I love myself the movie musical. These are my top five of all time –
Singing in the Rain – it’s ridiculous if anyone would put any other movie musical above Singing in the Rain. Romantic and funny and gorgeous and immersive. A perfectly cast movie – so full of talent. I’m afraid I might be too long in the tooth now to ever play Lina Lamont in the stage version – but that’s probably just as well. Being compared to Jean Hagen’s performance would be demoralizing.
Dreamgirls – another perfectly cast movie. J-Hud is amazing obviously. Eddie Murphy is also obviously amazing. Beyoncé – also amazing and doesn’t really get the credit she deserves for her performance. Steppin’ to the Bad Side adapted for the screen – amazing.
Chicago – so I might have a bit of a recency bias with this and Dreamgirls but let’s give a little credit to the writer who made all the musical numbers happen in Roxie’s head. For those musical haters that think it’s ridiculous that people just break out into song and dance numbers (they’ve obviously never met me,) having those numbers be a fantasy at least makes the movie more believable to them. And it is such a great tribute to Bob Fosse paired with slinky music and down and dirty performances.
Hairspray (2007) – I know, I know. Another ‘contemporary’ musical. But c’mon. Zac Efron! Plus all the other fun crap including James Marsden, Queen Latifah and Michelle Pfeiffer. Oh – and I will sing Miss Baltimore Crabs to a live audience one day.
The Wizard of Oz – because ‘duh.’
So – this leaves out Mary Poppins – which would surely be in the top 10 along with Grease. All That Jazz and Victor/Victoria count amongst my favorite movies of all time – but I’m not exactly sure I would describe them as musicals as the musical numbers are more part of the setting of the story as opposed to telling the story themselves. But see Chicago above – if I allowed myself to think about them as honest to God musicals, the list above would look pretty different.