1776

  • Directors: Peter H Hunt
  • Producers: Jack L Warner
  • Writers: Peter Stone
  • Genres: Drama, Family, History, Musical
  • Actors: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva

The film focuses on the representatives of the thirteen original colonies who participated in the Second Continental Congress. 1776 depicts the three months of deliberation (and, oftentimes, acrimonious debate) that led up to the signing of one of the most important documents in the history of the United States, the Declaration of Independence.

Les parapluies de Cherbourg

  • Directors: Jacques Demy
  • Producers: Mag Bodard
  • Writers: Jacques Demy
  • Genres: Drama, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo

Madame Emery and her 17 year old daughter Geneviève (Deneuve) sell umbrellas at their little boutique in the coastal town of Cherbourg in Normandy, France. Geneviève is in love with 20 year old Guy (Castelnuovo), a handsome young auto mechanic who lives with and cares for his sickly aunt and godmother Elise along with her quiet, dedicated, care-giver, Madeleine (Ellen Farner), a young woman who clearly loves Guy. Subsequently, though, Guy is drafted, and must leave for a two-year tour of duty in the Algerian War. The night before he leaves, he and Geneviève make love. She becomes pregnant, and feels abandoned, as he does not write often. At her mother’s insistence, she marries thirtyish Roland Cassard (Marc Michel), a quietly handsome Parisian jeweler who falls in love with Geneviève and is willing to wed her, even though she is carrying another man’s child (Cassard had previously wooed the title character in Lola, only to be rejected once the father of her child returned—he relates an edited version of this story to Madame Emery with ill-concealed bitterness). The society wedding in a great cathedral shows Genevieve’s upward social and economic movement, but she does not seem at all happy with her situation, and clearly feels trapped.

The coda is set in December 1963, approximately six years after the earliest events. Guy is now managing the couple’s Esso station. He’s with his now upbeat and loving wife Madeleine and their little son François. It is Christmas Eve. Madeleine and François go for a short walk, leaving Guy briefly, after which a new Mercedes pulls in to the station. The mink-clad driver turns out to be a sophisticated, visibly wealthy Geneviève, accompanied by her (and Guy’s) daughter Françoise, who remains in the car. At first shocked to see each other, they go inside the station to talk, and Geneviève explains this is the first time she has returned to Cherbourg since her marriage, and she is only in town on a detour to Paris after picking her daughter up from Cassard’s mother in Anjou. Her fairly young mother is now dead. Her rich husband and child are the only family she has left. She has evidently had no children by Cassard. The two converse while Geneviève’s car is being filled with gas, and Geneviève asks Guy if he wants to meet their daughter. Without comment, and little reflection, he answers “no”, and this leads to their exchanging their final goodbyes. As the film ends, Guy greets his wife with a kiss and plays with his son.

Red Riding Hood

  • Directors: Randal Kleiser
  • Producers: Steve Austin, Jonathan Bogner, David Borg, Nzinga Garvey, Lou Pearlman, Greg McDonald, Stuart E Rawitt, Jack Serino
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Adventure, Family, Musical
  • Actors: Morgan Thompson, Henry Cavill, Debi Mazar, Joey Fatone, Lainie Kazan, Andrea Bowen, Steve Fogel, Ashley Rose Orr, Bob Glouberman, Suzanne Kent, David Kaufman, Cassandra Peterson, Sam Stone, Callie Waterman, Daniel Roebuck

The film stars Australian native and acting newcomer Morgan Thompson as “Red”. Her life is preserved by “The Hunter”, played by Henry Cavill. With cap, cloak, a musket, and noble white steed, “The Hunter” and Baron of this enchanted forest rescues “Red” from the clutches of felonius “Wolf” misdeeds.

Roberta

  • Directors: William A Seiter
  • Producers: Pandro S Berman
  • Writers: Jane Murfin, Based on the musical by Jerome Kern and Otto Harbach and a novel by Alice Duer Miller
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Irene Dunne, Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Randolph Scott

John Kent (Randolph Scott), a former star football player at Harvard, goes to Paris with his friend Huck Haines (Fred Astaire) and the latter’s dance band, the Wabash Indianians. Alexander Voyda (Luis Alberni) has booked the band, but refuses to let them play when he finds the musicians are not the Indians he expected, but merely from the state.

