Thursday, March 24, 2016

Thursday Movie Picks-Music Biopic


This week it is all about music Biopics and talk about range! Where does one start? Well, head on over to Wandering Through The Shelves to check out what the others have chosen. I have picked these three....

1. TILL THE CLOUDS ROLL BY-1946


Ah-the great time of the musicals and there were quite few "biopics" that were just an excuse to showcase the famous stars. This is supposed to be about Jerome Kern played by Robert Walker who was the boy next door (more like the bad screwed-up boy next door in real life) to movie goers. We hear about his life and the songs he composed and those memories proceed to great moments of singing and dancing. If you wish to just sit back and enjoy talent, you should watch this film or any other music biopic with a slew of stars. One blecch note of the times is the great Lena Horne who sings here but the studio could easily cut her part out when shown in the Southern States. A funny note, Judy Garland got a kick out of singing "Who" because she was pregnant at the time(with Liza Minelli).

2. IMPROMPTU-1991


I chose this biopic about Chopin instead of the Cornel Wilde version because I enjoyed this one more. Hugh Grant plays the sickly Chopin at the beginning of his romance with the rebel George Sand played by Judy Davis. They meet at a nice little(little??) home of a countess who likes to think she knows art and music. You get to see all the little intrigues and fun times. Well acted, funny and yet  you see the issues the people had especially the love affair of these 2 historic figures.

3. IMMORTAL BELOVED-1994


Now this is a beautiful film...at least to me. This stars Gary Oldman as Ludwig Van Beethoven, who is my favourite composer. The "Maestro"  had written a letter long ago to his "Immortal Beloved" and now, his former right-hand man is on a quest to find out who the lady is. Through his search, you get to not only learn about this complex man but the 3 main women in his life. You feel his pain of his father's abusive ways through his music but you also feel the love this man had for nature and for his immortal beloved. By the way, the letter is real, Beethoven really did write this and many still wonder who this letter was for. This film gives one possibility. When I heard the 9th Symphony and saw what Beethoven may have thought in this film...it brought tears to my eyes. Oh, by the time Beethoven wrote his 5th Symphony, he was deaf!

Which films would you pick?

61 comments:

  1. I've only seen Immortal Beloved.
    Look at all the stars in the first one. It's difficult these days to get that many together in one film. Unless you're Sylvester Stallone making another Expendables movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There were quite a few films that had many stars showcasing their talents. You are funny...it is so true too

      Delete
  2. I like how you went with all these classic musicians. Of course I haven't seen any of these. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hahahaaa...maybe one day you will:)

      Delete
  3. I would like to try some. Thanks for the tip.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hope you enjoy one of these or maybe all.

      Delete
  4. I love Immortal Beloved, but then I love Beethoven. Your first pick is on my 'to watch' list on Amazon. I haven't seen No. 2 but have seen the Cornel Wilde version. I googled 'movies about composers' and found a huge list on Wiki. Wow. Now I have tons more to watch.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's a great movie eh? There are so many, it's mind boggling actually.

      Delete
  5. Hi, dear Birgit!

    When it comes to the category of older musicals, I have a huge blind spot because I avoided them in favor of comedies, film noir dramas and horror movies. I can tell you that my mother loved Judy Garland, Lena Horne and June Allyson. I remember you or another blogger posting about Immortal Beloved last year.

    For a music biopic, Mrs. Shady would recommend Amadeus, a movie Shady likes mainly because it includes Elizabeth Berridge of The Funhouse. :) I always highly recommend the two-part TV movie The Beach Boys: An American Family (2000). It boasts great acting, original Beach Boys music and a spot on imitation of Mike Love's stage performances by actor Matt Letscher.

    Happy Thursday, dear friend BB!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh...that was me:) You jogged my memory banks and I blame menopause:) Considering how much you love music, I am surprised how you stayed away from musicals...you should give some a chance especially the ones that are just an excuse to showcase great talent like the one above. Who cares about the plot

      Delete
  6. I haven't seen any of these, but I absolutely have to see Immortal Beloved. My love for Beethoven can't be put down on words.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you will love this film.

      Delete
  7. Terrific picks!!

    Till the Clouds Roll By is really worthless as a bio of Jerome Kern, and Walker is surprisingly blah in the lead, but as a showcase for MGM stars it can't be beat. I've read that they surrounded Judy with dishes when she sang Look for the Silver Lining because she was so large with child they couldn't hide it any other way but supposedly Marilyn Miller performed the number that way on stage as well. Either way it works perfectly for the song.

    I wasn't crazy about Impromptu, nor a Song to Remember which I just watched last week on TCM during their Merle Oberon Star of the Month tribute, but the music in both versions makes up for any shortcomings.

