The musical film has always held a special place for me. From my time as a drama student in high school, my eyes have been opened to the amazing world of the musical and especially the musical film. The musical film is a film genre in which the characters sing songs that are integrated into the overall story. Since musicals first began in theaters, musical films usually contain similar elements. These elements often simulate that there is a live audience watching. In a sense, the film viewers become the audience members, at a theater production, as the actor performs directly to them. Due to the popularity of musicals in the theater, the style was quickly brought over into film. In 1927, the musical film genre began with the accompaniment of the first film talkie, The Jazz Singer. While popularity for this genre has fluctuated over the years, it nevertheless has succeeded in becoming a staple in films. Throughout this paper, I will explore what is a film in the musical genre and why it has such a lasting effect through the examination of three considered, classic musical films of their eras. The three films that will be examined are Singin’ in the Rain, Grease, and Rent. These three movies are considered some of the top musicals of their time. Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 musical comedy film starring Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds. This film is a comic portrayal of Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies in the late 1920s. It is now frequently described by critics as one of the best musicals ever, and it continually tops on the AFI's 100 Years of Musicals list. Next, Grease is a 1978 musical film starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as two students in a 1950s high school. This is a story of the trials and tribulations of the teenagers are that era. Grease was considered as one of the best films of 1978. Lastly, Rent is a 2005 musical drama film about the depictions of the lives of several...
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