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Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression (2009)

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A two-hour in-depth exploration into the Hollywood musicals of the 1930s.

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Title: Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression (Video 2009)

Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History - The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression (Video 2009) on IMDb 7.8/10

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Herself - Host and Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Amanda Abel ...
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Himself (archive footage)
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Robert S. Birchard ...
Himself
Roy Bishop ...
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Drew Casper ...
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Storyline

It's been said that America has given the world two thoroughly original art forms... jazz and the movie musical. The 1930s saw the newly born genre of the Hollywood musical bloom with artistry and variety never before imagined. For many film-goers, the Hollywood musical gave them escape and hope during the troubled years of the Great Depression. Highlights of this 2-part program include the magic of director/choreographer Busby Berkeley as his eye-popping, sexy production numbers move to the forefront of the genre. The screen partnership of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers brings sizzling romance to the screen. The style and grace of these perfect partners was unprecedented. Musical child stars brighten the doldrums of the depression. The musical ladies of 20th-Century Fox are profiled, as well as the dancers that tapped their way into America's hearts. Singing cowboys burst upon the scene creating an entirely new genre, the musical western and many songs and musicals are featured in ... Written by Anonymous

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10 March 2009 (USA)  »

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Connections

References The Kid from Spain (1932) See more »

Soundtracks

Auf Wiedersehen, My Dear
(uncredited)
Written by Milton Ager, Al Goodhart, Al Hoffman and Edward G. Nelson
Performed by Bing Crosby
From Blue of the Night (1933)
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A Nice General Overview of Period Musicals
10 March 2013 | by (Corning, California) – See all my reviews

This is more a talking heads informative piece than anything else, and quite competent in that department, setting up an excellent 2 hour overview of what each studio contributed to the genre; the clips shown are mainly taken from theatrical previews (trailers, as they were known then) and are of varying quality and mostly familiar.

On the plus side, how often do you see Bobby Breen mentioned when it comes to child stars? Everyone knows about Garland and Temple, Rooney and Deanna Durbin, but little Bobby was RKO's answer to Little Miss Shirley Temple, and although nowhere near her equal, was a big draw for the studio, making a series of kiddie films in which he co-starred with the likes of Basil Rathbone and May Robson (and Sammy The Seal in Fisherman's Wharf!)--details like this make this a worthwhile semi-documentary--two hours is better than none!


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