Best Music Movies of 1953
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes
Lorelei Lee is a beautiful showgirl engaged to be married to the wealthy Gus Esmond, much to the disapproval of Gus' rich father, Esmond Sr., who thinks that Lorelei is just after his money. When Lorelei goes on a cruise accompanied only by her best friend, Dorothy Shaw, Esmond Sr. hires Ernie Malone, a private detective, to follow her and report any questionable behavior that would disqualify her from the marriage.
The Band Wagon
A Broadway artiste turns a faded film star's comeback vehicle into an artsy flop.
Sharpshooter Calamity Jane takes it upon herself to recruit a famous actress and bring her back to the local saloon, but jealousy soon gets in the way.
Members of a circus troupe "adopt" Lili Daurier when she finds herself stranded in a strange town. The magician who first comes to her rescue already has romantic entanglements and thinks of her as a little girl. Who can she turn to but the puppets, singing to them her troubles, forgetting that there are puppeteers? A crowd gathers around Lili as she sings. The circus has a new act. She now has a job. Will she get her heart's desire?
At the home of Viennese composer Johann Strauss lived Johann Mouse. Whenever the composer played his waltzes, the mouse would dance to the music, unable to control himself. One day, when Strauss was away, the house cat played his master's music. When word got out about a piano-playing cat and a dancing mouse, they were commanded to perform for the emperor.
Kiss Me Kate
Fred and Lilli are a divorced pair of actors who are brought together by Cole Porter who has written a musical version of The Taming of the Shrew. Of course, the couple seem to act a great deal like the characters they play. A fight on the opening night threatens the production, as well as two thugs who have the mistaken idea that Fred owes their boss money and insist on staying next to him all night.
Call Me Madam
Washington hostess Sally Adams becomes a Truman-era US ambassador to a European grand duchy.
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.
Young Bart Collins lives with his widowed mother Heloise. The major blight on Bart's existence is the hated piano lessons he is forced to endure under the tutelage of the autocratic Dr. Terwilliker. Bart feels that his mother has fallen under Terwilliker's sinister influence, and gripes to visiting plumber August Zabladowski, without much result. While grimly hammering away at his lessons, Bart dozes off and enters a fantastical musical dream.
Tonight We Sing
Tonight We Sing is a 1953 musical biopic film, directed by Mitchell Leisen, based on the life and career of the celebrated impresario Sol Hurok. It stars David Wayne and Ezio Pinza.
By the Light of the Silvery Moon
Marjorie Winfield's engagement to Bill Sherman, who has just arrived home from fighting in World War I, serves as the backdrop for the trials and tribulations of her family.
The Ford 50th Anniversary Show
The program was the first so-called "Television Spectacular". Ford presented the show without commercial interruption. It is believed to be the first time that Edward R. Murrow appeared on NBC in a professional capacity. Also, in 1953, it was necessary for Ford to buy time on two networks to ensure maximum coverage of US TV households - at the time, neither CBS nor NBC reached 100% of them. The famed 1953 television special celebrating the Ford Motor Company's 50th anniversary brought together two of the greatest leading ladies Broadway has ever known. The highlight of the program is Merman and Martin’s 13-minute duet medley, where they sing the songs that made them famous, plus much more. On their own, Merman sings “Alexander’s Ragtime Band” and “Mademoiselle from Armetières” and Martin performs a brilliantly comic routine about changes in fashion over the first half of the 20th century.
The Story of Three Loves
Passengers on an ocean liner recall their greatest loves.
Main Street to Broadway
In New York, a surly, down-on-his-heels playwright meets a country girl who's giving up trying to act and returning home. He goes with her for inspiration when his agent convinces a stage star to take his next effort. When he returns to Broadway, his girl stays behind and starts seeing a local businessman.
Miss Sadie Thompson
Sadie Thompson winds up stranded on an island and while her boat is being quarantined, she manages to stir up the blood of every marine on the base.
I Love Melvin
Melvin Hoover, a budding photographer for Look magazine, accidentally bumps into a young actress named Judy LeRoy in the park. They start to talk and Melvin soon offers to do a photo spread of her. His boss, however, has no intention of using the photos. Melvin wants to marry Judy, but her father would rather she marry dull and dependable Harry Black. As a last resort, Melvin promises to get Judy's photo on the cover of the next issue of Look, a task easier said than done.
Easy to Love
Two men vie for the heart of a Cypress Gardens swimming star.
Meet Me at the Fair
In 1904, Doc Tilbee, medicine show huckster and champion tall-tale teller, gives a ride to a young boy escaped from an orphanage, where bad conditions (the result of political graft) are being investigated by new appointee Zerelda Wing, who doesn't know that her fiancée is one of the politicians responsible. Tad wants to stay with his new friend Doc, who is attracted to Zerelda, to the discomfiture of his old flame Clara...all amid nostalgic musical numbers.
Teachers at an all-black school fight to save a problem child.
