Film Criticism / Film History / List-o-rama / Uncategorized

The Weirdest (…and most politically incorrect) Movie Musical Numbers Ever Made!

Sure, plenty of folks hate musicals. (I hope none of them are among us, my lovely readers, and if so what on EARTH are you doing here?) But if someone detaches themselves from their devotion to the singing, dancing art, well, honestly it is a little weird. People burst into song, sets and dancers pop out of nowhere, everything basically turns into a live-action cartoon on cough medicine in even its most sober incantations. But believe me, once you take a look at these musical numbers from around the world, you’ll wonder if someone slipped something in your coffee before you scrolled down….

14. ‘Marijuana’ Number from Murder at the Vanities (1934) USA

Just what I needed, another excuse to do drugs.



13. ‘Xanadu’ Number from Xanadu (1980) USA

How does 20 million look like 20 dollars? Lets find out together…


<br /><a href=”; target=”_blank”>Olivia Newton John – Xanadu</a> <i>by <a href=”; target=”_blank”>jpdc11</a></i>


12. ‘The Apple’ Number from The Apple (1980) USA

‘…meet an actual, actual…vampire!’



11. ‘Milkshake’ Number from Can’t Stop the Music (1980) USA

Directed by Tony Winner Nancy Walker! (?) Shit is gayer than the inside of Judy’s throat. Somehow the Spanish subtitles add another level of Surrealism I didn’t think possible.



10. ‘I Only Have Eyes For You’ Number from Dames (1934)  USA

Well of course we can’t have a list without the king of movie musicals, Mr. Busby Berkeley. Berkeley in fact, got his obsessions with perfect formations of human bodies marching two and throw, making patterns of varying shapes and sizes because he was a Field Artillery Lieutenant in the Army before he got his start in show-business. Here is probably his most elaborate of the Warner Bros. early 30’s films which are to this day, quite a treat.



9. Circus Number from Цирк; Tsirk (1936) Soviet Union

Even the Soviets wanted a piece of Berkeley’s pie…



8. ‘Chinito Chinito’ Number from El Ángel caído”  (1948) Mexico

Chicano Spanish sung in a Chinese accent, with cheap melodrama and bad costumes? Count me in!



7. ‘Two Faced Woman’ Number from Torch Song (1953) USA

Its Joan Crawford’s B-Flick Comeback at Metro Goldwyn Mayer, not to mention Madame Fuck-Me-Pumps first foray in Technicolor! Just when you thought black face couldn’t get more offensive, Joan assures us that no, there’s more territory to forge there, yet. Make sure to watch the end and try not to let Crawford devour your soul in the process. And look at those male dancers trying to fall at her feet, yup, looks like everyone was working extra hard at Metro that day…



6. ‘Triplets’ Number from The Band Wagon (1953) USA

MGM was the master of unintentionally creepy musical numbers at times, and this one takes the cake. People dressed as babies are NEVER cute. Especially when they request ‘services’ on Craigslist ads.



5. ‘Typewriter Tip Tip Tip’ Number from Bombay Talkie (1970) UK/India

If I were to show real integrity this entire list would be Bollywood. Jesus Lord God they are the masters of Eyeball Fucking, Drug Induced, Psychedelic Weird Musical numbers in all the history of Cinema. This is actually not from a Bollywood Musical but from a British film about an English Writer who ends up researching the Bollywood film industry. Its a Merchant Ivory classic and this number has gotten love from such great writers as Salman Rushdie. This ‘Typewriter of Life’ is one that I wish predicted MY life anyday!



4.  Excerpt from  Princess Raccoon オペレッタ狸御殿 Operetta tanuki goten (2005) Japan

Here is one of the strangest of the batch. A fantasy musical by none other than Seijun Suzuki, director of such super-violent action classics as Tokyo Drifter and Branded to Kill! This musical is based primarily on Japanese folk-tales involving the mischievous Tanukis, Japanese badgers known for shape-shifting, large bellies and even larger testicles that they can use as magic. This story is about a Tanuki Princess who falls in love with a human!



3. ‘Tokyo Boogie Woogie’ Number from 銀座カンカン娘 Ginza kankan musume (1949) Japan

Erm, some things just don’t translate well outside of Japan, especially those kooky dance moves…LOVE it.



2. Anny Ondra’s Second Number in Die vom Rummelplatz or Das Micky Maus Girl (1930) Germany

Because there’s nothing totally eerie about seeing a bug eyed Mickey Mouse in reality! Or seeing said ‘Maus’ pull a particularly Buñuelian piano from the stage…



1. ‘The Lady With The Tutti Fruity Hat’ in The Gangs All Here (1945) USA

Did you really think I was going to give away the number one slot to anyone but Berkeley? One critic of the time dubbed it ‘a hairdressers dream…’ Its certainly no surprise that the Warhol Gang in 60’s New York were frequent watchers whenever this one rolled a reel at revival houses nearby.



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