Celebrating 8 years, 400 musicals

Betty Grable and Hermes Pan doing the “Kindergarten Conga” in “Moon Over Miami” (1941)

It all began in Coach Chamness’ World History class in the fall of 2003 during my 9th grade year.

The previous spring, I saw “West Side Story” for the first time and was hyperventallatingly obsessed with the movie. From that I went on a musical binge watching every musical that was on television.

While I wasn’t listening in class, I began a list of every musical I had ever seen.  It began with ones like “Blue Hawaii“, “Singin’ In the Rain,” “The Sound of Music” and continued.  After that, every time I saw a musical, I wrote it down on my folded up, worn piece of spiral notebook paper that I kept in a drawer in our den.

I’m not sure what made me decide to make the list. I think it was because I was seeing so many musicals I wanted to remember all the ones I’ve seen. I saw several thanks to TCM Musical Month in October 2003 which opened doors to “The Broadway Melody” (1929) and  “Footlight Parade.”

Jane Powell singing in “Nancy Goes to Rio”-remake of the Deanna Durbin movie “It’s a Date”

Looking through my musical list is almost like reading a memoir of my life, because I remember nearly what I was doing during every movie: Happily, blissfully watching the Jane Powell movie “Three Daring Daughters” on a beautiful spring day while my dad painted the house. Crying and being sad while watching “Chorus Line” after having my first break-up with a boyfriend.  Sneaking cookies and sitting by the Christmas tree while watching “The Daughter of Rosie O’Grady.”

The list started with about 50 musicals that I had already seen and today I have hit 400 musicals.  It’s a little crazy, I’ll admit. I sit and think back to all the musicals and it doesn’t feel like I’ve seen that many-and looking through the list I can’t remember what some of them are. I think I have literally seen all (or most) of the MGM musicals.

The first 10 musicals on my list were:
1.) West Side Story (1961)
2.) South Pacific (1958)
3.) Blue Hawaii (1961)
4.) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)
5.) Singing in the Rain (1952)
6.) Sound of Music (1965)
7.) Annie (1982)
8.) American in Paris (1951)
9.) Summer Stock (1950)
10.) For Me and My Gal (1942)

The last 10 on my list are:
390.) Time Square Lady (1935)
391.) Swing Fever (1943)
392.) Orchestra Wives (1942)
393.) Song of the Islands (1942)
394.) That Lady in Ermine (1948)
395.) She’s Working Her Way Through College (1952)
396.) Sunnyside Up (1929)
397.) Say One for Me (1959)
398.) Band Waggon (1940) (An English film)
399.) Scrooge (1970)
400.) Coney Island (1943)

It’s funny to look at those two lists: the first 10 are mostly classic musicals that theater students and film fans have seen. The second list is a random list of musicals, unknown to many and have no correlation with each other at all.

I’ve seen alot of wonderful musicals, and I’ve seen a lot of terrible ones.  My least favorites have been “Kiss Me Kate” (1954), “Kismet” (1955), “Yolanda And The Thief” (1945) and “Down to Earth” (1947)- just to name a few. Some of my favorites have been “Romance on the High Seas” (1948),  “Rose Marie” (1936), “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (1964) and “Music for Millions” (1943).

The list will continue to grow with mostly Fox musicals like Alice Faye and Betty Grable. With 400 musicals under my belt, there is still alot to go!

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