The Best Broadway Musicals on Film

by smith-d-c | created - 19 Oct 2010 | updated - 19 Oct 2010 | Public
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1. The Music Man (1962)

G | 151 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Harold Hill poses as a boys' band leader to con naive Iowa townsfolk.

Director: Morton DaCosta | Stars: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold

Votes: 14,543 | Gross: $14.95M

This is what a musical should be: joyous, hilarious, romantic, touching, and filled with wonderful quotable characters. Every song is meaningful and classic. Robert Preston, there are no words for his performance, incredible and Shirley Jones is beautiful in voice, looks, and class.

2. Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

G | 181 min | Drama, Family, Musical

In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing anti-Semitic sentiment threatens his village.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon

Votes: 34,417 | Gross: $80.50M

Can a shiktza love this movie? You bet. A timeless funny and sad story of holding on to your beliefs in spite of the changing times. A beautiful story with phenomenal dancing and songs. Topol is wonderful as Tevye.

3. Oliver! (1968)

G | 153 min | Drama, Family, Musical

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed

Votes: 30,718 | Gross: $16.80M

The biggest most fantastic musical ever filmed. But more than that every song is wonderful, the characters are terrific, and though the movie is kid-friendly, this is not a children's movie. A perfect blend of light and dark elements.

4. My Fair Lady (1964)

G | 170 min | Drama, Family, Musical

A snobbish phonetics professor agrees to a wager that he can take a flower girl and make her presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White

Votes: 78,158 | Gross: $72.00M

The film that made me an Anglophile. The greatest most beautiful looking musical of all time. The story is witty and timeless and both Audrey Hepburn, dubbed or not, and Rex Harrison are wonderful.

5. On the Town (1949)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller

Votes: 14,269

Gene Kelly and Frank Sinatra are wonderful. The movie took some liberties with the score but it paid off. The dancing, story, and characters, are spectacular. The first musical filmed on location.

6. Chicago (2002)

PG-13 | 113 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

82 Metascore

Two death-row murderesses develop a fierce rivalry while competing for publicity, celebrity, and a sleazy lawyer's attention.

Director: Rob Marshall | Stars: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere, Taye Diggs

Votes: 197,629 | Gross: $170.69M

The oscar winning musical is filled with energetic and spectacularly staged with each number directly corresponding to the mindset of Roxie. Rene Zellwegger should have won her oscar for her work but Catherine Zeta Jones is also wonderful.

7. The King and I (1956)

G | 133 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

72 Metascore

A widow accepts a job as a live-in governess to the King of Siam's children.

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: Yul Brynner, Deborah Kerr, Rita Moreno, Martin Benson

Votes: 21,743 | Gross: $21.30M

The look, acting, and songs are the stars of this classic. The story is beautifully told and romantic. Yul Brenner is terrific.

8. The Sound of Music (1965)

G | 172 min | Biography, Drama, Family

63 Metascore

A woman leaves an Austrian convent to become a governess to the children of a Naval officer widower.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker, Richard Haydn

Votes: 177,858 | Gross: $163.21M

"Do Rei Me" is the greatest musical number ever!! Julie Andrews is phenomenal and the songs are so memorable. I do find that the movie can be cloying and odd because of the Nazis placed in this family movie.

9. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

PG-13 | 94 min | Comedy, Horror, Musical

81 Metascore

A nerdy florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed.

Director: Frank Oz | Stars: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Levi Stubbs

Votes: 57,432 | Gross: $38.75M

Steve Martin should have won an oscar as the Elvis-like dentist. Rick Moranis is also very good and the music is terrific.

10. Guys and Dolls (1955)

Not Rated | 150 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine

Votes: 13,843 | Gross: $13.00M

I love this musical but I do think Marlon Brando was miscast, it should have gone to Sinatra and they should have got the broadway actor to do his part. But the music is wonderful, the staging is great, and the acting is good.

