THOUGH I’m very fond of movie musicals, I rarely go to them; or perhaps I should say I rarely go because I’m very fond of them. I may be unduly exclusive in what I want a film musical to be, but among the things I don’t want are musical films whose principals don’t dance, or whose musical numbers are confined by some “realistic” premise (e.g., a show within the show), or reverential transcriptions of hit Broadway shows. (For reasons one and three, among others, you’ll see no review of Fiddler on the Roof here.) Of course, I’m aware that the kind of film musical I want is dead as the proverbial dodo; the last (and, I think, best) instance of the genre at its peak was The Band Wagon in 1953, and it’s been seventeen years now since I’ve seen a film which came even momentarily within striking distance of those musicals of which I’m fondest.
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