John turns to the only person he knows in Paris for help, his Aunt Minnie (Helen Westley), who owns the fashionable “Roberta” gown shop. While there, he meets her chief assistant (and secretly the head designer), Stephanie (Irene Dunne). John is quickly smitten with her.

Meanwhile, Huck unexpectedly stumbles upon someone he knows very well. “Countess Scharwenka”, a temperamental customer at Roberta’s, turns out to be his hometown sweetheart Lizzie Gatz (Ginger Rogers). She gets Huck’s band an engagement at the nightclub where she is a featured entertainer.

Two things trouble John. One is Ladislaw (Victor Varconi), the handsome Russian doorman/deposed prince who seems too interested in Stephanie. The other is the memory of Sophie (Claire Dodd), the snobbish, conceited girlfriend he left behind after a quarrel over his lack of sophistication and polish.

When Aunt Minnie dies unexpectedly without leaving a will, John inherits the shop. Knowing nothing about women’s fashion and that his aunt intended for Stephanie to inherit the business, he persuades Stephanie to remain as his partner. Correspondents flock to hear what a football player has to say about feminine fashions. Huck gives the answers, making a lot of weird statements about the innovations John is planning to introduce.

The show is a triumph, helped by the entertaining of Huck, Countess Scharwenka, and the band. (A pre-stardom Lucille Ball, with platinum blond hair, appears uncredited in her first RKO film[1] as a model in the fashion show[2].) The closing sensation is a gown modeled by Stephanie herself. At the show, John overhears that she and Ladislaw are leaving Paris and mistakenly assumes that they have married. Later, he congratulates her for becoming a princess. When she informs him that Ladislaw is merely her cousin and that the title has been hers since birth, the lovers are reunited. Fred and Ginger do a final tap dance sequel.

Grease 2

  • Directors: Patricia Birch
  • Producers: Robert Stigwood, Allan Carr
  • Writers: Ken Finkleman
  • Genres: Comedy, Drama, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Maxwell Caulfield, Michelle Pfeiffer, Adrian Zmed, Lorna Luft

It is 1961, two years after the events of the first film took place, and a new academic year is just beginning at Rydell High School (Back To School Again). The Pink Ladies are now led by the beautiful Stephanie Zinone (Michelle Pfeiffer), who feels she has “outgrown” her relationship with the arrogant leader of the The T-Birds, Johnny Nogerelli (Adrian Zmed) during summer break. A new arrival comes in the form of clean-cut English student Michael Carrington (Maxwell Caulfield), the cousin of Sandy Olsson (the character played by Olivia Newton-John in Grease). Michael quickly becomes smitten with Stephanie, despite the gentle protestation of the sole remaining lead character from the first film, Frenchy (Didi Conn), who observes that she will not date him since he is not a T-Bird.

At the local bowling alley, a competitive game (Score Tonight) turns sour due to the animosity between Johnny and Stephanie. Johnny flirts with Stephanie’s friend and fellow Pink Lady, Paulette Rebchuck (Lorna Luft), to make Stephanie jealous, and she retaliates by kissing the next man who walks in the door, which happens to be Michael. Bemused by this unexpected kiss, Michael attempts to ask her out the next day at an audition for the school talent show, but discovers that she has a very specific vision of her ideal man (Cool Rider). He realizes that he will only win her affection if he turns himself into a cool rider, and begins saving up for a motorcycle by selling completed homework assignments to the academically-challenged T-Birds. He buys the bike, fixes it up and spends all his spare time learning to ride it.

The school year ends with the graduation luau the next day (Rock-A-Hula Luau) during which Johnny and Stephanie later engage in another argument while being carried onto the pool in a floating throne. The Cycle Lords suddenly appear and begin to destroy the celebration, but are stopped by the emergence of the Cool Rider, much to the surprise of Stephanie. After roundly defeating the Cycle Lords and leaping over the pool on his motorcycle, he finally reveals himself to all in attendance to be Michael. After his initial shock, Johnny offers him a T-Bird jacket and welcomes him into the gang, and Stephanie finally accepts that she can have “two for the price of one” – a cool rider and a Shakespeare. All of the couples pair off (Michael/Stephanie, Johnny/Paulette, Lewis/Sharon, Davey/Dolores & Rhonda/Goose, happily (We’ll Be Together). The credits start rolling and just like in the first movie, it’s in the style of a yearbook.

