AFI's 100 Years, 100 Musicals?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Scott Leopold, Jul 10, 2002.

  1. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    I've enjoyed the AFI's specials so far, and was wondering why they've not yet done one on musicals. I dropped them a line yesterday and received the following response:

    Thank you for your interest in the American Film Institute. This has been proposed. A decision will be made and announced in early 2003.

    While I'm assuming it's a foregone conclusion that Singin' in the Rain will be #1, I'd be curious to see what else they'd include.
     
  2. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    I'm sure alot of people would be surprised there would even be 100 to find! Our amnesia-ridden culture should be gently reminded how thousands of musicals enlivened movie screens from 1927 through the 1950s, gradually tapering off to sporadic events to the present day. A lost glory. [​IMG]
     
  3. Mitty

    Mitty Supporting Actor

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  4. Eric Peterson

    Eric Peterson Cinematographer

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    I can't see them pulling this countdown off. I just don't think that there's enought [bold]QUALITY[/bold] material.
    I have two basic reasons that I don't think this would work.

    1. The musical has also been nearly a dead artform for almost 30 years. Sure there are a handful here & there, but many of those are somewhat underground.

    2. The normal AFI procedure is nominating 400 films and voting for 100 from there. They would really be scraping the bottom of the barrel if they had to nominate 400 musicals. Every musical that has even a remote touch of greatness would certainly be included in the final 100.


    I could maybe see a countdown of the top 50 and maybe do another countdown based on another subject. Some thoughts would be - Greatest Film Moments, Greatest Films based on true stories(people), Greatest Films about Film or heaven forbid maybe a countdown of the greatest directors, but I don't know if the general public would be able to handle anything aside from Hitchcock, Spielberg, & Lucas.
     
  5. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Ok, I wrote down all I could think of, not in any order except how they came to wacky brain: (No question, not enough musicals for a "Best Of")

    Movie Musicals

    1. Singing in the Rain
    2. On the Town
    3. It's Always Fair Weather
    4. The Bandwagon
    5. Royal Wedding
    6. Anchors, Aweigh!
    7. An American in Paris
    8. Showboat (1936)
    9. Showboat (1951)
    10. State Fair (1945)
    11. State Fair (1960)
    12. Oklahoma!
    13. Carousel
    14. The King And I
    15. South Pacific
    16. Flower Drum Song
    17. The Sound of Music
    18. Brigadoon
    19. My Fair Lady
    20. Gigi
    21. Camelot
    22. Paint Your Wagon
    23. The Wizard of Oz
    24. Meet Me In St. Louis
    25. The Harvey Girls
    26. Summer Stock
    27. Annie Get Your Gun
    28. A Star is Born (1954)
    29. Yolanda and the Thief
    30. High Society
    31. Can Can
    32. The Music Man
    33. The Unsinkable Molly Brown
    34. Oliver!
    35. Scrooge
    36. Dr. Doolittle (1967)
    37. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
    38. West Side Story
    39. A Little Night Music
    40. Gypsy
    41. Sweet Charity
    42. Cabaret
    43. How To Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
    44. Guys and Dolls
    45. A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum
    46. Funny Face
    47. Les Girls
    48. There's No Business Like Show Business
    49. 42nd Street
    50. Goldiggers of 1932
    51. The Jazz Singer
    52. Whoopee!
    53. Going My Way
    54. The Bells of St. Mary's
    55. Grease
    56. Little Shop of Horrors
    57. Moulin Rouge
    58. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg
    59. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    60. Top Hat
    61. The Gay Divorcee
    62. Flying Down To Rio
    62. Calamity Jane
    63. Tea for Two
    64. Lost Horizon (1973)
    65. Kiss Me, Kate
    66. Ziegfield Follies
    67. The Boy Friend
    68. Dick Tracy
    69. Broadway Melody
    70. What A Way To Go
    71. Babes in Arms
    72. Strike Up The Band
    73. Good News
    74. Kismet
    75. Can't Help Singing
    76. The Jolson Story
    77. Snow White
    78. Dumbo
    79. Pinocchio
    80. Cinderella
    81. Sleeping Beauty
    82. The Jungle Book
    82. Mary Poppins
    83. Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang
    84. Thoroughly Modern Millie
    85. Beauty and the Beast
    86. The Little Mermaid
    87. Peter Pan
    88. Aladdin
    89. The Lion King
    90. Pocohantas
    91. Hercules
    92. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    93. Gulliver's Travels
    94. Gay Puree
    95. Victor, Victoria
    96. Everyone Says I Love You
    97. The Pajama Game
    98. Damn Yankees
    99. Bells Are Ringing
    100. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

    The names I've left off are various studios groupings: Paramount, Warners, Betty Grable, Alice Faye, etc. because I can't think of the titles.
     
