Best Music Movies of 1971
Bedknobs and Broomsticks
Three children evacuated from London during World War II are forced to stay with an eccentric spinster (Eglantine Price). The children's initial fears disappear when they find out she is in fact a trainee witch.
Unable to deal with her parents, Jeannie Tyne runs away from home. Larry and Lyne Tyne search for her, and in the process meet other people whose children ran away. With their children gone, the parents are now free to rediscover/enjoy life.
Joe Cocker - Mad Dogs & Englishmen
"Joe Cocker - the Rotating Rocker - and his 42 member communal touring company Mad Dogs & Englishmen with the Master of Space and Time Leon Russell - see them perform in the pleasure palaces of America - it's a moving picture" says the classic film poster. See this spectacular rock 'n' roll tour documentary and get a dramatic visual record that captures the spirit of the hippie era with mind-blowing performances, crazy backstage footage, and spaced-out interviews. Supporting cast includes Claudia Lennear, Rita Coolidge, Sherman Jones reciting "Face on the Barroom Floor," and Canina the dog.
Frank Sinatra: In Concert at Royal Festival Hall
Frank Sinatra: In Concert at the Royal Festival Hall was an CBS musical television special starring Frank Sinatra broadcast on February 4, 1971, of a concert given by Sinatra at London's Royal Festival Hall on November 16, 1970. The special was directed by Bill Miller, and produced by Harold Davison. Sinatra was introduced on stage by Grace Kelly. Kelly had starred alongside Sinatra in the 1956 film High Society, the last film she made before her marriage to Rainier III, Prince of Monaco. Sinatra had been follicularly challenged for many years, hence all the hats in publicity stills, album covers etc. TV directors were forbidden to photograph him from the back because of this. However, at this concert, Sinatra had completed a very successful hair transplant and deliberately turned his back on the main audience a couple of times to acknowledge the audience sitting backstage, along with running his hand over the back of his head to draw attention to his new coiffure.
"Touring makes you crazy," Frank Zappa says, explaining that the idea for this film came to him while the Mothers of Invention were touring. The story, interspersed with performances by the Mothers and the Royal Symphony Orchestra, is a tale of life on the road. The band members' main concerns are the search for groupies and the desire to get paid.
The Doris Mary Anne Kappelhoff Special
This was the first of two one-hour musical specials which were part of CBS' 1968 multi-million-dollar contract with Doris Day's production company, a contract that Day insists to this day was negotiated by her husband and manager Martin Melcher without her knowledge. When Melcher died suddenly in April 1968, Day chose to go ahead and honour the contract, appearing in both specials as well as starring in her eponymous sitcom for five seasons, from 1968-1973.
A Well Spent Life
A tribute to the Texas songster, Mance Lipscomb, considered by many to be the greatest guitarist of all time.
Tales from Muppetland: The Frog Prince
A retelling of the classic fairy tale of The Frog Prince featuring Kermit the Frog, Kermit's nephew Robin, Sweetums, and a princess cursed to say everything wackbards...I mean backwards.
Dames at Sea
Dames at Sea is a musical with book and lyrics by George Haimsohn and Robin Miller and music by Jim Wise. The musical is a parody of large, flashy 1930s Busby Berkeley-style movie musicals in which a chorus girl, newly arrived off the bus from the Midwest to New York City, steps into a role on Broadway and becomes a star. It originally played Off-Off-Broadway in 1966 at the Caffe Cino and then played Off-Broadway, starring newcomer Bernadette Peters, beginning in 1968 for a successful run. The television version was broadcast on the Bell System Family Theater on NBC on November 15, 1971. The cast had extra chorus girls and boys, and there were full production numbers, turning into the very thing it was spoofing. Ann Miller was singled out for praise, especially when "she was allowed to tap out her brassy...temperamental star..."
Tales of Beatrix Potter
The Royal Ballet Company brings Squirrel Nutkin, Tom Thumb, Hunca Munca, Jemima Puddle-Duck, Jeremy Fisher, Pigling Bland, and Pigwig to the screen doing pirouettes and pas de deux in this filmed ballet production directed by Reginald Mills. The film more properly belongs, however, to choreographer Frederick Ashmore, composer John Lanchbery, and costume designer Rostislav Douboujinsky. This literal adaptation concerns the shy Beatrix Potter and how, when all of the toy animals in her room come to life, she emerges from her shell and begins to enjoy life. Sequences include a rowdy dance with Tom Thumb and Hunca Munca destroying a collection of plaster food, a midnight pas de deux between Pigling Bland and Pigwig, and a corps de ballet of dancing mice.