Edmonton Film Society Movie Series
The Edmonton Film Society is a nonprofit group dedicated to keeping the "silver screen" / Hollywood of yesteryear in the public eye. Four series, each consisting of eight movies organized under a particular theme, are presented annually. Each movie is preceded by a short, informative talk about the film. Screenings are normally held Mondays at 8pm in the Royal Alberta Museum's Auditorium.
The Great Musicals
June 26, 2017 – August 28, 2017
Reviving Musical Memories
Although the Hollywood Musical has seemingly waltzed into the sunset (thus providing good company for the Western), the genre's run was so indelible that a look back is always time well spent. After all, who can resist performers who achieved legendary status by delivering infectious tunes and tender ballads, dancing "on a bright cloud of music" and joking deftly and good naturedly?
Welcome to the mother lode of musicals. Welcome to sheer entertainment.
Many folks deserve praise for making the high-end musical so pleasurable. Prominent among them is producer Arthur Freed whose song-writing career led him to MGM where he championed the likes of Vincent Minnelli, Gene Kelly, Stanley Donen and others who were then just gaining a foothold in the business.
There are few things in today's world but when the Film Society's summer series ends on August 28 it's a certainty the the "a good time was held by all!" pronouncement will resound.
Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor
Many call this the best musical Hollywood ever produced. The setting is Hollywood during the transition from silents to talkies. A female star with a shrill voice is under pressure to maintain her career. Hilariously and ineptly, fellow workers try to help. Dazzling choreography.
Director: Stanley Donen and Gene Kelly
Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Jack Buchanan
A richly humourous, sophisticated musical that’s certainly one of Astaire’s best. He plays a has-been film dancer aiming to revive his career on Broadway. Every single song and dance number, including the take on private eye thrillers, is pure delight. Buchanan spoofs Orson Welles to great effect.
Director: Vincente Minnelli
Deanna Durbin, Charles Laughton, Robert Cummings
A dying but still crusty millionaire wants to meet his grandson’s new fiancée. She can’t be located, so a hotel employee is quickly enlisted to temporarily pose in her place. However, the man recovers and the romantic charade must continue. Deanna’s most popular film.
Director: Henry Koster
Jeanne Crain, Dana Andrews, Dick Haymes
The only Rodgers and Hammerstein musical written specifically for the screen. An Iowa farm family journey to the local fair, with each member out to snare a different prize. Unexpectedly, the best prize turns out to be … romance. Academy Award Best Song: “It Might As Well Be Spring.”
Director: Walter Lang
Edmund Purdom (with vocals by Mario Lanza), Ann Blyth
The glorious voice of Mario Lanza caresses Romberg’s greatest musical score in this much-loved operetta in which a stuffy prince is sent to college to learn how the common people live, and to get his upper-class arrogance knocked out. A winsome waitress helps. A sunny, sentimental feast.
Director: Richard Thorpe
Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Helen Broderick
Our nomination as the best of the Astaire-Rogers films, with an unforgettable Jerome Kern score. The magical couple are kept on the dance floor longer than usual and Fred’s “Bojangles” solo is a classic. He plays a fellow off to make his fortune in N.Y. to impress his fiancée, but then he meets Ginger….
Director: George Stevens
Gordon MacRae, Shirley Jones, Cameron Mitchell
Reportedly Rodgers’ favourite of his works, a bittersweet love story of a former carnival employee given celestial leave to visit troubled loved ones on earth for a day. Jam-packed with terrific songs, this is certainly the most poetic and lyrical of the Rodgers & Hammerstein musicals.
Director: Henry King
Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr
A visually spectacular adaptation of Anna and the King of Siam. An English governess is hired to teach the king’s many children, but has more of a job than she realizes due to the monarch’s interference. It contains one of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s best-loved scores.
Director: Walter Lang.