  6. Al B. C

    Al B. C Supporting Actor

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    Hedwig and The Angry Inch gets my vote. I enjoyed the crap out of that. [​IMG]
     
  7. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    No Moulin Rouge or Hedwig. It's the first 100 years and MR and Hedwig came after that point.

    Moulin would certainly get mentioned during the show though.

    A couple of others to consider:

    Hair
    Tommy

    Dee left off the already mentioned Yankee Doodle Dandy which would easily be on the list.


    I wonder if they might also include concert films like Stop Making Sense, The Last Waltz, and Woodstock. If they did it would open things up even more. I certainly think they should at least.
     
  8. DeeF

    DeeF Screenwriter

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    Well, since we don't have enough, we don't have to start limiting.

    But those last three concert films are not musicals. They are documentaries.

    If I had to make a distinction, I might say that a musical is a movie where some of the dialogue between characters is sung, in a completely fantaisical way, yet they don't hear it as singing, but as dialogue.

    So, Dick Tracy wouldn't be considered a musical, even though it has some filmed musical numbers. But if we eliminate Dick Tracy, we ought to eliminate Cabaret, because it uses a very similar format. The dialogue scenes do not contain music or songs. The songs are all performed diegetically on the stage of the Kit Kat.

    I forgot Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar, and many others. But maybe animated films should be separated, I don't know.
     
  9. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    The problem is one of perception too--from every era there are a number of "top" musicals, even if few today ever heard of them. You could put in Rouben Mamoulin's 1932 LOVE ME TONIGHT as a valid entry, and several good early talkies like HALLELUJAH (1929), the first black musical. APPLAUSE (1929) is a very important title from this period too. And how about the 1936 SHOWBOAT? The Nelson Eddy/Jeanette McDonald musicals? The period from 1929-1939 was very rich in musicals, even if it seems an academic exercise nowadays, and that's the problem. Think of all the Busby Berkeley musicals, aside from the better known ones...and others featuring huge names in their time, such as KID MILLIONS (1934) with Eddie Cantor (including WHOOPEE!). So many are regulated to TCM now, and it's no wonder many are completely overlooked. Right now any AFI count would be pretty much scouring more familiar titles. Oh yeah, and as someone mentioned, let's not forget Alice Faye and Betty Grable. We need a reintroduction to the musical genre alright; it's a wonderful history the AFI should promote. [​IMG]
     
  10. george kaplan

    george kaplan Executive Producer

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    Here are musicals I think are worthy of a list (in no particular order):
    Victor/Victoria
    My Fair Lady
    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
    The Music Man
    The Court Jester
    In the Good Old Summertime
    The Wizard of Oz
    Hello, Dolly!
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (british?)
    How To Succeed in Business without Really Trying
    The Blues Brothers
    Hans Christian Andersen
    A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
    West Side Story
    Fantasia
    Holiday Inn
    Bedknobs & Broomsticks
    Grease
    The Sound of Music
    That Thing You Do!
    White Christmas
    Going My Way
    Take Me Out to the Ballgame
    Anchors Aweigh
    Jailhouse Rock
    South Pacific
    Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
    Star Spangled Rhythm
    Mary Poppins
    Singin' in the Rain
    Royal Wedding
    The King & I
    and that's just off the top of my head. Yes, a couple of those may stretch the traditional idea of a musical, but I think if past lists are any indication they tend to use broad definitions.
    And hopefully they would include A Hard Day's Night. [​IMG]
     
  11. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    By the way, aren't we premature about the the Top 100 musicals of the last 100 years? Wouldn't it be more accurate to wait until 2027 when THE JAZZ SINGER celebrates its 100th? Sient movie musicals are distinctly rare. [​IMG]
     
  12. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    I came up with the following list of 165 American musicals:

