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Best Musical Films of All Time

Updated on April 25, 2017

Must See Musicals!

Grease was a great musical starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. It spawned a sequel and features lots of singing and dancing.
Grease was a great musical starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John. It spawned a sequel and features lots of singing and dancing. | Source
The Wizard of Oz is on the AFI list of the 100 greatest films of all time. This classic has had cartoons, television shows, movie remakes and toys based on it's characters.
The Wizard of Oz is on the AFI list of the 100 greatest films of all time. This classic has had cartoons, television shows, movie remakes and toys based on it's characters. | Source
Queen Latifah and Richard Gere star in the musical film called Chicago. This was a broadway masterpiece that stands tall amongst musicals of any kind.
Queen Latifah and Richard Gere star in the musical film called Chicago. This was a broadway masterpiece that stands tall amongst musicals of any kind. | Source
Mary Poppins was released in 1964 and it featured cartoons and humans together. An outstanding performance by all accounts and on all levels.
Mary Poppins was released in 1964 and it featured cartoons and humans together. An outstanding performance by all accounts and on all levels. | Source

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Classic Musicals

These musical films vary from sad, happy and angry to deep horrific and emotional but, this list includes musically that have a few things in common no matter what the plot(s). They all have great music, dancing and they sing really well.

1. The Wizard of Oz (1939): This film stars Judy Garland as Dorothy and who can forget ToTo? We all know the story about Dorothy get swept away by a tornado with her house. When she landed she was in a weird land called Oz. She comes in contact with a tin man, cowardly lion, scarecrow and the wicked witch. This is not just a great musical it's also one of the top films of all time period.

2. West Side Story (1961): This film was adapted from the play, Romeo and Juliet and is dramatically changed with a new plot. It is set in Manhattan, New York and features a rivalry between two street gangs. The Jets, which is a white American gang and the Puerto Rican gang members called The Sharks. The film is very emotional in parts and the music sets the mood for each scene.

3. The Sound of Music (1964): This movie takes place in Austria and Germany. Julie Andrews is the star of this classic film. Maria finds inspiration in the beautiful pasture for music and dancing. The movie has tons of dancing and musical scenes and is a must for any musical film lover. The soundtrack is huge with thirty tracks and my favorite tunes are: My Favorite Things and Climb Every Mountain.

4. Grease (1978): This movie made John Travolta a star. John Travolta had his breakout in this musical film set in the 1950's. Lots of dancing and singing are throughout this film. The film is funny yet romantic throughout. My most memorable part of the film are when Danny tries to prove his love for Sandy by trying out for all different kinds of sports.

5. Scrooge (1970): Ebenezer Scrooge is played by Albert Finney. This was filmed in England. We all know the stories of the ghost Christmas past and the ghost of Christmas future. Scrooge is not a fan of Christmas and he is not willing to help the poor. The ghost helps to transport him to the future and he realizes that he should be grateful for the life he did have. The soundtrack has eighteen songs and my favorites are: A Christmas Carol, The Beautiful Day and See The Phantoms.

6. Mary Poppins (1964): Disney had a jewel with this one featuring Dick Van Dyke and Julie Andrews. The film won four Oscars. This is the lady who is hired to help take care of the children. She wins over the children and sings songs to help them take there medicine such as...Just A Spoonful Of Sugar Helps The Medicine Go Down.

7. Chicago (2002): This Chicago musical film is set in the jazz age amongst scandal, criminal activity and other serious plots. The film stars Richard Gere, Queen Latifah and Renee Zellweger. It features romantic music along with depressing ballads that follow the script closely. The film is touching and emotional and a must see for musical film buffs. The soundtrack has sixteen songs and my favorites are Funny Honey, All I Care About and Razzle Dazzle.

8. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975): This film is unique because it is a musical that is about comedy and horror. This film is a comedic tribute to horror and science fiction movies. it stars: Tim Curry and Susan Sarandon. Although the film pokes fun at horror movies and science fiction films, it pays tribute as well. The soundtrack has sixteen total songs and my favorites are: Time Warp, I'm Going Home and Over At The Frankenstein Place.

9. Rent (2005): This is a dramatic movie about living with AIDS. Six people live in an apartment and fight drug addiction along with AIDS. The soundtrack is on two discs with a total of twenty-eight songs. My favorite songs from the disc are; I'll Cover You, Your Eyes and Out Tonight.

10. Hairspray (2007): Set in the 60's in Baltimore, Maryland. This film stars, Big Girl Nikki Bllonsky, Queen Latifah and John Travolta. We all know the story of a big girl overcoming her issues with her weight by making it big in The Hairspray Pageant This musical soundtrack has twenty one songs. My favorites are I Can Hear The Bells, Without Love and The New Girl In Town.

Hairspray

Hairspray is one of the most successful musicals of all time. It was hilarious at times but it had some drama as well.
Hairspray is one of the most successful musicals of all time. It was hilarious at times but it had some drama as well. | Source

Location of the film, Rent

Musical Ranking

Cast your vote for Grease

The Original West Side Story Trailer

The Original Wizard of OZ Trailer

Music and Movies Go Together

Could you imagine watching movies without a soundtrack? It would be awful. Music and films go hand in hand. The soundtrack closely follows the movie and most singing pertains to scenes in the film.

© 2013 Buster Johnson

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    • Annette R. Smith profile image

      Annette R. Smith 4 years ago from Grand Island, Florida

      What a great topic, Leslie. "The Sound of Music" was the first motion picture that I ever saw. My mother took me to see it when I was two years old, and the movie had already been in theaters for two years. I like many of the musicals on your list, but this one is my all-time favorite.

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