Ask Chris’s Top Ten Groovy Movie Musicals of the 1960s

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The new book Roadshow! The Fall of Film Musicals In the 1960’s has been on my desk taunting me for a few days. I’ve been poking through it and can’t find most of my favorite movie musicals in there. I’ll have to stop singing my concerns and actually read the book to figure out why The Sound Of Music, Mary Poppins, and My Fair Lady ushered in an era of unloved and forgotten 1970s flops like Darling Lili, Song Of Norway, and the Lucille Ball version of Mame.

The gluttony of these baroque films is best summed up in the trailer for What A Way To Go, which promises a “pink Rolls Royce, Parisian beatniks, a painting machine, a slick jetliner complete with orgies… 78 eye-filling sets, and a half-million dollars worth of the most magnificent clothes that Edith Head ever created.”

Maybe I’m just dazzled by the bright colors and eye-popping production design, but here are my personal top ten favorite groovy musicals from the 1960s.   

10. The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living And Became Mixed-Up Zombies!!?

9. The Unsinkable Molly Brown

8. Mad Monster Party?

7. Bye Bye Birdie

6. Beach Party

5. West Side Story

4. Viva Las Vegas

3. The Producers

2. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

1. How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying

 

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Comments

  1. Fred

    January 21, 2014 at 10:11 pm

    Unlike the 2005 remake (based on the 2001 stage production), the original (1967) version of “The Producers” wasn’t really a musical.

    It was a dark comedy, the plot of which involved the production of a musical, and as such featured one or two on-stage musical numbers (most memorably, “Springtime for Hitler”) — but it wasn’t a musical in its own right.

    Mel Brooks returned to the material 30+ years after the original film and wrote the musical score that resulted in the 2001 Broadway musical, based on the original movie.