As musicals begin to make a little bit of a comeback we decided to reflect on what it takes to make an amazing song and dance man. This is a little bit of a modge podge of men… all with different strengths.If you want a good classic hollywood musical education, try one flick from each fella and you’ll get a pretty complete picture of how things worked in the golden age.
Gene Kelly: Sometimes known as the hardest working song and dance man in Hollywood, you can bet no one on his team slept until it looked perfect. Gene is so easy to watch and he has that charm and swooning thing going on whenever he gets close to a girl her likes. It’s adorable. We love him. Favorite films are An American in Paris opposite Leslie Caron, and Take Me Out to the Ballgame ( alongside Frank Sinatra and Esther Williams).
Fred Astaire: Most known for his films with Ginger Rogers, Fred Astaire also claimed many many films as a solo dancer and had a 50 year career in Hollywood. Spanning his career across romantic comedies we like You Were Never Lovelier opposite Rita Hayworth, Holiday Inn along side Bing, and Royal Wedding competing against Peter Lawford for the hand of Jane Powell. A favorite performance for us old movie buffs is as the narrator in Santa Claus is Coming to Town- if you have not seen this or shared it with the little ones in your life be sure to this holiday season. No one shares the message better than Fred.
Bing Crosby: The Old Groaner. If you haven’t noticed a theme with Bing Crosby films, he usually plays the crotchety old guy toeing the line and following the rules. Holiday Inn and High Society are just two of the many films where he risks losing the girl in favor of being decent/logical/average. Best known for White Christmas, the song and movie, Bing was also a major champion of the war efforts in real life as well, supporting our troops nonstop over seas. We love him in the Bob Hope “Road to” movies, and if you’re looking for something a little more vintage and classic watch him in Going Hollywood with Marion Davies.
Frank Sinatra: Starting out young as the kid from Hoboken, New Jersey, Frank became ‘Ol Blue Eyes after years and years of work. Even before he filled into his frame, he was singing. Anchors Aweigh showcases his voice while he competes with Gene Kelly for Kathryn Grayson but its nothing compared to the seasoned Frank you find in Guys and Dolls with Marlon Brando. Frank really does have multiple phases in his acting career so you can pick and choose which Frank you’re most excited to watch. If you want vulnerable and insecure go with Take me out to the Ballgame or On the Town. Looking for a guy who knows he’s magnificent? Try Oceans Eleven.
Elvis Presley: Ahhh, Elvis. I can’t even begin to say how much I love Elvis. And I feel like i’ve written about him a lot so forgive me if I’m repeating myself! A singer first and actor later, he was gonna be a dancer whether or not he was in films at all. I like him best in Girl Happy where he stars with his favorite partner, Shelly Fabares. Clambake is another favorite as he disguises his wealth to make sure the resident gold diggers aren’t after his money. You can pretty much match his films to the songs that they hold and choose your favorites from there. Jailhouse Rock, Girl Happy and Viva Las Vegas also claim titles to the films. If you haven’t ventured in Elvis territory yet, just try one.. they’re fun, a little cheeky and always a good time.