By Carter Phillips
#5 The Sound of Music
#4 The Wizard of Oz
Although it was excluded in my top five classic films, The Wizard of Oz is one of the most watched and beloved films ever made. It is a bubble gum opera, delightful for all ages.
Adapted not from the stage but from the children’s book by L. Frank Baum, this classic exchanges the dark and twisted tone of its predecessor with a cheerful, musical one. From its beginning in the sepia coloring of Kansas, to the dreadful tornado that brings the naïve Dorothy’s to the technicolor world of Oz, the film is iconic.
It was neither an early color film or an early musical however, it was uncommon for films of the genre to have a clear narrative and as already mention, most were stage bound. Instead they were plotless spectacle that usually focused on composition, dance and choreography.
The Wizard Of Oz remains nostalgic, even for those who never experienced its' original magic. Although not as much a masterpiece or innovator as, for example, The Jazz Singer (1927), it is one of the most culturally significant films ever made. The film is as often parodied and referenced in modern culture all because it is still on of the most watchable films of its era.
The film is a cinematic phenomenon, which defines pop culture like a blanket covers a mattress. The film has gone on to ignite theories (such as the one which suggests the story is a metaphor for American politics) and conspiracies (like the film syncs with Pink Floyd’s album, The Dark Side Of The Moon) as well as stay relevant even after ninety years in our TVs and stuck in our heads.
#3 Singing in the Rain
#2 An American in Paris
#1 The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg
Over the ages, cinema has become one of the public’s favorite forms of escapism. What more does an audience want but an escape? They don’t go to a theater to see a mirror, instead a screen that hides all the vices which plague our world. The musical is perhaps the most escapist of all, as it makes fantastical of reality itself. As Twilight Zone creator and host Rod Serling said in the monologue of the series’ 23rd episode of its third season, The Fugitive: “Fantasy is the improbable made possible. Science fiction is the improbable made possible.”
What then is the musical? Maybe it is somewhere between, lurking in and out of other genres, waiting for a passerby’s glimpse into the heart of entertainment.
Remember that this list is entirely subjective and opinions can vary, watch the films, make your own ranking and let me know in the comments. Are there any you think me and Aiden neglected to mention? Let us know.
To view these films through a physical copy links to the Carter Approved editions are below. The site chosen may help guide you to find preferred seller and also includes reviews for image and audio quality.
Licensing may lead these films to go out of print or receive newer releases with superior image and sound quality.
The Sound Of Music:
The Wizard Of Oz:
Singing In The Rain:
An American In Paris:
The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg:
To view the films through streaming services, information is below. The accuracy is only of the initial publication of this article. Licensing rights may lead these films to different services.
The Sound Of Music: Disney Plus
The Wizard Of Oz: HBO Max
Singing In The Rain: HBO Max
An American In Paris: HBO Max
The Umbrellas Of Cherbourg: The Criterion Channel
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All feature news content is produced by students in the Newspaper program at West Fargo Sheyenne High School.