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A Song in the DarkThe Birth of the Musical Film$
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Richard Barrios

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195377347

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.001.0001

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Is It a Musical?

Is It a Musical?

Chapter:
(p.299) 13 Is It a Musical?
Source:
A Song in the Dark
Author(s):

Richard Barrios

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195377347.003.0014

Films that were not, strictly speaking, musicals, could still employ a large amount of music and song. With generic boundaries not firmly established, “crossover” works were yet another way in which sound film could test lyrical waters. Master directors King Vidor and Rouben Mamoulian used this approach to create the early-sound milestones Hallelujah! and Applause, respectively, as did Josef von Sternberg with The Blue Angel and Morocco. Several silent actors also turned to the semi-musical genre, most successively Gloria Swanson in The Trespasser. Such genre-spanning crossover would not play a major part in film after the first musical wave.

Keywords:   crossover, semi-musical, genres, Vidor, Hallelujah, Mamoulian, Applause, Gloria Swanson, Joseph Kennedy

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