Work week got you down? Harness the mood-enhancing power of song and dance! Here are a half-dozen videos of Hollywood hoofers through which no sour disposition can possibly persist.
01. The Fastest Gun Alive is a 1956 western about a gunslinger trying to go straight. With challengers in every town eager to prove their guns are faster, how can he leave his reputation behind? Also, what in the world is this high-energy hoedown sequence doing in the middle of an otherwise bleak tale of the gunfighter's burden? I don't know, but it's great. I think Russ Tamblyn invents Parkour here:
02. Consider doing some stretches before you play this astonishing clip of the Nicholas Brothers in Stormy Weather from 1943 with Cab Calloway. You could easily get a vicarious groin pull just from watching.
03. Sure, that soggy umbrella routine of his is way more famous, but this scene from It's Always Fair Weather features something special: Gene Kelly on roller skates!
Embedding is disabled for these next three, but if these people can do such amazing things with their bodies, you can rouse your finger to click a few links, right?
04. Go ahead, try to stay down in the doldrums while watching this clip from Cabin in the Sky (1943), I dare you: John W. Bubbles performs "Shine" in a sequence reportedly directed by Busby Berkeley. (Vincente Minnelli got the credit.) Here's how influential Bubbles was: Fred Astaire took tap lessons from him in the '20s, and Michael Jackson named his chimp after him in the '80s. The Internet says so; it must be true. John W. Bubbles, "Shine"
05. Why, why, is the 1959 L'il Abner musical not available on Blu-ray? Even the DVD is out of print, so expect to cough up big money for an unused copy. There's some essential exposition at the beginning of this clip (including the introduction of Julie Newmar as "Stupefyin' Jones," perhaps her sexiest role, which is saying something). But viewers in some kind of a hurry may wish to skip to the three-minute mark, when the "Sadie Hawkins" production number really gets started. Sadie Hawkins sequence, LI'L ABNER
06. Finally, here's First Lady of the American stage, triple threat Rita Moreno, dancing a particularly savage tango with a man-sized Muppet. The YouTube clip is dubbed in French, but don't worry if you don't speak it -- Ms. Moreno communicates through the universal languages of dance, body slams, and trying to bite someone's ear off. That's entertainment! Rita Moreno on THE MUPPET SHOW .
Got any personal favorite song-and/or-dance film sequences? Share 'em in the comments!