Are you looking for a great tap dancing film to watch during National Dance Week? If so, I’d like to make several recommendations. Each one is a movie that I have watched and enjoyed over the years. Here they are:
“The Little Colonel” (1935)
Director David Butler’s “The Little Colonel” is the first film that made my list for one simple reason. It starred Shirley Temple and Bill “Bojangles” Robinson. In the film, they participate in an incredible stair dance together. Although I wasn’t around when the film first came out, I got to watch it as a child. At the time, I was so entranced by it and all of Temple’s other films that I begged my parents to enroll me in dance class. They eventually obliged.
“The Cotton Club” (1984)
Director Francis Ford Coppola’s film “The Cotton Club” just happens to be one of my favorites. I like it for several reasons. First, it has a great cast. It also has one heck of a storyline and a lot of great scenes. In my opinion, one of the best ones was Gregory Hine’s staircase dance. Additional artists involved with the film include Richard Gere, Nicholas Cage, and Laurence Fishburne.
Director Nick Castle’s “Tap” is another film that I’d recommend watching, especially if you are a fan of Gregory Hines. He plays one of the key roles in the movie. The storyline focuses on a tap-dancing ex-con and the choices that he makes after his release from a prison stint. Other incredible artists that participated in the film were Sammy Davis Jr., Savion Glover, Jimmy Slyde, Bunny Briggs and Howard Sims.
“Stepping Out” (1991)
Director Lewis Gilbert’s film “Stepping Out” is ideal if you adore musical dramas and want to see an incredibly talented cast. The storyline is charming too. It focuses on a former Broadway dancer that starts to train a group of other folks in the art of tap. Memorable artists associated with the film include Liza Minnelli, Bill Irwin and Shelley Winters.
Director Joseph Sargent’s film “Bojangles” is a great one to watch because of the tap dancing. It also gives some insight into Bill Robinson’s career. However, I wouldn’t take every word of the film as gospel. If you really want to learn more about the facts surrounding Robinson’s career, there are other sources available. One of them is the American Tap Dance Foundation.
“Happy Feet” (2006)
The last tap related movie to make my list is director George Miller’s “Happy Feet.” It’s an adorable, family-friendly movie about an animated penguin with a penchant for tap. You can’t get much more kid friendly than that. Some of the artists that lent their voices to the film are Nicole Kidman, Brittany Murphy and Robin Williams.
Source: Personal Experience
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