Jazz in the movies {movies about/with Jazz musicians&singers&memorable jazz-scores}

by ursulahemard | created - 22 Nov 2011 | updated - 22 Sep 2017 | Public
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1. The Jazz Singer (1927)

Unrated | 88 min | Drama, Music, Musical

The son of a Jewish Cantor must defy the traditions of his religious father in order to pursue his dream of becoming a jazz singer.

Director: Alan Crosland | Stars: Al Jolson, May McAvoy, Warner Oland, Eugenie Besserer

Votes: 7,929 | Gross: $7.63M

2. Our Dancing Daughters (1928)

Not Rated | 85 min | Drama

A flapper who's secretly a good girl and a gold digging floozy masquerading as an ingénue both vie for the hand of a millionaire.

Director: Harry Beaumont | Stars: Joan Crawford, Johnny Mack Brown, Nils Asther, Dorothy Sebastian

Votes: 1,315 | Gross: $0.76M

3. On with the Show! (1929)

Passed | 104 min | Musical, Romance

A musical advertised as the first 100% natural color, all-singing production. The plot concerns a wide-eyed former hatcheck girl who takes the place of a rebellious star.

Director: Alan Crosland | Stars: Arthur Lake, Betty Compson, Joe E. Brown, Sally O'Neil

Votes: 176

4. St. Louis Blues (1929)

Not Rated | 16 min | Short, Drama, Music

In this all-black cast short, legendary blues singer Bessie Smith finds her gambler lover Jimmy messin' with a pretty, younger woman; he leaves and she sings the blues, with chorus and ... See full summary »

Director: Dudley Murphy | Stars: Bessie Smith, Jimmy Mordecai, Isabel Washington, Hall Johnson Choir

Votes: 248

5. King of Jazz (1930)

Not Rated | 99 min | Animation, Comedy, Music

This revue presents its numbers around the orchestra leader Paul Whiteman, besides that it shows in it's final number that the European popular music are the roots of American popular music... See full summary »

Director: John Murray Anderson | Stars: Paul Whiteman, John Boles, Laura La Plante, Jeanette Loff

Votes: 681

6. Alexander's Ragtime Band (1938)

Approved | 106 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

This send-up of ragtime song and dance begins in 1915 San Francisco when society boy Roger Grant decides to pursue popular rather than serious music.

Director: Henry King | Stars: Tyrone Power, Alice Faye, Don Ameche, Ethel Merman

Votes: 1,682

7. Born to Dance (1936)

Passed | 106 min | Musical, Comedy

Sailor Ted meets at the Lonely Hearts Club of his friend Gunny's wife, Jenny, a girl, Nora Paige, and falls in love. Nora wants to become a dancer on Broadway. Ted rescues the Pekinese of ... See full summary »

Director: Roy Del Ruth | Stars: Eleanor Powell, James Stewart, Virginia Bruce, Una Merkel

Votes: 1,172

8. Going Places (1938)

Approved | 84 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A sports store clerk poses as a famous jockey as an advertising stunt, but gets more than he bargained for.

Director: Ray Enright | Stars: Dick Powell, Anita Louise, Allen Jenkins, Ronald Reagan

Votes: 235

9. Paradise in Harlem (1939)

85 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Between swing and blues musical numbers, the story of comedian Lem Anderson, whose long-awaited chance to act dramatically vanishes when he witnesses a mob killing and is forced to leave ... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Seiden | Stars: Frank H. Wilson, Mamie Smith, Norman Astwood, Edna Mae Harris

Votes: 80

10. Birth of the Blues (1941)

Approved | 87 min | Music

Jeff grows up near Basin Street in New Orleans, playing his clarinet with the dock workers. He puts together a band, the Basin Street Hot-Shots, which includes a cornet player, Memphis. ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Schertzinger | Stars: Bing Crosby, Mary Martin, Brian Donlevy, Carolyn Lee

Votes: 294

11. Buck Privates Come Home (1947)

Approved | 77 min | Action, Comedy, Family

Two ex-soldiers return from overseas--one of them having smuggled into the country a French orphan girl he has become attached to. They wind up running into their old sergeant--who hates ... See full summary »

Director: Charles Barton | Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Tom Brown, Joan Shawlee

Votes: 1,748

12. Blues in the Night (1941)

Passed | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powell, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Priscilla Lane, Betty Field, Richard Whorf, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 839

13. Las Vegas Nights (1941)

Approved | 90 min | Comedy, Music

A vaudeville act inherits an old, beat-up building and decides to try to turn it into a hip new nightclub.

