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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 07 December 2021

With Plenty of Money

With Plenty of Money

(p.139) Chapter 7 With Plenty of Money
Dangerous Rhythm

Richard Barrios

Oxford University Press

This chapter is about the economics of musical film production. Early economical efforts such as Broadway Melody and Gold Diggers of Broadway reaped huge returns, but were followed by overpriced failures like MGM’s unreleased March of Time. Another MGM film, Dancing Lady, was considered the model of efficient cost and profit, while the studio’s later series of Esther Williams films were overwhelmingly profitable. The careful budgeting of a 42nd Street later gave way to the excess cost and financial failure of films like The Pirate and Porgy and Bess, and in the later 1960s the budgets of films like Hello, Dolly! spiralled totally out of control. In the 2000s, a Chicago or Les Miz will do well at a moderate cost, but far more expensive action films are always considered more feasible.

Keywords:   film budgets and grosses, economics of film production, MGM, film failures, Esther Williams

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