Here are all the iconic musical movie references in ‘La La Land’ you need to know

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Lionsgate

Critics have described this year’s Oscar frontrunner for best picture as a step back in time – and for good reason.

“La La Land,” written and directed by Damien Chazelle (“Whiplash”), pays homage to classic movies and the greats that came long before Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone were stars. In fact, both actors have admitted to studying the classic film musicals while preparing for their own roles in the award-winning movie.

From “Funny Face” to “Singin’ in the Rain,” here are all the references to classic movies in “La La Land” you need to know:


Fred Astaire and Eleanor Powell danced across a starry stage in “Broadway Melody of 1940” (1940) …

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MGM

… and Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone waltz through a romantic, star-filled room and successfully mirror some of Astaire’s most famous dance moves.

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Summit Entertainment

Paula Kelly, Shirley MacLaine, and Chita Rivera twirl in monochromatic dresses in 1969’s “Sweet Charity,” in which MacLaine plays a dancer who doesn’t give up on her dreams …

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Universal Pictures

… and Emma Stone dances in the streets of Los Angeles with her colorful roommates after she fails several acting auditions.

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Lionsgate

In “Singin’ in the Rain” (1952), arguably the most famous and beloved movie musical, Gene Kelly swings around a lamppost mid-dance …

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MGM

… while Gosling also smoothly swings around his own lamppost.

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Lionsgate

In fact, there are references to “Singin’ in the Rain” throughout “La La Land.” From the new movie’s monochromatic color schemes to large-scale public dance scenes, the movie appears to be heavily influenced by its classic progenitor.

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MGM

The cast of “La La Land” reportedly watched “Singin’ in the Rain” every day for inspiration.

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Lionsgate

Fred Astaire famously danced through Central Park at dusk alongside Cyd Charisse in the 1953 musical “The Band Wagon” …

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MGM

… and Gosling and Stone tap-dance their way through Griffith Park at sunset in “La La Land.”

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Lionsgate

Audrey Hepburn becomes a star when she agrees to pose for a photographer played by Fred Astaire in Paris in 1957’s “Funny Face” …

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Paramount Pictures

… while Emma Stone similarly becomes a star when she agrees to move to Paris for a movie role.

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Lionsgate

Perhaps the most prevalent reference is from the 1964 French musical “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg.” There are plenty of similarities throughout the two musicals, but “Umbrellas” iconic ending clearly inspired the best scene in “La La Land” — the epilogue. See for yourself:

Ending of “The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” by EfrenKaye