Greatest Song and Dance
Musical Moments and Scenes

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Greatest Song and Dance Musical Moments and Scenes
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Adam's Rib (1949)

In the comedic/dramatic tale of two married lawyers: Amanda Bonner (Katharine Hepburn) and her husband Adam (Spencer Tracy) on opposite sides of a court case (a battle of the sexes), they enjoyed an evening meal together.

Their song-writing neighbor Kip (David Wayne) joined them, and played a new song he had composed in her tribute at the piano: Farewell, Amanda (a Cole Porter tune) (pictured). Adam remained at the table and Amanda stood at the kitchen door - whistling as he sang.

Aladdin (1992)

Best Original Song: A Whole New World

Disney's animated film, also the Oscar winner for Best Original Musical Score (by Alan Menken), included memorable songs:

  • the Oscar-nominated, wild, shapeshifting big-band song Friend Like Me (pictured) sung by the spirited and comical shape-shifting Genie (voice of Robin Williams) housed in a magical oil lamp (with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman): ("You got some power in your corner now Some heavy ammunition in your camp You got some punch, pizzazz, yahoo and how See all you gotta do is rub that lamp...")
  • street urchin Aladdin's (singing voice by Brad Kane) romantic, Oscar-winning Best Song A Whole New World (pictured) sung to princess Jasmine (singing voice of Lea Salonga) while he took her on a date around the world on his magic carpet (with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Tim Rice)

Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

In this popular and lavish film set in turn of the century San Francisco and produced by Darryl Zanuck at Fox, Irving Berlin's many hit songs (a count of 30) were sung by many of the performers, including Alice Faye as band singer Stella Kirby (who became a famous Broadway star). The film received an Oscar nomination for Best Picture and also garnered five other nominations, with Alfred Newman winning the Best Score Oscar.

Alice Faye's songs included the title tune Alexander's Ragtime Band (pictured), Everybody's Doin' It Now (pictured), When the Midnight Choo-Choo Leaves for Alabam' (pictured), and Now It Can Be Told (first with vocals and piano by Don Ameche as composer Charlie Dwyer) and reprised (pictured) with Faye and the band.

In addition, full-throated Ethel Merman (as singer Gerry Allen) sang Say It With Music (pictured) to classical violinist and song-writer Roger Grant (Tyrone Power), while seated in a restaurant.

Merman also belted out:

  • Blue Skies (pictured) ("Nothing but blue skies do I see") (and in an additional round with Alice Faye)
  • Pack Up Your Sins and Go to the Devil (pictured) wearing a devil's costume
  • My Walking Stick (pictured) wearing a top hat and singing about her cane
  • and her most famous rendition of Heat Wave with a chorus during a Carnegie Hall band concert

In addition, an immortal rendition of Oh! How I Hate To Get Up In the Morning was wearily sung by Jack Haley (as bandmate Davey Lane) and an army chorus, and Don Ameche performed Easter Parade (pictured).

Alice in Wonderland (1951)

This Disney animated classic featured:

  • the White Rabbit's (voice of Bill Thompson) frantic song I'm Late (pictured) as he dashed along
  • The Mad Hatter's (voice of Ed Wynn) anarchic The Unbirthday Song (pictured) sung at the Mad Tea Party

All Dogs Go to Heaven (1989)

Animator Don Bluth's third film began with the show-stopping opening number You Can't Keep a Good Dog Down (pictured), performed by rakish German shepherd dog pound ('death row') escapee Charlie B. Barkin (voice of Burt Reynolds) with accompaniment by nervous dachshund Itchy (voice of Dom DeLuise):

"Oh, you can't keep a good dog down (No sir) / No you can't keep a good dog down / I've seen pain and hurt (That's right) / I've eaten dirt (That's true) / It's hard to buy, but even I / Have been jilted by a skirt (He lies) / Look out, I'm still around / 'Cause you can't keep a good dog down..."

