99 Musical Movie Moments I’m Thankful For

Well, here we are once again, on the day before Thanksgiving. Aside from marking the start of the Christmas shopping madness season and being a day of overeating to the point of semi-consciousness while trying to avoid sitting next to relatives one doesn’t like, the fourth Thursday in November is still a time to look back and…well, give thanks. And as a lifelong film buff, it turns out that I have quite a few things to be grateful for when comes to movies. So many, in fact, that I thought I’d compose the following list of my top 99 music-related cinematic moments. This means going beyond the traditional Hollywood musical, of course, to include scenes where song and/or dance play a key role in some way (although I will be skipping straight concert films). Going in more-or-less chronological order, I offer up my thanks to:

The Jazz Singer – Where Al Jolson tried to teach me words to the Kol Nidre and help get me in touch with my (non-existent) Jewish roots.

The Hollywood Revue of 1929 – For the “Lon Chaney’s Gonna Get You if You Don’t Watch Out” number, where chorus girls are menaced by monstrous figures…none of whom, sadly, are actually Lon Chaney.

Animal Crackers – For giving “African explorer” Groucho Marx what would later come to be his TV theme song, “Hooray for Captain Spaulding.”

Duck Soup – With all four Marx Brothers joining in to satirize warfare and stage musical excess with “The Country’s Going to War.”

Flying Down to Rio – The wonderfully over-the-top title song, where chorines dance on top of airplanes above Rio de Janiero.

Gold Diggers of 1933 – If only for the appearance of Billy Barty with a can opener in “Pettin’ in the Park.”

International House – Decades before Cheech and Chong, Cab Calloway and his band got away with performing the song “Reefer Man” in this pre-Hays Code  comedy.

Punch Drunks – In the Three Stooges’ second Columbia short, mild-mannered waiter Curly goes berserk every time fiddler Larry plays “Pop Goes the Weasel.”

Wonder Bar – The horribly over-the-top “Goin’ to Heaven on a Mule” number, where a blackfaced Jolson lands in an afterlife of one stereotype after another.

Bride of Frankenstein – The Monster (Boris Karloff) gets a brief respite from his persecution–and a violin concert sadly cut short–in the home of a blind hermit (O.P. Heggie).

A Night at the Opera – For years I thought “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” came from Verdi’s Il Trovatore. Thanks a lot, Marx Brothers.

Show Boat – Paul Robeson, who never got the respect he deserved from the Hollywood majors, brings all the emotional punch he can to  “Ol’ Man River.”

Shall We Dance – Of all of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers’ dance routines, the most unqiue and fun was their roller-skating duet to “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off.”

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs – The dwarfs head home from their mine to the sounds of “Heigh-ho, Heigh-ho.”

The Wizard of Oz – Dorothy (Judy Garland)  sets out from Munchkinland for the Emerald City, as “Follow the Yellow Brick Road” seamlessly segues into “You’re Off to See the Wizard.”

Ball of Fire – “Drum Boogie,” performed by Gene Krupa and His Orchestra and featuring singing by Sugarpuss O’Shea (Barbara Stanwyck).

Fantasia – Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain” provides background as the Slavic demon Chernabog rises to summon his hellish minions.

Yankee Doodle Dandy – James Cagney goes back to his vaudeville song-and-dance roots and literally hoofs it up the sides of the stage as George M. Cohan in the title tune.

Casablanca – Rick (Humphrey Bogart) nods his okay, and Victor Lazlo (Paul Henreid) leads the musicians and patrons of Rick’s Café Américain in a rendition of “La Marseillaise” that drowns out the Germans’ singing of “Die Wacht am Rhein.”

The Gang’s All Here – was there ever a dance number as wonderfully Freudian as Carmen Miranda’s “The Lady in the Tutti-Frutti Hat,” with scantily-clad chorus girls clutching ever-ripening bananas?

Going My Way – Father O’Malley (Bing Crosby) croons the old Irish lullaby “Too-ra-loo-ra-loo-ral” as he puts Father Fitzgibbon (Barry Fitzgerald) to bed.

