LOS ANGELES, Sept. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- American Film Institute (AFI) revealed the top 25 movie musicals of all time in The Big Picture -- AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals, a one-night only presentation produced by the Los Angeles Philharmonic Association in cooperation with AFI. A jury of over 500 film artists, composers, musicians, critics and historians selected the Gene Kelly song-and-dance classic SINGIN' IN THE RAIN as the most memorable movie musical of all time. Rounding off the top 10 were movie musicals from the 1930s to today, including: WEST SIDE STORY (#2); THE WIZARD OF OZ (#3); THE SOUND OF MUSIC (#4); CABARET (#5); MARY POPPINS (#6); A STAR IS BORN (#7); MY FAIR LADY (#8); AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (#9); and MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (#10). Spanning a century of film music and counting down from 25 to number one throughout the evening, Director John Mauceri and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra performed excerpts from each of the winning musicals, many of them accompanied by favorite movie scenes shown on the Bowl's big video screens. While television broadcasts have announced the previous nine installments of AFI's 100 Years ... series, following the success of last year's AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores, this is now the second time an AFI countdown was revealed before a live audience. The Honorees Are ... FILM TITLE YEAR STUDIO 1 SINGIN' IN THE RAIN 1952 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 2 WEST SIDE STORY 1961 United Artists 3 WIZARD OF OZ, THE 1939 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 4 SOUND OF MUSIC, THE 1965 Twentieth Century-Fox 5 CABARET 1972 Allied Artists 6 MARY POPPINS 1964 Disney 7 STAR IS BORN, A 1954 Warner Bros. 8 MY FAIR LADY 1964 Warner Bros. 9 AMERICAN IN PARIS, AN 1951 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 10 MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS 1944 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 11 KING AND I, THE 1956 Twentieth Century-Fox 12 CHICAGO 2002 Miramax 13 42ND STREET 1933 Warner Bros. 14 ALL THAT JAZZ 1979 Twentieth Century-Fox, Columbia 15 TOP HAT 1935 RKO 16 FUNNY GIRL 1968 Columbia 17 BAND WAGON, THE 1953 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 18 YANKEE DOODLE DANDY 1942 Warner Bros. 19 ON THE TOWN 1949 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 20 GREASE 1978 Paramount 21 SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS 1954 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 22 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST 1991 Disney 23 GUYS AND DOLLS 1955 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer 24 SHOW BOAT 1936 Universal 25 MOULIN ROUGE! 2001 Twentieth Century Fox Created as a sidebar to AFI's popular AFI's 100 Years ... series, AFI's Greatest Movie Musicals continues the mission of this program -- to reignite an interest in classic American cinema. This theme additionally befits the Hollywood Bowl's annual movie night, which brings to life the music of the world's most beloved films. AFI's 100 Years ... series has garnered considerable attention from movie lovers around the world -- and consistently sparks national discussions of America's film history. Previous programs within this series have included AFI 100 Years ... 100 Movies (1998), ... 100 Stars (1999), ... 100 Laughs (2000), ... 100 Thrills (2001), ... 100 Passions (2002), ... 100 Heroes & Villains (2003), ... 100 Songs (2004), ... 100 Movie Quotes (2005) and ... 100 Cheers (2006). About the Jury Process AFI distributed a ballot with 250 nominated movie musicals to a jury of over 500 leaders from the creative community, including composers, musicians, film artists (directors, screenwriters, actors, editors and cinematographers), critics and historians. Due to the extensive number of memorable movie musicals in American film, jurors were also allowed to write in votes for musicals that did not already appear on the ballot. The jurors were asked to consider the following criteria in making their selections: MUSICAL A feature-length American film* in which music and lyrics significantly advance the plot, develop character or are otherwise integral to the film narrative. HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE Musicals that have left an indelible mark on the history of the moving image -- through innovation in song and dance, visionary narrative devices or other groundbreaking achievements. CREATIVE IMPACT Musicals with songs that evoke the memory of its film source, thus ensuring and enlivening both the music and the movie's historical legacy. LEGACY Musicals that continue to inspire artists and audiences alike. *AFI defines an American film as an English language motion picture with significant creative and/or financial production elements from the United States. AFI defines a feature-length film as a motion picture of narrative format that is typically over 60 minutes in length. About the