The duet Let Me Be Surprised (pictured) was sung in heaven between Charlie and angelic purplish-pink Heavenly Whippet Annabelle (voice of gospel singer Melba Moore):

"Oh ain't it great (Ain't it great) / When fate lets you wait / The world seems mirthless / You feel worthless / And suddenly there's a big / Bone on your plate"

There was also the out-of-nowhere water-ballet duet Let's Make Music Together (pictured) between Charlie and a giant green musical alligator King Gator (voice of Ken Page):

"Lift our voices together partner / Let's make music forever, baby / And we'll always be friends / Let's make music together / Let's make sweet harmony"

The upbeat gospel finale Hallejulah (during the credits) came after self-sacrificial Charlie died and was taken to heaven rather than hell - when he complained: "Hold it! Hold it! I know we're dead up here, but so's the music. Come on. Heat it up!"

All of Me (1984)

This gender-switching (body and spirit transference) comedy ended with a famous "mirror" dance (to the tune of All of Me, performed by Joe Williams) in which 38 year-old attorney Roger Cobb (Steve Martin) was joyously dancing with Terry Hoskins (Victoria Tennant), but when the camera panned over to a mirror's reflection, it revealed that he was actually dancing with Edwina Cutwater (Lily Tomlin).

All of me, why not take all of me?
Can't you see I'm no good without you?
Take my lips, I want to lose 'em
Take my arms, I'll never use them

Edwina's soul had been transferred into Terry's vacated body - and the film ended (during the closing credits) with them collapsing onto each other on the floor.

All That Jazz (1979)

Roy Scheider brilliantly characterized the self-destructive, flawed and egotistical choreographer/director Joe Gideon (based upon real-life entertainer and this film's director Bob Fosse) - known for his trademark: "It's showtime, folks!" It told the story of Fosse's own making of the Broadway musical Chicago set in the 1920s. [Years later, director/choreographer Rob Marshall made the film version of Chicago (2002), using Bob Fosse's style.]

The film, a cautionary tale about excess (originally titled Dying), opened with the 'cattle call' dance audition sequence featuring George Benson's version of On Broadway (pictured).

Also there was the impromptu bowler-top hat and tails song-and-dance act Jagger and Gideon (pictured) performed in Joe's apartment by his girlfriend/lover Katie Jagger (Ann Reinking, Fosse's real-life lover essentially playing herself) and his pre-teen daughter Michelle Gideon (Erzsebet Foldi).

The film also included the sweaty, erotic and sensual Air-Rotica dance sequence Take Off With Us (pictured) with sexy and half-naked Sandahl Bergman after she shed her thin cropped black shirt.

In the spectacular finale - the film's most outstanding number - television host O'Connor Flood (Ben Vereen) sang Bye Bye Life (originally Bye Bye Love) (pictured) with Gideon to a heavenly studio audience in a hallucinatory dance-musical number during Gideon's near-death experience after a heart attack - with chorus girls dancing around his hospital bed.

This dark finale ended with Gideon zipped into a body bag.

American Hot Wax (1978)

This revisionistic Paramount musical biopic told the fictionalized story of Ohio disc jockey and record producer Alan Freed (Tim McIntire) (also known as "Moondog"), whose music was considered dangerous to 1950s' censorial sensibilities. The FBI organized a campaign to destroy rock 'n' roll and its promoters, one of whom was Freed, who had staged the first rock-n-roll concert ever ("The Moondog Coronation Ball") in 1952 in Cleveland for a racially-mixed audience. He had been championing black musicians and R&B music, both precursors to rock.

Freed popularized the term 'rock-n-roll' on his radio show (especially after his move to NYC when he made WINS a Top 40 R&R radio station), and also appeared in some milestone mid-50s rock movies, including Rock Around the Clock (1956) and Rock, Rock, Rock (1956). He also hosted the ABC dance show The Big Beat in 1957, until a scandal involving black Frankie Lymon (Carl Earl Weaver in the film) dancing with a white girl (from the studio audience) on camera forced the show to be cancelled. When charged (and convicted) of accepting 'payola' bribe money from record companies in the early 1960s, his life went into a tailspin and he died of alcoholism in 1965 at the age of 43.