    I found Immortal Beloved interesting more than actually liking it but again the music, and acting, carried it.

    I went with three that interconnected in that all three subjects faced a huge physical challenge at some point in their lives and I love all three.

    Sweet Dreams (1985)-Tale of Patsy Cline’s ascension from honkytonk singer to queen of the Grand Ole Opry and beyond as well as her messy personal life, including a near fatal car wreck, until her death in a plane crash. Jessica Lange was Oscar nominated for her turn as Patsy, she’s given strong support by Ed Harris as Cline’s difficult husband and Ann Wedgeworth in a beautiful performance as her mother.

    The Joker is Wild (1957)-Crooner Joe E. Lewis (Frank Sinatra) works his way up through the racket run nightclubs of Chicago mob boss Georgie Parker. Once successful he tries to move on only to have his throat slashed in retaliation. His voice ruined he slides into alcoholism but his former accompanist and friend helps him reestablish himself as a successful stand-up comic. The road still has many rough patches ahead though. One of Sinatra’s better lesser known performances. The film features one of Sinatra’s signature songs the Oscar winning “All the Way”.

    With a Song in My Heart (1952)-Young singer Jane Froman (Susan Hayward) rises from staff artist on a small radio station in the Midwest quickly climbing the ladder of success to become a top radio and stage star. Along the way she enters into a marriage of convenience with her manager which soon hits the rocks, then America enters WWII. Like many performers she volunteers to entertain the troops and is on her way to do so when her seaplane crashes into the Tagus River off the Lisbon coast. She is one of the few survivors but is severely injured, most perilously her leg is nearly amputated. The remainder of the film follows her grueling treatment, difficult recovery and return to finish the job she started. Grim in parts but overall a story of someone with tremendous fortitude in the face of huge adversity. Loaded with great music both Hayward (whose lip-syncing to Froman’s vocals is impressively realistic) and Thelma Ritter, as her steadfast nurse, were Oscar nominated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh those musical bios of yesteryear should only be watched because of the great talent we watch. Yes, Judy was already quite pregnant and so they staged it like this but, like you, I heard both scenarios. How I wish I could get TCM. Your picks are great and I still have to see all of them which is horrible of me. Love Susan Hayward because she just loved chewing up the scenery.

      Delete
    2. Susie was great at scenery chewing and those seem to be her most famous and remembered films but I think that does her a disservice. Try some of her films where she is more subdued, The President's Lady, The Lusty Men, My Foolish Heart and Deadline at Dawn, she's still feisty in them, that was an innate quality she possessed, but her work is more modulated in them.

      Delete
  8. I haven't seen any of those. But I love Judy Garland and enjoy old Hugh Grant movies. I'll need to add these to my list.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh you will love these films with Judy and Hugh. They are both great especially the one showcasing the great musical talents of the people back then.

      Delete
  9. Three to see. Immortal Beloved is especially one I will get to eventually.

    ReplyDelete
  10. BIRGIT ~
    I've not seen any of these but 'IMMORTAL BELOVED' sounds like one I'd really like.

    On my list would be 'AMADEUS', and 'THE GLENN MILLER STORY'. Not sure about the third. Would have to think about it. Would Bob Dylan's 'NO DIRECTION HOME' or Tom Petty's 'RUNNIN' DOWN A DREAM' count? Or are those strictly "Documentaries"?

    ~ D-FensDogG
    'Loyal American Underground'

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Amadeus would fit for sure as well as the others you have chosen. Some have picked a comedy about music people and another chose add and Nancy. These would fit in my eyes.

      Delete
  11. Oh my gosh, I haven't heard of any of these. They do all sound good though! I have moving brain fog so I can't think of any movies that would fit the biopics category, but I bet later a dozen will come to mind :)

    betty

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. These are great especially if you love Beethoven and if you love seeing great performances from talent of times passed. I have seen Walk The Line everywhere today

      Delete
  12. Love these choices, and you have two I'd never heard of. Now I want to look for Impromptu ASAP.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooooh goodie..I love when I have chosen a film someone hasn't heard of. Hope you can check them out.

      Delete
  13. Great picks! Til The Clouds Roll By is one of my faves!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is a great movie...love the Judy Garland one where she dances I that yellow dress.

      Delete
  14. I've not seen any of these, but Immortal Beloved sounds really interesting. Great picks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope you get a chance to see this. Thanks:)

      Delete
  15. I really like Gary Oldman. From Dracula to Commissioner Gordon to...Beethoven?
    Yep, sounds like a good movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gary Oldman should have won an Oscar for Dracula and, to me, he should have been up for one in this movie.

