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
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