Little Red Riding Rabbit – At Grandma’s House, Bugs Bunny distracts the Wolf by repeating everything he says and quickly gets ahead of him, leading to a spirited performance of “Put on Your Old Gray Bonnet (With the Blue Ribbons on It).”

Gilda – Rita Hayworth, at her sultriest, suggests that we “Put the Blame on Mame.”

My Darling Clementine – Tombstone marshal Wyatt Earp (Henry Fonda) asks the town’s new schoolmarm, Clementine Carter (Cathy Downs), to dance with him at a Sunday social at the under-construction church.

Solid Serenade – Neither Tom nor Jerry spoke all that much in their more than 120 theatrical animated shorts, but Tom proved he could certainly croon when he tried to romance his would-be girlfriend with the jazzy number “Is You Is or Is You Ain’t My Baby,” much to Jerry’s consternation.

The Cat Concerto – One year later, though, Jerry got his revenge on would-be concert pianist Tom by sabotaging his performance of that well-known (through cartoons, anyway) work, Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2.

Royal Wedding – Long before Lionel Richie in music videos or Leonardo DiCaprio in Inception, Fred Astaire defied gravity and danced on the walls and ceiling, all to a photo of Sarah Churchill and the song “You’re All the World to Me.”

Limelight – the slapstick piano stage routine that highlighted the one-and-only screen pairing of comedy legends Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton.

Singin’ in the Rain – It’s far too easy to pick Gene Kelly and the title tune, so I opt for Donald O’Connor’s wonderful knockabout rendition of “Make ‘Em Laugh.”

Gentlemen Prefer Blondes – Madonna, I know of Marilyn Monroe’s movies. I’ve seen Marilyn Monroe perform “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend.” Marilyn Monroe was a fantasy of mine. You, Madonna, are no Marilyn Monroe.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – Kirk Douglas singing the rousing sea shanty, “A Whale of a Tale.”

Lady and the Tramp – The title canine couple shares a spaghetti and meatball dinner to the tune of “Bella Notte.”

High Society – “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire,” for personal reasons.

The King and I – “Shall We Dance,” where governess/teacher Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr) turns dance instructor to show the King of Siam (Yul Brynner) the basics of waltzing.

The Bridge on the River Kwai – I first heard it in Getty gas station TV commercials, but now when I hear “The Colonel Bogey March” I instantly think of Col. Nicholson (Alec Guinness) and his men.

What’s Opera, Doc? – Three words: “Kill the wabbit!”

High School Confidential! – Jerry Lee Lewis arrives on a flatbed truck, in front of the title institution, to perform his latest hit song, which just happens to be called “High School Confidential”!

Some Like It Hot – Sweet Sue and her Society Syncopators practice “Running Wild” on a Florida-bound train, with Sugar Kane (Marilyn Monroe) on lead vocals and Daphne (Jack Lemmon) and Geraldine (Tony Curtis) on bass and sax, respectively.

Babes in Toyland – A miniaturized Tom the Piper’s Son (Tommy Kirk) leads his toy army against the wicked Barnaby (Ray Bolger),  to Victor Herbert’s “March of the Wooden Soldiers.”

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) sits in her apartment window and, strumming on her guitar, sings “Moon River” (a tune which composer Henry Mancini crafted with Hepburn’s narrow vocal range in mind).

Flower Drum Song – ’70s TV fans will enjoy the encounter between Barney Miller’s Sgt. Yemana and The Courtship of Eddie’s Father Mrs. Livingston, as Jack Soo warbles his way through the cautionary song “Don’t Marry Me” for Miyoshi Umeki.

Mary Poppins – It’s very tough to pick just one song, but I’m going with the most emotional number in the film, “Feed the Birds.”

My Fair Lady – Stanley Holloway, as Alfred P. Doolittle, singing “Get Me to the Church on Time (I’m Getting Married in the Morning).”

Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! – Director Russ Meyer’s two-fisted T&A (but mostly T) opus offers a hot rod- and hot bod-filled opening sequence, with the unforgettable title tune performed by The Bostweeds.

