Best Music Movies of 1951
An American in Paris
Jerry Mulligan is an exuberant American expatriate in Paris trying to make a reputation as a painter. His friend Adam is a struggling concert pianist who's a long time associate of a famous French singer, Henri Baurel. A lonely society woman, Milo Roberts, takes Jerry under her wing and supports him, but is interested in more than his art.
The Tales of Hoffmann
A young poet named Hoffman broods over his failed romances. First, his affair with the beautiful Olympia is shattered when he realizes that she is really a mechanical woman designed by a scientist. Next, he believes that a striking prostitute loves him, only to find out she was hired to fake her affections by the dastardly Dapertutto. Lastly, a magic spell claims the life of his final lover.
A dashing Mississippi river gambler wins the affections of the daughter of the owner of the Show Boat.
The Lemon Drop Kid
When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally cheats gangster Moose Moran out of his track winnings, the Kid promises to repay Moose the money by Christmas. Creating a fake charity for "Apple Annie" Nellie Thursday, the Kid tricks his gang into donning Santa suits and "collecting dough for old dolls" like Nellie who have nowhere to live.
On Moonlight Bay
The Winfield family moves into a new house in a small town in Indiana. Tomboy Marjorie Winfield begins a romance with William Sherman who lives across the street. Marjorie has to learn how to dance and act like a proper young lady. Unfortunately William Sherman has unconventional ideas for the time. His ideas include not believing in marriage or money, which causes friction with Marjorie's father, who is the local bank vice president
Amahl and the Night Visitors
The historic, original, live airing of what would become an annual Christmas tradition throughout the 1950s, this opera tells the story of Amahl, a crippled shepherd boy, and his destitute mother, who provide temporary shelter to three men who are following a star to the newly-born Christ child.
Tom and Ellen are asked to perform as a dance team in England at the time of Princess Elizabeth's wedding. As brother and sister, each develops a British love interest, Ellen with Lord John Brindale and Tom with dancer Anne Ashmond.
On the Riviera
In this fast-paced remake of the Muarice Chavlier vehicle Folies Bergere, talented Danny Kaye plays both a performer and a heroic French military pilot.
Lullaby of Broadway
Pretty Melinda Howard has been abroad singing with a musical troupe. She decides to return home to surprise her mother whom she thinks is a successful Broadway star with a mansion in Manhattan. She doesn't know that her mother is actually a burnt-out cabaret singer with a love for whiskey. When she arrives at the mansion, she is taken in by the two servants who are friends of her mother's. The house actually belongs to Adolph Hubbell, a kind-hearted Broadway producer who also gets drawn into the charade. Hubbell takes a shine to Melinda and agrees to star her in his next show. Melinda also finds romance with a handsome hoofer who's also in the show. All is going well for Melinda except that she wants to see her mother who keeps putting off their reunion.
Comin' Round the Mountain
Al Stewart and Wilbert are magicians doing a stage act when they run into Wilbert's cousin, Dorothy McCoy. They find out that Wilbert's grandfather, Squeeze-box McCoy, had treasure hidden in the hills of Kentucky, which they go to find.
The Great Caruso
Loosely traces the life of tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921). He loves Musetta, in his home town of Naples, and then Dorothy, the daughter of one of the Metropolitan Opera's patrons. Caruso is unacceptable to both women's fathers: to one, because he sings; to Dorothy's, because he is a peasant. To New York patricians, Caruso is short, barrel chested, loud, emotional, unrefined. Their appreciation comes slowly. The film depicts Caruso's lament that "the man does not have the voice, the voice has the man": he cannot be places he wants to be, because he must be elsewhere singing, including the day his mother dies. Throughout, Mario Lanza and stars from the Met sing.
I'll See You in My Dreams
Songwriter Gus Kahn fights to make his name, then has to fight again to survive the Depression.
Here Comes the Groom
Foreign correspondent Pete Garvey has 5 days to win back his former fiancée, or he'll lose the orphans he adopted.
Based on the hit 1951 jingle, this stop-motion animated short briefly follows the titular Suzy Snowflake as she brings joyful snowfall with her, heralding people to play with her before the chance is gone.
Rooty Toot Toot
The story of Frankie and Johnny: Frankie walks into a bar, where she catches her boyfriend Johnny with the sensuous Nellie Bly and kills him in a fit of jealousy.
Happy Go Lovely
B.G. Bruno, a rich bachelor, the head of a successful greeting-card company in Scotland, is essentially a kind man but respectable to the point of stodginess and extreme stuffiness. An American troupe visiting Edinburgh wants to produce a musical in town but has trouble getting backers. Bruno meets several of the leading ladies of the show; through a misunderstanding he doesn't correct they think that he's a newspaper reporter. He falls in love with one of the women, who reciprocates; he grows more lively and friendly, to the surprise of his employees. After a series of mishaps and comic incidents comes a happy ending: a successful show and true love.
