Best Music Movies of 1944
Meet Me in St. Louis
In the year before the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, the four Smith daughters learn lessons of life and love, even as they prepare for a reluctant move to New York.
Going My Way
Youthful Father Chuck O'Malley led a colorful life of sports, song, and romance before joining the Roman Catholic clergy. After being appointed to a run-down New York parish, O'Malley's worldly knowledge helps him connect with a gang of boys looking for direction, eventually winning over the aging, conventional Parish priest.
The Three Caballeros
For Donald's birthday he receives a box with three gifts inside. The gifts, a movie projector, a pop-up book, and a pinata, each take Donald on wild adventures through Mexico and South America.
Two soldiers on leave spend three nights at a club offering free of charge food, dancing, and entertainment for servicemen on their way overseas. Club founders Bette Davis and John Garfield give talks on the history of the place.
After breaking up with her fiancé, a gym teacher returns to work at a women's college, but a legal loophole allows him to enroll as one of her students.
A nightclub dancer makes it big in modeling, leaving her dancer boyfriend behind.
And the Angels Sing
The singing/dancing Angel sisters, Nancy, Bobby, Josie, and Patti, aren't interested in performing together, and this plays havoc with the plans of Pop Angel to buy a soy bean farm. They do accept an offer of ten dollars to sing at a dubious night club on the edge of town where a band led by Happy Marshall is playing.
Jammin' the Blues
In this short film, prominent jazz musicians of the 1940s gather for a rare filming of a jam session. This highly stylized chronicle features tenor sax legend Lester Young.
The Merry Monahans
The Merry Monahans is one of the higher-budgeted Universal musicals of the 1940s, even though the storyline is strictly grade-B material. During the first two decades of the 20th century the film concerns a family vaudeville troupe headed by patriarch Pete Monahan (Jack Oakie). Because of his love affair with the bottle, Pete manages to get himself and his family blacklisted from every major vaude house in the country. Though Pete's kids Jimmy (Donald O'Connor) and Patsy (Peggy Ryan) love their dad, they're forced to break away from the act and go off on their own to survive. Eventually, the whole gang is reunited in a shamelessly lachrymose musical finale. Producer-scripters Michael Fessier and Ernest Pagano, whose other works include such offbeat comedies as San Diego I Love You, Frontier Gal and That's the Spirit, manage to keep the proceedings relatively cliché-free, though it's an uphill climb.
Song of Russia
American conductor John Meredith and his manager, Hank Higgins, go to Russia shortly before the Nazi invasion of the Soviet Union. Meredith falls in love with beautiful Soviet pianist Nadya Stepanova while they travel throughout the country on a 40-city tour. Along the way, they see happy, healthy, smiling, free Soviet citizens, blissfully living the Communist dream. This bliss is destroyed by the German invasion.