The Producers

  • Directors: Susan Stroman
  • Producers: Mel Brooks
  • Writers: Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical
  • Actors: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell, Gary Beach, Roger Bart, Jon Lovitz

The flop musical “Funny Boy” (based on William Shakespeare’s Hamlet) opens – and closes (“Opening Night”). Afterward, Leo Bloom (Matthew Broderick) arrives at the office of the show’s washed up producer, Max Bialystock (Nathan Lane). Max has hired Leo Bloom as his accountant. While studying Max’s books, Leo inadvertently inspires Max to put on a show that is certain to fail at the box office and cleverly change their accounts leaving them with $2,000,000 to spend. At first, Leo refuses to participate. Max, who cannot change the books himself, attempts to coax Leo into the scheme (“We Can Do It”). Leo still refuses and returns to his old accounting firm, Whitehall & Marks.

After being chastised by Mr. Marks (Jon Lovitz), Leo fantasizes about being a Broadway producer (“I Wanna Be a Producer”). Leo quits his job and with Max, forms Bialystock & Bloom. Max and Leo search for “the worst play ever written” and discover Springtime for Hitler, written by an ex-Nazi named Franz Liebkind (Will Ferrell). They are coerced into performing Adolf Hitler’s favorite tune and obeying the sacred “Siegfried Oath” in order to gain Liebkind’s signature for Broadway rights to the musical (“Der Guten Tag Hop-Clop”). They solicit a flamboyant gay director, Roger De Bris (Gary Beach) (“the worst director in the world”), to direct and choreograph the play. De Bris initially refuses saying that the musical is far too dark and gritty and that Broadway needs to be more “gay” (“Keep It Gay”). Roger is talked into it, however, after being enticed by Max and Leo, who tell him that if he directs the play, he is certain to win a Tony. Then, Ulla (Uma Thurman), a beautiful Swedish woman, appears at their office for casting despite there being no auditions. Max insists on hiring her as their secretary and auditioning her (“When You’ve Got It, Flaunt It”).

As the show opens, the audience is horrified and begins to walk out until Roger steps on stage as Hitler. Because his performance is so flamboyant, the audience sees the play as a mockery of Hitler rather than Franz’s original vision (“Springtime for Hitler”). As a result, the show is a success and the IRS will be keeping tabs on Max and Leo. After the show, an angry Franz starts trying to shoot the producers for, despite his show being a hit, making a fool out of Hitler. However, the police arrest him after hearing the shots, but not before breaking his other leg while trying to escape. Max, too, gets arrested for his tax fraud, while Leo and Ulla escape to Rio (“Betrayed”), but they return to stand up for Max in court (“‘Til Him”). The judge sentences them both to five years at Sing Sing, but they and Franz are pardoned after writing a musical in prison (“Prisoners of Love”), and go on to become successful Broadway producers.

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

  • Directors: Ken Hughes
  • Producers: Albert R Broccoli, Stanley Sopel
  • Writers: Roald Dahl, Ken Hughes, Richard Maibaum
  • Genres: Family, Comedy, Musical, Fantasy
  • Actors: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Adrian Hall, Heather Ripley, Lionel Jeffries

The time is the 1910s. Jeremy and Jemima Potts are playing in a wrecked car in Mr. Coggins’ junkyard. The wreck, Coggins explains to a potential customer, was a winning Grand Prix race car until it crashed. The customer is only interested in it for salvage, but Coggins accepts his offer, much to the children’s dismay.