Call Me Mister
A G.I. in occupied Japan tries to re-woo his old love, who's putting on a show for the troops.
The Singing Street
Short film documenting children's street games and songs in 1950s Edinburgh.
An innocent bank teller, suspected of embezzlement, is aided by an eccentric, wisecracking waiter.
Ensemble for Somnambulists
Ensemble for Somnambulists was a film Maya Deren made while teaching a workshop at the Toronto Film Society. It was never completed, and is officially "unpublished," but this title has been restored and it screens occasionally along with her other films. It is sort of a preliminary sketch for The Very Eye of Night. ~ David Lewis, Rovi
To impress a movie star, a U.S. Air Force crewman pretends he is soon to see combat. When his lie gets out, chaos ensues.
Rich, Young and Pretty
A rancher's daughter visits Paris to meet her mother and find love.
Grounds for Marriage
Opera singer Ina Massine tries to win back former husband Dr. Lincoln I. Bartlett.
Meet Me After the Show
A Broadway star devises a scheme to win back her husband when she suspects he's being unfaithful.
Painting The Clouds With Sunshine
The story of three gold-digging ladies searching for millionaires. A loose remake of Gold Diggers of 1933.
Madame Flora is terrified when she perceives a supernatural presence during one of her fraudulent séances...
Two on the Tiles
A married couple both face temptations while separated for a few days. The husband meets an attractive female fellow traveler in Paris while the wife accidentally spends a night aboard a Royal Navy ship with a male friend after she is stranded following a party. Despite knowing the essential innocence of both husband and wife, their sinister new butler uses information about their discretions to demand blackmail payments.
A pretty singer/dancer is becoming an actress whereas the playboy crown prince is becoming a monarch. The both will have their clandestine romance interfered with by their changing circumstances.
A Texas carnival showmen team is mistaken for a cattle baron and his sister.
Two Tickets to Broadway
A young woman (Janet Leigh) leaves her small hometown in Vermont and travels to New York City with hopes of becoming a Broadway star.
The Pennywhistle Blues
In a black township in South Africa, a stolen treasure chest passes from hand to hand until it is finally returned to its original owner.
Of Men and Music
A documentary featuring musicians including Artur Rubinstein, Jan Peerce-Nadine Conner, and Jascha Heifetz.
'Sugar Chile' Robinson, Billie Holiday, Count Basie and His Sextet
Short film featuring performances by Frank "Sugar Chile" Robinson, Billie Holiday and Count Basie and his sextet. From the Cinema Apart Collection.
South of Caliente
"King of the Cowboys" Roy Rogers stars with his real-life wife, Dale Evans, in this Western about a hardworking farmer who helps a struggling rancher by transporting her prize horse to Mexico. A fortuitous meeting with a fortune-teller (Charlita) -- who specializes in dire predictions -- sets the tone for their adventures. Burlesque comic Pinky Lee co-stars, playing himself.
A civilian, ordered to report to his draft board, slips off into a dream about the army life ahead of him. He is assigned to a remote desert post where the soldiers crave female companionship. He forges orders that brings a platoon of WACs who are forbidden to fraternize with the soldiers.
Valley of Fire
An outcast gambler hijacks a wagon train of eligible women taken west by a mayor.
Yes Sir, Mr. Bones
A young boy finds himself in a home for retired minstrel acts. He's anxious to find out as much as he can about them, and flashbacks show what it was like back in the days of the minstrel shows.
A movie director travels to Kentucky to seek out local talent for a hillbilly musical film.
A compilation of scenes and acts from various comedy and musical shorts over the years.
The Pearl Harbor Hula
Doris Ake provides the title dance.
Toscanini: The Television Concerts, Vol. 6: Weber, Brahms
The historic Toscanini television concerts with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Broadcast #6 was of a concert on November 3, 1951 from Carnegie Hall, featuring the Overture to Carl Maria von Weber's Euryanthe and Brahms's Symphony No. 1 in C minor op68. (Concerts #6 and #7 were released as "Vol. 4" in the DVD series.)
Toscanini: The Television Concerts, Vol. 7: Wagner
The historic Toscanini television concerts with the NBC Symphony Orchestra. Broadcast #7 was of a concert on December 29, 1951 from Carnegie Hall, featuring music from Wagner's operas. (Concerts #6 and #7 were released as "Vol. 4" in the DVD series.)
It's a talent showcase for a singer.