A documentary tracing the history of 35 years of musicals on film.
Made in 1964
Compilation of lots of extracts - check copyright especially for feature films.
C/U of the band leader Jack "Shoulders" Payne in tail suit singing in front of a band. He turns and conducts the band in a jazzy number. They play in a nightclub setting. The film was "Jazz Time" made in 1928 and the song was "I'll Never Ask for More."
The 30s were the radio years, Pete Murray tells us. "If anyone wanted to see their favourite radio star, it took the movies to do it." First radio star we see is Henry Hall. He speaks into a microphone straightening his bow tie. The BBC Dance Orchestra is supposed to be featured but they are not in the studio. As Henry plays the piano, the saxophone player rushes in. Then the trumpet player arrives. One by one the members of the orchestra arrive including one who whistles into the microphone before sitting down. Exterior of the radio studio - other band members turn up in cars. One leans out of the car window and plays some milk bottles which happen to be beside the car in a crate. A traffic policeman bobs up and down in time to the music. A musician plays the trombone sitting on an ice cream trolley. The policeman does a great dance. Very funky. C/U of Henry playing the piano. Another pianist rushes in and takes over so that Henry can take his place as conductor. More shots of various musicians. Last musician rushes in with a tuba but too late! This great sequence is from the film "Music Hath Charms".
"Dance Band" was a film made starring June Clyde and Charles 'Buddy' Rogers. They play pianos which move across the stage. Behind them an all girl band pose. Great sequence. They sing a jazzy love song. Could be "Let's Go Turtle Doving". June Clyde does a shimmy and tap routine. The song ends with a kiss, the curtains close.
1936 - Harry Roy sings a song "Make Some Music" from "Everything is Rhythm". Excellent special effect technique is used to show Harry stepping down out of a page of sheet music and standing on the top of the piano whilst a pianist - Ivor Moreton - plays the song. A dancing girl comes out from behind the sheet music. The pianist sings and plays as the two miniature people dance on the top of the piano. Dancing girls playing musical instruments then come along and dance on stairs which are painted to represent bars of music - fantastic! A miniature Harry Roy then jumps down and dances on the keys. The girls keep try to break the end off Harry's clarinet but he keeps on playing. Sensational special effects, very clever for the time. I love it!
C/U of an old fashioned radio (20s or 30s?) C/U of a 50s record player. Bill Murray describes how there has "always [been] films to take the stars and show them to the world". M/S of Frankie Vaughan singing "That's My Doll" against a stage set with a banner reading "The Talk of the Town" over the top. Various shots of the song and dance routine - possibly filmed at The Talk of the Town or may be a set. We see him come offstage into the wings. This sequence is from the film "The Lady is a Square."
Tommy Steele sings a song with Sid James and Bernard Cribbins. The song may be called "Where's the Birdie / Birdy?" There is an elderly man moving an old fashioned camera around a photographers studio trying to take their picture. They dance around and play the fool. Cribbins poses behind a painting representing Hamlet. Tommy Steele ends up posing as a bull fighter. Sequence from the film "Tommy the Toreador". Cliff Richard sings "Bachelor Boy" from the film "Summer Holiday". The Shadows and Melvyn Hayes fool around as he sings then join in with the chorus. Pete Murray sums up how for 35 years the cinema has been "making a song and dance of it."
Credits: Associate Producer - Lionel Hoare, Compilation Editor - Ron Glenister, Executive Producer - Terry Ashwood. Bizarre end sequence where various statues in London sing "For Auld Lang Syne" People in lion's costumes dance around Nelson who has come down from his column holding each others tails. Statues include an Epstein (sp?), Queen Victoria and Eros. Nutty! This is an extract from the film "The Indiscretions of Eve" from 1932.
Note: see other reels. There is a documentation file for this film. Includes music cue sheets and some correspondence between Terry Ashwood and Harry Wynder.