The Desert Song
Shiek Yousseff, poses as a friend of the French while secretly plotting to overthrow them. Apposing Yousseff are the Riffs, whose secret leader, The Red Shadow, is Paul Bonnard, a professor who is studying the desert, and whose attacks on the supply trains intended for Yousseff keep the Riff villages in food. Foreign Legion General Birabeau arrives to conduct an investigation, accompanied by his daughter, Margot. Birabeau hires Bonnard to tutor her, and she is attracted to a Legionaire captain, Claud Fontaine. While the general, Bonnard and Fontaine pay a visit to Yousseff, an American newspaper man, Benji Kidd, discovers a secret way in and out of Yousseff's palace, with the aid of Azuri, a dancing girl in love with Bonnard. The latter is forced to resume his role as the Riffs leader, and kidnap Margot until he can convince her of Yousseff's treachery. But Yousseff's men attack the Riff camp and take Margot prisoner.
The I Don't Care Girl
This semi-film within a film opens in the office of producer George Jessel, who never saw a camera he couldn't get in front of, who is holding a story conference to determine the screen treatment for the life of Eva Tanguay, and Jessel is unhappy with what the writers present him.He tells them to look up Eddie McCoy, Eva's one-time partner, for the real inside story on the lusty and vital Eva. Eddie's version is that he discovered her working as a waitress in an Indianapolis restaurant in 1912, wherein singer Larry Woods and his partner Charles Bennett get into a fight over her and both land in the hospital, and McCoy convinces the manager to put Eva on as a single to fill their spot. She flopped, but McCoy arranges for Bennett to be her accompanist, and she went out of his life. The writers look up Bennett, now head of a music publishing company, who says McCoy's story is phony, and it was Flo Zigfeld who discovered Eva for his Follies.
The Affairs of Dobie Gillis
Grainbelt University has one attraction for Dobie Gillis - women, especially Pansy Hammer. Pansy's father, even though and maybe because she says she's in dreamville, does not share her affection for Dobie. An English essay which almost revolutionizes English instruction, and Dobie's role in a chemistry lab explosion convinces Mr. Hammer he is right. Pansy is sent off broken-hearted to an Eastern school, but with the help of Happy Stella Kolawski's all-girl band, several hundred students and an enraged police force, Dobie secures Pansy's return to Grainbelt.
The Stars Are Singing
After she enters the United States illegally, 15-year-old Polish singer Katri Walenska (Anna Maria Alberghetti) finds herself under the wing of aspiring singer Terry Brennan (Rosemary Clooney). Soon Terry has Katri booked on a TV talent show -- but her immigration status may cause a problem. This musical classic boasts a host of famous performers, including Metropolitan Opera star Lauritz Melchior. [netflix]
The Beggar's Opera
Adaptation of John Gay's 18th century opera, featuring Laurence Olivier as MacHeath and Hugh Griffith as the Beggar.
Remains to Be Seen
A singer and her apartment manager get mixed up in a creepy Park Avenue murder and find themselves facing danger at every turn.
Dance in the Sun
Choreographer Daniel Nagrin performs in a studio and in the sun.
Dangerous When Wet
The health conscious, dairy-farming Higgins family begin each day with an invigorating swim. One day, traveling health-tonic salesman, Windy Weebe, comes to town and suggests they could swim the English Channel. Sponsored by "Liquapep" and coached by Windy, the family arrive in Europe. There it is decided that daughter Katie is the only one strong enough to enter the contest. But while she should be focused on the difficult and risky task ahead, Katie is pursed by dashing Frenchman, André Lanet... This comedic musical is well remembered for the scene when Katie dreams she is swimming with cartoon characters Tom & Jerry!
Small Town Girl
Rick Belrow Livingston, in love with Broadway star Lisa, is sentenced to 30 days in jail for speeding through a small town. He persuades the judge's daughter Cindy to let him leave for one night, so that he can visit Lisa on her birthday. After that he goes on the town with Cindy and she falls in love with him. But Dr. Schemmer wants his son to become her husband.
Money from Home
Herman owes a lot of gambling debts. To pay them off, he promises the mob he'll fix a horse, so that it does not run. He intends to trick his animal-loving cousin Virgil, an apprentice veterinarian, into helping him. Of course, he doesn't tell Virgil what he is really up to. Mistaken identities are assumed, while along the way, Virgil meets a female vet and Herman falls for the owner of the horse.
So This Is Love
Film biography of opera star Grace Moore, released in 1953.
Give a Girl a Break
When the temperamental star of a new Broadway musical revue in rehearsals walks out, director and choreographer Ted Sturgis suggests casting an unknown for the role. When it is announced in the newspapers, throngs of hopefuls show up. The revue's musical composer, Leo Belney, champions ballerina Joanna Moss, while gofer Bob Dowdy is enchanted by novice Suzy Doolittle. Then producer Felix Jordan persuades Ted's former dance partner, Madelyn Corlan, to come out of retirement to try out, much to Ted's great discomfort.
