Best Music Movies of 1951
The Tales of Hoffmann
In this film adaptation of the Offenbach opera, 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 (Fred Clark) 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. Radio personality Marilyn Maxwell assists as the Kid's girlfriend, while William Frawley and Jay C. Flippen play the lovable, gruff crooks that fall for the Kid's Santa scam.
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
Fred Astaire (Tom) and Jane Powell (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 (Peter Lawford) and Tom with dancer Anne Ashmond (Sarah Churchill--Winston's daughter).
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.
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.
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 Nelly Bly and kills him in a fit of jealousy.
The Singing Street
Short film documenting children's street games and songs in 1950s Edinburgh.