Best Music Movies of 1974
The film begins on a train journey with Gustav Mahler (Robert Powell) and his wife Alma (Georgina Hale) confronting their failing marriage. The story is then recounted in a series of flashbacks (some of which are surrealistic and nightmarish), taking one through Mahler's childhood, his brother's suicide, his experience with anti-semitism, his conversion from Judaism to Catholicism, his marital problems, and the death of his young daughter. The film also contains a surreal fantasy sequence involving the anti-Semitic Cosima Wagner (Antonia Ellis), widow of Richard Wagner, whose objections to his taking control of the Court Opera were supposedly removed by his conversion to Catholicism. In the process, the film explores Mahler's music and its relationship to his life.
The Little Prince
Based on the story by Antoine deSaint-Exupery, this magical musical fable begins as a pilot (Richard Kiley) makes a forced landing on the barren Sahara Desert. He is befriended by a "little" prince from the planet Asteroid B-612. In the days that follow, the pilot learns of the small boy's history and planet-hopping journeys in which he met a King, a businessman, an historian, and a general. It isn't until he comes to Earth that the Little Prince learns the secrets of the importance of life from a Fox (Gene Wilder), a Snake (Bob Fosse), and the pilot.
The Perry Como Christmas Show
The first of Perry Como's Christmas specials includes appearances by Rich Little and figure skater Peggy Fleming as well as performances by the Carpenters and by Perry Como himself. Also featured a reenactment of the Birth of Jesus Christ.
A Poem Is a Naked Person
Les Blank's first feature-length documentary captures music and other events at Leon Russell's Oklahoma recording studio during a three-year period (1972-1974).
The film focuses on eccentric Mame Dennis, whose madcap life is disrupted when her deceased brother's son Patrick is entrusted to her care.
Glenn Gould: The Alchemist
Filmmaker Bruno Monsaingeon visits piano virtuoso Glenn Gould more than ten years after his self-imposed exile from the stage, which results in a mixture of interview and performance.
Frank Sinatra: The Main Event
Charged with the electricity of a heavyweight prizefight, The Main Event was filmed live at Madison Square Garden, a venue usually reserved for sporting events and rock 'n' roll concerts.
Leonard Cohen: Bird on a Wire
"Bird on a Wire" follows Leonard Cohen on his 1972 European tour.
One of Mark Twain's best-loved stories becomes a screen musical in this family-friendly adaptation. Mischievous Huckleberry Finn (Jeff East) is a 15-year-old boy who has long had a difficult relationship with his often violent father. When Dad tried to kidnap him, Huck decides to run away from home, and heads out of town on a raft. Huck is soon joined by Jim (Paul Winfield), a runaway slave who is no more eager to see his master than Huck is to see his father. As the two friends make their way down the Mississippi, they're faced with a variety of challenges and adventures, including a run-in with a pair of shabby but dignified actors, The King (Harvey Korman) and The Duke (David Wayne). Produced in association with Reader's Digest magazine, which in 1973, scored a box-office hit with a musical version of Twain's Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn featured original songs by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, who also wrote the songs for a handful of Disney hits, including Mary Poppins.
Journey Back to Oz
Revisit the enchanting Land of Oz as Dorothy and Toto return to find the Scarecrow as ruler of the Emerald City. Unfortunately for the new mayor, the wicked Mombi is conspiring to take over the city for herself. With the help of the Tin Woodsman, the Cowardly Lion and other familiar friends, the brave lass from Kansas sets out to save Oz. This animated musical film features an impressive voice cast, including Liza Minnelli and Ethel Merman.