      Delete
  16. I really like Gary Oldman. From Dracula to Commissioner Gordon to...Beethoven?
    Yep, sounds like a good movie.

    ReplyDelete
  17. I haven't seen a single one of those. The first one sure got a lot together. Sounds like a good watch. Never knew Gary Oldman was Beethoven either.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If you like to see musical talent the. Watch this movie just forget the plot...that doesn't matter. Yup, Gary Oldman played a wonderful Beethoven.

      Delete
  18. I'm fairly sure I've seen Immortal Beloved but I can't remember a thing about it! The other two I don't know at all. I see a few votes above for Amadeus which I thought was absolutely wonderful. One that maybe isn't known outside the UK is Hear my Song about the Irish singer Josef Locke, though in second thoughts it's more faction than biopic. But good.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That sounds like a good movie and ,no, I have not heard of it.

      Delete
  19. I haven't seen any of these Birgit but I shall choose the one with Hugh Grant in it as I sure need some eye candy to cheer me up! Have a good weekend! Xxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This movie is fun to see and quite witty. If you love old movies and need to feel better then watch Clouds Roll By which has so many wonderful singing and dancing stars.

      Delete
  20. Immortal Beloved is the only one I've seen.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I did enjoy Impromptu. And I'm still a bit... I don't know, something, about the ending of Immortal Beloved. Not sure how I feel about that one. But I did enjoy the movie.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Impromptu is a good movie. I loved the ending even though we really don't know whom he wrote the letter for. Many do believe it was for his sister in law but nothing is known for sure.

      Delete
  22. 2. I think the issue with this movie is that it's Hugh Grant. :)

    3. Beethoven is one of the all-time greats. Definitely deserves a biopic.

    My top 3 would be: Amadeus, The Doors, and Walk the Line.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup..some people just can't stand Hugh Grant:) Amadeus is a great movie and so are the other 2 you mentioned. Loved Walk The Line and I feel Joaquin should have won the Oscar over Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I haven't seen the Doors movie in a while but I thought Val Kilmer did a great job.

      Delete
  23. Til the Clouds Roll By.... what great songs! What great stars! What a terrible bio! I like it, but oh dear lord is Robert Walker dull.

    Unfortunately that's the only one of yours I've seen, and I've never even heard of Impromptu! Have always wanted to see Immortal Beloved, though.

    ReplyDelete
  24. All of these are new to me- but I am so curious. Definitely need to brush up on my movies. :)
    ~Jess

    ReplyDelete
  25. Another round of new movies for me. Hmm, what movies would I pick? I'm not sure that I know any movie bios...unless Jazz Singer counts? Probably not. What about West Side Story. Another no go? Oh well. I don't know any others. :)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Great to see such alternative picks - especially Till the Clouds Roll By as I've not heard of the film or the artist.

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh I LOVE Immortal Beloved.... sad, yet beautiful. Clouds... must see that. Sounds like a good one.
    x Asha

    ReplyDelete
  28. Another 3 movies to put on my list to see!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I would like to see these. Especially the first one. Hugh Grant in a top hot is mind boggling.
    Happy Easter my friend.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I haven't seen any of these. I need to get busy :) Happy Easter BIrgit.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Always a treat to see which movies you've shared. I think I saw #2, but not remembering a great deal about it. It's nice to see these here, as when our Turner Classic Movie channel airs them, I tend to give more consideration to something I've seen mentioned here. Hope your Easter was a good one. Have a super week. TFS

    ReplyDelete
  32. My list is growing longer because of your posts. :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. You're filling up my NetFlix lineup. I'm putting the Huge Grant one first.

    ReplyDelete
  34. Once again a trio of movies I've never even heard of. I feel so uninformed.

    I love the poster for Till The Clouds Roll By. Also, I may have to check out Immortal Beloved, because I too have a huge fascination/appreciation for Beethoven.

    ReplyDelete
  35. This is brilliant! Sadly, I haven't seen or even heard of any of these... Not sure why, since I'm a pretty big Chopin and Beethoven fan. Not of musicals, though, so the first one, as nice as it sounds, won't be making my list. But the other two—Hugh Grant as Chopin and GARY OLDMAN as Beethoven!!! Yep. Great recommendations. Will look them up!
    Guilie @ Life In Dogs

    ReplyDelete
  36. Thanks for this post...I'm furiously making notes here!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Great choices. I don't know the first one at all but I know 2 and 3, both lovely. I feel as if I should be able to name a dozen off the top of my head but they're just not coming to me. Ray is excellent, of course, as is Bird.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Ooh, there's so many good ones to choose from!

    La Bamba, Shine and Walk the Line would be my picks.

    ReplyDelete
  39. Just stopped by to say hey and see how your week is going, Birgit.

    ReplyDelete