Best Music Movies of 1959
The Five Pennies
The musical biopic of jazz great Red Nichols features a healthy dose of melodrama along with the melodies. As the famed Dixieland cornetist, he runs into opposition to his sound, but breaks through to success. He marries a warm, patient woman (Bel Geddes) and even finds time to raise a family. Then tragedy strikes when their daughter contracts polio. The jazzman puts down his horn to stand by her.
Porgy and Bess
Set in the early 1900s in the fictional Catfish Row section of Charleston, South Carolina, which serves as home to a black fishing community, the story focuses on the titular characters, crippled beggar Porgy, who travels about in a goat-drawn cart, and the drug-addicted Bess, who lives with stevedore Crown, the local bully.
A Hole in the Head
An impractical widower tries to hang onto his Miami hotel and his 12-year-old son.
Juke Box Rhythm
An European princess visiting America helps a record producer organize a big concert.
The Lady is a Square
Neagle stars a Frances Baring, a socialite widow attempting to keep her late husband's symphony orchestra going. Reluctantly she enlists the help of a young pop singer (Frankie Vaughan) who has fallen for Baring's daughter Joanna, played by a young Janette Scott.
Go, Johnny, Go!
Rock-n-roll promoter Alan Freed holds a talent search to develop a new rock star, then must find the elusive, mystery contestant (Jimmy Clanton) who doesn't know he has won.
Say One for Me
Father Conroy has a parish which serves the acting and performance community. When one of his parishioners gets too sick to work, his daughter Holly finds a job working for a dance club of questionable character, which is run by Tony Vincent. Vincent never made the big time, and Father Conroy tries to look after Holly.
Meet Me in St. Louis
This adaptation of the classic 1944 film musical explores the lives of the close-knit Smith family -- mother, father, grandfather, and five children -- who live in St. Louis in the year 1903.
Hey Boy! Hey Girl!
Meant primarily as TV fare, this standard, song-filled romantic drama stars Louis Prima as himself, and his real-life wife Keely Smith as Dorothy Spencer, a devout woman with a good singing voice. Dorothy is active in her local parish which like all parishes, is constantly thinking of ways to raise funds. One of the needy projects is a boys' camp, so when Dorothy is approached by Louis Prima to sing with his band she agrees only on one condition -- that he perform a concert benefit for the parish church and boys' camp. The interactions between Dorothy and Prima lead toward romance and a happy ending, as well as a popular album with the same title song featured in this film. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, Rovi (NY Times Review).
Man of Music
A film profile of Healey Willan, composer, conductor, choirmaster, organist and teacher. In this film you see Dr. Willan at his favourite organ in the church where he is choirmaster, at work in his study, and dropping in for a visit with students at the Royal Conservatory of Music in Toronto.