Sunday, September 19, 2004

TOPIC: Hollywood Musicals
If you saw the recent releases of "Chicago" and "Moulin Rouge", you may think you've seen a true Hollywood musical. BUT, you would be mistaken. The era of the true musical is dead and gone -- never to be revived again. This is not to say that either of the movies mentioned is bad. It's just that they are not true Hollywood musicals. You see, modern Hollywood has proven that it must place a twist, spin or other "something" into every old idea. They think it makes movies better. They are wrong. The true Hollywood musical needs nothing a single wardrobe artist, cameraman or director can add -- especially their social agenda.
I was reminded of this while watching Turner Classic Movies this weekend. We watched "Anchor's Aweigh", "Singin' in the Rain" and "On the Town" -- the three movies that paired Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra. My wife is a big Sinatra fan, from her childhood. I'm a Gene Kelly fan. Our children love the '50s era movies, so we were all thrilled to see these great Hollywood musicals.
What brought the two thoughts together -- modern Hollywood's failure to reproduce the true musical and the essence of the musical era in tinseltown -- was Sydney Pollack's comment regarding the status of "Singin' in the Rain". It is in the top 15 comedies of all time; the number one musical and an award winning production that is truly the epitomy of "classic movies". Try as they might, the jaded eyes of Hollywood can never again produce the innocense that once belonged to a whimsical musical.

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