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20 awesome musical films everyone should watch
20 awesome musical films everyone should watch

Lifehacker has collected the best pictures, from the great classics to the hits of recent years.

20 awesome musical films everyone should watch
20 awesome musical films everyone should watch

1.42nd Street

  • USA, 1933.
  • Musical, comedy, melodrama.
  • Duration: 89 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

During the Great Depression, two producers stage the musical Pretty Lady. Each of the participants in the production will have to solve their own problems. The director needs to somehow cope with the "star" imposed by the sponsors, and the girl Peggy, who has just arrived in New York, needs to learn the world of show business and competition.

When working on this film, the phonogram was recorded in advance for the first time and the musical numbers were filmed already with ready-made songs. 42nd Street received two Oscar nominations, including the Best Picture category. The picture became a hit, and years later, a musical based on the plot of the film was staged on Broadway.

2. Wizard of Oz

  • USA, 1939.
  • Musical, fantasy, adventure.
  • Duration: 102 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8, 0.

A musical version of the well-known tale of the young Dorothy and the dog Toto, whom the hurricane took to the magical land of Oz. The girl will have to help her companions the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion to meet the wizard and defeat the evil sorceress.

To better convey the contrast between ordinary life and a magical land, the introduction was made in black and white, and the main part was colored and bright, which was a rarity for films of the thirties. Experimental shooting, as well as large-scale scenery made the picture one of the most expensive for its time. But the investment paid off: The Wizard of Oz received public recognition, and then six Oscar nominations.

3. American in Paris

  • USA, 1951.
  • Musical, drama, melodrama.
  • Duration: 114 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 2.

Former American soldier Jerry remains in Paris after the war and wants to become an artist. Soon he has a rich patroness, but the hero himself falls in love with a poor Frenchwoman. And then he finds out that she is engaged to his friend.

This musical is sometimes criticized for being too sentimental. But George Gershwin's music and amazing choreography (the final dance lasts more than 16 minutes) made the production one of the most popular in the genre of all time.

4. Singing in the rain

  • USA, 1952.
  • Musical, comedy, melodrama.
  • Duration: 103 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8, 3.

Don Lockwood is a musician and silent film star. But the revolution is coming to the cinema, and now the actors need to learn how to work with microphones and sound. Don is helped to adapt to new times by his new acquaintance - dancer Katie Seldon.

The idea for this film originated directly from the songs. Studio Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer asked the writers to combine good compositions that were not used in previous films. And they realized that the best songs were written at the very dawn of sound films. As a result, in the form of a comedy, they told a completely realistic story of the stars of the past, who almost lost their jobs due to new technologies.

5. Gentlemen prefer blondes

  • USA, 1953.
  • Musical, comedy, melodrama.
  • Duration: 91 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 2.

Singing friends Lorelei and Dorothy go on tour to Paris, and at the same time they are trying to find worthy suitors for themselves. At the same time, Lorelei is already engaged to the young millionaire Gus Esmond. However, his father does not trust the girl and sends a private detective after her. And he falls in love with Dorothy.

It may seem strange now, but at the time of production, Jane Russell was considered the main star of the film. She received a fee almost 20 times higher, and rising celebrity Marilyn Monroe was not even given her own dressing room. However, it was she who sang the main hit of this picture, Diamonds are a girl's best friend.

6. West Side Story

  • USA, 1961.
  • Musical, drama, crime.
  • Duration: 153 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

On the streets of Manhattan, there is a merciless war between two gangs: the Jets and the Sharks cannot divide the territory of influence in any way. But one day Tony - a member of the Jet gang - and the sister of the leader of the Sharks Maria fall in love with each other.

Of course, the authors only retell the eternal plot from Romeo and Juliet in a new way. But they turned out so well that the film received 10 Oscars, three Golden Globes and even a Grammy for the best soundtrack.

7. My fair lady

  • USA, 1964.
  • Musical, comedy, drama.
  • Duration: 170 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 9.

The famous linguist, but very arrogant man, Henry Higgins makes a bet with a friend. He claims that he can teach the illiterate flower girl Eliza the correct speech and manners. So much so that no one in high society would suspect a dirty trick. But the experiment turns into a real love story.

