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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Singing Street
Short film documenting children's street games and songs in 1950s Edinburgh.
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.