The Musical: From the 1920s to the 1970s

From the time of The Jazz Singer (1927) musicals have been a Hollywood staple. With this mini-season we showcase the diversity of the form, with contributions from the likes of Busby Berkeley, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and Stanley Donen.

Broadway Melody

Harry Beaumont | USA | 1929 | 100 minutes

Harriet and Queenie Mahoney, a vaudeville act, come to Broadway, where their friend Eddie Kerns needs them for his number in one of Francis Zanfield’s shows. Eddie was in love with Harriet, but when he meets Queenie, he falls in love to her, but she is courted by Jock Warriner, a member of the New Yorker high society. It takes a while till Queenie recognizes, that she is for Jock nothing more than a toy, and it also takes a while till Harriet recognizes, that Eddie is in love with Queenie.

42nd Street

Lloyd Bacon | USA | 1933 | 89 minutes

A producer puts on what may be his last Broadway show, and at the last moment a chorus girl has to replace the star. Busby Berkeley does the choreography.

Top Hat

Mark Sandrich | USA | 1935 | 101 minutes

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer. Stars Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.

Meet Me in St. Louis

Vincente Minnelli | USA | 1944 | 113 minutes

In the year before the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York. Stars Judy Garland.

7 Brides for 7 Brothers

Stanley Donen | USA | 1954 | 102 minutes

In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too.

Phantom of the Paradise

Brian De Palma | USA | 1974 | 92 minutes

Part Phantom of the Opera, part Faust, and a satirical commentary on the evolution of the rock and pop business.