Keep in mind that this is not a “Best Musicals of All Time” count down before you feel compelled to give me a long rant about how The Music Man should be number one. In case you didn’t notice, the title says “Radical Musical Motion Pictures.” This is my list of personal favorites. Not what everyone perceives to be the best of all time. However, I was trained in dance, choir, and theater so I do believe my judgement means something. The following films are what I consider to be retro, ahead of its time, cutting edge, and innovative. How many of you honestly own a copy of The Music Man soundtrack? I’m betting the majority of you, like me, have copies of these soundtracks in your car instead and you sing along dramatically every time. Don’t lie, you know you do.
20. The Apple 1980:
The Apple is an over the top, futuristic rock opera with Christian overtones mixed with the dark and evil. It’s disco fantasy horseshit with the worst lyrics and musical performances on this list. So why have it on the list? The costuming, set design, and dance choreography alone lands it in the 20 spot. There’s even a choreographed routine of coitus which I do not remember seeing in another film. At least, I don’t think. Michael Gingold of Fangoria told me at Torrani’s birthday that I just HAD to watch this movie. He had good taste and also liked Xanadu and Phantom of the Paradise so I figured the man knew what he was talking about. I did not grow up with this film which is probably why I have no appreciation for it. I am also convinced that every male character in this film is a homosexual…. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, simply making an observation. It’s totally schizophrenic and it desperately wants to be a midnight cult movie like Rocky Horror Picture Show but fails miserably with terrible song writing and lack of catchy songs. That being said, it does have a small cult following and one of my close personal friends calls it “golden shit.” I just couldn’t get into the music no matter how hard I tried, “It’s natural, natural, natural desire. Meet an actual actual actual vampire!!!” Then a dude in drag with plastic fangs and a cape appear in front of the camera. I just cannot take it seriously which may be the problem. The song I found to be the most annoying would be “Speed” by Catherine Mary Stewart. Jesus Christ, we get it, SPEED! That was one of the most atrocious songs I had ever heard and I couldn’t wait for it to end. She kept repeating “Speeeeeeeeed” over and over. The character “Shake” reminded me of Chris Tucker’s role in The Fifth Element.
19. Grease 2 1982:
I bet you thought I was going to say Grease didn’t you? That film typically lands on everyone’s list so I decided to be rebellious and list the sequel because I did grow up with this film as well and I even had the soundtrack. My gay best friend and I even came up with our very own routine to “Girl For All Seasons.” We stayed up all night practicing this. Michelle Pfeiffer will always be one of my favorite leading ladies but the T-Birds stole the show! Adrian Zmed from TJ Hooker and Bachelor Party plays the lead T-Bird “Johnny” and he’s fucking hilarious with surprisingly good vocal abilities. Christopher McDonald plays “Goose” much like Maverick’s Goose. I’m not sure what Louis’ deal is but he almost talks his girl in to sleeping with him by serenading her and convincing her that a war is on its way and they must “do it” for their country. Honestly, who would fall for that? Mikey is the short one who doesn’t get as much screen time or dialogue as the others. I felt sorry for him. I thought that their talent show performance “Prowling” was the best sequence in the film. Most girls enjoyed Pfeiffer’s “Cool Rider.” I’m not going to lie, we all sang along with it and wanted to be Pfeiffer. These Pink Ladies weren’t nearly as awesome as the original pink ladies so there’s not much I can say about them. They did bring back Frenchie though! We all thought Maxwell Caulfield was a hunk until Empire Records. Oh Rexy, you’re so sexy. He’s just not a believable nerd. He has a sexy accent and boyish good looks. Then he learns how to ride a motorcycle and wears goggles. Like super heroes, NO ONE can tell it is him by putting on a pair of goggles. This one is so far from the original. The original gave us heart warming songs like; Summer Nights, Grease Lightening, and Hopelessly Devoted but Grease 2 gives us; We’re Gonna Score Tonight, Lets Do It For Our Country, and Reproduction.
