motion picture consisting of a plot integrating musical numbers. Although usually considered an American genre, musical films from Japan, Italy, France, Great Britain, and Germany have contributed to the development of the type. The first musical film, The Jazz Singer (1927), starring Al Jolson, introduced the sound era of motion pictures. It was followed by a series of musicals hastily made to capitalize on the novelty of sound. One of the few outstanding films of this early period was Broadway Melody (1929), which won the Academy Award for best picture of 1928-29.
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