'Singin' in the Rain' (1952), set in 1927, Don Lockwood (Kelly) has worked his way up from being a song-and-dance man to become a top movie star. Actress Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds) soon finds herself the object of his affections when she is hired to overdub the awful voice of his on-screen partner with the arrival of talkies. In 'Calamity Jane' (1953) the titular character (Day) is a female sharpshooter 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. In 'By the Light of the Silvery Moon' (1953), the sequel to 'On Moonlight Bay', Day and MacRae reprise their roles as young couple Marjorie and Bill who haven't yet made it to the altar despite Bill's return from serving in the war. 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). In 'A Star Is Born' (1954), a remake of the 1937 classic, 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 'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' (1954) Adam Pontabee (Keel) brings his new bride, Milly (Jane Powell), back to live on the ranch with him and his six unruly brothers. Milly begins to coach the boys in the ways of polite society and accidentally gives them the idea of kidnapping six eligible young ladies for the purposes of marriage. 'Love Me Or Leave Me' (1955) tells the story of 1920s singer Ruth Etting (Day)'s rise to fame and her troubled relationship with mobster Martin Snyder (James Cagney). 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. Finally, 'Gypsy' (1962) follows the career of Gypsy Rose Lee from a young woman to 1930s burlesque headliner. Louise (Natalie Wood) is the girl who is forced into the limelight by her theatrical mother, Rose (Rosalind Russell), and eventually becomes the celebrated stripper.