The first time I saw this I really didn’t like it. I thought that it wasn’t a musical, not in the way musicals usually are. Typically, song’s in a musical propel the plot forward. Here, the plot has to stop every time there’s a song. I didn’t understand before that this was meant to be like vaudeville. A song, a show, some comedy, and you get a meal out of it too (note: this movie will not buy you dinner, sorry). It’s all stylistic, meant to match the time the story takes place: the roaring 20s. It might pause the action to play a song, or make some comedy. It was a type of theater that you don’t see anymore, gone just like the silent film.
This is a movie that shows what Hollywood went through as they made the transition from silent movies to talkies. It shows the magic of silent filmmaking and how the introduction of recorded sound changed everything.
It’s also a very funny picture, and family friendly, though I don’t think many kids below a certain age won’t know what’s really going on, though they could just look it up on the internet if they don’t understand. Man, ain’t living in the future great? It’s great singing and dancing throughout and fairly entertaining if you like the films of old, musicals, or vaudeville.
My one complaint is that one of the songs starts growing into such a spectacle that it leaves the plot, characters, and the rest of the song behind it.
Why it’s on the list: Aside from being a great movie, it shows an extremely important time in cinematic history through the use of music and comedy.