The Movie Musical

Quick Takes

Movies & Popular Culture

About The Book

Putting Asian and European musicals into conversation with Hollywood classics like Singin’ in the Rain and La La Land, this study demonstrates the flexibility and durability of the genre. It explores how the movie musical mediates between nostalgia and technical innovation, while foregrounding the experiences of women, immigrants and people of color.


“In her follow-up to The Migration of Musical Film, Desiree Garcia discards the ‘boom and bust’ narrative stubbornly bonded to the Hollywood musical—along with its link to ‘mindless’ escapism. Through attentive, close readings, The Movie Musical unearths ways that musicals accommodate changing times and audiences, acknowledging their insights about the cultures and audiences in which they work—and actually help construct. A welcome addition to film musical and genre scholarship.”

--Caryl Flinn, author of Brass Diva and The Sound of Music (BFI Film Classics)

“‘S Wonderful! ‘S Marvelous! How can such a diverse genre be covered so well in so short a book? Desirée Garcia’s The Movie Musical adeptly surveys its long history and recurring conventions while offering a global perspective that enables her to discuss the genre in original and innovative ways.”

--Steven Cohan, author of Incongruous Entertainment, Hollywood by Hollywood, and Hollywood Musicals