Batman – The title sequence to the big-screen version of the campy ’60s TV show offered a jazzy, “na-na-na-na”-free version of the theme song and wonderful shots of villains Catwoman, Joker, Penguin and Riddler (each to their signature TV music).

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum – A basso profondo Captain Miles Gloriosus (Leon Greene) arrives in Rome to the tune “Bring Me My Bride.”

The Producers – I’m thankful for “Springtime for Hitler”…and for however Mel Brooks managed to get away with it.

Yellow Submarine – The haunting “Eleanor Rigby” sequence.

A Clockwork Orange – Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and his droogs break into a home and assault the couple living there, all while Alex offers his own sadistic take on “Singin’ in the Rain.”

Deliverance – Can anyone honestly tell me they don’t hear a note or two on a banjo and automatically think of Drew (Ronny Cox) and the hillbilly strummer (Billy Redden) dueting on “Dueling Banjos”?

Pink Flamingos – The one and only Divine goes Jayne Mansfield one better as she strolls the streets of downtown Baltimore, oblivious to the stares of everyone, to “The Girl Can’t Help It” and Little Richard.

Jesus Christ Superstar – Carl Anderson, reprising his Broadway role as Judas, warns Jesus of things to come in “Heaven on Their Minds.”

Live and Let Die – One could pick from several James Bond title sequences, but I have to go with Paul McCartney and Wings in Roger Moore’s 007 debut.

Blazing Saddles – On a Hollywood soundstage, director Buddy Bizarre (Dom DeLuise) attempts to lead his all-male chorines in “The French Mistake,” when a Wild West fight crashes over from the next set.

Phantom of the Paradise – Where glam rock sensation Beef (Gerrit Graham) debut of the song “Life at Last” from the rock opera “Faust” is fatally curtailed by the vengeance-seeking Phantom (William Finley).

Young Frankenstein – Mel Brooks. Gene Wilder. Peter Boyle. “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” ‘Nuff said.

Monty Python and the Holy Grail – Yes, if they’re always performing song-and-dance numbers like “We’re Knights of the Round Table,” Camelot is indeed “a silly place.”

The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Sure, “Time Warp” is  the number everyone thinks of, but my personal fave is the poolside floor show and “Wild and Untamed Thing.”

Tommy – You know what? I prefer Elton John’s version of “Pinball Wizard” to The Who’s. There, I said it.

Eraserhead – “In Heaven,” as performed–with only a few squashed worm-embryo-things–by the effervescent Lady in the Radiator (Laurel Near).

Star Wars – Figrin D’an and the Modal Nodes, playing for your drinking and brawling pleasure daily at the Mos Eisley Cantina.

National Lampoon’s Animal House – What better party tune is there than “Shout,” particularly as rendered by Otis Day and The Knights?

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Steve Martin, making his feature film debut, goofs his way through “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” in one of the all-star rock musical’s few high points.

Apocalypse Now – The U.S. Army helicopters swoop in over the Vietnamese coastline to the strains of Wagner’s “The Ride of the Valkyries.”

Manhattan – Woody Allen’s magnificent (especially in black-and-white) opening ode to his beloved New York, set to Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.”

Monty Python’s Life of Brian – And if you want to be thankful, certainly you should “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life.”

The Muppet Movie – Piano player Rowlf the dog tries to help Kermit forget his woman (pig?) problems with “I Hope That Somethin’ Better Comes Along.”

The Blues Brothers – Nearly half a century after singing it in a Betty Boop cartoon, Cab Calloway gets to reprise his signature song, “Minnie the Moocher.”

Fame – the rousing closing performance of “I Sing the Body Electric.”

Shock Treatment – Richard O’Brien’s little-seen follow-up to Rocky Horror did offer several memorable songs, with “Little Black Dress”–sung by Janet Weiss (Jessica Harper)–my favorite.

Rocky III – Is there a more manly musical moment in Hollywood history than Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) training on the beach with Apollo Creed (Carl Weathers) to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”?

Star Struck – “Monkey in Me,” as performed by Jackie Mullins (Jo Kennedy) and The Wombats in an Australian New Year’s Eve talent contest.