18. Bye Bye Birdie 1995:
Believe it or not, this remake was actually not too bad. I even had it on VHS. Jason Alexander has a lot of talent and I wasn’t expecting that from him of all people after his role in Seinfield. They had Vanessa Williams take on the role of Rosie and it made “Spanish Rose” a little off but she has the chops and body to pull it off. They even cast Norman from Cheers as Kim’s father! However, I was very disappointed in the choice for Kim, Chyna Phillips. As in Wilson Phillips and Beach Boys daughter. She just didn’t do it for me and she was too old for the part. Favorite songs include; One Last Kiss, A Lot of Living To Do, and The Telephone Song.
17. Hedwig and the Angry Inch 2001:
Yeah, long story short. When I woke up from the operation I was bleeding down there. I was bleeding from a gash between my legs. It’s my first day as a woman, and already it’s that time of the month. But two days later the hole closed up. The wound healed and I was left. With a one inch mound of flesh. Where my penis used to be. Where my vagina never was. It was a one inch mound of flesh. With a scar running down it like a sideways grimace on an eyeless face. It was just a little bulge. It was an angry inch! Who doesn’t love to sing along with these songs? I have the soundtrack! Hedwig is a transsexual punk rock ‘girl’ on tour with her band following her ex-boyfriend around Berlin because he stole her music. Her ex boyfriend wasn’t too fond of the fact that she had a penis but he was quite fond of her music. Favorite songs include; Tear Me Down, Wicked Little Town, and Angry Inch.
16. Burlesque 2010:
What a great cast! Cher, Christina Aguilera, Alan Cumming, Peter Gallagher, Stanley Tucci, and Kristen Bell! Don’t you roll your eyes at me! Cher is iconic and I’ve been a fan since I was a little girl. Christina Aguilera can sing like nobodies business and is a force to be reckoned with. Don’t agree? You Tube the scene “Tough Lover.” That white girl can sing! The opening act “Welcome To Burlesque” was quite a scene as well. Did anyone else have a crush on the bartender? I also love seeing Kristen Bell play a complete bitch.
15. Sweeney Todd 2008:
Unfortunately, I am getting a little tired of the “freakishly eccentric” duo that is Tim Burton and Johnny Depp. They just don’t do it for me any more. I know, I know, Depp is Burton’s muse but come on! Give the man a different character puhlease! I love the storyline; a crossed barber has no wife, no daughter, and no valuables thanks to a corrupt judge (Alan Rickman.) He makes it his life’s mission to get revenge and boy is it bloody! He even slits the throats of several strangers and allows Mrs. Lovett to cook the bodies and add them to her fabulous meat pies! The lyrics and the music are quite beautiful. No complaints there but the singers just don’t do a very good job. I guess I have heard worse but Helena Bonham Carter could have practiced a little more. Don’t get me wrong, I am a fan but I wanted to cover my ears a couple of times. The best musical performances go to Sacha Baron Cohen, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Jayne Wisener. These fantastic vocal performances outweigh the bad. I feel as if Cohen always has an accent in his films and I am getting tired of it because he has too much talent for that. Song favorites; Worst Pies in London (to a degree I like this song but Bonham couldn’t pull it off. It’s an incredibly hard song to sing,) Johanna, Pirelli’s Miracle Elixir, Not While I’m Around, A Little Priest, and By the Sea. Honestly, there weren’t any songs that I didn’t like.
14. A Chorus Line 1985:
Well hello Michael Douglas, what the hell are you doing here? This film doesn’t get enough love and I understand why because it is a lousy melodrama but the dancing and musical acts are fun and quirky. Did I mention it has Michael Douglas? The other characters that stood out the most were Janet Jones and Audrey Landers. You cannot forget Audrey’s performance as Val because she sings about “tits and ass.” Other than the ending finale “One,” the only song I seem to remember well is “Let Me Dance For You.” A Chorus Line is a classic example of something working on stage but not on screen. The musical was a revolutionary piece of musical theater but the movie just feels uninspired and ordinary. The film may be of interest to those who like musicals, but it’s not very accomplished.
