The Movie Musical!

The Movie Musical!

Irresistible and authoritative, The Movie Musical! is an in-depth look at the singing, dancing, happy-making world of Hollywood musicals, beautifully illustrated in color and black-and-white--an essential text for anyone who's ever laughed, cried, or sung along at the movies.

Leading film historian Jeanine Basinger reveals, with her trademark wit and zest, the whole story of the Hollywood musical--in the most telling, most incisive, most detailed, most gorgeously illustrated book of her long and remarkable career.
From Fred Astaire, whom she adores, to La La Land, which she deplores, Basinger examines a dazzling array of stars, strategies, talents, and innovations in the history of musical cinema. Whether analyzing a classic Gene Kelly routine, relishing a Nelson-Jeanette operetta, or touting a dynamic hip hop number (in the underrated Idlewild), she is a canny and charismatic guide to the many ways that song and dance have been seen--and heard--on film.
With extensive portraits of everyone from Al Jolson, the Jazz Singer; to Doris Day, whose iconic sunniness has overshadowed her dramatic talents; from Deanna Durbin, that lovable teen-star of the '30s and '40s; to Shirley T. and Judy G.; from Bing to Frank to Elvis; from Ann Miller to Ann-Margret; from Disney to Chicago . . . focusing on many beloved, iconic films (Top Hat; Singin' in the Rain; Meet Me in St. Louis; The Sound of Music) as well as unduly obscure gems (Eddie Cantor's Whoopee!; Murder at the Vanities; Sun Valley Serenade; One from the Heart), this book is astute, informative, and pure pleasure to read.

Title:The Movie Musical!
Edition Language:English
Format Type:

    The Movie Musical! Reviews

  • Lisa Vegan

    This is not the coffee table book I was expecting. It’s a text heavy book. There were photos, some B & W and some color, but not nearly enough for my taste. Like the author, I grew up on and loved m...

  • Mjspice

    As a big Gene Kelly fan, the cover was the whole reason why I even picked this up lol.It's quite dense with a few images but overall informative on its subject. I was kinda surprised to see that some ...

  • carrietracy

    The brightly colored cover featuring Gene Kelly sells a book full of all of the joy of the musical. What lurks beneath is a dense text that feels academic in tone rather than accessible and seems bogg...

  • Niamh

    This is an extensive, hugely in-depth exploration of the Hollywood movie musical spanning from its iterations at the birth of the sound era to the decades that many people saw it's death, low-level po...

  • Jeff J.

    A comprehensive and well-researched history of movie musicals. Rather than tackle the subject chronologically the structure was more thematic. By bundling the topic by subject - dancers, duos, studios...

  • Michael Sparrow

    This is a weighty and consequential history of the musical film. Basinger covers a lot of ground and goes into a good deal of detail of many stars and trends. It's not perfect, Basinger focuses on a c...

  • Susan Liston

    This is the second book about movies by this author I've read.** Like her other book, this contains a ton of information, but it's almost like you are reading a transcript of a talk. Full of editorial...

  • Cook Memorial Public Library

    A 2019 staff favorite recommended by Jenn and Becky. Check our catalog:

  • Sarah Wolfe

    This feels like a book written to be the text for a specific college class (not to be confused with an authoritative textbook) rather than a wide-market nonfiction book. It lacks an engaging voice, or...

  • Riegs

    The author devoted about 15-20 pages of to Al Jolson, and provided less than a few sentences about the blackface. She later on devoted about 3-5 pages to the "lost" African American musicals, like The...