I have seen some of the big classics that everybody know, some of my all time favourites, and then some I had never heard of before.
So I decided to rate them, so you'll know which ones you can miss, and which ones you can't live without seeing. I'm taking both the plot and the songs into consideration, before rating it on a scale from 1 to 10.
West Side Story
The plot: Tony and Maria fall in love with each other, but find it is hard to be together, when they have connections to rivaling gangs.
At first the plot goes very slowly, as in many musicals, but it soon picks up the pace, and the tension rises right until the end.
At the opening scenes, however, I almost had second thoughts about watching the movie at all - and then again, I have never laughed so much as at these first minutes, and it wasn't even intentional. But you gotta admit, having a hardcore street gang dancing ballet through the streets is worth quite a laugh.
But that was the only time the dancing worked against the plot - all the other dance numbers fitted beautifully into the scenes.
The songs: The songs are great. The first songs is, I admit, nothing special, but then all the big hits come in line. I think they underline the plot quite well, without stalling it unnecessarily. And the songs are very expressive. Some of them make you really happy and some of them make you really sad - according to the purpose of the song.
Favourite songs: My original favourite song was "Maria", but the songs "Tonight" and "Somewhere" are so beautiful. And "America" is really funny. So it's safe to say I just love most of the songs.
Annie get your gun
The plot: Annie, who is a great shooter, falls in love with fellow shooter Frank Butler, and therefore joins the wild west show he is touring with, and tries to become the sort of girl he could love.
I gotta say I wasn't impressed with this movie. The plot didn't make much sense,
and I didn't feel the characters. I actually didn't like Annie that much, but I think that was because the actress overacted - especially during the songs. It would have been fine on a stage, but in a movie it was just too much. And don't get me started on the relationship: at first she likes him and he doesn't know, then suddenly he likes her too (and you are never explained why), then they fight, then they make up, then they fight again - you get the pattern right?
The songs: The songs weren't bad, but they weren't fantastic either. Most of them were rather forgettable, with a few exceptions of cause. And most of them were just too long, doing nothing or very little for the plot.
Favourite songs: Definitely "They say it's wonderful", that song is just so beautiful and touching, and makes the entire movie worth seeing.
The plot: The cowboy Curly, loves Laurey, who lives at a farm. She likes him too, but have a hard time admitting it.
When I had to summarise the plot, I realised the movie doesn't have much of a plot. But that doesn't mean I was bored at all watching it. It's true the main plot isn't anything special - but the subplot, with the love story between the cowboy who needs 50 $ to marry his girlfriend, but keeps spending them buying her presents, and the girl who just can't make up her mind, which of her admirers she likes the best. That's just priceless.
All in all it's a very nice movie, where you quite forget the lack of plot because of all the good songs. And although it really tries to build up some dramatic tension, it is released so quickly that the dramatic climax is a bit anticlimactic. (But who am I to complain about that - I hate it when there's too much drama in a movie)
And then there's the dancing...it is all very well done, but there is this 10-minute dancing sequence that could have been cut without any loss to the film.
The songs: What to say about the songs? They tie the the film very nicely together, and blend into the plot just fine. And they are great!! Most of them have gotten a permanent place on my play list of favourite musical songs. There are the light and funny songs, beautiful love ballads, and the big numbers sung by the entire cast.
I think there was one song, that i didn't understand was there, because it did nothing for the plot, but 1 out of 12 is quite good odds.
Favourite songs: Hard to decide, but "The surrey with the fringe on top" was a definite favourite from the first time I heard it. And "I can't say no" is a light and funny song, sung by one of the secondary characters. And never forget "Many a new day".
My fair Lady
The plot: Phonetics expert Professor Higgins bets that he can pass a poor flower
girl, Eliza, off as a duchess if she learns to speak proper English.
This is an old favourite of mine. The story is original and funny, the actors portray the characters really well - especially Rex Harrison as the rude professor Higgins. And furthermore the costumes are gorgeous, and there are plenty of them. The only thing that can possibly pull down, is the length.
The songs: Don't get me started on the songs, they are just great. Some of them sweet and some of them really funny. They style fits the movie nicely, and they melt completely into the plot. Some may say that Professor Higgins' songs cant' exactly be categorised as songs, and are a bit long - and I see their points, but I gotta admit, I laugh so hard through these songs, that I don't notice the length, and never would cut even a line out.
Favourite songs: I love them all!!! But I especially love "I could have danced all night", "Wouldn't it be loverly?" and "The street where you live".
The plot: A couple and their grown up children, Wayne and Margy, goes to the annual state fair. Romance of course ensues.
It has everything that characterises a classic movie: a fair, a girl longing for adventure, an unforgettable first meeting, an ensuing romance, a little drama and not to forget the unlikely love story between two pigs. Everything you need to make a classic.
Another great thing, is the costumes - I would see the movie again and again just to look at the dresses.
The songs: As I said it is not so much "musical songs", sung as part of the plot, as it is songs sung by a singer in the background. But that doesn't mean the songs aren't good. They fit the movie beautifully in style, and listening to them just makes you happy.
Favourite songs: Definitely "It's a grand night for singing", it's just such a feel-good song.
So...do you agree with the ratings?
I know I am only scratching the surface of the musical world with this post,so I am planning to make it into a series, as I watch more musicals.
If you have any suggestions to a musical that is a must-see, let me know in a comment.