13. Gypsy 1962:
Natalie Wood just happens to be one of the most gorgeous women to grace the silver screen. She had so much talent and her death is still shocking. In Gypsy, she plays the real life burlesque queen Gypsy Rose Lee. Most of the film takes place in her childhood where her sister “Baby June” is the star and Louise (that’s Gypsy Rose Lee’s real name) is stuck in the background. The girls mother pushes them hard and Rosalind Russell does a fantastic job as an overbearing stage mother. June runs off and gets married so the crazy mother, Rose, is intent on making Louise a star. So she turns her into a stripper. However, she’s the classiest, most beautiful stripper you’ll ever see. She then becomes Gypsy Rose Lee the burlesque queen and no longer has a relationship with her mother. The real Gypsy and June didn’t publish their book on their life until their mother death in 1957 to avoid lawsuit. June didn’t like the way she was portrayed but agreed to it nonetheless. Gypsy had a sense of humor and came up with a trick for the audiences that included a shoulder strap on one of her gowns causing her dress to fall to her feet. I’m not sure how she pulled this off. My mother would tell me that she kept a single pin in the shoulder strap then would casually pull it out making the dress fall. Clever. Apparently, she was arrested several times in raids on the Minsky Brothers Show. Back to the film, I thought that the three older strippers who were teaching Gypsy the ropes were a little gross and one of them was LOUD! Why was she yelling? It sounded like she had been sucking on tar her entire life. That voice “Something wrong with STRIPPING??” Good GAWD! Another one was hella old and far from attractive. The third one wasn’t so bad. She lit up like a Christmas tree in their routine “Gotta Have a Gimmick.” Favorite songs include; Let Me Entertain You (duh,) and Everything’s Coming Up Roses. The finale with Rosaline Russell singing “Rose’s Turn” frightens me. This woman is fit for a straight jacket. To tell you the truth, I was disappointed in the soundtrack. The best scenes and musical acts are when Natalie Wood is stripping. I couldn’t get enough of her gowns. This is why it isn’t too high up on my list.
12. Cry Baby 1990:
From the mind of the fucked up and fabulously deranged John Waters, we get one of his normal movies! This is as close to normal it gets. Okay, there is also Serial Mom and Hairspray that aren’t far from it. One viewing of Pink Flamingos will keep you away from everything John Waters related but you’re missing out! John Waters has a fondness for juvenile delinquents. He believes they should embrace their nature. You’ve heard the story before. It’s the drapes vs the squares with a Romeo and Juliet love story… Only they both don’t die in the end. This is when I fell in love with Johnny Depp. I had his poster on my wall up until I was 20. An ex room mate (bitch) tore my poster and drew all over it. I still have two t-shirts from the film and I got Waters to sign my copy of the DVD. Other than Johnny Depp, there’s a remarkable cast. Iggy Pop, Ricki Lake, Willem Dafoe, Traci Lords, Patricia Hearst, and Susan Tyrrell – the psycho incestuous mom from Nightmare Maker. This girl is a HUGE fan of oldies and doo wop music. My favorite songs in the films are not part of the musical. The main theme “Cry Baby” will always be my favorite along with “I’m So Young” by The Students.
11. Fame 1980:
Fame revolves around several teenagers getting specialized training at the New York City High School for the Performing Arts. This includes actors, singers, and dancers. The school is based on the real-life Florello H. LaGuargia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts in New York. I use to have the soundtrack but I have no idea what happened to that old thing. Most of the songs are sung by one of the stars, Irene Cara. Favorites are Hot Lunch, Fame, and Our Here On My Own. My all time favorite song would be “I Sing the Body Electric” performed by the cast. It’s an amazing combination of vocals and musical instruments like an entire orchestra, drums, piano, and electric guitar with a spectacular dance scene. Fame was the first film in the history of Academy Awards to have two songs nominated in the Best Song category. Madonna screen tested for a role, ironic that she actually has won two Academy Awards for Best Song. Alan Parker, the director of Fame, also directed Evita starring Madonna, which she won one of those Academy Awards for. Tom Cruise, Patrick Swayze, and Michelle Pfieffer also auditioned for roles. The film is actually rated R for nudity and language so think twice about showing it your kids, depending on how strict you are.
