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10 Great Movie Musicals You Should See

25 August 2013 | Features, Film Lists | by Deseree Garcia

best movie musicals

In today’s film era, the musical genre can be very diverse. We get a cult musical kind of film full of catchy tunes and great moments, or we get a film replete with suffocating dullness and heightening vocal cords within every speech-simply boring us to death. Musicals have descended all the way from the 1970s. So here is a list of musicals that generally stood out from the random singing crowd and made a name in the history of musical movies.

 

10. Hairspray

Hairspray

The Movie Musical: A happily round Tina Turnblad seeks for stardom on the famously local TV show “Hairspray ” and for racial equality on television.

How It’s Great: The adaptation of the 1988 film, this musical proves itself as one of the most financially successful films today.Sure it has a little corny-parody feel to it but it discusses the topics of racism, feminism, self-image, interracial couples and society. A full cast, a comedic edge and all the catchy and sometimes corny musical soundtrack.

 

9. Mamma Mia

Mamma_Mia

The Movie Musical: Donna Sheridan(Meryl Streep) and her daughter Sophie(Amanda Seyfriend) have been living independently on a Greek island. Until Sophie gets engaged, she tracks down three men (Pierce Brosman, Colin Firth and Stellan Skarsgard) who could be her biological father.

How It’s Great: As one of the most financially successful musicals, it can give you a mixed feeling. Sometimes the film is filled with cheers from the great Abba tunes and sometimes cheesy moments from an all star cast. Sometimes you can’t believe you’re dancing while eating cake but sometimes you feel like joining in or getting out.

 

8. Chicago

chicago

The Movie Musical: Roxie Hart(Renee Zellweger) and Velma Kelly(Catherine Zeta Jones),two women on trial for murder in the 1920s Chicago, as both of them fight for fame to seek innocence.

How It’s Great: Renee, Catherine, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah and John C. Reilly explode with energy throughout this monumental musical. It explores the themes of celebrity, scandal, publicity, corruption and the roaring 20s as it also landmarks one of the most outstanding musical film performances today. It shows the world of Chicago and how easily one can get away with fame and attention. But it also shows how easily 15 minutes of fame can save lives and yet false innocence.

 

7. My Fair Lady

my+fair+lady+eliza

The Movie Musical: As an experiment, an arrogant phonetics professor Henry Higgins teaches Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn)to turn her thick Cockney accent into standard English accent so as to be presentable in society.

How It’s Great: Striking a full eight academy awards, this musical proves in it’s own way as one of the best musicals in performance, direction and soundtrack. It talks the subjects of society, bribery, false identity social morals and independence. This musical practically “sings ” it’s best!

 

6. Moulin Rouge!

moulin-rouge

The Movie Musical: A young writer (Ewan McGregor) moves to Paris and gets introduced to a famous underground nightclub. He then falls head over heals the same time a rich Duke, to the head dancer, Satine(Nicole Kidman)

How It’s Great: Baz Luhrman made one of the best musicals of all time. Today it’s still applauded for it’s grand and chilling musical performances, soundtrack and incredible visual effects and costumes. Luhrman leads us into a world we have never encountered as he astounds and envelopes us in such a spontaneous amount of energetic emotion. It’s a tragedy kind of film, a Luhrman classic but it’s a film of the underground world, the evolution of the late 1800s, the combination of poverty, fame, prostitution, money, illness and freedom of the human spirit. This mesmerizing masterpiece grasps our attention in a world of fantasy and reality, of sexuality and sensuality, of love and reality and of freedom and love.

 

5. Grease

Grease-27

The Movie Musical: A gentle do-gooder named Sandy(Olivia Newton-John) has a summer fling with a cool bad boy (John Travolta) until Sandy’s parents decide to move away. But after they change their mind and decide to stay, Sandy fortunately gets in the same school with him, but they both realize their social differences.

How It’s Great: Today it’s a classic, it’s an iconic and it’s one of the best. The cherished moments and quotes, the highly memorable songs and even dances, its 1950s characters and charisma and its iconic scenes are even mocked and talked about today. People admire it for its cast, originality, the comedic parody edge feeling of the 50s, the witty dialogue, soundtrack and the monumental energy.

 

4. The Sound of Music

the-sound-of-music-1

The Movie Musical: An Austrian woman (Julie Andrews) becomes the governess of a widowed “military” captain.

How It’s Great: In history, this musical has been a landmark since it’s first scene of Andrews singing in the mountains. Many films and TV shows have referenced it and parodied it as it exemplifies how much a musical can change pop culture. Websites have talked thoroughly of it’s historical accuracy and inaccuracy where it has to explain it’s self on it’s Wikipedia page. But throughout the many years, it will always be acclaimed as one of the most iconic films in history.

 

3. The Wizard of Oz

The Wizard of Oz

The Movie Musical: A young country girl named Dorothy (Judy Garland), after surviving a tornado, wakes up in a mysterious land of Oz.

How It’s Great: Nobody can ever live through childhood without glimpsing this masterpiece of musical film. Even though it’s the oldest on this list, it’s praised as one of the greatest musicals of all time. It was on of the first films to have color of “Technicolor” added into it, one of the first to be adapted from a book into a musical and critics today acknowledge it for it’s excellence in costume, make-up, dialogue, editing, soundtrack and set.

 

2. West Side Story

west-side-story

The Movie Musical: A young woman (Natalie Wood) falls in love with a gangster, whose gang is rivaling against another powerful one for power over the New York streets.

How It’s Great: Parodies, TV shows and many more reference it, people still talk about it and stage has adapted it. Many filmmakers and actors have acknowledged its originality, choreography, musical and acting performances,costumes,dialogue and fine direction.No wonder it’s widely acknowledged to be a monumental masterpiece.

 

1. Singin’ in the Rain

singin-in-the-rain-blu-ray

The Movie Musical: Three silent film stars (Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds and Donald O’Connor) transitioning into talking film for the first time and enter another level of new Hollywood.

How It’s Great: It is frequently described as one of the best American musicals and film in history for years. It’s symbolic, lighthearted, yet realistic, empathetic and funny. Today, articles reveal the hard reality the cast suffered behind the camera, hospitalization, illness, stress, harassment, pressure and temporary health issues. But also today, almost everything in the film is as valuable to be displayed in museums and to be cherished by private collectors. Many films(including the iconic controversial “A clockwork orange”) and shows have parodied and referenced it.

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  • Ben Russell

    I couldn’t possibly like a list that doesn’t have Cabaret on it. That’s easily one of the greatest musical’s ever made.

    Other than that, there’s some great choices on here!

  • Amanda

    Its Tracey Turnblad, not Tina.