Thursday, January 20, 2011

Great Musical Numbers from Non Musicals - I

Sometimes the best musical numbers do not necessarily appear in musical films. Sometimes there is a wonderful music filled moment in an otherwise dramatic or comedic film that becomes an iconic moment.

This is going to be an ongoing list but at this moment I only have time for three but as the pistons in my overstuffed brain begin firing I will add more.. . .

Movie: Gilda

Song: Put the Blame on Mame

Actress: Rita Hayworth as Gilda

This scene sums up Rita's character Gilda in one deliciously seductive and playful song. There are actually three musical numbers in this film, but this is the best. Rita Hayworth gets to showcase her svelte figure, sex appeal and shows us why she was one of the GIs top pin-ups during the war. The film is a strange noir revenge tale/love story that gets better and better with each viewing. Hayworth is a genius in this film. Her subtle facial expressions and mannerisms are as breathtaking as this number. What was the color of that dress? In my mind it's RED.

Movie: Cleo from 5 to 7

Song: Sans Toi

Actress: Corinne Marchand as Cleo

This song is a beautiful downer. Written by the great French composer Michel Legrand the song expresses all of Cleo's inner emptiness and existential torment. The piano player in the scene is the songs composer, the GREAT Michel Legrand.

Movie: Whatever Happened to Baby Jane

Song: I've Written a Letter to Daddy

Actress: Bette Davis as Baby Jane Hudson

Well there isn't a another musical number in the history of musical numbers that exposes a characters insanity quite like this one. Jane is a complete whack job and Davis nails the hail on the head with this number. From the costume to that one of a kind voice that caould be classified as the horrible and wonderful at the same time - is it any wonder that this scene has been ripe for parody since the film's release. This is a moment of absolute campy bliss. Savor it!!!

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