As Hollywood entered the sound era, it was rightly determined that the same public fascinated by the novelty of the talkie would be dazzled by the spectacle of a song and dance film. In 1929 and 1930, film musicals became the industry's most lucrative genre--until the greedy studios almost killed the genre by glutting the market with too many films that looked and sounded like clones of each other. From the classy movies such as Sunnyside Up and Hallelujah! to failures such as The Lottery Bride and Howdy Broadway, this filmography details 171 early Hollywood musicals. Arranged by subgenre (backstagers, operettas, college films, and stage-derived musical comedies), the entries include studio, release date, cast and credits, running time, a complete song list, any recordings spawned by the film, Academy Award nominations and winners, and availability on video or laserdisc. These data are followed by a plot synopsis, including analysis of the film's place in the genre's history. Includes over 90 photographs.
The most memorable Hollywood musicals of 1930s showcased the talents of stars like Fred Astaire, Jeanette MacDonald, Bing Crosby and Alice Faye. The less memorable ones didn't. This book takes a look at the unsung songfests of the '30s--secondary or forgotten features with short-lived or unlikely stars from major studios and Poverty Row. Through analysis of films such as Lord Byron of Broadway (1930), Shoot the Works (1934), Bottoms Up (1934), Moonlight and Pretzels (1933) and The Music Goes 'Round (1936), the author profiles such performers as Dorothy Dell, Lee Dixon, Peggy Fears, Lawrence Gray, Joe Morrison and the mother-daughter team of Myrt and Marge. Behind-the-scenes figures are discussed, like the infamously profligate producer Lou Brock, whose flops Down to Their Last Yacht (1934) and Top of the Town (1937) cost him his career. Filmographies and production information are included, with background on key participants.
Pre-World War II Hollywood musicals weren't only about Astaire and Rogers, Mickey and Judy, Busby Berkeley, Bing Crosby, or Shirley Temple. The early musical developed through tangents that reflected larger trends in film and American culture at large. Here is a survey of select titles with a variety of influences: outsized songwriter personalities, hubbub over "hillbilly" and cowboy stereotypes, the emergence of swing, and the brief parade of opera stars to celluloid. Featured movies range from the smash hit Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938), to obscurities such as Are You There? (1930) and Swing, Sister, Swing (1938), to the high-grossing but now forgotten Mountain Music (1937), and It's Great to Be Alive (1933), a zesty pre-Code musical/science-fiction/comedy mishmash. Also included are some of the not-so-memorable pictures made by some of the decade's greatest musical stars.
A chronologically arranged reference book on the Hollywood musical, with each entry including pertinent facts about a film and a brief essay about the plot and production. Includes hundreds of black & white stills.
Only one year after the presentation of the first Academy Awards on May 16, 1929, two musicals joined the select group of five films nominated for Best Picture. One, The Broadway Melody, won the award, and since then, 37 additional musicals have received Best Picture nominations. Of those, nine have won the award. This book covers all 39 Hollywood musicals nominated for Best Picture. It explains why each film was nominated and why the winners won, points out the influences that guided the productions, and discusses these films’ influences on succeeding films. Plot descriptions are provided, along with facts about the acting, direction, choreography, and orchestration; complete cast and production credits; and comments from critics.
Despite the stock market crash of October 1929, thousands of theatregoers still flocked to the Great White Way throughout the country’s darkest years. In keeping with the Depression and the events leading up to World War II, 1930s Broadway was distinguished by numerous political revues and musicals, including three by George Gershwin (Strike Up the Band, Of Thee I Sing, and Let ’Em Eat Cake). The decade also saw the last musicals by Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Vincent Youmans; found Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart in full flower; and introduced both Kurt Weill and Harold Arlen’s music to Broadway. In The Complete Book of 1930s Broadway Musicals, Dan Dietz examines in detail every musical that opened on Broadway from 1930 through 1939. This book discusses the era’s major successes, notorious failures, and musicals that closed during their pre-Broadway tryouts. It includes such shows as Anything Goes, As Thousands Cheer, Babes in Arms, The Boys from Syracuse, The Cradle Will Rock, The Green Pastures, Hellzapoppin, Hot Mikado, Porgy and Bess, Roberta, and various editions of Ziegfeld Follies. Each entry contains the following information: Plot summary Cast members Names of all important personnel, including writers, composers, directors, choreographers, producers, and musical directors Opening and closing dates Number of performances Critical commentary Musical numbers and the performers who introduced the songs Production data, including information about tryouts Source material Details about London and other foreign productions Besides separate entries for each production, the book offers numerous appendixes, including a discography, filmography, and list of published scripts, as well as lists of black-themed and Jewish-themed productions. This comprehensive book contains a wealth of information and provides a comprehensive view of each show. The Complete Book of 1930s Broadway Musicals will be of use to scholars, historians, and casual fans of one of the greatest decades in musical theatre history.
