As Richard Barrios sees it, movie musicals can go one way or the other — some of them end up as cultural touchstones, and others as train wrecks. In his book Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter, Barrios goes behind-the-scenes to uncover the backstories of these fabulous hits and problematic (if not exactly forgettable) flops. In the slideshow below, take a tour through some of the great movie musicals — and some insight into life on set.
Richard Barrios worked in the music and film industries before turning to film history with the award-winning A Song in the Dark and his recent book on the history of movie musicals Dangerous Rhythm: Why Movie Musicals Matter. He lectures extensively and appears frequently on television and in film and DVD documentaries. Born in the swamps of south Louisiana and a longtime resident of New York City, he now lives in bucolic suburban Philadelphia.