Classic Ensemble Dancing Movies

Posted on 19 Jan 00:00

 

If you are looking for hard to find DVD’s with beautiful dance sequences and sentimental scenes that while cause tears to roll down your cheeks, then these classic ensemble dancing movie should be included in your favorite movie collections. These movies don’t only portray teamwork and determination; they also depict the strength gotten from diversity and inclusion. 

  1. West Side Story (1961)

'West Side Story', co-directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, is a favorite movie for a lot of dance-movie lovers. This movie is meant to imitate Romeo and Juliet’s story, as portrayed by William Shakespeare in his book of the same title. Nevertheless, the movie told the story with music and dance as written in Arthur Laurent’s book, Westside Story. The movie is about about two rival dance groups, the Jets and the Sharks. The Jets group is an all-white group led by a multi-talented dancer, Riff (Russ Tamblyn), while the Sharks, a Puerto Rican group, is led by Bernado (George Chakiris). As expected, the two leaders hate each other’s gut, and they taunt one another with unique dance moves. The two leaders agree to settle the fight in a dance battle, which will prove, once and for all, who the better leader is. Here is where the rivalry develops into a love story.  In his attempt to defeat Bernado in the imminent dance competition, Riff invites his best friend and former teammate, Tony (Richard Beymer). When Tony shows up, he was swept off of his feet by Bernado’s younger sister, Maria (Natalie Wood). The pair fall in love which ultimately leads to tragedy.

Robert wise Co-produced this movie with Jerome Robbins because he knew nothing about musical direction.

  1. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

'Seven Brides for Seven Brothers' was directed by Stanley Donen. The dance sequences of the movie was choreographed by best-known stage choreographer of the 1940s and 1950s, Michael Kidd. The movie is about Adam Pontipee (Howard keel) and his 6 brothers (named alphabetically as Benjamin, Caleb, Daniel, Ephraim, Frank/Frankincense, and Gideon).  Adam needs a woman to help him take care of the house and his 6 brothers. So he marries Milly (Jane Powell) after speaking with her for a few hours; takes her to his home and introduces her to his unkempt and uncouth brothers. Although they are dashing young men with silky red hair, they don't know the first about dating. However, they all get the girl of their dreams through Milly’s teachings. (Unfortunately, they kidnap the girls from their homes and drag them to their cabin in the woods.)

  1. Mary Poppins (1964)

'Mary Poppins' was directed by the renowned classic film director, Robert Stevenson. This movie received 13 Academy Award nominations and got 5 best Actress Awards. In the movie, George Banks (David Tomlinson) and his wife Winifred (Glynis Johns) are having a hard time with their troublesome kids, Jane and Michael. Banks seeks-out for a new nanny, who can handle his kids with ironclad hands. Unbeknownst to him, his kids have drafted their own advertisement for a kinder, sweeter nanny. The kids’ ad brings the nanny, Ms. Mary Poppins (Julie Andrews), to their doorstep. With her magical powers, Ms. Poppins helps Banks reconnect with his kids.

This out of print movie, was created based on P.L. Travers’ book series, Mary Poppins. However, when Walt Disney produced the film, Travers didn’t appreciate how the movie portrayed her story, so she asked that Walt Disney re-edit the movie. Walt Disney replied, “Pamela, the ship has sailed."

  1. Guys and Dolls (1955)

'Guys and Dolls' is about a gambler, Nathan Detroit (Frank Sinatra), who is looking to create an illegal crap game but is stopped by the police. With too much heat and attention from the police, Nathan cohorts refused him refuge. But there is one place left to try his luck, the Biltmore garage, which will require a '$1000 dollar’ security deposit. Coupled with the fact that Nathan doesn't have the security deposit that would allow him to gamble in Biltmore’s garage, His girlfriend, Miss Adelaide (Vivian Blaine), plans to jilt him. However, his luck changes when he meets his old buddy, Sky Masterson (Marlon Brando). The movie was directed by Samuel Goldwyn.

The musical numbers performed by Marlon Brando and Jean Simmons in this movie, were performed by the pair themselves.

  1. All That Jazz (1979)

'All that Jazz' was directed by the celebrated classic movie director, Bob Fosse.  It is about choreographer, and theater director, Joe Gideon (Roy Scheider,) who is also a drug addict. His daughter Michelle (Erzsébet Földi), ex-wife Audrey Paris (Leland Palmer) and girlfriend Katie Jagger (Ann Reinking), try their best to get him to depart from his perilous ways, but he is too weak to fight for himself, and he is already dancing with the Angel of Death, Angelique (Jessica Lange). At the brink of death, Joe gets to know that the movie he had worked so hard to achieve isn't going to generate money for his investors. He dies in the hospital bed while his soul takes center stage is a monumental variety show, starring all of his acquaintances. This movie has been selected for preservation at the United States National Film Registry, for its significance.

  1. The Band Wagon (1953)

This musical-comedy film is not only famous among die hard moviesbuffs, but it has also gained the world’s consumer appeal as one of the best out of print DVD’s of all time. It has 5 Academy Awards nomination to its credit. This movie is about Tony Hunter (Fred Astaire), an onstage musical-comedian, without a single movie to his credit. Everything changes for Tony when he is invited to cast a movie that will also cast star-boy actor and director, Jeffrey Cordova (Jack Buchanan). Jeffrey is portrayed in the movie as a man who can succeed at anything, and he attests to that fact when he brings Gabrielle Gerard (Cyd Charisse), a ballerina dancer known as Gaby, into the show. Later, Gaby and Tony fall in love while dancing to a beautiful song.

  1. Oliver (1968)

Directed by Carol Reed, based on the novel,  Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens, 'Oliver' is a movie for the modern-day movie buffs. This British musical drama film earned 6 Academy Awards out of 11 nominations at the 41st Academy Awards. The movie depicts the story of an orphan boy, Oliver Twist, who becomes a pickpocket because of his unfortunate circumstances.  Under the wing of his new master Artful Dodger (Jack Wild)  and pickpocket tycoon Fagin (Ron Moody), Oliver (Mark Lester) grows into the job. However, his good manners gets him into the good graces of Nancy (Shani Wallis), the girlfriend of a burglar, named Bill Sikes (Oliver Reed). At the end of the day, Mr. Brownlow (Joseph O'Conor), a merchant with a good heart, comes to Oliver’s rescue.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a unique classic ensemble dancing movie, unique dance sequences, and style for your movie collection, these movies should be on the top of your classic ensemble dancing movies.  They have all the splendor and appeal associated with great classic movies.

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