Musicals adapted to the big screen--from West Side Story to The Phantom of the Opera --have enjoyed a staggering amount of success since the 1940s, and this guide is especially tailored to library patrons looking for help selecting the right flick to watch. The book is organized by decade, allowing readers to learn about the nuances of each era of musical movie production, and a description is paired with each film along with an explanation of why it is worth viewing. Watching musicals and learning their history by way of libraries and archives where such films are preserved and made available is heavily emphasized.
"There's Pleasure right here with a capital P -- all the joys of discovering or recalling those effervescent songfests from 'The Jazz Singer' to 'The Artist,' their tunes, talents, and gems of trivia dancing cheek-to-cheek with Kniffel's utterly embraceable commentaries." -- Arthur Plotnik, bestselling author, "Better Than Great", "Elements of Expression" & "Spunk & Bite" "A compact vital resource and an exalting peek into the mythology of our current era, 'Musicals on the Silver Screen' is a delectable cultural appetiser that won't spoil your appetite so you still have room for the main course." -- Robin Lukas, vocalist, pianist, and recording artist "This outstanding volume provides sketches of the most important musicals in Hollywood history while challenging readers to consider why they still resonate. I love this book, almost as much as The King and I, The Sound of Music and State Fair!" -- Wanda Urbanska, author, "The Heart of Simple Living" "Beginning with 1928's The Jazz Singer and ending with 2011's The Artist , Kniffel's overview of movie musicals offers a fresh and entertaining look at more than 450 examples of the genre. Kniffel, former editor of American Libraries , is an unabashed fan of musicals, and the annotations here feature his often exuberant personal views on their various film versions." --Rebecca Vnuk, Booklist "For a crash course in Movie Musicals 101, tiptoe no further past Musicals on the Silver Screen . Leonard Kniffel's paperback guide traipses through hundreds, from 1927's The Jazz Singer to 2011's The Artist ." --Rod Lott, Oklahoma Gazette
Leonard Kniffel was editor in chief of "American Libraries" magazine from 1996 to 2011 and worked as a librarian for 18 years at the Detroit Public Library. He is the author of "A Polish Son in the Motherland" and the editor of "Reading with the Stars." He lives in Chicago.