Monday, November 8, 2010
Movie Musical Moment: Half A Sixpence (1967) "Money to Burn"
Based on H.G. Wells' novel Kipps, Half A Sixpence is the story of Arthur Kipps (Tommy Steele), an orphan apprenticed to a tyrannical owner of a mercantile shop. He has a sudden abrupt change of life when his wealthy grandfather dies and leaves him a pile of money. The musical first opened in London in 1963, followed by a Broadway stint in 1964, which ran for 15 months and received 9 Tony Award nominations including Best Musical. The Broadway run was just enough of a hit to insure that a movie version would be made in the late 1960s, although the movie musical genre was going the way of the dodo by that time. As this clip proves, musicals never had to justify people bursting into song and dance - they just did, backed up by an invisible 100-piece orchestra. I miss the days when a giddy musical number didn't have to further the plot along - it just had to be entertaining. With Tommy Steele's multi-various talents, Broadway hoofer Grover Dale as the other featured dancer, and the choreography of Gillian Lynne(pre-Cats, pre-Phantom of the Opera) this number is certainly that. Enjoy. - by Jonathan Lewis