Why Movie Musicals Matter

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

A scene from the film 'The Sound of Music,' starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, released by 20th Century Fox in 1965. A scene from the film "The Sound of Music," starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, released by 20th Century Fox in 1965.

Historian Richard Barrios looks at movie musicals and how they’ve become a major part of our lives. In Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter. Barrios goes behind the scenes, Barrios explores movie musicals from those first hits, "The Jazz Singer" and "Broadway Melody," to present-day Oscar winners "Chicago" and "Les Miserables," and uncovers the rocky relationship between Broadway and Hollywood. He recounts which films became our most indelible cultural touchstones— like" Singin' in the Rain," "The Sound of Music," "Camelot, and "West Side Story" to name a few—and others ended up as train wrecks.


Richard Barrios

Comments [4]

tom LI

Jgarbuz - what do think Glee is? A made for TV musical! Duh! The kids growing up on all things musical, from Glee to a detergent advert - will likely be more amenable to the whole genre. Everything has a dance track now, and EDM is the new wave of music for the current generations.

Jun. 25 2014 03:08 PM

>> You can't bring that genre back

O yes you can. My 11-year-old grandson LOVES musicals. It has a new respect among the kids these days.

Jun. 25 2014 01:26 PM
Jenna from Jersey City

Can you ask your guest about Disney? I've heard Snow White started the more "book musical" style films and then Beauty and the Beast later changed Broadway.

Jun. 25 2014 01:12 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

You can't bring that genre back, try as you may. Perhaps someday in the faraway future. It was natural to go from vaudeville to the new motion pictures medium in that era, but that whole epochal era is gone. The idea of musicals today just can't make it, though Jesus Christ Superstar was pretty good a few decades ago I have to admit. But I can't conceive anything like it today, except in Bollywood.

Jun. 25 2014 01:11 PM

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