Monday, December 27, 2010


Last night, since there was no NFL game, there was only one thing left to do - watch The Sound of Music.

I have always had a soft spot for musicals.  They tend to be fun, breezy, and full of songs that we all eventually know by heart. They are completely unrealistic in so many ways; for example, who in real life will just break out into song at random intervals? That fact, though, is part of the charm of the musical.  It isn't meant to be a realistic look at life, nor is it supposed to provide some deep social commentary.  The musical as an artform is really part of a bygone era when going to see a film was about escapism.  That isn't around too much anymore; when a true musical is newly made, it sort of has the novelty feeling about it.

That being said - here are some of my favorite musicals after the jump.  Applaud or mock away.

The Sound of Music (1965) - a delightful romp, even at nearly three hours.  There is only one bad scene/song in the entire movie, and that doesn't mar the quality of the film, as well as the beautiful scenery of Austria.

The Wizard of Oz (1939) - there is so much of our culture that has been influenced by this film.  I feel pity for all the people who had to watch it on their black and white television sets for years.  Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!

Beauty and the Beast (1991) - this is perhaps Disney's finest product ever.  Even though it is an animated feature, everything about it strikes the perfect chord, and is the best of a very strong era of Disney animated films.

Mary Poppins (1964) - great redemption story, and great magic.  The songs are absolutely iconic and as a kid, I wanted Mary's talking umbrella.

The King and I (1956) - I don't know if such a film could be made now.  However, it is a timeless lesson about how we can all learn something from each other.  Yul Brynner is the man, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

The Producers (1968 and 2005) - the 1968 film is not technically a musical, although it does have the 'worst musical ever created' - Springtime for Hitler.  The 2005 remake is specifically a musical, and while I prefer the original, the 2005 version is pretty faithful plus the singing.

Is there any that I am missing?  Are there any you want to excoriate me for leaving out?  Fire away!

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