American Film Institute AFI is a national institute providing leadership in screen education and the recognition and celebration of excellence in the art of film, television and digital media. AFI trains the next generation of filmmakers at its world-renowned Conservatory, maintains America's film heritage through the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and explores new digital technologies in entertainment and education through the AFI Digital Content Lab and K-12 Screen Education Center. As the largest nonprofit exhibitor in the US, AFI ON SCREEN encompasses the annual AFI FEST presented by Audi: AFI Los Angeles International Film Festival -- as well as year-round programming at ArcLight Hollywood and the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center in Silver Spring, Maryland, including SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival. AFI AWARDS, the annual almanac for the 21st century, honors the most outstanding motion pictures and television programs of the year, while AFI's 100 Years ... series has ignited extraordinary public interest in classic American movies. And, during the past 34 years, AFI's Life Achievement Award has become the highest honor for a career in film. Additional information about AFI is available at AFI.com. About the Hollywood Bowl Born in New York City in 1945, conductor/composer JOHN MAUCERI graduated from Yale University. He made his professional conducting debut in 1973 at Wolf Trap. Since his 1974 orchestral conducting debut with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Mr. Mauceri has appeared with numerous major orchestras including the New York Philharmonic, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, the Cleveland Orchestra, the Philadelphia Orchestra, the San Francisco Symphony, the Atlanta Symphony, the Israel Philharmonic, the London Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Philharmonic, the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Gewandhaus, the Orchestra of Santa Cecilia in Rome, the Orchestre National de France, the DSO Berlin, the Leipzig Radio Orchestra and the National Orchestra of Portugal in Lisbon. Much in demand as an operatic conductor, he has led productions at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, La Scala, the Metropolitan Opera, the San Francisco Opera and the Deutsche Oper, Berlin. Mr. Mauceri is one of the world's most accomplished recording artists and is the recipient of Grammy, Tony, Olivier, Drama Desk, Edison, Emmy, Diapason d'Or, Cannes Classique, Billboard, and four Deutsche Schallplatten awards. In 1999, Mr. Mauceri was chosen as a "Standard-bearer of the Twentieth Century" for WQXR, the nation's most-listened-to classical radio station. In addition, CNN and CNN International chose Mauceri as a "Voice of the Millennium." Mauceri has just concluded his sixth and final season as Music Director of the Pittsburgh Opera, where he led productions of Strauss' Ariadne auf Naxos, with soprano Jane Eaglen in the title role, as well as Puccini's Tosca and Mozart's Cosi fan tutte. This past winter Mauceri conducted Leipzig's legendary Gewandhaus Orchestra for the 7th consecutive season, which is unprecedented in the orchestra's 200-year history. He will be appearing with them in four different programs in 2007 and 2008. This winter he also completed the world premiere recording of Danny Elfman's first work for symphonic orchestra, Serenada Schizophrana, which was recorded in Los Angeles and will be released on Sony Classical this autumn. One of the largest natural amphitheaters in the world, with a seating capacity of nearly 18,000, the HOLLYWOOD BOWL has been the summer home of the Los Angeles Philharmonic since its official opening in 1922, and in 1991 gave its name to the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, a resident ensemble that has filled a special niche in the musical life of Southern California. The 2004 season introduced audiences to a revitalized Hollywood Bowl, featuring a newly-constructed shell and stage and the addition of four stadium screens enhancing stage views in the venue. To this day, $1 buys a seat at the top of the Bowl for many of the Los Angeles Philharmonic's concerts. While the Bowl is best known for its sizzling summer nights, during the day California's youngest patrons enjoy "SummerSounds: Music for Kids at the Hollywood Bowl," the Southland's most popular summer arts festival for children, now in its 38th season. Attendance figures over the past several decades have soared: in 1980 the Bowl first topped the half-million mark and close to one million admissions have been recorded. In February 2006, the Hollywood Bowl was named Best Major Outdoor Concert Venue for the second year in a row at the 17th Annual Pollstar Concert Industry Awards; the Bowl's summer music festival has become as much a part of a Southern California summer as beaches and barbecues, the Dodgers and Disneyland. The complete list of 25 Movie Musicals can be found at both www.AFI.com and www.HollywoodBowl.com.
SOURCE American Film Institute (AFI)