The Big Chill – How many Baby Boomer funerals over the next 40 years, I wonder, will feature organ versions of The Rolling Stones’ “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” thanks to this movie?

Purple Rain – There are some great Prince songs, but none of them can hold a funky candle to “Jungle Love” by Morris Day and The Time.

This Is Spinal Tap – When we learn the difference between a six-foot and a six-inch “Stonehenge.”

The Breakfast Club – “We Are Not Alone,” with the detention-serving quintet getting their oh-so-’80s dance groove on in the school library.

Pee-wee’s Big Adventure – A well-stocked jukebox and a pair of platform shoes is all Pee-wee Herman needs for a performance of “Tequila” that helps him get in a biker gang’s good graces.

Blue Velvet – Dean Stockwell in kabuki-like makeup  + Roy Orbison’s “In Dreams” + director David Lynch = a wonderfully strange and twisted musical memory.

Little Shop of Horrors – Ellen Greene, re-creating her off-Broadway role of Audrey. movingly blends laughs and pathos in “Somewhere That’s Green.”

True Stories – “Country Bachelor” Louis Fyne (John Goodman) wows the audience at the Virgil, Texas Sesquicentennial talent show with his performance of “People Like Us.”

Who Framed Roger Rabbit – the slapstick piano duet (to Lizst’s Hungarian Rhapsody, of course) that marked the one-and-only screen pairing of cartoon comedy legends Daffy Duck and Donald Duck.

Do the Right Thing – The title sequence, Where Rosie Perez gets a few punches in to Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power.”

The Fabulous Baker Boys – Michelle Pfeiffer, in a slinky red dress, croons “Makin’ Whoopee” atop a piano.

The Little Mermaid – The Oscar-winning “Under the Sea.”

Gremlins 2: The New Batch – The title creatures perform a spirited version of “New York, New York” that morphs–much like the gremlins themselves can do–into a wild Busby Berkeley tribute.

The Silence of the Lambs – It was a minor dance club hit in the late ’80s, but does anyone now hear “Goodbye Horses” by Q Lazzarus without thinking of Jame Gumb ( Ted Levine) and his disturbing little dance?

Reservoir Dogs – Likewise, to a generation of moviegoers the ’70s Stealers Wheel fave “Stuck in the Middle with You” will now always be associated with Quentin Tarantino’s debut feature and Michael Madsen’s dancing.

The Nightmare Before Christmas – “This Is Halloween” and the introduction of Pumpkin King Jack Skellington.

Pulp Fiction – What else but the dance contest that Mia (Uma Thurman) and Vincent (John Travolta) take part in at Jack Rabbit Slim’s?

Reality Bites – I tried dancing to “My Sharona” at a convenience store shortly after seeing this film. Let’s just say it didn’t end well.

Happiness – The closing credits, where Michael Stipe and Rain Phoenix perform the achingly bittersweet title tune.

South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut – “Up There,” film/series creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s spot-on send-up of all those inspiring Disney cartoon songs.

Toy Story 2 – How does anyone not shed a tear when Jessie sings “When She Loved Me,” and how did this not win the Best Song Academy Award?

O Brother, Where Art Thou? – “I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow,” by The Soggy Bottom Boys.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy – “Afternoon Delight” never sounded better than it did as performed by Ron (will Ferrell) and his KVWN Channel 4 News Team compadres.

Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle – for title stars John Cho and Karl Penn’s road trip sing-along to Wilson Phillips’ “Hold On.”

Shaun of the Dead – I will never listen to Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” the same way again.

(500) Days of Summer – Does that dating website whose TV spots feature Hall and Oates’ “You Make Me Feel Brand New,” probably due to its use in a marvelous music video/dance sequence here, know how the romance the song celebrated in this film turned out?

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – The opening credits, with Led Zeppelin’s “Immigrant Song” as performed by Trent Reznor and Karen O.

Well, that brings us to number 100. I still have a few tunes on my list, but instead I’ll leave the 100th entry up to you, dear readers. Please add your voice to the chorus and chime in by writing about your favorite musical movie memories in the comments.






