FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #8: Yankee Doodle Dandy [1942]

“The first thing I ever had in my hand was an American flag” Shortly after the events at Pearl Harbor thrust America into World War II, a film was released that both paid respect to one of the true patriots of our country and gave the new contingent of men sailing off to fight a […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #7: 42nd Street [1933]

“Jones and Barry are doing a show” For being the American Film Institute’s 13th best musical on its 2006 list, 42nd Street is surprisingly devoid of song. Depicting the behind the scenes comings and goings of a big scale production, the fact its subject is a musical seems more relevant than it being one itself. […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #6: Hairspray [2007]

“Good Morning Baltimore” Boy does the trailer for Hairspray really forget mentioning exactly what it’s about. Going through its beats, the advertisement talks about its young star Nikki Blonsky and her character Tracy Turnblad’s dreams of overcoming her weight and society’s bigotry to seize her dreams, dance on TV, and get her man. The jokes, […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #5: Oliver! [1968]

“Who will buy my sweet red roses?” While I’m reasonably sure I have never seen Carol Reed’s Oscar winning Oliver!, I do recall attending a live performance of it during elementary school. If you asked me two and a half hours ago to give a summation or describe my favorite moments, I would have returned […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #4: The Music Man [1962]

“You have trouble folks, right here in River City” Could Harold Hill be the best con man in cinema history? A man never for a loss of words, Robert Preston’s rendition of The Music Man puts forth a gentleman of great art, tastes, and disarming charm who is both loathsome and irresistible once you find […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #3: Kiss Me Kate [1953]

“You louse!” I’m a sucker for multi-layered films depicting simultaneous stories at once, juxtaposing onstage performances with the backstage antics of the actors involved. Kiss Me Kate, screenplay by Dorothy Kingsley and music by Cole Porter, shows the theatrical opening inter-workings of a stage musical, by the same name, styled on William Shakespeare’s The Taming […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #2: Show Boat [1936]

“Just one big happy family” Based on Edna Ferber’s novel, the James Whale directed and Oscar Hammerstein II scripted Show Boat concerns the show-biz family of Magnolia Hawks and how her life is forever changed once a sheltered childhood makes way for international success. Ushered in by a nicely animated credit sequence of cardboard dancers […]

FILM MARATHON: Movie Musicals #1: The Jazz Singer [1927]

“A jazz singer—singing to his God” Mirroring the actual life of star Al Jolson, playwright Samson Raphaelson wrote The Jazz Singer about a young Jewish performer who was cast out of his own home for choosing jazz over the traditional synagogue hymns taught to him by his Cantor father. Gone for years to try his […]

FILM MARATHON #3: Movie Musicals (Broadway & Original)

The reason I started doing my marathon series was to finally start seeing films I’ve neglected and needed to see. Doing the filmography of Terrence Malick couldn’t have turned out better with some of the greatest works of cinema I’ve ever seen. Days of Heaven easily vaulted itself into my top 10 of all-time and […]

FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #4 – The New World [2005]

“At the moment I was to die, she threw herself upon me” There is no way to mistake a Terrence Malick film for anything but. His use of score as a character rather than background, the hitch cuts in scenes as though only a few frames are removed, ultra short vignettes right out of a […]

FILM MARATHON: Terrence Malick #3 – The Thin Red Line [1998]

“The only things that are permanent is dying and the Lord” Pure, unfiltered, raw emotion. That is what’s front and center in Terrence Malick’s adaptation of James Jones’s autobiographical novel The Thin Red Line. The term itself may describe a thinly spread line of defense holding position in war, but I think the metaphor towards […]