Lists by roark183

a list of 111 titles
This list will take a while to create. I am a big fan of musicals. I believe musicals generally should be uplifting and cheerful about life. Generally that means they will not be about war and violence, though war may be taking place in the background, such as in Sound of Music and South Pacific. There are exceptions where violence & upset are very prominent, such as Evita and West Side Story, which are great musicals due to the effect they created.

Two musicals, Les Miserables and Phantom of the Opera, have seen many more productions and longer runs on stage than any other stage musical. A current stage production of Phantom of the Opera holds the record for being the longest continuous stage production, as it has been running in New York continuously since 1988 (24 years through 2012). Les Miserables ran for 16 years into 2003. Compare that to the Broadway runs of South Pacific at six years, Sound of Music at four years and My Fair Lady at six years. This does not bode well for mankind's views about entertainment, in that he would favor the sad stories over much more cheerful ones. However I will retain my optimistic view of musicals, because it is the cheerful ones that I enjoy most.

A search of IMDb lists 23,096 musicals through 2012. Within that number are 138 films IMDb considers to be musicals prior to 1928 (introduction of sound to films). Some of those 138 films date back as early as 1900. It escapes me how one could call a film without singing (let alone speech) to be a musical. Simply having an organ or piano play music, during the showing of a film, does not constitute a musical. Clearly IMDb's idea of what a musical consists of needs some attention.

In the IMDb glossary, IMDb defines a musical as a work that "includes unrealistic episodes of musical performance". However, that is simply too vague, simplistic and incomplete a definition. Dictionary.com says a musical is a performance "in which the story line is interspersed with or developed by songs, dances, and the like". This is much closer to the real definition of a musical. A musical is a performance (either stage, cinema or TV) wherein at least a portion of the plot dialog is expressed in SPONTANEOUS song, rather than in prose. It is key in the definition to indicate that spontaneous song is part of the plot dialog. Simply having songs, sung to an audience within a film, does not constitute a musical. Spontaneous dancing is another important component of a musical, and should accompany much of the singing.

The film, Walk the Line (2005) with Joaquin Phoenix & Reese Witherspoon, has a lot of music & song and is a great film. However, it is not a musical by definition, because there is no spontaneous singing in the plot dialog. All the singing in that film is done in performance for an audience within the plot of the film.

For me, a musical must be acted with real people to show how real people feel about real things. This eliminates animated films from consideration on this list. Some may be partly animated, such as Song of the South (1946), but the singing of plot dialog is done by actors in that film, not caricatures.

The following films are often credited as musicals, but in fact are not, as they do not have singing in the story line.
All That Jazz (1979)
(film about the production of a stage musical, but not a
musical unto itself)
Cabaret (1972)
(film about a singer, but not a musical unto itself)
The Jazz Singer (1927)
(For the life of me, I can't understand how you can
credit a silent film as a musical.)
Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
(Very fine story about a singer, but not a musical unto
itself)
Pal Joey (1957)
(Story about the building of a night club with singing,
but not a musical unto itself)
That's Entertainment, Part II (1976)
(a documentary about musicals)
Ziegfeld Follies (1945)
(a series of disjointed vaudeville acts done on film in a
tribute to Florenz Ziegfeld)

Great musicals should be in color. Color adds a great deal to the upbeat feeling in a film. Nowadays there is no reason to not make a musical in color. Therefore it is easy for me to say the great musical era started in the 1940s, as color took hold in the film industry. This great era of musicals started wanning in the late 1960s. There were a few great musicals in the 1970s, but by 1980 the great musical era had died. Since 1980 great musicals have been very few, Chicago (2002) being most prominent.

Personally I believe this was partly caused by music in our society becoming less harmonious and more and more just grating noise. Nobody sings heavy metal or acid rock music spontaneously in the shower or to friends on the spur of the moment, so it has no place in a musical. Keep in mind that the definition of a musical is spontaneous singing & dancing embedded in the plot.

Much of the verbiage in modern singing cannot be comprehended, as it is just noise. That factor excludes such music from musicals, since the plot is widely explained in song in musicals. One must be able to understand the verbiage in the dialog in a film to understand the plot. Modern music is making this increasingly difficult.

Rock of Ages (2012) with Tom Cruise, while technically a musical, the music has no harmony. The music is grating. It's just noise - no harmony. So the music in a great musical must be harmonious and pleasant.

A major factor, in the greatness of musicals, is the effect the film has had on the industry. One looks at how prominent it was in the film industry. One considers how the songs of the film are received socially. Do people have those songs running in their minds? Do they sing the songs to others, or even to themselves? This would show the film had a great effect on that individual.

A final consideration in the greatness of a film is the plot. One of my favorite musicals is Silk Stockings (1957) with Fred Astaire & Cyd Charisse. In addition to being a musical, it is a comical satire on communist Russia. At that time Russian society was very suppressed and this film shows how silly that was. Other films such as Annie (1982/1999) & Oliver (1968) show the plight of children in poverty. Bugsy Malone (1976) is a satire on the violence in the prohibition era.