The film featured performances by Frankie Ford (Sea Cruise), Screamin' Jay Hawkins (I Put a Spell on You), the Delights (Mr. Lee) (pictured), the Chesterfields (Why Do Fools Fall in Love?) (pictured), Chuck Berry (Reelin' and Rockin' and Roll Over Beethoven) (pictured), and Jerry Lee Lewis (Great Balls of Fire) (pictured).

The film ended with Freed's quote, as his show at Brooklyn's Paramount Theatre was being closed down: "Look, you can close the show. You can stop me, but you're never gonna stop rock & roll! Don't you know that?"

An American in Paris (1951)

# 32 "I Got Rhythm"

In this superb Best Picture-winning prestigious musical from MGM (director Vincente Minnelli and producer Arthur Freed, and lyricist Alan Jay Lerner) that recycled some Ira and George Gershwin tunes, ex-GI American painter Jerry Mulligan (Honorary Award-winning Gene Kelly) faced a choice: to become a kept man, or to fall in love with a beautiful Parisian dancer?

Jerry performed the much-remembered song/dance I Got Rhythm (pictured) to neighborhood street children in Paris.

He also delivered an enchanting romantic song/dance Our Love is Here to Stay (pictured) that was tenderly presented to waifish perfume shop clerk Lise Bouvier (Leslie Caron) on the quay next to the bank of the Seine River (a studio-built Paris).

Also included in the film was vaudeville star Henri Baurel's (French music hall star Georges Guetary) elaborate and lush Folies Bergere-like rendition of I'll Build a Stairway to Paradise (pictured) with lavish-costumed chorus girls.

Other numbers included Lise's Embraceable You (pictured) with five colorful facets of her personality appearing in this order through dance montages: (1: "an exciting girl" 2: "she's sweet and shy" 3: "she's adventurous and modern" 4: "she reads incessantly" 5: "she's the gayest girl in the world").

Adam Cook's (Oscar Levant) dream sequence in which he conducted and performed Gershwin's "Piano Concerto in F" with members of the orchestra.

Jerry performed a song/dance with Henri in the Latin Quarter titled S'Wonderful (pictured).

The most extravagant number was the closing audacious 17-minute symphonic American in Paris (pictured) ballet of Jerry and Lise dancing before lavish, colorful and impressionistic backdrops, fountains and artistic settings based on the works of famous and celebrated French painters (Dufy, Utrillo, Renoir, Van Gogh, Rousseau, and Toulouse-Lautrec) - he pursued her through the continually-changing backdrop of Paris.

An American Tail (1986)

Fievel and sister Tanya Mousekewitz (voices of seven year-old Phillip Glasser and Amy Green) both sang the Oscar-nominated, soulful and sweet ballad Somewhere Out There (pictured) in parallel to each other and at a full moon after Fievel was separated from his family during a fierce storm during their voyage to NYC in America in the late 1800s.

"Somewhere out there beneath the pale moonlight Someone's thinking of me and loving me tonight Somewhere out there someone's saying a prayer That we'll find one another in that big somewhere out there And even though I know how very far apart we are It helps to think we might be wishing on the same bright star And when the night wind starts to sing a lonesome lullaby It helps to think we're sleeping underneath the same big sky Somewhere out there if love can see us through Then we'll be together somewhere out there Out where dreams come true"

The popular song was also reprised during the credits with the voices of Linda Ronstadt and James Ingram.

Greatest Song and Dance Musical Movie Moments and Scenes
(alphabetical by film title)
Introduction | A-1 | A-2 | B-1 | B-2 | B-3 | C-1 | C-2 | D-1 | D-2 | E | F-1 | F-2 | G-1 | G-2
H-1 | H-2 | I-J | K | L-1 | L-2 | M-1 | M-2 | N-O | P-1 | P-2 | R-1 | R-2 | S-1 | S-2 | S-3 | T | U-V | W | X-Z

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