Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter

Title: Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter
Author: Richard Barrios
Score: 4/5 quills
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Release Date: May 6, 2014

“Where other genres simply pass in and out of style, musicals soar and careen and nosedive. Intended to seem effortless and diverting they are beneath those gleaming surfaces, complicated and contradictory.” -Dangerous Rhythm by Richard Barrios
Often brilliant, usually fun and mostly ridiculous (in that everyone can burst into song and dance at any moment), musicals have been a part of the film industry nearly as long as the talking picture. Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter explains the viability of these fixtures of film by explaining the true history (don't believe everything, Singin' in the Rain tells you) and giving the background to many musicals we might never have known existed but for this book.

Barrios' book is certainly an interesting read. In addition to making a case for the musical, he draws the reader into the world of the musical makers against the background of the 20th and 21st centuries. Dangerous Rhythm is a history lesson for musical lovers and armchair historians alike. The accompanying anecdotes (i.e. "Over the Rainbow" nearly found itself on the cutting room floor!) and photographs keep the focus and help us to realize that the art form of the musical certainly is not going to fade away anytime soon.

Dangerous Rhythm is available in hardcover and e-book formats at Amazon.com.

A copy of this book was provided to me free of cost from Oxford Press via Netgalley.com with no expectation of a positive review. The views printed here are my own.



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