On the way home, the children meet the beautiful Truly, who demands to know why they are not in school. They take her home to their windmill, where she is introduced to their eccentric father, Caractacus Potts—who is about to make an attempt to fly—and the equally eccentric Grandpa Potts, who, resplendent in soldiers’ uniform, explains that he is going to India for “a cup of tea with the Maharaja”, before disappearing into the outhouse at the end of the garden. Truly shows interest in Caractacus’ odd inventions, but he is affronted by her attempts to tell him that his children should be in school. Angrily, she leaves.

The children tell Caractacus about the car, and he promises to try and get it, although he can’t afford to outbid the scrap man. Edison, the family dog, discovers that the supposedly useless “sweets with holes in”, made by Caractacus, can whistle. Caractacus goes to a local sweet factory the next day, and attempts to show his new candy to Lord Scrumptious, who turns out to be Truly’s father. He initially refuses to look at the sweets, but eventually gives in, and finds he likes them. However, the whistling attracts every dog in the village, and they ruin the factory’s confectionery, and Lord Scrumptious throws Caractacus out.

Back at the seaside, Jeremy and Jemima finish the story themselves: “And Daddy and Truly were married!” “And lived happily ever after!” When Truly asks, “Is that how the story ends?” Caractacus is evasive, and later tries to “apologize” for the children’s ending by saying “It’s ridiculus for the children to say that”. Truly, feeling rebuffed, storms off. The Potts arrive home to find Lord Scrumptious waiting with wonderful news: he has decided to market the whistling sweets Caractacus invented to dogs. Now assured of riches, Caractacus is about to sign the contract, but dashes off in Chitty to tell Truly the news. He runs her off the road yet again, carries her from the car, and they decide to be married after all. As they drive off together in Chitty, the car takes to the air again, this time without wings.

My Best Friend s Wedding

  • Directors: P J Hogan
  • Producers:
  • Writers:
  • Genres: Comedy, Musical, Romance
  • Actors: Julia Roberts, Dermot Mulroney, Cameron Diaz, Rupert Everett, Philip Bosco

Julianne Potter (Julia Roberts), a 27-year-old New York restaurant critic, receives a call from her longtime friend Michael O’Neil (Dermot Mulroney). In college, the two made an agreement that if neither of them were married by the time they turned 28, they would marry each other. Four days before her 28th birthday, Michael tells her he has fallen in love with, and is about to marry, Kimberly Wallace (Cameron Diaz), a 20-year-old University of Chicago student from a wealthy family. This causes Julianne to realize she has always been in love with Michael and cannot stand to see him wed another woman.

Julianne heads to Chicago, intent on sabotaging Michael’s wedding. Soon after arriving she meets Kimberly, who puts her on the spot and asks her to be the maid of honor. Julianne reluctantly agrees. This sets off a comical Jekyll and Hyde scenario, where Julianne must pretend to be the dutiful maid of honor while secretly scheming ways to prevent the wedding from happening. She engages in petty sabotage — for example, taking Kimberly and Michael to a karaoke bar after discovering Kimberly is a terrible singer, and making her sing in front of a large crowd — and later invites her gay friend George (Rupert Everett) to Chicago and pretends she is engaged to him, hoping to make Michael jealous.

At the wedding reception, Julianne makes a toast and finally bids goodbye to Michael, literally and figuratively. The bride and groom depart for their honeymoon, and Julianne is left sitting alone at a table. She receives an unexpected phone call from George, who is surreptitiously calling from an adjacent table, knowing that Julianne would be depressed. The two friends dance together as the film ends.

Willy Wonka the Chocolate Factory

  • Directors: Mel Stuart
  • Producers: David L Wolper, Stan Margulies
  • Writers: Roald Dahl, David Seltzer
  • Genres: Family, Musical, Fantasy, Comedy
  • Actors: Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Peter Ostrum

Charlie Bucket is a poor boy living with his widowed mother and four bedridden grandparents in a tiny house. Charlie supplements the meager family income by delivering newspapers after school. The family, along with the rest of the world, learns that the chocolate maker, Mr Willy Wonka, has hidden five Golden Tickets amongst his Wonka Bars. The finders of these special tickets will be given a full tour of his world-renowned but tightly-guarded candy factory, as well as a lifetime supply of chocolate. Charlie wants to take part in the search, but cannot afford to buy vast quantities of chocolate like most other participants. Soon, four of the tickets are found by, respectively, Augustus Gloop, a gluttonous German boy; Veruca Salt, a spoiled British girl; Violet Beauregarde, a gum-chomping American girl; and Mike Teevee, a television-obsessed American boy. As they find their tickets, a sinister-looking man is observed whispering something in their ears, to which they listen attentively despite their preoccupations with their particular obsessions. Charlie’s hopes are dashed when news breaks out that the final ticket has been found by a Paraguayan millionaire.

