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"Singin' in the Rain" Tops List of 25 Greatest Movie Musical by AFI

Posted on Friday, September 8th, 2006. Last Updated on Friday, September 8th, 2006 12:50 PM by Scott Jentsch

Press Release

OTHER HONOREES INCLUDE WELL-LOVED MUSICALS WEST SIDE STORY, THE WIZARD OF OZ, SOUND OF MUSIC AND CABARET

Gene Kelly Dances in Singin' in the RainLOS ANGELES (September 3)—American Film Institute (AFI) revealed the top 25 movie musicals of all time in The Big Picture—AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals, a one-night only presentation produced by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in cooperation with AFI. A jury of over 500 film artists, composers, musicians, critics and historians selected the song-and-dance classic SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN as the most memorable movie musical of all time.

Rounding off the top 10 were WEST SIDE STORY (#2); THE WIZARD OF OZ (#3); THE SOUND OF MUSIC (#4); CABARET (#5); MARY POPPINS (#6); A STAR IS BORN (#7); MY FAIR LADY (#8); AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (#9); and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (#10).

Spanning a century of film music and counting down from 25 to number one throughout the evening, Director John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra performed excerpts from each of the winning musicals, many of them accompanied by favorite movie scenes shown on the Bowl’s big video screens. AFI has produced nine CBS Television Events that comprise AFI’s 100 Years… series, but this is the second time an AFI countdown was revealed before a live audience, following the success of last year’s AFI’s 100 Years of Film Scores.

The honorees are:

1 SINGIN' IN THE RAIN 1952 MGM
2 WEST SIDE STORY 1961 United Artists
3 WIZARD OF OZ, THE 1939 MGM
4 SOUND OF MUSIC, THE 1965 Twentieth Century-Fox
5 CABARET 1972 Allied Artists
6 MARY POPPINS 1964 Disney
7 STAR IS BORN, A 1954 Warner Bros.
8 MY FAIR LADY 1964 Warner Bros.
9 AMERICAN IN PARIS, AN 1951 MGM
10 MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS 1944 MGM
11 KING AND I, THE 1956 Twentieth Century-Fox
12 CHICAGO 2002 Miramax
13 42ND STREET 1933 Warner Bros.
14 ALL THAT JAZZ 1979 Twentieth Century-Fox
15 TOP HAT 1935 RKO
16 FUNNY GIRL 1968 Columbia
17 BAND WAGON, THE 1953 MGM
18 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942 Warner Bros.
19 ON THE TOWN 1949 MGM
20 GREASE 1978 Paramount
21 SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS 1954 MGM
22 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 1991 Disney
23 GUYS AND DOLLS 1955 MGM
24 SHOW BOAT 1936 Universal
25 MOULIN ROUGE! 2001

Twentieth Century Fox

Created as a sidebar to AFI’s popular AFI’s 100 Years... series, AFI’s Greatest Movie Musicals continues the mission of this program—to reignite an interest in classic American cinema. This theme additionally befits the Hollywood Bowl’s annual movie night, which brings to life the music of the world's most beloved films.

AFI’s 100 Years… series has garnered considerable attention from movie lovers around the world—and consistently sparks national discussions of America's film history. Previous programs within this series have included AFI 100 Years…100 Movies (1998), ...100 Stars (1999), ...100 Laughs (2000), ...100 Thrills (2001), ...100 Passions (2002), ...100 Heroes & Villains (2003), ...100 Songs (2004), ...100 Movie Quotes (2005) and ...100 Cheers (2006).

About the Jury Process

AFI distributed a ballot with 250 nominated movie musicals to a jury of over 500 leaders from the creative community, including composers, musicians, film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors and cinematographers), critics and historians.

Due to the extensive number of memorable movie musicals in American film, jurors were also allowed to write in votes for musicals that did not already appear on the ballot. The jurors were asked to consider the following criteria in making their  selections:

MUSICAL
A feature-length American film* in which music and lyrics significantly advance the plot, develop character or are otherwise integral to the film narrative.

HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE
Musicals that have left an indelible mark on the history of the moving image—through innovation in song and dance, visionary narrative devices or other groundbreaking achievements.

CREATIVE IMPACT
Musicals with songs that evoke the memory of its film source, thus ensuring and enlivening both the music and the movie’s historical legacy.

LEGACY
Musicals that continue to inspire artists and audiences alike.

*AFI defines an American film as an English language motion picture with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States. AFI defines a feature-length film as a motion picture of narrative format that is typically over 60 minutes in length.

About the American Film Institute

AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, maintains America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and explores new digital technologies in entertainment and education through the AFI Digital Content Lab and K-12 Screen Education Center. As the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the US, AFI ON SCREEN encompasses the annual AFI FEST presented by Audi: AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival—as well as year-round programming at ArcLight Hollywood and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, including SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival.

AFI AWARDS, the annual almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year, while AFI's 100 Years . . . series has ignited extraordinary public interest in classic American movies. And, during the past 34 years, AFI’s Life Achievement Award has become the highest honor for a career in film. Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com.

About the Hollywood Bowl

Born in New York City in 1945, conductor/composer JOHN MAUCERI graduated from Yale University. He made his professional conducting debut in 1973 at Wolf Trap. Since his 1974 orchestral conducting debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mr. Mauceri has appeared with numerous major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Gewandhaus, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Orchestre National de France, the DSO Berlin, the Leipzig Radio Orchestra and the National Orchestra of Portugal in Lisbon. Much in demand as an operatic conductor, he has led productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera and the Deutsche Opera, Berlin. Mr. Mauceri is one of the world's most accomplished recording artists and is the recipient of Grammy, Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Edison, Emmy, Diapason d'Or, Cannes Classique, Billboard, and four Deutsche Schallplatten awards. In 1999, Mr. Mauceri was chosen as a "Standard-bearer of the Twentieth Century" for WQXR, the nation's most-listened-to classical radio station. In addition, CNN and CNN International chose Mauceri as a "Voice of the Millennium." Mauceri has just concluded his sixth and final season as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Opera, where he led productions of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, with soprano Jane Eaglen in the title role, as well as Puccini's Tosca and Mozart's Così fan tutte. This past winter Mauceri conducted Leipzig's legendary Gewandhaus Orchestra for the 7th consecutive season, which is unprecedented in the orchestra's 200-year history. He will be appearing with them in four different programs in 2007 and 2008. This winter he also completed the world premiere recording of Danny Elfman's first work for symphonic orchestra, Serenada Schizophrana, which was recorded in Los Angeles and will be released on Sony Classical this autumn.

One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 38th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2006, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the second year in a row at the 17th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers and Disneyland.

Source: AFI Press Release



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