The plot of the film, based on the theatrical musical, also refers to the classics. This time the authors freely retell "Pygmalion" by Bernard Shaw. And again success: the picture has collected "Oscars" in almost all major nominations. Interestingly, Audrey Hepburn planned to perform all the vocals herself and even recorded them. But then the authors nevertheless invited the professional singer Marnie Nixon and re-dubbed almost all the musical scenes.

8. Cherbourg umbrellas

  • France, Germany, 1964.
  • Musical, melodrama, drama.
  • Duration: 91 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 9.

Poor auto mechanic Guy and young umbrella saleswoman Genevieve love each other. Soon the young man is taken into the army, and he leaves for Algeria. The lovers promise to wait for each other, but letters from Guy come less and less, and Genevieve finds out that she is pregnant.

In this film, with the magnificent music of Michel Legrand, there is not a single spoken dialogue - the characters only sing. And the composition Je ne pourrai jamais vivre sans toi (in the English version I will wait for you) has become a real legend, and it was performed by dozens of popular artists.

9. Mary Poppins

  • USA, UK, 1964.
  • Musical, fantasy, family.
  • Duration: 139 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 8.

The free film adaptation of the famous children's books by Pamela Travers tells the story of the Banks family, which is looking for a new nanny for energetic kids. Suddenly, literally from the sky, an ideal candidate flies to them - Mary Poppins. She not only brings order to the house, but also turns life into a real fairy tale.

For Julie Andrews, the role of Mary Poppins was her debut in a big movie. Curiously, on the Broadway stage, she became famous thanks to the musical "My Fair Lady". However, in the 1964 film adaptation, her role was given to Audrey Hepburn. But we can say that justice has triumphed: Andrews perfectly got used to the image of Mary and at the Oscars and Golden Globes bypassed the competitor.

10. Sound of music

  • USA, 1965.
  • Musical, biography, drama.
  • Duration: 172 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8, 0.

In Salzburg, Austria, on the eve of World War II, a young girl Maria prepares to become a nun. But she is too energetic and attached in the ordinary world. And then the abbess sends Mary to work as a governess in the family of a widowed officer. The girl helps him to cope with seven children and gradually falls in love with the father of the family. But trouble comes when Austria joins the fascists.

And another musical in which Julie Andrews played after the resounding success of Mary Poppins. There is already a more serious plot, but the film turned out to be no less popular than the previous work of the actress.

11. Funny girl

  • USA, 1968.
  • Musical, biography, comedy.
  • Duration: 151 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

Suburban simpleton Fanny Bryce decided to become a star and began performing in vaudeville. As it turned out, she is great at amusing the audience, which gave the start to her future career. But Fanny again and again collides with the charming Nicky Arnstein, and it is more and more difficult for them to part.

By the time the film was filmed, Barbra Streisand was already a famous singer, but her film debut opened up new facets of her talent. And in 1975 the continuation of the film "Funny Lady" was released. The public received the film well, but still it did not compare with the popular original.

12. Fiddler on the roof

  • USA, 1971.
  • Musical, drama.
  • Duration: 181 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8, 0.

1905 year. In the Ukrainian village of Anatevka, the territory is divided into two parts: Russian and Jewish. The family of a poor Jew Tevye has five daughters whom he dreams of marrying. But each of them has its own difficulties and problems. And soon all the Jews are informed that they must leave.

This film is also an adaptation of the famous Broadway musical. That, in turn, is based on the works of Sholem Aleichem, and the name comes from the famous painting by Marc Chagall.

13. Cabaret

  • USA, 1972.
  • Musical, drama.
  • Duration: 124 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 8.

American singer Sally Bowles performs in a Berlin cabaret in the early thirties. But behind the eternal holiday and fun hides anxiety: each time there are more and more people in the hall in Nazi uniforms. And then Sally meets the Englishman Brian.

Director and choreographer Bob Foss managed to stunningly combine the style of the musical with a serious anti-fascist drama, showing the degradation of society in pre-war Germany. For this, the film received many awards. But the Oscar in the Best Picture category that year went to The Godfather.