Director: Ralph Murphy | Stars: Phil Regan, Bert Wheeler, Constance Moore, Virginia Dale

Votes: 81

14. Casablanca (1942)

PG | 102 min | Drama, Romance, War

100 Metascore

A cynical nightclub owner protects an old flame and her husband from Nazis in Morocco.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Paul Henreid, Claude Rains

Votes: 457,528 | Gross: $1.02M

15. Keep 'Em Flying (1941)

Passed | 86 min | Comedy, Music, War

When a barnstorming stunt pilot decides to join the air corps, his two goofball assistants decide to go with him. Since the two are Abbott & Costello, the air corps doesn't know what it's in for.

Directors: Arthur Lubin, Ralph Ceder | Stars: Bud Abbott, Lou Costello, Martha Raye, Carol Bruce

Votes: 1,298

16. Syncopation (1942)

Approved | 88 min | Comedy, History, Music

Covering a quarter-century of American 'syncopated" music (Ragtime, Jazz, Swing, Blues, Boogie Woogie)from prior to WWI through prohibition, the stock-market crash, the depression and the ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Adolphe Menjou, Jackie Cooper, Bonita Granville, George Bancroft

Votes: 136

17. Orchestra Wives (1942)

Approved | 98 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

Connie Ward is in seventh heaven when Gene Morrison's band rolls into town. She is swept off her feet by trumpeter Bill Abbot. After marrying him, she joins the bands tour and learns about ... See full summary »

Director: Archie Mayo | Stars: George Montgomery, Ann Rutherford, Glenn Miller, Glenn Miller and His Orchestra

Votes: 726

18. Best Foot Forward (1943)

Passed | 94 min | Musical, Comedy

Lucille Ball accepts a cadet's invitation to a military academy's senior prom in order to boost her career.

Director: Edward Buzzell | Stars: Lucille Ball, William Gaxton, Virginia Weidler, Tommy Dix

Votes: 733

19. Stormy Weather (1943)

Approved | 78 min | Musical

The relationship between an aspiring dancer and a popular songstress provides a retrospective of the great African American entertainers of the early 1900s.

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra, Katherine Dunham and Her Troupe

Votes: 1,628

20. Cabin in the Sky (1943)

Passed | 98 min | Musical, Fantasy

A compulsive gambler dies during a shooting, but he'll receive a second chance to reform himself and to make up with his worried wife.

Directors: Vincente Minnelli, Busby Berkeley | Stars: Ethel Waters, Eddie 'Rochester' Anderson, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong

Votes: 2,343

21. Hit Parade of 1943 (1943)

Approved | 82 min | Music, Romance

One of the many films made at Republic with a year attached to the "Hit Parade" title, which came from the "Hit Parade" radio program sponsored by Lucky Strike cigarettes. On reissue all of... See full summary »

Director: Albert S. Rogell | Stars: John Carroll, Susan Hayward, Gail Patrick, Eve Arden

Votes: 83

22. Laura (1944)

Passed | 88 min | Drama, Film-Noir, Mystery

A police detective falls in love with the woman whose murder he is investigating.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Gene Tierney, Dana Andrews, Clifton Webb, Vincent Price

Votes: 37,063

23. Jam Session (1944)

Approved | 77 min | Comedy, Music

Terry Baxter is a never-say-die Hollywood newcomer from Waterfall Kansas, determined to make it big. And does she have talent. Filled, of course, with lots of musical numbers that showcase her many talents.

Director: Charles Barton | Stars: Ann Miller, Jess Barker, Charles D. Brown, Eddie Kane

Votes: 131

24. To Have and Have Not (1944)

Not Rated | 100 min | Adventure, Comedy, Romance

During World War II, American expatriate Harry Morgan helps transport a French Resistance leader and his beautiful wife to Martinique while romancing a sensuous lounge singer.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Walter Brennan, Dolores Moran

Votes: 26,958

25. Love Letters (1945)

Approved | 101 min | Drama, Mystery, Romance

Allen Quinton writes a fellow soldier's love letters; tragedy results. Later, Allen meets a beautiful amnesiac who fears postmen...