10. Xanadu 1980:
Some people will tell you Xanadu is the worst musical of all time but it’s not! The Apple is. This soundtrack blows The Apple’s soundtrack out of the water thanks to ELO. Olivia Newton-John is beautiful and . This was her follow up to Grease and it was suppose to help her break out as a big time actress but that didn’t happen. The movie flopped for its ridiculousness. The plot is ludicrous when you think about it. An artist shreds his sketches into the wind and it conjures up a muse (Olivia) and her 7 sisters that live in a painting on a building and breakout dancing to ELO’s “I’m Alive.” How an artist’s shredded sketch conjures up supernatural, foxy ladies is beyond me. The two fall in love and you get to see Gene Kelly on roller skates. Apparently, we discover that the leading man was not meant to be an artist but a night club owner. He names the club Xanadu and there’s a big dance routine with fancy costumes, more roller skating, and Olivia Newton-John dressing like a cowgirl…. Among other things. In the end, the geek does not get the girl. She is a muse so she has to return to her home planet… Or painting… Whatever. I do have the soundtrack. Favorite songs include solos by Olivia; Magic and Suspended In Time. ELO has a lovely bunch of funtastic tunes; I’m Alive, The Fall, Don’t Walk Away, and All Over the World. It’s hard to pick a favorite but I am going with “Don’t Walk Away” because of the animation scene that slightly resembles Thumbelina. The finale song “Xanadu” really wasn’t that bad either. The song “Dancin” was a fun scene that featured two different music genres coming together. The choreography was amazing. This film had the potential to be a classic in everyone’s eyes but it’s hard to get past that plot. The only songs I didn’t care for were duets between Olivia and Gene Kelly and another duet between Olivia and the lead male. Lamesauce. Rest in peace Gene Kelly. This was his last motion picture.
9. Moulin Rouge 2001:
There are a few musical acts I could have done without. Like a Virgin being one of them. However, I think just about every musical has at least one song I like to skip. What makes Moulin Rouge so entertaining are the stunning visuals and their remixes of some of our favorite pop songs. I don’t even know how to begin describing that GORGEOUS scenery while Ewan McGregor is singing “Your Song” to Nicole Kidman. My favorite musical act would have to be “Roxanne” also known as “El Tango de Roxanne.” It’s a beautiful but tragic love story. The ending may upset some but it still gives us a positive message about love, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.” This is a powerful message. It’s nice to see John Leguizamo play a dwarf and say things like, “SPAWKWING DIAMOND!”Oh there’s so much to say about this film and so many films on this list to complete! I still own a copy of the soundtrack. It’s over ten years old, probably has a lot of scratches.
8. Victor Victoria 1982:
SHE’S A MAN BABY! Yes, I did that in my Austin Powers voice. No actually, Julie Andrews just plays a woman playing a man playing a woman. Got it? Good. Honestly, she could never pass for a man. You may remember Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music with a boys haircut. Mothers still have a hard time accepting her in this film because of the whole “gay” thing. One thing is for certain, this lady has a voice! The two most popular performances would have to be “Le Jazz Hot” and “The Shady Dame From Deville.” I actually remember a girl in the same dance company I was in competing and performing in a routine to “Chicago, Illinois” by Lesley Anne Warren. It still baffles me that she is in this film after watching her play Scarlet in Clue so many times. Her voice…. It’s almost as if she’s a complete different person. That woman doesn’t get enough credit.
7. Evita 1996:
This movie continues to blow me away every time I see it! I get goose bumps overtime. Evita is not your standard musical. This is an operatic film that just doesn’t stop. There are maybe a handful of words spoken in the film’s entirety. Who cares? The music is spectacular and some of the best I’ve seen in a long time. You cannot beat that opening act with Antonio Banderas! Holy hell what a magnificent opening! So magnificent in fact, I have to show a clip down below.
