MUSICAL TRAILERS

 

Cast: Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, Gene Kelly
Running Time: 3 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

This mammoth musical is at base the story of two sailors on leave in Hollywood. Brash Joseph Brady (Gene Kelly) has promised his shy pal Clarence Doolittle (Frank Sinatra) that he will introduce Clarence to all the glamorous movie starlets whom he allegedly knows so well. Featuring Kelly dancing with such partners as a cartoon mouse (courtesy of MGM's house animators Bill Hanna and Joseph Barbera), Anchors Aweigh was a huge hit in 1945, assuring audiences future Gene Kelly/Frank Sinatra teamings.

 

Cast: Ethel Waters, Eddie "Rochester" Anderson, Lena Horne, Louis Armstrong, Rex Ingram
Running Time: 2 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

Broadway's big, fun-jammed music show is on the screen at last--crowded with stars and songs and spectacle in the famed MGM manner! In this musical, Little Joe, an inveterate gambler, promises his wife Petunia he'll reform and confess his sins at church, but he slips out the side door to play craps at the Paradise club; he's shot and brought home with a mortal wound. Petunia offers powerful prayers, and Joe gets a six-month reprieve. Heaven's forces, led by the General, and those below, led by Lucifer Jr., try to pull Joe their way. Lucifer Jr. has a not-so-secret weapon, the sultry Georgia Brown, and his idea men cook up a great scheme to win Joe's soul. The General has Joe's good intentions and Petunia's inventiveness. Will she and Joe reach their cabin in the sky?

 

Cast: Ethel Merman, Donald O'Connor, Vera-Ellen, George Sanders, Billy De Wolfe
Running Time: 4 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

Ethel Merman reprised her role as a socialite turned diplomat in this screen adaptation of Irving Berlin's hit Broadway musical. Sally Adams (Merman) has made it her business to know everyone worth knowing in Washington D.C., and her penchant for parties pays off when she's appointed United States Ambassador to Lichtenburg. Once she is installed in her new position, she falls in love with suave Foreign Minister Cosmo Constantine (George Sanders), while Princess Maria (Vera-Ellen) has her head turned by Sally's press attaché, Kenneth (Donand O'Connor). Call Me Madam is a showcase for Merman's roof-raising musical comedy style, and here she gets to sing a handful of Berlin tunes, including "You're Just In Love," "Can You Use Any Money Today?" and "Hostess With The Mostes' on the Ball." Vera-Ellen's singing was dubbed by Carol Richards.

 

Cast: Betty Grable, George Montgomery, Cesar Romero, Phil Silvers
Running Time: 2 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

Set at the turn of the century, smooth talking con man Eddie Johnson weasels his way into a job at friend and rival Joe Rocco's Coney Island night spot. Eddie meets the club's star attraction (and Joe's love interest), Kate Farley, a brash singer with a penchant for flashy clothes. Eddie and Kate argue as he tries to soften her image. Eventually, Kate becomes the toast of Coney Island and the two fall in love. Joe then tries to sabotage their marriage plans.

 

Cast: Groucho Marx, Carmen Miranda, Steve Cochran, Andy Russell, Gloria Jean
Running Time: 3 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

Agent (Marx) has his only client (Miranda) pose as both a French chanteuse and Brazilian bombshell to fool nightclub owner (Cochran) in this little seen musical.

 

Cast: Fred Astaire, Leslie Caron, Terry Moore, Thelma Ritter, Fred Clark
Running Time: 3 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

This last remake (thus far) of the Jean Webster novel Daddy Long Legs was extensively revised to accommodate the talents of Fred Astaire and Leslie Caron. Fragments of the basic plot remain: American millionaire Astaire is the unknown benefactor of French orphan girl Caron, financing the girl's education on the proviso that his identity never be revealed to her. Moved by Caron's letters of thanks, Astaire's secretary Thelma Ritter advises Astaire to go to France to visit the "child". When he arrives, he finds that his ward has grown up rather nicely, and the two fall in love--though Caron never knows until the very end who Astaire really is. The old story has been updated to allow for an elaborate "cowboy" number and a couple of Eisenhower jokes. Highlights include a solo ballet by Caron and a wonderful Astaire routine involving a set of drums. The score for Daddy Long Legs is unremarkable save for Johnny Mercer's hit "Something's Gotta Give".

 

Cast: Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston
Running Time: 3 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

Film adaptation of the George Abbott Broadway musical about a Washington Senators fan who makes a pact with the Devil to help his baseball team win the league pennant.

 

Cast: William Powell, Myrna Loy, Billie Burke, Luise Rainer, Frank Morgan, Fanny Brice
Running Time: 2 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

The Last Word In Entertainment! At the 1893 Chicago World's Fair, sideshow barker Flo Ziegfeld turns the tables on his more successful neighbor Billings, and steals his girlfriend to boot. This pattern is repeated throughout their lives, as Ziegfeld makes and loses many fortunes putting on ever bigger, more spectacular shows (sections of which appear in the film). French revue star Anna Held becomes his first wife, but it's not easy being married to the man who "glorified the American girl." Late in life, now married to Billie Burke, he seems to be all washed up, until...

 

Cast: Paul Whiteman
Running Time: 4 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

Intended as Universal Pictures' entry in the "all-star musical" cycle of the early talkie era, King of Jazz is certainly the most elaborate of the bunch, though far from the most successful financially. Staged by Broadway impresario John Murray Anderson, the film is held together by the charismatic personality of rotund bandleader Paul Whiteman. The show begins with a Walter Lantz cartoon wherein it is recalled how Whiteman earned the title of the King of Jazz (Lantz's animated star Oswald Rabbit makes a brief appearance). Then Whiteman appears in the flesh (and plenty of it), coaxing his miniaturized orchestra out of a small box. The film then assumes the traditional revue format, with brief comedy sketches featuring such Universal contractees as Laura LaPlante and Slim Summerville interspersed with some of the most spectacular production numbers ever captured on film.

 

Cast: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller, Jules Munshin, Vera-Ellen
Running Time: 3 mins.
Vault: TRAILERS

On The Town was one of MGM's brightest films of the post-WWII era, symbolizing the optimistic view of the future that was widely held in America in 1949. Three sailors (Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, and Jules Munshin) have a 24-hour pass in which to see New York City. Fortunately, they also have a fine song score to take along with them, and some unusually fine choreography. As should be expected from an MGM production from this era, the tech credits are superb and the overall production design memorable.

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