    1776
    42nd Street
    A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
    A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
    A Little Night Music
    A Star Is Born
    Aladdin
    All That Jazz
    An American in Paris
    Anchors Aweigh
    Annie
    Annie Get your Gun
    Applause
    April in Paris
    Aristocats
    Babes in Arms
    Balls Are Ringing
    Band Wagon
    Beach Blanket Bingo
    Beauty & the Beast
    Bedknobs & Broomsticks
    Blues Brothers
    Born to Dance
    Boy Friend
    Brigadoon
    Broadway Melody
    By the Light of the Silvery Moon
    Bye Bye, Birdie
    Cabaret
    Calamity Jane
    Camelot
    Can-Can
    Cannibal, the Musical
    Can't Help Singing
    Can't Stop the Music
    Carmen Jones
    Carousel
    Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
    Cinderella
    Court Jester
    Cry Baby
    Damn Yankees
    Dangerous When Wet
    Doctor Doolittle
    Dumbo
    Easter Parade
    Everyone Says I Love You
    Evita
    Fiddler on the Roof
    First Nudie Musical
    Flower Drum Song
    Flying Down to Rio
    For Me And My Gal
    Funny Face
    Funny Girl
    Gay Divorcee
    Gay Puree
    Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
    Gigi
    Going My Way
    Gold Diggers of 1933
    Good News
    Grease
    Grease 2
    Gulliver's Travels
    Guys & Dolls
    Gypsy
    Hair
    Hallelujah
    Hallelujah, I'm a Bum
    Hans Christian Andersen
    Happiest Millionaire
    Harvey Girls
    Head: The Monkees
    Hedwig & the Angry Inch
    Hello Dolly
    Hercules
    High Society
    Holiday Inn
    How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying
    Hunchback of Notre Dame
    In the Good Old Summertime
    It's Always Fair Weather
    Jailhouse Rock
    Jazz Singer
    Jesus Christ Superstar
    Jolson Story, The
    Jungle Book
    Kid Millions
    King & I, The
    King Creole
    Kismet
    Kiss Me Kate
    Lady & the Tramp
    Les Girls
    Lion King
    Little Mermaid
    Little Shop of Horrors
    Lost Horizon
    Man of La Mancha
    Mary Poppins
    Meet Me in St. Louis
    Million Dollar Mermaid
    Moulin Rouge
    Muppet Movie, The
    Music Man
    My Fair Lady
    Neptune's Daughter
    Newsies
    Night & Day
    O Brother, Where Art Thou?
    Oklahoma!
    Oliver!
    On Moonlight Bay
    On the Town
    Paint Your Wagons
    Pajama Game
    Pal Joey
    Peter Pan
    Pinnochio
    Pirate, The
    Pocohantas
    Robin & the 7 Hoods
    Robin Hood (Disney)
    Rocky Horror Picture Show
    Royal Wedding
    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
    Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    Shall We Dance?
    Show Boat
    Showboat (1936)
    Singin' in the Rain
    Singing Fool
    Sleeping Beauty
    Snow White & the 7 Dwarves
    Song of the South
    Sound of Music
    South Pacific
    South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut
    Stars & Stripes Forever
    State Fair
    Strike up the Band
    Summer Stock
    Sweet Charity
    Swingin' in the Rain
    Take Me Out to the Ball Game
    Tea for Two
    There's No Business Like Show Business
    Thoroughly Modern Millie
    Top Hat
    Unsinkable Molly Brown, The
    Victor/Victoria
    Viva Las Vegas
    West Side Story
    What a Way to Go
    White Christmas
    Whooppee!
    Willy Wonka
    Wiz, The
    Wizard of Oz
    Xanadu
    Yankee Doodle Dandy
    Yentl
    Yolanda and the Thief
    Ziegfield Follies

    Granted, some are a stretch, and some would never be considered. I left off a ton of Elvis movies, and didn't include any Shirley Temple or singing cowboys; I also missed a lot of early musicals, mainly becuase I don't know enough about them. I didn't include Tommy and a couple others because I wasn't sure if they'd be considered by the AFI. While I think it might be difficult for them to come up with a list of 400 legitimate choices, I'd still like to see them come up with a top 100 list, if for no other reason than to show people the rich heritage of musicals, and what a wide variety is truly available.
     
