Onward we go into the meat of the AFI's list of the Top 100 Movie Songs of the past 100 years. We're having fun, so stick with us!
#41 Theme from New York, New York
from On The Town
Warner Bros. Studios
A landmark film starring Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra, "On The Town" was the first musical to shoot on location. And who could forget "The Bronx is up, and the Battery's down. The people ride in a whole in the ground. New York, New York! It's a wonderful town!" A great pick for the list and a fine movie to boot!
#42 Luck Be A Lady
from Guys and Dolls
Warner Bros. Studios
Based on the Damon Runyon novel and the Broadway play, "Guys and Dolls" was an enormous hit in the 1950's and became a staple of television as well. Its star-studded cast gave moviegoers a real treat - stars they knew in a fast-paced, glib Broadway comedy. Amazingly, the AFI chose to honor this song, croaked out by Marlon Brando over the much snappier and appropriate pick "I Got The Horse Right Here" featuring Frank Sinatra (a singer of some note) and Stubby Kaye (a veteran of the stage and screen), or the charming ballad "Adelaide" by Sinatra alone. Here's a great movie to take a chance on.
#43 The Way You Look Tonight
from Swing Time
Its another Fred and Ginger classic, featuring one of the most romantic movie songs ever written - "The Way You Look Tonight" by legendary songwriter Jerome Kern. Many believe this was the best of the Fred and Ginger movies, and I'd be hard-pressed to disagree. The film also includes Kern's "A Fine Romance." Its a movie that certainly deserves the label "classic."
#44 Wind Beneath My Wings
Walt Disney Studios
I've never seen this film, so I can't comment beyond noting that it was well-received by critics and audiences.
#45 That's Entertainment
from The Band Wagon
Fred Astaire's favorite dance partner was his co-star in this film, Cyd Charisse. The catchy tune became the theme for a series of films produced by MGM to celebrate the history of the movies. All in all, this is a combination that deserves mention on the AFI list.
#46 Don't Rain On My Parade
from Funny Girl
Jule Stein gives "Funny Girl" Barbara Streisand one of her biggest hits in "Don't Rain On My Parade." The movie is a fun bit of fluff. Not one of my favorites, but certainly noteworthy in the history of the movies.
from Song Of The South
Walt Disney Studios
This 1947 Disney film was controversial when it was released and has remained so to this day. It's the only Disney film that has never been released to home video in the United States - although it has been released in Europe and Asia - because of the Steppin' Fetchit-style character Uncle Remus the legendary black man who told tales with a thick dialect. The uplifting song from the movie, "Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah" is one of the Disney Studio's most popular songs of all time. Sadly, this film remains largely unknown to American audiences for fear of the controversy it would spark.
#48 Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera)
from The Man Who Knew Too Much
This Hitchcock film (a remake of his 1934 film) starred box office favorites Jimmy Stewart and Doris Day. Its a gripping thriller, worthy of Hictchcock, despite the presence of Doris Day. The song "Que Sera, Sera" was one she became the theme song for her 1960's television series and was very popular way back when. Let's put it this way - the film is ocean's better than this song.
#49 Make 'em Laugh
from Singin' In The Rain
"Singin' In The Rain" had many great songs, including this hillarious sequence featuring Donald O'Connor bouncing around the stage. Its one of my favorite movie scenes and I'm obviously not alone in this opinion. Its just a shame that Donald O'Connor never got more roles of this quality. Much as I enjoyed the "Francis, The Talking Mule" movies, they were pretty much responsible for keeping Donald O'Connor in the role of comic relief.
#50 Rock Around the Clock
from Blackboard Jungle
Hollywood tackles racism and juvenille deliquency in this staggeringly boring movie featuring Glenn Ford as the naive young teacher and Sidney Poitier as the troubled youth in need of saving. Bill Haley's classic "Rock Around The Clock" was thrown in just to get kids to go see the film. It's a landmark song in an eminently forgettable movie and it has no place on the AFI list.