  • http://twitter.com/DYRMovies DoYouRememberMovies

    Great list! I have to say the scene in Almost Famous when everyone on the tour bus sings “Tiny Dancer”. Such a great movie moment.

    • kabakov keats

      Let’s all share the love for Tim Thomerson’s ”dancing” attempt to ”Sunshine of Your Love” in UNCOMMON VALOR from 1983!

  • sandy.green57

    George Sanders singing “Marrying for Love” in Call Me Madam – oh boy, can that man sing, his voice makes me melt!

  • sandy.green57

    George Sanders singing “Marrying for Love” in Call Me Madam – oh boy, can that man sing, his voice makes me melt!

  • Wayne P.

    Great list and very interesting to note also that, if am not mistaken, the Germans, led by Conrad Veidt, were actually singing “Deutschland, Uber Alles” in that sequence…but correct me if am wrong! I would personally substitute the fine versions of “Knock on Wood” and/or “As Time Goes By” by the wonderful Dooley Wilson for the best numbers from that excellent movie score.

    • Wayne P.

      Of course, I forgot to reference Casablanca as the movie in my comments above so maybe will have to play it again, Sam…;)

  • OZ ROB

    An entertaining list ! going with your theme, one of my favorites would have to be the music and merriment from the wedding banquet scene in Freaks,1932,finishing off with the Gooble-Gobble chant with harmonica accompaniment..

  • Gary Cahall

    OZ ROB, You have no idea how close the wedding banquet in Freaks came to making my list, but I ultimately decided it was more of a chant than a song. And Wayne P., the song that Major Strasser and his men are singing (after taking over Sam’s piano) is indeed “Watch on the Rhine.” The question is, did Waner Bros, choose that piece because they knew had a Bette Davis/Paul Lukas drama, also entitled Watch on the Rhine, due for release a few months after Casablanca?

    • Wayne P.

      Thanks Gary, and one thing I know for sure…The great montage sequence from Rick and Ilsa’s time in Paris to the music of Perfidia also helped create a lasting impression that the overall score from Casablanca has a lot to do with setting the mood for audiences to consider this one film perhaps truly the best of all time!

  • shuggiplum

    I am impressed with so many scenes that you plucked out of a grand history of musical moving movies, and I would say you hit quite a few. How about the Hasidic bottle dance in Fiddler? Oe the dance of the young lovers by the River, dancing to a changing world, significant to the underbelly of that movie.

    In out of Africa, it’s true Merryl and Bob aren’t dancing or singing as he flies her over the African terrain, way up there in the open plane, but that music swept me up, and my head sure was dancing.

    Thanks for the list, it brought a smile to my memories of great moments.

    Barbara from Boston
    classic movie nut

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713983697 Gordon S. Jackson

    Of all of the above listed, my personal favourite comes from “Casablanca.” Not mentioned, but high on my list is Judy Garland contrasting the need-to-be-strong, put-on-a-happy face final number, Lose That Long Face” in “A Star is Born”, Judy and Fred kicking it up as “A Couple of Swells” in “Easter Parade”, Fred and Kay Thompson’s “Clap Your Hands” routine in “Funny Face”, any number of Barbra Streisand numbers from “Funny Girl” with my personal favourite being the first one, “I Am the Greatest Star”, Streisand again in the 1976 “A Star is Born” final number seamlessly combining “With One More Look at You” with “Watch Closely.” Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong having fun with “Now You Has Jazz” from “High Society”, definetly Danny Kaye and Louis Armstrong putting a whole new spin on “The Battle Hymn of the Republic in “The Five Pennies” and the incomporable Gwen Verdon headlining the awesome “Two Lost Souls” number in “Damn Yankees.” A non-musical number that stands out for me is that wonderful song and dance number (whose title escapes me) from “Big” (which I have only seen once, when originally released) that of course features Tom Hanks (and another fine actor whose name escapes me.) And yes, there are others but I think you get the idea.

    Thank you Gary Cahall for jogging the memory.

