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Classic Musicals Directors: 4 Filmmakers Who Stand Out

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By    |   Saturday, 02 May 2015 03:04 AM

More so than maybe any other film genre, the musical requires a deft hand by the movie's director. The songs must not only be entertaining, but they must drive the story as well. Masters of film and music alike, these four directors produced some of the most beloved classic musicals of all time.

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1. Victor Fleming

Famous for directing the 1939 hit "The Wizard of Oz," the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) reports that Victor started his big-screen career as a stuntman in 1910. He got involved in working the other side of the camera when he became a cameraman for many films starring Douglas Fairbanks. He started directing films eventually, his first hit as director 1929's "The Virginian." The first musical he directed was "Reckless," completed in 1935. In 1938, he worked alongside Julien Duvivier and Josef von Sternberg on "The Great Waltz." Just one year later, he took on the role of director for "The Wizard of Oz" partway through the film's production as the original director left and was able to make a remarkable piece out of the potentially floundering film.

2. Robert Stevenson

It is thanks to this imaginative director that children across the globe know the trick to enduring even the ickiest of medicines. Robert Stevenson's 1964 hit "Mary Poppins" rose to high acclaim, earning him a nomination in that year's Academy Awards for Best Director, the only director to achieve such a distinction for a Disney film, according to IMDb. He is also credited as director of five other musical films or television shows including "Bedknobs and Broomsticks" (1971).

3. Robert Wise

A jack of all trades, Robert Wise directed 39 films across a multitude of genres, causing some critics to accuse him of having no distinct style, Turner Classic Movies reports. He directed eight musicals, the most famous of which are "West Side Story" (1961) and "The Sound of Music" (1965). These astounding films earned him four Oscars in total – Best Director and Best Picture for both "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music."

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4. Mel Stuart

While Mel Stuart's preferred genre was documentary, he directed one of the most beloved family musicals of all time: "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" (1971). Although so disparate from his typical films, Stuart regarded "Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory" as the most rewarding experience of his career, The Guardian reports. Despite his dedication to documentary, Stuart openly accepted and enjoyed the fact that it was his wildly popular musical that dazzled the widest audience.

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More so than any other film genre, the musical requires a deft hand by the movie's director. The songs must not only be entertaining, but they must drive the story as well. Masters of film and music alike, these four directors produced some of the most beloved classics.
classic, musicals, directors, movies, filmmakers
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2015-04-02
Saturday, 02 May 2015 03:04 AM
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