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Jennifer Jones, Joseph Cotten, Ann Richards, Cecil Kellaway

Votes: 1,299

26. Rhapsody in Blue (1945)

Approved | 135 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

George Gershwin is a driven composer whose need to succeed destroys his relationship with singer Julie Adams and socialite Christine Gilbert.

Director: Irving Rapper | Stars: Robert Alda, Joan Leslie, Alexis Smith, Charles Coburn

Votes: 1,093

27. The Fabulous Dorseys (1947)

Approved | 88 min | Biography, Music, Romance

The rise and rise of the Fabulous Dorsey brothers is charted in this whimsical step down memory lane, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey play themselves in this vehicle for their excellent music. From ... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Janet Blair, Paul Whiteman

Votes: 400

28. Variety Girl (1947)

93 min | Comedy, Musical

Dozens of star and character-actor cameos and a message about the Variety Club (show-business charity) are woven into a framework about two hopeful young ladies who come to Hollywood, ... See full summary »

Director: George Marshall | Stars: Mary Hatcher, Olga San Juan, DeForest Kelley, Frank Ferguson

Votes: 254

29. Green Dolphin Street (1947)

Approved | 141 min | Adventure, Romance, Drama

Sophie loved Edmund, but he left town when her parents forced her to marry wealthy Octavius. Years later, Edmund returns with his son, William. Sophie's daughter, Marguerite, and William ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Saville | Stars: Van Heflin, Lana Turner, Donna Reed, Richard Hart

Votes: 1,135

30. New Orleans Uncensored (1955)

Approved | 76 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A Navy veteran purchases a government surplus vessel and becomes involved in the capture of waterfront racketeers.

Director: William Castle | Stars: Arthur Franz, Beverly Garland, Helene Stanton, Michael Ansara

Votes: 73

31. A Song Is Born (1948)

Approved | 113 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

With her gangster boyfriend under investigation by the police, a nightclub singer hides out in a musical research institution staffed by bachelor professors - one of whom begins to fall for her.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Danny Kaye, Virginia Mayo, Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey

Votes: 1,834

32. The Glenn Miller Story (1954)

Approved | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Biography of bandleader Glenn Miller from his beginnings to his death over the English Channel in December 1944.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, Charles Drake

Votes: 7,072

33. Make Believe Ballroom (1949)

Approved | 79 min | Comedy, Music, Romance

Liza Lee, fast-talking press agent for Al Jarvis, persuades Jarvis to stage a Musical Mystery Contest, with a $5000 prize to the person who can first name the most musical numbers and their... See full summary »

Director: Joseph Santley | Stars: Jerome Courtland, Ruth Warrick, Ron Randell, Virginia Welles

Votes: 23

34. September Affair (1950)

Approved | 104 min | Drama, Romance

An industrialist (Joseph Cotten) and a pianist (Joan Fontaine) meet on a trip and fall in love. Through a quirk of fate, they are reported dead in a crash though they weren't on the plane. ... See full summary »

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Joan Fontaine, Joseph Cotten, Françoise Rosay, Jessica Tandy

Votes: 625

35. Young Man with a Horn (1950)

Approved | 112 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A young trumpeter enjoys highs (musical success, fame, and fortune) and lows (sour marriage, death of his mentor, bout with alcoholism).

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Kirk Douglas, Lauren Bacall, Doris Day, Hoagy Carmichael

Votes: 2,492

36. An American in Paris (1951)

Not Rated | 114 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

Three friends struggle to find work in Paris. Things become more complicated when two of them fall in love with the same woman.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Gene Kelly, Leslie Caron, Oscar Levant, Georges Guétary

Votes: 26,341 | Gross: $4.50M

37. A Streetcar Named Desire (1951)

PG | 122 min | Drama

96 Metascore

Disturbed Blanche DuBois moves in with her sister in New Orleans and is tormented by her brutish brother-in-law while her reality crumbles around her.

