Posted by: philosopherouge | September 26, 2007

10 Favourite Musical Scenes Pt. 2

Sorry for the delay! You can find 6-10 posted HERE

5. 42nd Street- 42nd Street

Berkeley was the master, which explains why two of his choreographed scenes make my film. I had many to choose from, but my favourite is still 42nd Street. It doesn’t hurt that I ADORE the song, an absolute joy. Then as we move into the second part as we enter the street scene, Berkeley’s talents really become apparent. In one of the most epic musical sequences (perhaps the best example that Berkeley truly understood that the onscreen musical was different from stage. IT’s some of the best camera work in Hollywood. The “rape” scene is the most apparent example of this, as the camera pulls out of the window and has the woman jump out. Musicals don’t get much better than this.

4.  Somewhere Over the Rainbow- The Wizard of Oz

This choice is almost too obvious, but then again it’s for good reason. Topping the AFI list of 100 Songs, it’s one of the few times their choice is almost undisputeable. Somewhere Over the Rainbow is more than just iconic, it defies it’s popular status and still stands high as an individual scene despite it’s reputation. As the Wizard of Oz was one of my favourite films as a child, this scene/song holds a special place in my heart. It’s amazing to think that the scene was almost cut for pacing. What a loss that would have been. Judy Garland has the most beautiful voice, but more than that she knows how to perform it. As I’m watching it right now, some tears are welling up, I’m such a pushover.

3. La Marseillaise- Casablanca

There is no doubt in my mind, that La Marseillaise may be the most stirring national anthem ever written. I came close to including this as a double bill along with the singing of the song in La Grande Illusion. In one of the greatest films of the Hollywood system, La Marseillaise stands out as it’s best scene. It’s not so much about patriotism as it is about dignity, and values. It’s a shame it’s nary reckonized, especially in relation to “As Time Goes By” because I can’t think of a scene that better integrates a “famous” song than here. It’s another song that gets me emotionally. I love how the scene grows in tension as we begin with the Nazi’s singing, and people trying not to look perturbed. Then Lazlo instigates La Marseillaise, and the scene boils over as all the emotion that the characters have been holding in explodes. This is great cinema.

2. Le Tourbillon- Jules et Jim

Moving from the iconic to something a little simpler. To those who don’t know me well this high placement may come as a surprise. The truth is, for me, this is easily one of the most perfect musical scenes because more than just a pretty song, it reveals so much about the characters and their situations. I don’t think a song choice could ever be more perfect, the lyrics parrallel the film so beautifully, without a moment being overbearing or too obvious. Jeanne Moreau has a beautiful voice, and watching her face we feel as though we’re visiting all of Catherine’s moods and whims in 2 minutes.

1. It Don’t Worry Me- Nashville

I feel terrible choosing a spoiler-filled choice as number one. I recommend not watching the clip, or reading on if you have not seen Nashville. Dreams and nightmares meet in this, one of the greatest scenes in cinema (as well as one of the greatest films). In a moment of absolute tragedy, one of the characters who throughout the film has been looking for her chance finally gets her moment. To everyone’s surprise (including her own), she not only can sing but has natural charisma and stage performance. The song is dripping with raw emotions and somehow is tragic and uplifting all in one go. Altman manages to take a film filled with pessimism and darkness, and in a single moment give hope and humanity to characters that have time and time again been robbed of dignity and happiness. The focus on the crowd, and in particular children is without being overtly sentimental or exploitive. A strange number one, I admit, but for me film doesn’t get much better than this.



  1. About time you finished this! I approve of the Berkely… but nothing else. 😉

  2. One out of five is good, anything more and I would be worried about you 😀

  3. No love for “Les Demoiselles de Rochefort” (or Demy in general)?

  4. I haven’t seen it yet! As for Parapluies, I can’t quite distinguish one musical moment that I’d put above the others. Peau D’Ane, well… I love the film but more as a nostalgia thing than actually considering the music top tier.

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