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The 80s: The Decade that Musicals Forgot

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1415-films-janIn the Muse is excited to announce our January film series, The 80s: The Decade that Musicals Forgot. The movie musical was in its death throes in the 1980s, with many of the era’s contributions to the genre considered gaudy jokes. But these films have a vibrant, colorful energy and a core optimism that contemporary musicals would do well to emulate. With co-sponsors DCist and Brightest Young Things, we present three evenings of 80s musicals hosted by Music Division staff member and DCist film critic Pat Padua. Note: Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo will be screened in 35mm. The remaining films in the series will be projected from digital sources.

Streets of Fire (1984)

Directed by Walter Hill
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Fans of classic musicals know that RKO Pictures produced the great Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movies, but they may not know that a later incarnation of the company produced this ill-fated musical made by a director normally associated with action movies. Diane Lane and Willem Dafoe star in this dystopian rock ‘n’ roll fantasy. (93 min.)

Xanadu (1980)

Directed by Robert Greenwald
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Critics raved about the ironic Broadway revival of this notorious box-office bomb, which cast Gene Kelly in a supporting role as a nod to the classic musical. But the original has a winning sincerity largely missing from its better-reviewed stage cousin. (96 min.)

Breakin’ 2 (1984)

Directed by Sam Firstenberg
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The movie’s title has since become a nickname for unwanted sequels, and its dance movies and Day-Glo fashions have not aged well. But the movie has an innocent energy that is hard to resist. (111 min.)


Comments (3)

  1. Eddie and the Cruisers

  2. Hello, these are great, but it seems like they actually cost $3/each. That’s still a good deal, but they don’t seem to be free.

  3. Grease 2

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