14. The Rocky Horror Show

  • USA, UK, 1975.
  • Musical, comedy.
  • Duration: 100 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 4.

An ordinary and even a little boring couple - Janet and Brad - travel by car. A breakdown forces them to stay in an old castle with an eccentric doctor Frank-n-Furter. And there they encounter a very strange young man named Rocky, who loves to break all the rules of decency.

The Rocky Horror Show is a parody of the standard plots of horror and fantasy, and even wrapped in a very provocative musical shell. That is why the film initially failed at the box office, but then gained cult status.

15. Grease

  • USA, 1978.
  • Musical.
  • Duration: 110 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 2.

Danny and Sandy fell in love during their summer vacation. After parting at the end of summer, they think they will never see each other. But it turns out that now the lovers are studying in the same school. However, Danny is the leader of the school gang, and Sandy communicates with the arrogant "Lady in Pink".

The legendary "Grease" on Broadway launched the careers of many famous artists. Of course, he was obliged to get on the big screens over time. Initially, the producers wanted to invite Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret to the main roles, but they refused, and the production dragged on for years. As a result, John Travolta and Australian singer Olivia Newton-John took part in the film. Moreover, especially for the latter, they greatly changed the background of the heroine and even added new compositions.

16. Moulin Rouge

  • USA, Australia, 2001.
  • Musical, drama, melodrama.
  • Duration: 127 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

A real drama unfolds in the famous Parisian nightclub "Moulin Rouge". For the love of the cabaret star and the courtesan Satine, two men are fighting. She herself reciprocates the poor poet, but is forced to seduce the rich duke in order to finance a new theatrical production.

"Moulin rouge!" proved that musicals are still popular in the 21st century. The film became a box office hit and received eight Oscar nominations. Moreover, the authors acted risky, deciding to use the famous compositions of the past in the picture. It took more than two years to get the rights to all the songs.

17. Chicago

  • USA, 2002.
  • Musical, crime, drama.
  • Duration: 113 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 2.

Roxy Hart dreams of becoming a stage star and being on a par with the famous Velma Kelly. And they really end up nearby - in a prison cell. Roxy shot her lover, who promised to help her with her career, and Velma killed her husband and sister in a fit of jealousy. And now both of them can only rely on the famous lawyer Billy Flynn.

For the first time, they tried to transfer the musical to the screens back in the seventies. Then they discussed the participation in the film of Goldie Hawn, Liza Minnelli and Frank Sinatra. Then they took up her in the nineties, but again it did not come to filming. And only at the beginning of the 2000s, the version of director Rob Marshall saw the light. The film paid off several times and was named the best film of the year at many prestigious film awards.

18. Les Miserables

  • UK, 2012.
  • Musical, drama.
  • Duration: 158 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the former convict Jean Valjean was hiding from justice for years. All this time, the inspector of the Parisian police Javert is looking for him. After the death of the only woman close to him, Fantine, Valjean decides to make every effort to make her daughter Cosette happy.

The classic epic of Victor Hugo was repeatedly transferred to the screens, but this time the 1980 musical of the same name was taken as the basis. And Hugh Jackman was invited to the main role, who became famous in his youth thanks to musical numbers.

19. La La Land

  • USA, 2016.
  • Musical, melodrama.
  • Duration: 126 minutes.
  • IMDb: 8, 0.

Aspiring actress Mia and jazz pianist Sebastian met by chance. And having met again, they fell in love and began to experience all the hardships together. But when they start to succeed, their love life collapses.

La La Land very gracefully combines a typical melodramatic story with many references to classical musicals. And the excellent direction of Damien Chazelle and the acting of Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone made the film one of the main cinematic events of 2016.

20. Greatest Showman

  • USA, 2017.
  • Musical, drama, biography.
  • Duration: 105 minutes.
  • IMDb: 7, 6.

Phineas Taylor Barnum has always been a master of invention and dreamed of becoming famous. But things were going badly, and his work did not please him. Then Barnum gathered the most unusual people and created an amazing show.

It is surprising that the events of this striking musical are largely based on the real biography of Barnum, a showman and swindler who really founded his own circus.

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