Musicals are not among the most popular genres of movies. They are not easy to make, they require long term staying power in order to make a mark in the movie world and most of them are movie versions of Broadway musicals. But they can still charm generations with their lilting scores and often long after we have forgotten the film, the music remains a part of our memories.
1. Singing In the Rain:
Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds were an amazing pair in this timeless classic. Gene Kelley’s dancing feet seemed to have a life of their own and many reviewers tagged him as being a genius and brilliant. The music, specially the title number, has our feet tapping and our bodies swaying. The plot was the conventional plot of boy meets loses and finds girl, but the music – just brilliant.
2. The Sound of Music:
Julie Andrews dancing on the Swiss mountains to the sounds of “The Hills are alive” is one of the immemorial scenes in movie history. The movie had simplicity to it which was enhanced by an extraordinary score from Rodgers & Hammerstein. It was one of the most popular musicals ever made and won five Academy Awards.
3. My Fair Lady:
Lerner and Loewe’s musical play was adapted into a fabulous film by George Cukor and performed with great elan by Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. Rex Harrison as a misogynist arrogant professor of phonetics was an absolute casting success. Somehow you could not imagine anyone else being able to sing “Why can’t the English” more wryly and with such dry sarcasm. This film also went on to win several awards and achieved great box office success.
4. Wizard of Oz:
A classic musical and above all a film which has charmed children of all ages, even though initially it was a box office failure. It was MGM’s most expensive film at that time, but as more and more re-releases came on the scene the film began to charm audiences and songs such as “Over the Rainbow” and “There is no place like Home” became part of folklore.
Set in the city of Berlin in the year 1930, Cabaret is the story of a young American cabaret dancer. There is exuberance to the musical numbers and a dancing feel to all of them. This is mainly due to the fact that most of them are a part of the stage performances of the cabaret. Liza Minnelli and Joel Grey starred in this film.
6. The Lion King:
An animated film, yet because of it’s extraordinary score and the lovely songs it is termed as a musical. Released in 1994, this is one of the highest grossing animated films of all times. Elton John and Tom Rice wrote the music for this film and Elton John also sang “Can you feel the love tonight ” during the credits.
7. West Side Story:
A musical adaptation of the classic Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story starred Natalie Wood and Richard Breymer and was released in 1961. It has the distinction of having won the most Academy Awards among all musicals. The soundtrack album was a higher money-spinner than any album before it.
8. Mary Poppins:
A supercalifragilisticexpialidocious film, it gives a combination of a great story, some fabulous animated sequences and a lilting score to charm and enthral all of us. Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke are out on their mission to help little children and along the way they sing and dance and make us smile and feel good about the world at large.
9. Fiddler on the Roof:
With such immortal songs such as” If I Were a Rich man” and “Sunrise, Sunset” , this was another musical film which was a great box office success. It was adapted from a 1964 Broadway Musical of the same name and with a fairly similar cast.
10. Hard Day’s Night:
Not many may agree with this addition to the listing, but it was the only film made by the Beatles and their contribution to the music scene has been immense. A bit like a documentary, it followed their lives through the days, but the musical score was as usual outstanding. Both financially and critically the film was rated highly and the soundtrack album has been one of the all time best sellers.