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Must-See Musicals: 50 Show-Stopping Movies We Can’t Forget Book Review


“Must-See Musicals: 50 Show-Stopping Movies We Can’t Forget” is a good starting point for fans of the genre.

Much like “Turner Classic Movies: The Essentials: 52 Must-See Movies And Why They Matter,” another TCM tie-in book titled “Must-See Musicals: 50 Show-Stopping Movies We Can’t Forget” has hit the shelves. In this book written by Richard Barrios, readers are treated to a list of 50 musical films from 1929-2016 listed chronologically. Each entry is accompanied by glossy photos, film credits, a written piece about each film, trivia, suggestions on other titles to watch, poster art, and a section devoted to the musical that talks about specific tunes, observations, facts and what have you.

As someone who is well versed in musical films, it’s hard to argue with the picks included here. A majority of the best musicals you know and love are given the spotlight here such as “The Wizard of Oz,” “Singin’ In The Rain,” “My Fair Lady,” “Grease,” “On The Town,” etc. There are even a few lesser known titles like “Sunny Side Up” and “King Of Jazz” as well some animated hits like “Snow White and the 7 Dwarves” and “Beauty And The Beast” mentioned throughout. Are there bound to be a few you wish were on the list? Absolutely, but there is some good news on that front. As mentioned above, each entry is included with a piece that is essentially a ‘If you like this, try these 2” movies which equals out to 100 additional movie listings. Personally, this is one of the most enlightening aspects of the book as it sheds light on some rather obscure titles like “Deep In My Heart,” “The Firefly,” “Music In The Air,” “Applause” and more. On top of that, some of the best movies that don’t make the top 50 are brought up here.

In terms of the book’s content, there’s a lot to absorb here. If you want trivia you can learn about how elements of “Chicago” were based on real women and what the story behind the animated turkey in “Holiday Inn” is all about. In terms of the written pieces, you can get a brief history of Esther Williams film career in the “Million Dollar Mermaid” entry, learn about the storied Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers collaborations on the “Top Hat” section, or read about the cult legacy of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Suffice it to say, the book offers a fairly thorough look at movie musicals as well as the genre’s history.

Note: The book also includes a foreword by musician Michael Feinstein, a passionate intro by Barrios, an Epilogue, Bibliography, index, and acknowledgments.

October 28, 2017 - Posted by | Book review | , , , , , , , , , , ,

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