  • bachelorsdaughters

    Doris day singing Secret Love. Vera Ellen doing Mandy from White Christmas and Ray Milland composing Stella by Starlight for Gail Russell in The Uninvited.

  • frankiedc

    Most of my best music memories come from the classic MGM musicals, Ann Miller tapping and singing her heart out in the Too Darn Hot number from Kiss Me, Kate…Ava Gardner looking like the most beautiful woman in the world as the camera pans into her body and face as she sings “Cant Help Loving that Man” in Showboat…Ann Sothern wistfully singing “The Last Time I Saw Paris” in Lady in the Dark…Dennis Morgan warbling “A Pretty Girl Is Like a Melody” as a spectacular show of female beauty whirls by in “The Great Ziegfield”…Morgan again in “Ziegfield Girl” singing “You Stepped Out of a Dream” to Lana Turner, Hedy Lamarr and Judy Garland. Other memorable songs include Ida Lupino singing “One for the Road” in “Roadhouse”, Marilyn Monroe’s dynamic “Heat Wave” in “No Business Like SHow Business”, Irene Dunne’s emotional “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes” from “Roberta”, Aretha Franklin jamming with the Blues Brother in the movie of the same name, Tina Turner burning up the screen with her number in “Tommy”, and any number by Angela Basset channeling Tina in “Whats Love Got to Do with It”, Marian Cotillard breaking hearts as she channels Edith Piaf in “La Vie En Rose”,the “Cellblock Tango” number from Chicago, the over the top “Prima Donna” and “Masquerade” numbers from “The Phantom of the Opera”, Bob Hope and Shirley Ross duetting “Thanks for the Memory”,almost all of the Warner Brothers Busby Berkeley production numbers from those thirties movies, Fred and Ginger in those early RKO musicals, Julie Andrews spinning on top of a hill at the opening of “The Sound of Music”. And, of course, there are classic musicals where every song is a gem, “Gigi”,”Singin in the Rain”,”The Bandwagon”,”Carousel”,and “Snow White”.

  • Richard

    In “Heaven Knows, Mr. Allison” Robert Mitchum singing “Don’t Sit Under The Apple Tree” to Deborah Kerr is a really wonderful moment. Another is singing sensation Lee Marvin groaning his way through “They Call the Wind Mariah” In “Paint Your Wagon”. Two tough guys crooning their way into our hearts.

    • fbusch

      “They call the wind Mariah”, from Paint your Wagon done by Harv Presnell wirh a group of miners waiting for the rain to stop.

  • Richard

    CORRECTION…That Lee Marvin song in “Paint Your Wagod” was “Wandering Star” NOT “They Call The Wind Mariah” Sorry about that slip up folks. Richard

  • Joel

    With A Song In My Heart – The wonderful Susan Hayward singing and dancing to the title song.

  • chrijeff

    Any soundtrack by John Williams, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Goldsmith, James Horner, Hans Zimmer, or any of my other favorite composers.

    • jpp452

      Hear, hear! Mr. Bernstein is a big favourite of mine.
      But I have to add Bernard Hermann, Alex North, Miklos Rozsa, Franz Waxman and Dmitri Tiomkin. What about David Raksin’s breath-taking theme for “Laura”? and Max Steiner’s score for “Gone With the Wind” and dozens of other films? So many other names, too.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Benedict-A-Cipponeri/1422642160 Benedict A. Cipponeri

    Ravel’s Bolero from Allegro Non Troppo. Most people think of Bo Derek and Dudley Moore, but I think of marching dinosaurs instead because of this film.

    • Suzanne Scherrer

      When I hear Ravel’s Bolero, I think of the marvelous dance at the end of “Bolero” (1934) with George Raft and Carole Lombard. 🙂

  • http://www.facebook.com/josh.ortiz.9809 Josh Ortiz

    In ‘Royal Wedding’ Fred Astaire is dancing to a picture of his girlfriend Sarah Churchill, NOTJane Powell who played his sister.
    .In the Movie Fred and Jane sing the comic song ‘How Can You Believe Me When I Say I Love You When You Know I’ve Been A Liar All My Life’, the longest song title in a Movie.