As for picking a couple of other song favorites, dang it’s so hard to choose since the whole film is singing! Don’t Cry For Me Argentina and You Must Love Me seem to be the most popular. Don’t Cry For Me Argentina was especially HUGE in 1996. Several remixes were played on the radio and every dance competition I attended. The movie is based on real life Evita Duarte who was a B-movie actress in Argentina that eventually married the Argentinian president Juan Peron. She was the most loved and the most hated woman in Argentina. Some people couldn’t get past the fact that she was a model and actress. God forbid you pose for pretty pictures and feel good about yourself! Several Argentinians argue that the film does not portray the real Evita. According to them, the film makes her look like a bitch but she was actually a sweet heart in real life. Madonna got the part because of her lengthy letter written to director Alan Parker, who did not cast her for Fame, where she explained why she was made for this part. She also included a copy of “Take a Bow.” That video is actually one of my favorites. Madonna was four months pregnant in the music video for “You Must Love Me.” It won Best Song at the Academy Awards. The song also won Best Song at the Golden Globes and a few other award ceremonies. Madonna changes costumes 85 times throughout the film. Meryl Streep, Pia Zadora (LOL,) Charo (another LOL,) and Maria Conchita Alonso were all considered for the role of Evita. When Oliver Stone was suppose to direct the film, Michelle Pfieffer was training for the role of Evita. When Ken Russell was suppose to direct the film, Barbara Streisand and Liza Minnelli were considered for the role.
6. Chicago 2002:
Yet another gorgeous and stylish cinematic masterpiece with fun song and dance. Add a fantastic cast to the mix and you got yourself an epic musical. Roxie Hart murders her lying, no good, piece of shit boyfriend (even though she is cheating on her husband,) and lands herself a nice spot behind bars along with Velma Kelly, who murdered her husband and twin sister after finding them in a spread eagle position. Both ladies are on death row and they HATE each other. The two of them fight for fame and freedom and eventually discover that they are no different from each other and need to put aside their differences. Catherine Zeta-Jones is a natural beauty and professionally trained singer and dancer. I cannot imagine anyone else playing the part. You could tell she just had her baby before working on the film because she had hips. I was honestly surprised that Renee Zellweger could perform so well and I have this love/hate relationship with her face. Richard Gere is a fine tap dancer for someone who sticks gerbils in his ass. From what I heard, they had a hard time training him that tap dancing routine but he did just fine. I think we all know who the real star of the show is and that’s John C. Reily. He blew me away with his performance to Mr. Cellophane. Taye Diggs is one of the most gorgeous black men I have ever seen. I enjoyed his small performance as the bandleader and I cannot stand Queen Latifa but she did quite well. Favorite songs include, Funny Honey, Cell Block Tango, Nowadays, and Mr. Cellophane. John Travolta, Kevin Spacey, John Cusack, Steve Martin, and Hugh Jackman were all considered for the role of Billy Flynn. Angelina Jolie auditioned for the role of Velma Kelly but got beat out by the magnificent Catherine Zita Jones who is actually trained in music and dance. Imagine how horrible this film would be had they cast Jolie. Ugh. Other ladies considered for misc role; Madonna, Goldie Hawn, Kathy Bates, Rosie O’Donnell, Nicole Kidman, Gwyneth Paltrow, Cameron Diaz, Whoopi Goldberg, Britney Spears, Toni Collette, Winona Ryder, and Marisa Tomei. So who is your favorite? Velma or Roxie?
5. The Rocky Horror Picture Show 1975:
How does one go about describing this gaytastic train wreck? It’s only the most celebrated train wreck in the whole world. If someone asks, “What’s a good cult film I just HAVE to see?” You can bet your sweet ass they are going to tell you RHPS. Part of what makes the film so great is all the midnight showings with fans dressing up as the characters and singing during the entire film. Some jack ass on the IMDB message board actually said this film was pretty forgettable. I disagree. You’re a tool and obviously don’t get out much. The best way I can sum up the plot is that an engaged couple of squares are stranded out in the middle of nowhere while it’s pouring down rain and they come across a huge, castle like residence that’s the home of Dr. Frank-N-Furter. It’s clear that they stumbled across some real basket cases that enjoy “folk dancing.” Turns out, they’re transvestite aliens from another planet. So many things make this film ridiculous. The mad scientist, transvestite, alien ‘thingy’ randomly turns people into stone when they piss him off. He built a sex toy with no belly button and mustard will keep you from getting hot and flustered. Don’t kid yourself, this movie is horrible but it’s one of those, it’s so bad it’s good cheerful flicks that will play at every Halloween party you attend. People will even get up and do that stupid Time Warp dance. Why not? I do it. I have the soundtrack in my car too. Favorite songs include; Hot Patootie, Sweet Transvestite, Damnit Janet, Over at the Frankenstein Place, Eddie, The Floor Show, and Science Fiction. Science Fiction being my number one favorite song. It has a spectacular cast; Tim Curry (the King of playing off beat and memorable characters,) Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, and MEAT LOAF!