The next day, as the Golden Ticket craze dies down, Charlie finds a silver coin in a gutter and uses it to buy a Wonka Bar. Simultaneously, word spreads that the ticket found by the millionaire was forged. When Charlie opens the bar, he finds the true final ticket inside, and races home to tell his family. He is stopped along the way by the same man who had been seen silently talking to the other four winners. The man introduces himself as Arthur Slugworth, a rival confectioner who attempts to pay Charlie for a sample of Wonka’s latest creation, the Everlasting Gobstopper.

Wonka, Charlie and Grandpa Joe enter the “Wonkavator”, a multidirectional glass elevator, and fly out of the factory in it. As they soar over the village, Wonka tells Charlie that his actual prize is not a lifetime chocolate supply, per se, but the factory itself, as the Golden Ticket search was conceived to help Wonka search for an honest and worthy child to be the heir to his chocolate empire. Charlie and his family will reside in the factory, and eventually take over its operation when he retires. The film ends with the Wonkavator sailing off into the sky.

Alice in Wonderland

  • Directors: Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, Hamilton Luske
  • Producers: Walt Disney
  • Writers: Winston Hibler, Ted Sears, Bill Peet, Erdman Penner, Joe Rinaldi, Milt Banta, William Cottrell, Dick Kelsey, Joe Grant, Dick Huemer, Del Connell, Tom Oreb, John Walbridge
  • Genres: Animation, Adventure, Family, Fantasy, Musical
  • Actors: Kathryn Beaumont, Ed Wynn, Richard Haydn, Sterling Holloway, Jerry Colonna, Verna Felton, J Pat O Malley, Bill Thompson, Heather Angel, Joseph Kearns, Larry Grey, Queenie Leonard, Dink Trout, Doris Lloyd, James MacDonald, The Mellomen, Don Barclay

On the bank of a tranquil river, Alice grows bored listening to her sister read aloud from a history book about William I of England. Alice sees a White Rabbit wearing a waistcoat and carrying a large pocket watch. She follows him and tumbles down a rabbit hole. At the bottom, she follows the Rabbit into a large chamber but he escapes through a tiny door. The Doorknob suggests Alice drink from a bottle marked “Drink me.” The contents shrink her to a tiny fraction of her original size. The door is locked, and the key appears on the table, which she can not reach. The Doorknob directs her to a cookie marked “Eat me.” The cookie makes her grow so large that her head hits the ceiling. She begins to cry; her massive tears flood the room. The Doorknob points out that the “Drink me” bottle still has some fluid left inside, so she finishes the last drop. She becomes so small that she drops inside the bottle. Both she and the bottle drift through the doorknob’s keyhole mouth and out to a sea made from Alice’s tears.

On shore, a Dodo bird leads a group of animals in a futile caucus-race to get dry. Alice meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee, two fat brothers who recite “The Walrus and the Carpenter”. Alice sneaks away to the White Rabbit’s house. The Rabbit orders Alice to fetch his gloves. Inside the house, Alice eats a cookie. She becomes so large that she gets stuck inside the house. The Dodo tries to help by sending Bill the Lizard down the chimney and then setting the house on fire. Alice eats a carrot from the garden and shrinks down to three inches high.

Coming back to the Doorknob, Alice is told by him that he is still locked, but that she is already on the other side. Looking through the keyhole, Alice sees herself asleep in the park. As the mob draws nearer, she calls, “Alice, wake up!” to her sleeping self until she gradually awakens from the dream to the sound of her sister’s voice. The two of them return home for teatime while Alice muses on her adventures in Wonderland, realizing that perhaps logic and reason exist for a purpose.