    • Gary Cahall

      Looks like I fell from the ceiling on my head when I goofed up on Sarah Churchill’s name, Josh. Thanks for catching my misstep…and for the trivia about “How Can You Believe Me…”

  • arguellogomez

    “Isn’t It Romantic” from “Love Me Tonight”.
    “Mandy” from “White Christmas”.
    “Begin the Beguine” from “Broadway Melody of 1940”.
    “The Best Things Happen While You’re Dancing” from “White Christmas”.
    “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady”.
    “Tonight Quintet” from “West Side Story”.
    “On the Street Where You Live” from “My Fair Lady”.
    “Take Back Your Mink” from “Guys and Dolls”.
    “A Vucchella” from “The Great Caruso”.
    “You Gotta Have a Gimmick” from “Gypsy”.
    “Moonglow/Picnic” from “Picnic”.
    “Two Lost Souls” from “Damn Yankees!”.
    “The Night They Invented Champagne” from “Gigi”.
    “But the World Goes ‘Round” from “New York, New York”.
    “Le Jazz Hot” from “Victor/Victoria”.
    “If You Believe” from “There’s No Business Like Show Business”.
    “How Long Has This Been Going On?” from “Funny Face”.
    “Dinah” from “Show Business”.
    “My Hero” from “The Chocolate Soldier”.
    “You’ll Never Walk Alone” from “Carousel”.

  • Billg

    The Beatles, in HELP! — The gorgeous sequence in the recording studio when they do “You’re Gonna Lose That Girl.”

  • George Matusek

    The Irving Berlin song “Let’s Go Slumming” in the 1937 film “One the Avenue” is sung by Alice Faye and is then hilariously parodied by the Ritz Brothers with Harry Ritz in drag dressed like Alice Faye — during this Harry rapidly twirls his eyeballs. Another musical highlight is when Dick Powell sings “I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm” to Alice. A great underappreciated musical film! Also, there are lots of great Jerome Kern songs in the 1936 Astaire-Rogers movie “Swing Time” including “The Way You Look Tonight” and “A Fine Romance” (sung outdoors with snow falling — beautiful!).

    • George Matusek

      Correction — movie title should be “On the Avenue.”


    In THE KING AND I Deborah Kerr is teaching Yul Brynner to polka, not waltz, and Ann Sothern sings THE LAST TIME I SAW PARIS in LADY BE GOOD, not LADY IN THE DARK. Very near the top of my list is Diane Keaton’s SEEMS LIKE OLD TIMES from ANNIE HALL.

  • ILMer

    There is no question….the “La Marseillaise” sequence from Casablanca. It still gives me butterflies in my stomach every time I watch it.

  • nodnarbd

    This is a great list. As I was reading it I thought of a great addition that I forgot by the end of the list. I hope it comes back to me, but in the meantime I would like to offer a selection from “Cabaret”: the chilling “Tomorrow Belongs to Me”, although I am partial to the cowbell in “Money, Money, Money”.

  • Mike in Oz (down under)

    We get something from THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO but not the ‘Barn Raising’ sequence from 7 BRIDES FOR 7 BROTHERS, ‘If I Loved You; from CAROUSEL (stage musical voted the by TIME as the Musical of the 20th Century),’Bali H’ai’ from SOUTH PACIFIC (color filters notwithstanding), ‘Do Re Mi’ from THE SOUND OF MUSIC’, ‘Hey Big Spender’ from SWEET CHARITY and nothing from CARMEN JONES, PORGY AND BESS or a Lubitsch musical? P.S. I know Robeson is held in high esteem but I have always found William Warfield’s rendition of ‘Ol’ Man River’ more spine-chilling.

    • jpp452

      I’d pick almost every song from SHOW BOAT. That, and not CAROUSEL, was truly the stage musical of the 20th Century, and possibly for all time.
      Of course, who can forget the two palookas singing “Brush Up Your Shakespeare” from KISS ME KATE?

