Book

Dangerous Rhythm

Richard Barrios

Published in print May 2014 | ISBN: 9780199973842
Published online May 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780199370115 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199973842.001.0001
Dangerous Rhythm

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History, reflection, criticism, and praise all combine to produce this informed, thoughtful, and exuberant look at the musical film. Over its nine-decade history, the musical has gone through stages of plenty and famine, relevance and inconsequence, acclaim and ridicule. Somehow it manages to keep recurring—from Al Jolson to Les Misérables—and finds ways to serve its audiences and learn from (or disregard) its history. From film’s dawn of sound through the Great Depression and World War II, through the age of television and into the rise of the internet, the musical has constantly found ways to communicate, divert, and captivate. Here, the musical is explored through many of its aspects—its relationship with the stage and with the public, performers and songwriters and filmmakers, animated film, aspects of money and race and sexuality, and the musical’s odd ongoing connection with television. Through all of this, the book draws conclusions about both the importance of the musical to American culture, and the perils and difficulties that constantly befall those who create it. A musical can be marvellous—and just as easily it can be disastrous.

Keywords: musicals; movie musical; American culture; film history; film criticism; popular music; song-and-dance

Book.  384 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Popular Music

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Table of Contents

Introduction All That Jazz in Dangerous Rhythm

Chapter

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Everything’s Been Done Before in Dangerous Rhythm

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Seeing’s Believing in Dangerous Rhythm

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The Art of the Possible in Dangerous Rhythm

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Music Makes Me in Dangerous Rhythm

Chapter

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With Plenty of Money in Dangerous Rhythm

Chapter

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I Get the Neck of the Chicken in Dangerous Rhythm

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Turn on the Heat in Dangerous Rhythm

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