In celebration of La La Land winning 7 awards at the Golden Globes last week (seven awards, dammit – SEVEN awards!) I thought I’d go back and take a look at some of the most beloved movie musicals out there.
A movie musical is an interesting genre, to say the least. While I am a huge fan of Broadway musicals and have listened to Wicked and A Chorus Line more than enough to make you wonder why I haven’t gone mad yet, the genre rarely does translate well when put on the silver screen.
But these musicals did it – and they didn’t even need a stage musical to adapt from!
The Wizard of Oz
Can we all just agree, as humanity, that this is the best movie ever made? I mean, Rotten Tomatoes is by my side. I’m sure Citizen Kane won’t mind.
Man, I used to love this movie as a kid. I enjoyed the munchkins so much. I’m pretty sure I memorized the song they sang when Dorothy landed. Now that I’m older, I get to appreciate the movie even more. This movie instantly transforms me back into a little kid.
This is the most watched and beloved movie of all time, and rightfully so. For one thing, it’s delightfully funny. Another, the characters are all incredibly lovable, and all their actors look like they’re having so much fun playing them – especially Judy Garland. Judy Garland is a star in this movie. She shines as the role of Dorothy.
Seriously, let’s get on that best movie ever made award. Academy…
Singin’ in the Rain
If you ever get the chance to see this one on stage, please do. It’s such a delight. During one of the numbers, it actually rains on set and they kick the water all around. If you’re in front, you get wet. It’s amazing.
If not, well, the movie will do more than suffice. The musical numbers are all such a joy, and the cast gives it their all. Donald O’Connor is my favorite – as his character, Cosmo, is just so loveable. He even gets his own whole number – Make ‘Em Laugh! Gene Kelly and Debbie Reynolds are also both great in this, and maybe watching this can help heal that Debbie Reynolds-shaped hole in your heart.
It’s hard to talk about something you love so much, so I’ll stop here. But seriously, go to your nearest DVD store and rent this movie. You can thank me later.
Okay, this one’s cheating. Hello, Dolly! did have a musical before it turned into a film, but I’m putting it on this list because of a specific reason:
This movie killed the movie musical genre. Despite being nominated for nine Academy Awards, it bombed so much that afterwards, pretty much only Disney and Tim Curry were brave enough to release musical films. It wasn’t until Moulin Rouge! that the musical began to be mainstream again (but we’ll get to that in a minute.)
What can I say? This movie’s just a lot of fun! I can see why this movie didn’t do so well, but it’s hard to hate a movie that’s so happy and well-intentioned. Sure, the songs can get a little sappy and cheesy, but I’m honestly all for it.
Also, Pixar made this movie about two robots learning to fall in love through Hello, Dolly, so…
How can a movie nominated for so many Razzies be remembered so fondly by…well, us?
I’ll tell you why – because Newsies is cheesy fun, and I love it. I love the movie, and I love the Broadway show that came after it. I love the songs, and I love singing along to King of New York with my best friends when I’m playing it on their car speakers. Yes, I can see why Newsies could be considered a bad film, but come on – they’re a bunch of newspaper boys wearing newsies hats and tap dancing! How cheesier can you get?
Seriously, I wish they did as the school musical when I was a kid rather than Annie. I would’ve killed as Crunchie.
Oh, Moulin Rouge! I do not like you. And I do not like that exclamation point in your title.
I get why people like this movie, but I just don’t. There’s nothing in it for me to like. Wait, I like Satine. That’s one thing I like. But everything else…eh? Everything just seems so over the top and contrived. I especially hate the main character, Christian, who slut shames Satine in front of a whole crowd. Girl was only a victim of bad writing.
But still, I can’t deny the impact this movie made. If it wasn’t for this movie, musicals wouldn’t have been popular again, and there’d be no Sweeny Todd, or Hairspray, or heck, even La La Land. It’s a love it or hate it experience, but one thing’s for certain – it’s made its impact on the move industry.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go to the movie house and rewatch La La Land. Oh boy, I hope it’s still showing.