The singular director Hal Ashby with his two stars
In its continuing efforts to redefine - and endear - itself to a disturbingly disloyal public, the film musical remains ever resourceful. In one of its incarnations, it resorted to the "song score" as a way to introduce songs to a narrative. You know the drill: Instead of a film's characters themselves singing on screen, the songs are rendered by off-screen surrogates.
The result is essentially the same: We - the audience - learn what the characters feel, and are thinking, through song.
This was a popular particularly ploy in the 1970-80s and is perhaps the template for this form is Hal Ashby's unique "Harold and Maude" (1971) which had iconic Cat Stevens songs laced so enticingly throughout.
The songs of the Bee Gees drive the lovely plot of Waris Hussein's "Melody" (1971), which reunited Mark Lester and Jack Wild, the young stars of "Oliver!" (1968), in the Alan Parker-scripted tale of two best friends and the fetching girl (Tracy Hyde) who comes between them.
And Paul Simon's wonderful songs underlined the pseudo-autobiographical script he wrote for Robert M. Young's "One-Trick Pony" (1980).
There are more, I'm sure, these predecessors of the "jukebox musical," but the titles evade me. Can you suggest one? Or perhaps two?