Marvellous Classic Musicals Vol.1
Singin' in the Rain 
(1952) DVD
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Decades before the Hollywood film industry became famous for megabudget disaster and science fiction spectaculars, the studios of Southern California (and particularly Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer) were renowned for a uniquely American (and nearly extinct) kind of picture known as The Musical. Indeed, when the prestigious British film magazine Sight & Sound conducts its international critics poll in the second year of every decade, this 1952 MGM picture is the American musical that consistently ranks among the 10 best movies ever made. It's not only a great song-and-dance piece starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, and a sprightly Debbie Reynolds; it's also an affectionately funny insider spoof about the film industry's uneasy transition from silent pictures to "talkies." Kelly plays debonair star Don Lockwood, whose leading lady Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen) has a screechy voice hilariously ill-suited to the new technology (and her glamorous screen image). Among the musical highlights: O'Connor's knockout "Make 'Em Laugh"; the big "Broadway Melody" production number; and, best of all, that charming little title ditty in which Kelly makes movie magic on a drenched set with nothing but a few puddles, a lamppost, and an umbrella.
--Jim Emerson
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Three Smart Girls
(1936) VHS
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Universal wasted no time in exploiting 14-year-old Deanna Durbin's star power; after
screening the dailies from her feature debut, Three Smart Girls, studio execs expanded Durbin's supporting role and doubled the budget. Their investment paid off: this breezy comedy-musical, about a young singer determined to reunite her parents, earned a then-extraordinary $2 million and three Oscar nominations (including Best Picture). 
Three Smart Girls Grow Up VHS
Rose-Marie (1936) VHS
Maytime (1937) VHS
Naughty Marietta (1935)
Sweethearts (1938) VHS
Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)
Panama Hattie (1942) VHS
Jolson Sings Again (1949) VHS
For Me and My Gal (1942) VHS
The Jolson Story (1946) VHS
Because You're Mine (1952)
The Benny Goodman Story
Brigadoon (1954) DVD
The King and I (1956) DVD
Carousel (1956) DVD
There's No Business Like Show Business
More Classic Musicals
An American in Paris 
(1951) DVD
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A GI (Gene Kelly) stays in Paris after the war to become an artist, and has to choose between the patronage of a rich American woman (Nina Foch) and a French gamine (Leslie Caron) engaged to an older man. 
The plot is mostly an excuse for director Vincente Minnelli to pool his own extraordinary talent with those of choreographer- dancer-actor Kelly and the artists behind the screenplay, art direction, cinematography, and score, creating a rapturous musical not quite like anything else in cinema. The final section of the film comprises a 17-minute dance sequence that took a month to film and is breathtaking. Songs include "'S Wonderful," "I Got Rhythm," and "Love Is Here to Stay."-Tom Keogh
Easter Parade (1948) VHS
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Starring: Judy Garland, Fred Astaire. The silver screen shimmers like never before in this star-studded hit. An Irving Berlin spectacular in which Astaire plays the part of a dance man whose partner abandons the act. Fortunately, his new partner turns out to be Garland. This is the only picture in which the two superstars worked together. Academy Awards: Best Scoring of a Musical Picture. 
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) DVD
Well, bless my beautiful hide! Director Stanley Donen invests this rollicking musical with a hearty exuberance. Howard Keel, with his big-as-all-outdoors baritone, stars as a bold "mountain man" living in the Oregon woods who brings home a bride (plucky songbird soprano Jane Powell) to his six slovenly brothers. Taming the rambunctious brood, Jane proceeds to make gentlemen of them so they can woo sweethearts of their own. But old habits die hard: their flirting gives way to fighting in the film's celebrated barn-raising scene, a lively acrobatic dance number exuberantly choreographed by Michael Kidd. Big brother chimes in with his own brand of advice--an old-fashioned kidnapping! Donen manages to get away with such a politically incorrect plot by investing the boys with a innocent sweetness, most notably the youngest brother played with genial earnestness by Rusty (Russ) Tamblyn (pre-West Side Story). This modest production became a huge hit and remains one of MGM's best-loved musical comedies, an energetic, high-kicking classic. --Sean Axmaker 
West Side Story (1961) DVD
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Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno. Classic musical based on a smash Broadway play updating Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet to the 1950s era of juvenile delinquency, the film stars Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer as the star-crossed lovers from different neighborhoods--and ethnicities. Inventive song-and-dance numbers, the passionate ballads and the moody sets. Academy Award Nominations: 11, including Best (Adapted) Screenplay. Academy Awards: 9, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor (George Chakiris), Best Actress (Rita Moreno), Best Scoring of a Musical Picture.
Oklahoma! (1955) DVD
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The hit Broadway musical from the 1940s gets a lavish if not always exciting workout in this 1955 film version directed by old lion Fred Zinnemann (High Noon). Gordon MacRae brings his sterling voice to the role of cowboy Curly, and Shirley Jones plays Laurie, the object of his affection. 
The Rodgers and Hammerstein score includes "The Surrey with the Fringe on Top," "Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'," and "People Will Say We're in Love," and Agnes DeMille provides the buoyant choreography. Among the supporting cast, Gloria Grahame is memorable as Ado Annie, the "girl who cain't say no," and Rod Steiger overdoes it as the villainous Jud. 
--Tom Keogh
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That Midnight Kiss 
(1949) VHS
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Starring: Kathryn Grayson, Mario Lanza
Mario Lanza in his film debut about an aspiring opera diva finding the tenor of her dreams in a singing truck driver.
Tea for Two (1950) VHS
Spunky heiress Doris Day cures the blues with Gordon MacRae, Gene Nelson and Eve Arden in a sparkling movie version of No, No Nanette. Evergreen songs: "I want to Be Happy," "Do Do Do," the title tune. Year: 1950 Director: David Butler Starring: Doris Day, Gordon MacRae, Gene Nelson 
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