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Teenage Angst Set to Music
Music has defined teenage angst since the beginning of time. It's great to see in our current age, and overblown use of technology; MP 3 music downloads, Youtube videos and listening to music online that the teen musical is still very popular.
Musicals have been around for a very long time. The concept is a simple one; main characters sing lots of songs and perform dance routines, which are woven into a plot. Most spotlight popular music of the day sung by popular entertainers of the day. Accompanying the genre are humor and musical comedy.
Of course the stage musical made its appearance first, and film musicals allowed the producers to introduce extravagant back drops and scenery not confined or restricted by space.
Garland and Rooney
One of the earliest film musicals, specifically geared toward teenagers, were the Andy Hardy vehicles. Mickey Rooney and Judy Garland were the headliners. The Hardy series had the pair forever putting together rag tag shows for one good reason or another in an effort to showboat their singing and dancing prowess.
Rock Around the Clock
Rock and Roll
Bill Haley and the Comets burst on to film with the musical Rock Around the Clock.
The group shared the film showcase with a host of other popular rockers of the era.
Its very tame compared to today's standards, but was banned in several cities around the world after it's release.
West Side Story
In October 1961 United Artist released a musical directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins was born. The film version was adapted from the Broadway musical with the same name. Based on the play Romeo and Juliet , written by William Shakespeare. The filming was done in Los Angeles, but the storyline local was New York based, where the opening shots were taken.
Behind the scenes was riddled with arguments, backstabbing and conflict, mainly between the directors. The musical was nominated for eleven Academy Award categories and won ten. Winning more awards than any musical in history. The soundtrack was also pure gold earning more money than any other album prior to its release.
West Side Story
Ann - Margaret
Hilarious Tribute to Ed Sullivan
Bye Bye Birdie
This is my coming of age musical. During my usual channel surfing I came upon on AMC (American Movie Channel) and was completely stopped in my tracks. The channel was presenting Bye Bye Birdie . I sat through the movie from beginning to end, singing along, out of tune, knowing every word of the script and songs almost verbatim. Tears welled in my eyes at the end. Yeah I know the movie is corny, but it's my corny teen musical.
Beautiful Ann-Margret, skinny Bobby Rydell, Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke and funny man Paul Lynde. The plot is loosely based on the historic departure of Elvis Presley into the Army. A young fan, Ann-Margret, is picked out of thousands, to appear on the Ed Sullivan show ( Jay Leno of the period) and give idol, Conrad Birdie, an on-air goodbye kiss. Meanwhile the "Elvis" character Conrad Birdie, sings the song of songwriter, Dick Van Dyke, so he and his fiancee' , Janet Leigh can get married. I do so love this movie.
Bye Bye Birdie the Movie
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a British stage play first. Horror Picture show was thrust into eternal limelight when in 1977 audience participation was allowed at a midnight showing. The film was the first to ever have this particular time slot, and since it is the most successful financially, and most well known.
In 2005 The Rocky Horror Picture Show was inducted into the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress. Excellent credentials for a film about a young couple stranded in the middle of nowhere by a flat tire. Who happen to come upon a creepy castle owned or run by a " Dr. Frank N. Furter" a transvestite from Transsexual, Transylvania no less.
The couple are entertained or scare witless by a host of characters right out of a run of the mill horror movie. Loosely based on Frankenstein, the movie is chock full of sexual innuendos, cannibalism, song and dance routines galore. A favorite Halloween get together for it's serious cult following. The film is still in limited release 35 years after its opening.
25th Anniversary Edition
Where Words Fail, Music Speaks - Hans Christian Andersen
Do you have a favorite musical?
Grease Soundtrack at Amazon
One Final Note (pardon the pun)
Okay . . okay before you readers get all in a tizzy because your coming of age musical was not profiled let me explain. There is not enough room on this page to list all the great musical films produced in the last 50 years. I've only cracked the door to allow a few to enter. I tried to pick films that highlighted a generation.
Musical films have been a mainstay in the entertainment industry like no other. We as a people put into music what is difficult to express in words to express the angst of our youth. Most have cult followings; Grease the Musical, Hair the Musical, Hairspray the Musical , Jesus Christ Superstar, Tommy , all the Beach Party movies of the early sixties. Saturday Night Live, High School, the Musical , 1 - 3 and least we forget Glee .
This genre knows no gender, teenage boys and girls alike love these vehicles. Mainly due to the highlight of popular music. Musical movies or shows are not classified as "chick flick" fluff, but satisfying entertainment to all.
More Musicals on Sale at Amazon
Musicals on Sale at Amazon
Nothing separates the generations more than music. By the time a child is eight or nine, he has developed a passion for his own music that is even stronger than his passions for procrastination and weird clothes.