HELLO, DOLLY!
1969, 20th Century Fox, 146 min, USA, Dir: Gene Kelly

This irresistible film adaptation - from one of Jerry Herman’s finest musicals - features the fabulous Barbra Streisand in a kick-out-the-jams performance as matchmaker Dolly Levi, furiously working to make marriages while trying to snag bachelor Walter Matthau for herself. Staged with gusto by dancing legend-turned-director Gene Kelly, and featuring a wonderful supporting cast including Tommy Tune, Michael Crawford and jazz legend Louis Armstrong (whose version of the title song is itself worth the price of admission!).


WAKE UP AND LIVE
1937, 20th Century Fox, 91 min, USA, Dir: Sidney Lanfield

Playing themselves, legendary gossip columnist Walter Winchell and bandleader Ben Bernie are embroiled in a feud (a long-running gag from their respective radio shows) in this energetic musical based on Dorothea Brande’s self-help bestseller. Alice Faye costars as a singer who helps another performer (THE WIZARD OF OZ’s Jack Haley) get over his fear of microphones.


PENNIES FROM HEAVEN
1981, Warner Bros., 108 min, USA, Dir: Herbert Ross

Dennis Potter's beautifully melancholic musical pairs unhappily married Depression-era Arthur (Steve Martin) and sweet, footloose Eileen (Bernadette Peters), setting the stage for bittersweet romance punctuated with astounding Busby Berkeley-style dance numbers. The last-ever MGM musical features eye-popping production design inspired by painter Edward Hopper, superb camerawork (Gordon Willis earned a National Society of Film Critics award for Best Cinematography) and Christopher Walken’s wonderful dance number, “Let's Misbehave.”


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