  • SimbasGuard

    I really love Can You Feel The Love Tonight From The Lion King, it really captured the emotions felt by Simba And Nala

  • Barbara Barley

    25 yrs ago i recorded jeanette macdonald/ nelson eddy films. these lovely films are never shown on tv, also i never saw any in your list.so i treasure my recordings. iknow i can buy these films on the internet im just mift that there films are never mentiond. Barbara

  • Lorraine M.

    Great list, but I submit the most memorable musical moment from “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” was Jessica’s Glida-esque nightclub number “Why Don’t You Do Right?” (with Amy Irving supplying the sultry vocal).
    I’d also add Bob Fosse’s brilliantly choreographed “Take Off With Us” and “Everything Old Is New Again” from “All That Jazz,” Jessica Harper’s heartbreaking, near-homicidal desperation as she sings “It’s A Sin to Tell A Lie” to cheating hubby Steve Martin’s back in “Pennies From Heaven,” and Salma Hayek’s erotic undulating to Tito & Tarantula’s “After Dark,” just before vampire hell breaks loose in “From Dusk ‘Til Dawn.”

  • Cara

    Funny Girl. Barbra Steisand. Don’t Rain on My Parade. Incredible.

    • Cara

      Also, Gordon McRae singing Oh What a Beautiful Morning in Oklahoma.

  • ganderson

    “Neighbors lend an ear, for you’re now about to hear, the Ballad of Cat Ballou. It’s a story newly made and Professor Sam the Shade and the Sunrise Kid are singing it for you.” Loved the song and how seamlessly it helped the story along – it was one of the most memorable aspects of ‘Cat Ballou.’ And don’t get me started on the faultless choice of Stubby Kaye and the immortal Nat King Cole to play the roles of ‘the shouters’. Trivia question: the song was nominated for an Academy Award – who sung it at the awards ceremony? The Smothers Brothers. Great list!

  • Suzanne Scherrer

    It’s nice to see some love for Star Struck (1982) and Shock Treatment (1980) on the list. I’d add Eartha Kitt singing “Chantez Les Bas (Sing ’em low)” to an adoring Nat King Cole in St. Louis Blues (1958). And Bessie Smith’s immortal version of the title track of her short sbuject from 1929, St. Louis Blues.

  • EldersburgRick

    CABARET where the Hitler Youth member sings “Tomorrow belongs to me and ZULU, where the Zulus sing their war chant, and the Welsh soldiers respond by singing “Men of Harlach.”

    • Suzanne Scherrer

      “Tomorrow Belongs to Me” always gives me chills.

  • Mario Brescio

    Everything listed here is great and I could come up with a
    hundred more music-related cinematic moments, but these three came to mind

    Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? (1962), Bette Davis
    sings “I’ve Written a Letter to Daddy.”

    Santa Claus is Comin’ To Town (1970), Robie Lester
    singing “My World is Beginning Today.”

    Grease (1978), Stockerd Channing as Bette Rizzo
    singing “There are Worse Things I Could Do.”

  • jumbybird

    Travolta striding to “Staying Alive” in Saturday Night Fever. And no love for all the wonderful musical numbers from so many Disney Animated movies?

  • rapalmi

    “We Don’t Need No Education” from PINK FLOYD THE WALL, and “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” from PAT GARRETT AND BILLY THE KID.

  • tony vega

    Mel Brooks & Ann Bancroft singing “Georgia Brown” in Polish in the movie To Be Or Not To Be.

  • tony vega

    Hattie McDaniel singing “Ice Cold Katy”. The movie was Thank Your Lucky Stars. Lena Horne & Dennis Morgan singing anything.

  • jpp452

    A bit off topic, but……
    An early DVD edition of Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest” included an option to turn off the film soundtrack and play only Bernard Herrmann’s film score. I don’t know if later/current editions of the DVD still have that option.
    If ever you want a lesson in the importance of how a film score augments its film, this is your graduate study. Having seen the film several times previously, I was fully prepared to appreciate the effect of the music on scenes of tension and suspense, humour and love.

  • classicsforever

    I still very much enjoy the music in “Once Upon A Time In The West”. Both beautiful and haunting. I don’t think I’ve seen another movie where the music fits it so perfectly.