Category: musical

REVIEW: Swing Kids (2018)

1951: Ro Ki-soo (Do Kyung-soo) is a rebellious young North Korean prisoner in an American POW camp. He is a troublemaker in the camp and given minor celebrity status by his comrades thanks to his war hero brother. When the American Sgt Jackson (Jared Grimes) attempts to put together a tap dancing revue for the ...

REVIEW: Mary Poppins Returns (2018)

With England in an economic depression, bank teller Michael Banks (Ben Wishaw) struggles to keep his household in order following the recent death of his wife. When the bank threatens to foreclose on his loan, taking away his house in the process, Michael's family is revisited by Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt); the magical nanny that ...

REVIEW: The Greatest Showman (2017)

Let me tell you about 19th century entrepreneur and entertainment giant P.T. Barnum (Hugh Jackman). He grows up poor and mocked by the upper classes, despite falling in love with a wealthy heiress (Michelle Williams). As an adult, when the company where he works goes bust, Barnum steals a letter of credit, uses it to ...

“Right here where we live” | Meet Me in St Louis (1944)

A Missouri family go about their day-to-day lives in the 12 months leading up to the 1904 St Louis World’s Fair. That is the one-sentence summary of Vincente Minnelli’s musical film Meet Me in St Louis. On a superficial level it seems too low-key to become crowd-pleasing blockbuster, yet upon its release in November 1944 ...

“I shouldn’t have come” | It’s Always Fair Weather (1955)

  Sometimes you can’t go home again. In 1952 movie-goers around the world fell in love with Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen’s vibrant, toe-tapping musical Singin’ in the Rain. They embraced it with such enthusiasm that it remains one of the all-time great Hollywood productions today. Three years later Kelly and Donen reunited with Singin’ ...

“Well of course we talk, don’t everybody?” | Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

An audio version of this essay is available for download here. ‘There are no auteurs in musical pictures,’ said actor/director Gene Kelly. ‘It’s impossible. You have to have music and arrangements, a choreographer, a director and so forth.’[i] It would seem that good musicals require good partnerships to succeed, and if that is true then ...