The Jazz Singer
As Jerry Golding scales the heights of show business, he breaks the heart of his father, who'd hoped that Jerry would follow in his footsteps. Sorrowfully, Cantor Golding reads the Kaddish service, indicating that, so far as he is concerned, his son is dead. A tearful reconciliation occurs when Jerry dutifully returns to sing the "Kol Nidre" in his ailing father's absence.
Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor
Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor [also known as The Merry Wives of Windsor Overture] is a 1953 American short musical film produced by Johnny Green. The film consists of the MGM Symphony Orchestra playing the Overture to Otto Nicolai's opera The Merry Wives of Windsor, also conducted by Johnny Green. It won an Oscar in 1954 for Best Short Subject, One-Reel.
Half a Hero
A man moves his family from the big city to the suburbs.
The Eddie Cantor Story
Film biography of entertainer Eddie Cantor, with Keefe Brasselle starring as the popular stage, radio and movie comic.
Here Come the Girls
Bob Hope stars as an inept member of the chorus boy in a turn of the century stage show. After being fired, he finds himself starring acting as a decoy when a killer goes after the real star.
The Girl Next Door
Stage-and-night club star Jeannie Laird buys her first home, and everyone who is anyone comes to her first garden party only to be blinded by smoke from next door. Jeannie charges next door to bawl out her new neighbor and meets comic-strip artist Bill Carter. Bill has devoted himself to his strip, and raising his ten-year-old son Joe since the death of his wife. Joe bases his strip on the everyday happenings of he and his son and is proud of keeping it scrupulously honest. When Jeannie and Bill fall in love, young Joe is hurt, especially when Bill starts using a lot of the father-son time to be with Jeannie. Bill cancels a father-son trip to Canada, and Joe decides to write a letter to Bill's syndicate pointing out that the current plot line of the script being set in Canada isn't honest, since they didn't go.
Let's Do It Again
Composer Gary Stuart (Ray Milland) and his wife, Connie (Jane Wyman), have an argument over her alleged affair with Courtney Craig (Tom Helmore). The Stuarts agree to get divorced, and each tries to move on to a new love: Gary with socialite Deborah Randolph (Karin Booth) and Connie with businessman Frank McGraw (Aldo Ray). However, they start to realize that they still have strong feelings for each other. The Stuarts must make a decision before their divorce is final.
The Hound of Heaven
Recently drowned Hyder Simpson refuses to pass through the Pearly Gates if it means leaving his beloved, possum hunting hound Rip behind.
Oss Oss Wee Oss
Padstow, a fishing village on the coast of Cornwall, celebrates May Day with an ancient custom: two osses (hobby-horses) dance through the town streets accompanied by drums and accordions. All Padstownians participate in the event, which has now become a tourist attraction drawing over tens of thousands of annual visitors. Folklorists Alan Lomax and Peter Kennedy and filmmaker George Pickow collected footage at the festival in 1951, producing a pioneering work in the use of sound, low-light photography, and conversational presentation of narrative. A favorite of Margaret Mead, who used it in her classes, the film circulated widely and continues to have influence today, especially in the neo-Pagan community.
Johnny Green conducts the MGM Symphony Orchestra in a performance of Tchaikovsky's "Capriccio Italien".
Cruisin' Down the River
A New Yorker inherits an old river boat and decides to turn it into a night club while falling in love with Sally Jane, the granddaughter of his worse enemy.
Sweethearts on Parade
Cam Ellerby brings his traveling medicine show to town and it spells glamour and excitement to young Sylvia Townsend.
Old Overland Trail
Anchor is building a railroad and to get cheap labor he gets Black Hawk's Indians to attack and burn the incoming wagon train. This forces the settlers to work for Anchor and he pays them in devalued scrip. When Rex figures out Anchor's swindle, Anchor gets Black Hawk to capture him. When Anchor turns on Black Hawk and shoots him, Black Hawk gets a chance to repay a debt to Rex.
Walking My Baby Back Home
A young man from a wealthy New York family pursues a career as the leader of a dance band. Musical.
The Farmer Takes a Wife
Erie Canal, N.Y., 1850: Molly Larkins, cook on Jotham Klore's canal boat, has a love-hate relationship with her boss. She hires handsome new haul-horse driver Dan Harrow and the inevitable triangle develops (complicated by Dan's desire to farm and Molly's to boat) against a background of the canalmen's fight against the encroaching railroad.
Rural Australian Nellie Melba becomes an opera star in 1900s Europe and the United States.
Down Among the Sheltering Palms
War-weary Captain Willoby and his men are the occupation force on an island of lovely women...and are forbidden to fraternize.
Stardust in Your Eyes
Rockabilly singer Slick Slavin illustrates how popular screen stars will appear in new 3D technology.
A Bedroom Fantasy
Lili St. Cyr is about ready for bedtime, which of course she does in the nude.