To celebrate National Classic Movie Day in style, I arbitrarily yet joyfully offer five of my favorite musical numbers in non-musical films. Only one is from noir, but all are classics in my world. From the sublime to the silly, enjoy.
In the melodrama with music that is 1954’s A Star is Born, “The Man That Got Away” shows Garland’s incredible emotional range, the power in her voice, and how she sings with her whole body.
Though I wish they’d have let her sing it herself, the “Put the Blame on Mame” number in Gilda (1946) is the film’s climax, as Rita Hayworth illustrates the impossibility of escaping the label of whore, even when you’re far more sinned against than sinning.
Monroe, Lemmon, and Curtis are utterly adorable in this wickedly adorable rending of “Running Wild” in Some Like It Hot (1959).
How many ways can you dally with a classic? Mel Brooks knows, and Gene Wilder and Peter Boyle carry off “Puttin’ on the Ritz” with inimitable style in the exquisite satire/homage Young Frankenstein (1974).
I adore the original The Producers (1968), and no other musical number can boast a Nazi theme with such wit and panache as “Springtime for Hitler.”