4. Phantom of the Paradise 1974:
I hate seeing this as number four on my list, it is so spectacular and mystifying, even the lyrics are some of the best lyrics to make it into a musical. However, there are so many musicals out there to compare it to. “To work it out I let them in. All the good guys and the bad guys that I’ve been. All the devils that disturbed me and the angels that defeated them somehow come together in me now.” Such sweet sorrow. Sometimes you have to ask yourself, would you sell your soul to the devil so you could become the rock star you always dreamed of becoming? William Finley learned the hard way in this masterpiece, that’s right it says masterpiece and it IS! Finley plays a talented composer (Winslow) working on a rock opera based on Faust. A mysterious dwarf named Swan is a record producer and he owns an amphitheater called “Paradise” where many musicians sell their souls to be on the stage. Swan digs Winslows music but Winslow isn’t exactly show business material so he steals his music and puts the poor man through HELL! A horribly disfigured Winslow becomes the phantom of the paradise where is lurks and kills anyone who dares to sing his music, except for the lovely Jessica Harper (Phoenix.) This was Harper’s debut. Her eye brows were a scream but her performance was top notch. “Old Souls” may be my favorite but it’s hard to choose just ONE! Beef seems to be everyone’s favorite character. Beef is a glitter rock artist…. He is far from straight. Pop composer Paul Williams actually plays Swan. Brian De Palma manages to take my breath away every time. “Never thought I’d get to meet the devil. Never thought I’d meet him face to face.”
3. Little Shop of Horrors 1986:
You gotta love Rick Moranis. Whether he’s talking about saving taxes in Ghostbusters or singing to gigantic, blood hungry plants in Little Shop of Horrors… The man is good stuff. Good stuff I tell you! However, Steve Martin stole the show with his hilarious “Dentist!” act. Say AHHHHHH! John Candy and Bill Murray also had small performances in the film. Murray’s being more hilarious as the patient that gets off on pain. He actually ad-libbed most of his lines. Eddie Murphy was actually considered as the voice of Audrey II. The story centers around Seymour and the flower shop he’s employed at un urban Skid Row. He’s in love with his co-worker Audrey but she prefers dentists sparking black leather jackets. Seymour comes across a mysterious plant, brings it to the shop, and names it Audrey II. Soon he learns that the plant needs blood to survive and he begins feeding it actual people as it grows bigger and bigger. Song favorites; Skid Row, and Suddenly Seymour.
2. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory 1971:
Children love this tasty musical treat because of the never-ending supply of candy. Even the candy man show us a never-ending supply while he’s singing the lamest song in the film. Willy Wonka’s mansion is a gigantic play house full of candy. The fucking walls taste like fruit. He has a chocolate river and water fall. Gigantic gummy bears grow from trees. Pregnant women will orgasm, possibly even explode after watching this movie! The set design reeks awesomeness. In case you haven’t noticed, I am not a big fan of children’s movies. They’re stupid and annoying. Willy Wonka does not fit that bill. Children and adults are big fans. You’ve all seen the film. I don’t need to explain the plot. It teaches a valuable lesson. The bad kids get what’s coming to them and while they’re paying this price, midgets with orange faces, green hair, and white eye brows are scaring the shit out of them. It’s soooo Wizard of Oz only there are no flying monkeys and tornadoes. Joel Grey was the first considered for the part of Wonka. I love me some Joel Grey but Gene Wilder will always have my heart. He was married to Gilda Radner, the first female Jewish comedian on SNL, and took care of her until cancer took her away from us. When I was a child, I thought Willy Wonka was a bad guy. There was something “sinister” behind that purple jacket. Wilder was born to play Willy Wonka. I always thought the kid who played Charlie was ugly and he has THE WORST HAIR CUT OF ALL TIME! That being said, he’s a pretty good actor. Veruca Salt is my favorite because I always have to root for the bad guy. She’s a spoiled brat that gets dumped down a bad egg chute. If this were my child, I would never let her leave the house. Violet loves gum and picking her boogers. She turns into a big fat blue berry after disobeying Wonka’s orders. They roll her out for a good “squeeze.” Mike is the most annoying with his loud obnoxious voice. He loves television. He loves it so much, he shrinks to 4 inches tall thanks to Wonkavision. Mike’s mother is an unpleasant woman. Her face is not too attractive. Then we have Augustus Gloop. What the fuck kind of name is that? This Nazi poster boy is the first to go so he doesn’t get much screen time. He gets greedy with the chocolate river and get sucked up into a tube. What’s with the four old folks sharing one bed? This always gave me the creeps. How fucking depressing. The tunnel scene was a definite “what the fuck” moment for children. A chicken gets its head cut off. Wonka is singing a disturbing tune to the guests and the actors actually thought he had lost his mind while on the set because of the unconvincing nature of his acting. The best song and scene of the film has to be “Pure Imagination.” Willy Wonka shit imagination. Great film! One of the best.
1. Cabaret 1972:
I’m sure a lot of you will disagree with this being number one but hear me out! It’s a burlesque nightmare set in Nazi-Germany and based on the diaries of Christopher Isherwood and his time spent in Berlin. The film shows the Nazi horror unfold as it’s all laughs and a good time, then one of the lead characters (who is Jewish) finds her dog murdered on her door step with Nazi’s screaming “JUDEN! JUDEN! JUDEN!” It’s my understanding that the play is completely different than the film but I haven’t seen the play so I cannot compare the two. All I know is, this movie is a classic and one of my favorite films of all time. Bob Fosse had the perfect cast. Make all the Liza Minnelli jokes you want. She was exciting, sexy, and had a remarkable voice! Michael York was so young and good looking. Most people who see him as Bazel in the Austin Powers movies have no idea. Joey Grey stole the show as the Master of Ceremonies and Marisa Berenson was elegant as the Jewish heiress. Joel Grey is possibly the most important character in the film. He symbolizes what is happening in Germany at the time. He’s our narrator and an onlooker similar to Antonio Banderas in Evita. Bob Fosse’s choreography and music were sublime as usual. Favorite songs; Mein Herr, Willkommen, Cabaret, Two Ladies, and Maybe This Time. Maybe This Time gave me chills. Least favorite song goes to the angel-faces German lad singing “Tomorrow Belongs To Me” and the crowd chimes in. This is the climax of the film and ironic, considering what we know about Germany’s “tomorrow.” The main plot of the film is about Brian (Michael York) moving to Germany to teach English lessons. He moves into Sally Bowles (Liza Minnelli) apartment complex and even though he thinks he’s gay, Sally corrupts the lad and shows him a good time. The two don’t seem to have much chemistry and she eventually gets an abortion which results in him leaving for good but I rather enjoyed the ending. She carries on singing Cabaret in the Kit Kat Klub just like she wanted and she’s free of commitment and responsibility. Sally Bowles is not mother material. There’s a subplot with Fritz and Natalia. Fritz says he’s a German Jew passing as a Christian and he reveals his true identity when Natalia denies his hand in marriage because he’s not a Jew. This film actually receives a lot of praise and it managed to take home 8 out of 10 Academy Awards including; Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Original Song Score, Best Art Direction, and Best Sound. It lost Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay to The Godfather. Go figure. That’s tough competition. It did take home the Best Motion Picture Golden Globe Award though along with several other awards. It currently holds a 97% fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes which is hard to do.