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The musicals had their beginning on stage. Sets, costumes, lighting and of course the music score are important components that the creative team, the director particularly plays around with. Musicals were born out of vaudevilles, the stress was not so much on the narrative as on an extravagant display…
It became a very popular genre in American cinema. Production houses making musical films sprouted and soon it was a thriving industry.
Warner Bros' The Jazz Singer in 1927 was among the first musicals that deviated from mere entertainment to a strong statement. Along with the strong appeal of music in the film, the narrative struck a chord with the Americans. This was a story of a young Jewish musician who breaks with his father and runs away to pursue his dream and emerges a roaring jazz singer. This was the time when jazz singing was not entirely free of stigma as its origins (in late nineteenth century) were believed to have been the brothels of New Orleans that provided music dancing as well as sex (A Passion for Jazz Musical History and Education
The American movie-goers lapped it up. In a way it also helped jazz singing come out of the shadows it was under. This reflected an eagerness in the public mind to through off the shackles of genteel society and explore new frontiers of morality.
Warner Bros' success spurned it on as one of the leading production houses of America. There was good deal of money involved and it soon incorporated a rigid structure in its functioning churning out films that grossed more than anything before. ...
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