Monday, 11 July 2011

Old Hollywood

I love old Hollywood musicals.  I mean, who doesn't?
Even Ross loves them!  (Ok, that's probably not fair since his taste in movies isn't exactly typical...)
He'll frequently scroll through the cable listings and record old movies that are showing late and night.  Then we'll watch them on the weekend while he's working on his laptop.  

Last weekend we watched Anchors Aweigh.

It seemed like a sure winner from the description:  Gene Kelly!  Frank!  Singing!  Dancing!  Uniforms!
Man was it ever obvious that this movie had a big budget- and not in a good way.  It seemed that the narrative (and I use that term loosely) only existed in the most tenuous of states.  It was basically a string of bits.  Forget plot!  Let's have a woman singing in irritating trilly soprano.  In a Mexican restaurant!  Let's have Gene dance with a cartoon!  Ok- so that scene is a classic.  And some great dancing.  

I was even able to buy Frank as the shy guy with no game, asking for Gene's help with the ladies.  And though The Chairmas kept up with Gene admirably in one fun dance number (which I couldn't find online),  there's just no comparing the style and grace of Gene to anyone else.  It seemed unfair to ask Frank to even try it.  

So while I enjoyed a few of the scenes, if you're looking for a fun singing dancing men in uniform frolic with Frank and Gene, I'd say check out this one instead:

It was released after Anchors Aweigh, which seems sort of like a first draft in comparison.  

Next up, let's talk Rodgers & Hammerstein.  I've got a soft spot for Oklahoma! as it was the musical my high school put on my senior year.  I served as dance captain for the production and as a featured dancer.  I was head slut in the dream ballet, thankyouverymuch.  So, when Ross noticed that Carousel was showing, he hit record.  We watched it a few weeks ago and OH! MY! LORD!  

It had many of the hallmarks of a classic R&H musical.  Big dance numbers!  Brightly coloured costumes!  Dated views on gender roles!  Surreal dream ballet! 
These things are not surprising in an musical.  What I was absolutely floored by, however, was that the main message seemed to be that "If a man really loves you, his hits feel like kisses."  That's the big romantic story of the film?  Seriously?!  Ok.  I probably could have forgiven this if there had at least been catchy songs, but as mentioned above I can't stand a trill-laden eardrum-bursting soprano.  So I guess, my point is, I'm fine with domestic abuse as long as there's a catchy soundtrack.
Ross and I were horrified as we watched.  Ross was utterly confused as he remembered his mum saying she loved the movie.  Then he did the math and figured out she was a 15 year old girl dating the bad boy across the street (hint: Ross' dad!).  Well, I guess we'll let it slide.

What old movie musicals do you love?
Have you seen anny particularly dated films that riled you up?

1 comment:

  1. Awesome! On the town was just on here, maybe 2 weekends ago... I love those old musicals. Vern and I watched Singing in the Rain... I bought the dvd afterward. It was nice. Oh... and the subtitles for the number with Jerry mouse... I speak Spanish and those weren't Spanish :) German maybe? not sure. We should pick another musical to watch next time we are together. We've only watched the one.