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

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

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Cast

Credited cast:
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Herself - Hostess & Narrator
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
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Himself (archive footage)
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Robert S. Birchard ...
Himself
Roy Bishop ...
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Herself
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Drew Casper ...
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Himself (archive footage)
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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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Did You Know?

Connections

Features Blue of the Night (1933) See more »

Soundtracks

Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life
(uncredited)
Written by Duke Ellington
From Symphony in Black: A Rhapsody of Negro Life (1935)
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User Reviews

 
Very good.
28 November 2012 | by See all my reviews

A few months back, I watched and enjoyed "That's Entertainment!" as well as its two followup films. These films were compilations of the song and dance numbers from many, many MGM films. And, while MGM was perhaps the greatest studio when it came to musicals, these films were wonderful BUT woefully incomplete. Wonderful musicals by RKO, 20th Century-Fox, Warner Brothers and other studios were ignored--and "Hollywood Singing and Dancing: A Musical History" attempts to give a more thorough examination of the musical--and I appreciate that. However, it sure is a tall order! In this particular installment, "The 1930s: Dancing Away the Great Depression", films from this decade alone are examined. The films of such celebrities as Eddie Cantor, Fred Astaire, Bing Crosby, Ruby Keeler and many others are discussed. On hand as host is Shirley Jones as well as many interviews with celebrities of the era--many of which have passed away since this DVD was created.

The compilation has a few minor problems. There are no DVD or closed captions, the film's length is too short to cover all these films and stars and some of the films shown are not identified while some are--which frustrates film fiends like myself. However, the clips they used were generally in very good conditions and it was very nice to see so many old time stars. Well worth seeing.


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