During the 1950’s big stars and big productions reigned in movie musicals.
The 1950’s was an important decade for both television and movies. There were many innovations in technology, movie studios and networks were constantly creating new programs and movies, and many iconic stars came out of the decade including James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. Movie musicals were a major category in the 1950’s. Some say it was the “Golden Age” of the genre, and yet others say it marked the end of the heyday because of competition from television.
Many big stars and major musical theater writers and composers flourished in the 1950’s. Rodgers and Hammerstein were among the most successful with their string of hits including Oklahoma (1955) which won an Academy Award, The King and I (1956), and South Pacific (1958). Irving Berlin was a popular composer and lyricist and his popular film scores from the decade include Annie Get Your Gun (1950) and White Christmas (1954).
Here’s a look at some more of the most popular movie musicals of the 1950’s and the stars that made them great.
Singin’ in the Rain, 1952 – Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, and Donald O’Connor
White Christmas, 1954 – Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye
Guys and Dolls, 1955 – Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra
Royal Wedding, 1951 – Fred Astaire
An American in Paris, 1951 – Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron
Showboat, 1951 – Ava Gardner
The King and I, 1956 – Yul Brenner and Deborah Kerr
The Bandwagon, 1953 – Fred Astaire
Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 1953 – Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Russell