  13. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    Quite a list--I'd add LIL ABNER (1959) and, ahem, KING OF JAZZ (1930). [​IMG]
     
  14. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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  15. Seth Paxton

    Seth Paxton Lead Actor

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    Blues Brothers, yes, we shouldn't forget that one for this list. Tons of great music, often used as plot dialog.
     
  16. John Kilduff

    John Kilduff Screenwriter

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    "Earth Girls Are Easy" (This has musical numbers..."Brand New Girl", "The Ground You Walk On", "The Appliance Symphony", "Baby Gonna Shake" and "'Cause I'm A Blonde", plus excellent background music that acts as a compliment to the action on-screen. Example: In Valerie's nightmare, note the usage of The Jesus And Mary Chain's "Who Do You Love?")

    "Krush Groove", "Beat Street" and "Breakin'"-Rap musicals...how come these titles were forgotten? Granted, "Breakin'" isn't "Singin' In The Rain", but it has dance numbers out the wazoo.

    "Streets Of Fire"-I don't care what they say. This is a musical...

    As a note regarding "Stop Making Sense", "The Last Waltz" and "Woodstock"...I think the AFI would consider these as musicals. The Internet Movie Database does, and I, for one, think that "Stop Making Sense" is THE definitive concert movie. Other examples: "Elvis-That's The Way It Is" and "U2: Rattle And Hum".

    "The Muppet Movie", "The Great Muppet Caper", "The Muppets Take Manhattan" and "Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird"...these are all great musicals, with those great characters...The Muppets!

    "Dirty Dancing", "Flashdance", "Footloose", "Saturday Night Fever", "Urban Cowboy" and "Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon"-Great examples of "Popsicals", that popular late-70s-through-the-80s combo of a killer soundtrack with an otherwise straightforward movie.

    Did you mention "Oliver & Company"? If not, include that.

    So, to sum up, these titles should be added:

    "Earth Girls Are Easy"
    "Krush Groove"
    "Beat Street"
    "Breakin'"
    "Streets Of Fire"
    "Stop Making Sense"
    "The Last Waltz"
    "Woodstock"
    "Elvis-That's The Way It Is"
    "U2: Rattle And Hum"
    "The Muppet Movie"
    "The Great Muppet Caper"
    "The Muppets Take Manhattan"
    "Sesame Street Presents: Follow That Bird"
    "Dirty Dancing"
    "Flashdance"
    "Footloose"
    "Saturday Night Fever"
    "Urban Cowboy"
    "Berry Gordy's The Last Dragon"
    "Oliver & Company"

    Sincerely,

    John "Type what you know" Kilduff
     
  17. Scott Leopold

    Scott Leopold Supporting Actor

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    While I don't know what criteria the AFI will follow (if they do eventually do this), I personally wouldn't include concert films. I consider them closer to a documentary than a musical. I also wouldn't consider movies with prominent soundtracks in this category. Granted, the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack was a true phenomenon, but I'd never consider the movie a musical. Following that formula, Top Gun would also have to be considered a musical. As for the rap musicals, the only one I ever saw all the way through was Breakin' 2: Electric Boogaloo--that in itself should explain why I forgot them. I tried to include all the Disney musicals I could think of. I've never seen Oliver & Company, so it never came to mind.
     
  18. Jon_Are

    Jon_Are Cinematographer

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    Four words:

    This Is Spinal Tap

    ("talkin' 'bout mud flaps my girl's got 'em")

    Jon
     
  19. Nicholas Vargo

    Nicholas Vargo Second Unit

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    What about "Back to the Beach"?

    That's considered a musical, as not only does it have some filmed musical numbers ("Jamaica Ska", "Surfin' Bird", "California Sun", "Some Things Live Forever"), but even Roger Ebert considers it a musical. When it was released in 1987, he called the film "the funniest, quirkiest musical comedy since 'Little Shop of Horrors'". If you don't believe he said that, go to his website and search for his review for this movie and see for yourself.

    "Back to the Beach" should deserve a place if AFI does a musicals list. it's a musical, no matter what you guys say.
     
  20. BarryR

    BarryR Supporting Actor

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    THIS IS SPINAL TAP, eh? I would then also nominate the quasi-musical WAITING FOR GUFFMAN, a hilarious follw up on amateur musical productions. [​IMG]
     

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