Most musicals (not all) tend to fall into two categories of plot - 1) Romance and 2) Musical Revue. The romance category is where the plot centers on a developing romance with all it's trials and tribulations, such as in Brigadoon (1954), Camelot (1967), Funny Face (1957) and My Fair Lady (1964).

I define a "musical revue" as a story about the development of a musical, a musical team, or the story of a musical personality. If it's about the development of a musical, it's usually a stage production within the film. That stage performance is almost never shown in the musical film, as the film is about its development, and film time being a consideration. So a musical revue is a musical within a musical of sorts. Examples include The Band Wagon (1953), There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), Anything Goes (1956), and A Chorus Line (1985). Chicago (2002) included musical revue as a subplot, but was majorly about murder & crime culture.

I can't say that I have seen all these films. I have seen a little more than half of them. In any case, I cannot attest that they all meet these definitions and standards. Some have been included because of the plot or the effect they had on the industry. I will find out how they fit in as I continue to see them. If anyone knows of a musical I have missed, that they feel should be included, I would certainly like to know about it.

Picking the top eleven (can't cut it to ten), I would select:

Bugsy Malone (1976)
(Included here, as it is great for children, being acted
entirely by children making a satire of violence in the
prohibition era.)

Camelot (1967)
(Included here because in addition to being a musical fan,
I am a big fan of the King Arthur legend.)

Chicago (2002)
(Included here because it is by far the greatest film
musical since the 1970s.)

Funny Girl (1968)
Hello, Dolly! (1969)
(Barbara Streisand's commanding voice and comedic
acting carried both of these films into greatness.)

My Fair Lady (1964)
(In addition to the great songs, I enjoy the comedic
cattiness between Eliza and Higgins, as well as his
comedic indifference to human feelings and emotion.)

Silk Stockings (1957)
(The most striking thing about this film is the satire on
socialism. There are very few musicals having social
commentary, and it is a pleasure to see one with satire
on socialism, coupled with great upbeat singing & dance.)

Singin' in the Rain (1952)
(I include this film here because IMDb's rating is so high
and because Paramount thinks so highly of its creation.
(see That's Entertainment (1974) documentary)
To me romance and revue are themes that are too trite
to bring the film to the top. Nevertheless, Gene Kelly and
Donald O'Connor had to have some credit in this list.)

Song of the South (1946)
(Political correctness by Disney (producer) virtually
suppressed this film out of existence. Even today, the
DVD version is suppressed by IMDb, as the IMDb link to
Amazon doesn't work. This is done in the mistaken belief
the film is racist because it depicts a poor Black man,
Uncle Remus. In reality Uncle Remus helps a young white
boy resolve problems in life by telling him animal stories.
It's a great musical for children, as Uncle Remus' stories
are accompanied with cartoons depicting his stories.
There are too few great children's great musicals.)

Sound of Music (1965)
(This film has music that is widely sung and played, even
today. Flash mobs, singing Do Re Me, have been
performed around the world - Korea, Brussels and else
where. The plot is very uplifting, as it depicts a real life
escape from the Nazis as they took over Austria in 1938.
There are two romances and children do a great deal of
the singing. )

South Pacific (1958)
(I really like Mitzi Gaynor's singing and dancing. She is
about the most upbeat actress / singer I can think of.
It is that quality of her upbeat singing that has carried
this film into familiarity, even today.)

These are in no particular order except alphabetical. However, for me, My Fair Lady is #1, and Silk Stockings is #2.

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MUSICALS AND OPERAS

People often confuse operas and musicals. They are different genres with different followings. A reference in the NY Times very clearly explains the difference:

New York Times
Opera? Musical? Please Respect the Difference; by Anthony Tommasini; 7 July 2011
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/10/theater/musical-or-opera-the-fine-line-that-divides-them.html

"Both genres seek to combine words and music in dynamic, felicitous and, to invoke that all-purpose term, artistic ways. But in opera, music is the driving force; in musical theater, words come first. This explains why for centuries opera-goers have revered works written in languages they do not speak."

Thus people who listen to Mozart's Figaro generally prefer to hear it in Italian. However, a translation of My Fair Lady to Italian would miss all the English nuances in the original.
 
a list of 20 titles
This is a list of escape films (cinema or TV) of WW II. Only successful escapes from POW camps are included. Simple escapes from behind front lines are not included.

Most people think of films showing Allies escaping, but at least two of these films show German escape attempts. Two of the films show escapes from the Japanese.

I label the films either "Fiction" (no basis in actual incident, though possible real location) or "Truthful" (varying degrees of basis in actual incident).

It's not my intention to include documentaries, as they don't have the entertainment value that Hollywood made films have. Documentaries are very educational, but I watch films for their entertainment value, not to necessarily become educated.

If anyone knows of any other WW II escape films I have missed, I would certainly like to know about them.
 
a list of 38 people
There are several terms used to identify Native Americans. Originally they were called "Indians" because European explorers thought they looked like the Indian people of Asia. Even after it was long determined they were not from Asia, the term stuck, and so many people still identify them as "Indians". I do not, because it confuses them with real Indians of Asia, when conversing with people. Russel Means stated that he prefers the term "Indian", as he points out that every one born in America is a Native American. Other people call them "First Americans". Personally, I grew up calling them "Indians", but am growing used to calling them "Native Americans", as that seems to be the less confusing term.

