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When Broadway Went to Hollywood$
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Ethan Mordden

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780199395408

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199395408.001.0001

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The Last Hollywood Musicals

The Last Hollywood Musicals

(p.213) Chapter 12 The Last Hollywood Musicals
When Broadway Went to Hollywood

Ethan Mordden

Oxford University Press

This chapter analyzes some of the more recent Hollywood musicals, including Grease (1978), Hair (1979), Annie (1982), Fantasticks (1995) The Phantom of the Opera (2004), Les Misérables (2012), and Into the Woods (2014). It then addresses the following questions: How well did the Harms group colonize Hollywood to exploit the unique advantage of the camera? Did any of the Broadway songwriters in this study create a movie career as distinguished as their stage career? And has a Hollywood version of a stage show ever improved on the original? It argues that not a single one of the Broadway songwriters conquered Hollywood in any real sense, because movies are not a writer's medium the way theatre is. The American musical—at least from something like 1925 on—was written for New York, with the strong possibility of a post-Broadway tour to first- and second-audience towns.

Keywords:   Hollywood musicals, movie musicals, composers, songwriters

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