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Dangerous RhythmWhy Movie Musicals Matter$
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Richard Barrios

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199973842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199973842.001.0001

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Seeing’s Believing

Seeing’s Believing

(p.57) Chapter 3 Seeing’s Believing
Dangerous Rhythm

Richard Barrios

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides an examination of the believability factor, as related to song in film and, in particular, that troublesome, pivotal moment when talking might turn into song and/or dance. It takes a look at the films and performers who could facilitate such a shift: Maurice Chevalier, with his direct address to the film audience, Janet Gaynor, with her straight-on sincerity. The chapter describes the awkwardness of Cecil B. DeMille’s Madam Satan, the smoothness of Fred Astaire, and the dynamism of Gene Kelly’s dance with himself in Cover Girl. Also, the chapter considers the naturalistic use of song Meet Me in St. Louis and Woody Allen’s enthusiastic tribute to that pivot moment, Everyone Says I Love You.

Keywords:   maurice chevalier, Madam Satan, Fred Astaire, Janet Gaynor, Meet Me in St. Louis (1944), Cover Girl (1944), Gene Kelly, Everyone Says I Love You (1996)

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