Native Americans I have listed here, of course, must be listed in IMDb. However, that doesn't mean that actors not listed in IMDb are necessarily excluded. I don't know of any, but conceivably some Native American actors may be listed at IBDb (Internet Broadway Database) or elsewhere. Actors not listed in IMDb may be named at the bottom of this summary.

Actors in this list may or may not have majorly played Native American roles in films. But they are primarily known for being Native American. For example, Jim Thorpe is well known for being Native American, but his acting career is hardly known at all and was not related to his ancestry. On the other hand, Will Rogers is known to be part Cherokee, but his Native American ancestry is not generally known, and so is not included. But Jim Thorpe, whose ancestry is widely known, is included, despite his film career being generally unknown. Some may have only a small portion of Native American blood, but have portrayed significant Native American roles. Others may have a significant degree of Native American blood, but have played only small Native American roles. This list is a mixture of those these standards.

Actors listed here may not necessarily be of great cinematic note. Dennis Banks and Jim Thorpe are prime examples. Many Native American actors have taken up the cause of their native people in promoting their culture, language and affairs. This activity adds to their ancestral familiarity and so are included here. They may not be well known for their acting, but are better known for their activism. It's my intention to include them here, if they have played some significant film role.

Most Native American actors have been typecast as Indians. That is changing very slowly. The most successful Native American actors to escape typecasting are 1) Adam Beach, 2) Graham Greene to some degree, 3) Lou Diamond Phillips and 4) Wes Studi.

At this time I don't intend to get into other film or TV professions besides acting. I don't own or watch TV, so performances named here are primarily cinematic rolls, but I do include some TV roles if significant cinema rolls are lacking.
 
a list of 19 titles
Anyone, who has read my comments in the IMDb Question / Suggestion / Idea etc forum, knows that I do like to keep politics away from IMDb. I do like to simply use IMDb for entertainment purposes as much as possible.

That said, this is a film category that is VERY political at its very nature, and political commentary may not be avoided. Congressman Ron Paul started a revolution of ideas that is in progress. As he said, it is not a violent revolution, but one of ideas. It will be a revolution of ideas conflicting with the establishment's ideals. People will see truth and accept that truth instead of the deceit and duplicity shown by the establishment. By that means the establishment will collapse from lack of support. These films show that taking place.

I believe that most people will like the messages that these films portray. The general intent behind these films is to restore liberty to the United States and the rest of the world. I could get a great deal deeper into an explanation of that, but this essay is intended simply as a description of this list. I simply suggest people fully consider how liberty in ALL its aspects could / should / would be restored, and they will probably find the messages in these films align with those ideas and plans they come up with.

Due to the nature of this list, most of the films will be documentaries or stories based on some real incident or story. However, a few films will come along offering prophecy. In any case, these films either have had or I expect will have a broad effect.

I believe this list is in its infancy and many more films will soon be revealed, as we move toward a restoration of liberty. I would appreciate knowing of any films I may have missed, that one may think should be added.
 
a list of 35 people
This is a list of the people who created the great era of film musicals. It mostly includes actors, but great lyricists and song writers are included as well. As I do more research, I'll include directors and story writers as well.

As long as I am writing here, I would like to give tribute to the top performers.

The top male dancers are unquestionably Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly and Donald O'Connor. It is their dancing that inspired this list.

The top female dancers are Cyd Charisse, Mitzi Gaynor, Ann Miller and Vera-Ellen. Eleanor Powell was widely recognized as the top female dancer in the 1930s, but her career wanned in the 1940s. She was never in a color film and did not dance in film after 1944. Her performances are missed, and missing, cannot be included in the top dancers in musicals. Would that she had continued.

Singing is not a factor that I would care to compare performers. There are just too many genres of singing and comparing one to another is beyond me. That said, I would say that Barbara Streisand's voice is truly commanding, and she could carry any musical into success. I would have to say that Streisand is singular in her singing. None of the other performers I have listed here, male or female, could match her commanding voice, and carry a film musical into success as she has alone. Other singers carried musicals together with other performers, but Streisand carried her musicals herself.

There were two musical production pairs that markedly produced more major musicals than any other teams. These four men did not always work together, and there were many great musicals produced by them individually. However, the teaming of Richard Rodgers with Oscar Hammerstein II and Alan J. Lerner with Frederick Loewe virtually marked the great musical era.
 
a list of 4 titles
This is meant to be a list of films showing climbing of the Himalayas. The Himalayas are the most challenging mountains to climb in the world. They have intrigued climbers for some time. Buddhists revere them. The danger involved in climbing the Himalayas has spawned a separate film genre. This danger comes not from from monsters or war or psychopathic individuals. Here the danger, as well as the intrigue, comes from nature itself. In addition to the intrigue of climbing, the mountain views are spectacular.

For now, I intend to limit this list to films I have seen.