This study of early sound shorts begins with an explanation of the development of sound motion pictures in Hollywood by such influential companies as Warner Bros and Fox, with an emphasis on short subjects.
This book explores one of the most popular genres in film history. Combining classic and recent articles, each section explores a central issue of the musical, including: the musical's significance as a genre; the musical's own particular representation of sexual difference; the idea of camp, both through stars such as Judy Garland and Carmen Miranda and musicals themselves; and the displacement of race in Hollywood's representations of entertainment. Each section features an editor's introduction setting debates in context.
Hollywood's conversion to sound in the 1920s created an early peak in the film musical, following the immense success of The Jazz Singer. The opportunity to synchronize moving pictures with a soundtrack suited the musical in particular, since the heightened experience of song and dance drew attention to the novelty of the technological development. Until the near-collapse of the genre in the 1960s, the film musical enjoyed around thirty years of development, as landmarks such as The Wizard of Oz, Meet Me in St Louis, Singin' in the Rain, and Gigi showed the exciting possibilities of putting musicals on the silver screen. The Oxford Handbook of Musical Theatre Screen Adaptations traces how the genre of the stage-to-screen musical has evolved, starting with screen adaptations of operettas such as The Desert Song and Rio Rita, and looks at how the Hollywood studios in the 1930s exploited the publication of sheet music as part of their income. Numerous chapters examine specific screen adaptations in depth, including not only favorites such as Annie and Kiss Me, Kate but also some of the lesser-known titles like Li'l Abner and Roberta and problematic adaptations such as Carousel and Paint Your Wagon. Together, the chapters incite lively debates about the process of adapting Broadway for the big screen and provide models for future studies.
"From Show Boat (1936) to The Sound of Music (1965) and from Grease (1978) to Chicago (2002), many of the most beloved film musicals in Hollywood history originated as Broadway shows. And in the three years since the original publication of the chapters in this volume (as The Oxford Handbook of Musical Theatre Screen Adaptations, 2019) the phenomenon has persisted, with new adaptations such as Cats, In the Heights, Tick, Tick...Boom!, Dear Evan Hansen, and Spielberg's remake of West Side Story. Yet in general, the number of screen adaptations of Broadway musicals and operettas is far greater than the number that have met with success, especially both critical and commercial success (i.e., good reviews and a profit at the box office). This is all the more surprising since Hollywood tended almost (if not quite) exclusively to buy the rights to musicals that had been successful on the stage as a means of guaranteeing a profitable outcome. After all, musicals that had already enjoyed long runs and nationwide productions on the stage ought to have a readymade audience. One might also think that because the authors had puzzled over the individual challenges posed by such properties in their stage incarnations, it ought to be easier to turn them into strong film musicals. But for every West Side Story there were several Finian's Rainbows, Man of La Manchas, and Carousels: movies that simply did not do justice to the 'enchanted evenings' these works provided in their stage incarnations"--
This book is about the transition that musicals went through when they traveled from the stage to the screen. While the approach is critical, the style is readable and yields fascinating knowledge on the many things that did and didn't happen as theatre and film have merged throughout the past century.Hischak'sanalysis covers productions from The Desert Song (1927), to Chicago (2002).
Only one year after the presentation of the first Academy Awards on May 16, 1929, two musicals joined the select group of five films nominated for Best Picture. One, The Broadway Melody, won the award, and since then, 37 additional musicals have received Best Picture nominations. Of those, nine have won the award. This book covers all 39 Hollywood musicals nominated for Best Picture. It explains why each film was nominated and why the winners won, points out the influences that guided the productions, and discusses these films' influences on succeeding films. Plot descriptions are provided, along with facts about the acting, direction, choreography, and orchestration; complete cast and production credits; and comments from critics.