Director: Elia Kazan | Stars: Vivien Leigh, Marlon Brando, Kim Hunter, Karl Malden

Votes: 88,785 | Gross: $8.00M

38. Invitation (1952)

Not Rated | 84 min | Drama, Romance

Always believing she had a happy marriage, a young wife's trust in her husband is shaken when she discovers that her father had paid him to marry her.

Director: Gottfried Reinhardt | Stars: Van Johnson, Dorothy McGuire, Ruth Roman, Louis Calhern

Votes: 415

39. One Minute to Zero (1952)

Approved | 105 min | Drama, War

During the early days of the Korean War, U.S. Army colonel Steve Janowski is one of the military advisers training the South Korean army and he's tasked with evacuating American civilians from the war zone.

Director: Tay Garnett | Stars: Robert Mitchum, Ann Blyth, William Talman, Charles McGraw

Votes: 492

40. The Jazz Singer (1952)

107 min | Drama, Music, Romance

Jerry dreams to become a famous jazz singer. But in order to accomplish that, he must defy his father, a Jewish Cantor, who is opposed to such dream as a future for his son.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Danny Thomas, Peggy Lee, Eduard Franz, Mildred Dunnock

Votes: 271

41. Kiss Me Kate (1953)

Approved | 109 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'; off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers' quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 4,928

42. Young at Heart (1954)

Approved | 117 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

The lives and romances of three sisters in a musical family; the youngest daughter's life is complicated by the subsequent arrival of a charming composer and a cynical music arranger.

Director: Gordon Douglas | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, Gig Young, Ethel Barrymore

Votes: 1,959

43. Pete Kelly's Blues (1955)

Not Rated | 95 min | Crime, Drama, Music

In 1927, a Kansas City, Missouri cornet player and his band perform nightly at a seedy speakeasy until a racketeer tries to extort them in exchange for protection.

Director: Jack Webb | Stars: Jack Webb, Janet Leigh, Edmond O'Brien, Peggy Lee

Votes: 935

44. The Man with the Golden Arm (1955)

Passed | 119 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

A strung-out junkie deals with a demoralizing drug addiction while his crippled wife and card sharks pull him down.

Director: Otto Preminger | Stars: Frank Sinatra, Kim Novak, Eleanor Parker, Arnold Stang

Votes: 8,224

45. The Benny Goodman Story (1956)

Approved | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The young Benny Goodman is taught clarinet by a Chicago music professor. He is advised by bandleader Kid Ory to play whichever kind of music he likes best, but to make a living, Benny begins by joining the Ben Pollack traveling band.

Director: Valentine Davies | Stars: Steve Allen, Donna Reed, Berta Gersten, Barry Truex

Votes: 967

46. High Society (1956)

Not Rated | 111 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A spoiled heiress must choose between three suitors: her jazz musician ex-husband, a stuffy businessman, and an undercover tabloid reporter.

Director: Charles Walters | Stars: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm

Votes: 12,038 | Gross: $13.00M

47. The Girl Can't Help It (1956)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Music

A gangster hires a down-and-out press agent to make his airheaded girlfriend a singing star.

Director: Frank Tashlin | Stars: Tom Ewell, Jayne Mansfield, Edmond O'Brien, Julie London

Votes: 2,682

48. Autumn Leaves (1956)

Approved | 107 min | Drama

Millicent Wetherby is a middle-aged woman whose life is devoid of love and affection. Millicent's solitary existence changes when she encounters Burt Hansen a charismatic younger man. As ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Aldrich | Stars: Joan Crawford, Cliff Robertson, Vera Miles, Lorne Greene

Votes: 1,845

49. Sweet Smell of Success (1957)

Not Rated | 96 min | Drama, Film-Noir

100 Metascore

Powerful but unethical Broadway columnist J.J. Hunsecker coerces unscrupulous press agent Sidney Falco into breaking up his sister's romance with a jazz musician.

Director: Alexander Mackendrick | Stars: Burt Lancaster, Tony Curtis, Susan Harrison, Martin Milner

Votes: 23,433

50. Pal Joey (1957)

Approved | 111 min | Drama, Musical, Romance