11. Oklahoma! (1955)

Passed | 145 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

In Oklahoma, several farmers, cowboys and a traveling salesman compete for the romantic favors of various local ladies.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson, Charlotte Greenwood

Votes: 10,076

12. The Pirates of Penzance (1983)

G | 112 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

66 Metascore

After a young man leaves a band of pirates, hilarity ensues.

Director: Wilford Leach | Stars: Kevin Kline, Angela Lansbury, Linda Ronstadt, George Rose

Votes: 2,900 | Gross: $0.69M

I know that the sets are so stagey but man, the energy of all the performances and the timeless style and wonderful songs, dialogue, and performances by Kevin Kline, Tony Azito, Angela Lansbury, George Rose, Rex Smith, and Linda Rondstat are phenomenal. I loved this movie when I saw it in an empty theater and I love it still.

13. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

Approved | 121 min | Comedy, Musical

Armed with the titular manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder.

Director: David Swift | Stars: Robert Morse, Michele Lee, Rudy Vallee, Anthony 'Scooter' Teague

Votes: 3,878

14. Tommy (1975)

PG | 111 min | Drama, Musical

66 Metascore

A psychosomatically deaf, dumb and blind boy becomes a master pinball player and, subsequently, the object of a religious cult.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Roger Daltrey, Ann-Margret, Oliver Reed, Elton John

Votes: 17,487 | Gross: $34.25M

15. West Side Story (1961)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

86 Metascore

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise | Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 85,412 | Gross: $43.66M

How can I place this so low? I never liked the story, the songs, or the acting, but it is spectacularly filmed in New York and the dancing and artistry that went into the film is special. I hated both the sappiness of Tony and Maria and found that the actors had no chemistry. The writing is pretty dated.

16. Brigadoon (1954)

Passed | 108 min | Fantasy, Musical, Romance

Two Americans on a hunting trip in Scotland become lost. They encounter a small village, not on the map, called Brigadoon, in which people harbor a mysterious secret, and behave as if they were still living two hundred years in the past.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Gene Kelly, Van Johnson, Cyd Charisse, Elaine Stewart

Votes: 6,702

17. Gypsy (1962)

Approved | 143 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

Based on the Broadway hit about the life and times of burlesque dancer Gypsy Rose Lee and her aggressive stage mother, Mama Rose.

Director: Mervyn LeRoy | Stars: Rosalind Russell, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Paul Wallace

Votes: 4,934 | Gross: $13.01M

18. South Pacific (1958)

Unrated | 157 min | Musical, Romance, War

On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.

Director: Joshua Logan | Stars: Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr, Ray Walston

Votes: 7,128

19. Damn Yankees (1958)

Approved | 111 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A frustrated fan of the hopeless Washington Senators makes a pact with the Devil to help the baseball team win the league pennant.

Directors: George Abbott, Stanley Donen | Stars: Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon, Ray Walston, Russ Brown

Votes: 2,114

20. The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

58 Metascore

A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

Director: Jim Sharman | Stars: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O'Brien

Votes: 119,887 | Gross: $139.88M

21. Jesus Christ Superstar (1973)

G | 108 min | Drama, History, Musical

64 Metascore

Film version of the musical stage play, presenting the last few weeks of Christ's life told in an anachronistic manner.

Director: Norman Jewison | Stars: Ted Neeley, Carl Anderson, Yvonne Elliman, Barry Dennen

Votes: 22,619 | Gross: $24.48M

22. Show Boat (1951)

Approved | 108 min | Drama, Family, Musical

The daughter of a riverboat captain falls in love with a charming gambler, but their fairytale romance is threatened when his luck turns sour.

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel, Joe E. Brown

Votes: 4,040

23. Kiss Me Kate (1953)

Approved | 109 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An ex-husband and wife team star in a musical version of 'The Taming of the Shrew'; off-stage, the production is troublesome with ex-lovers' quarrels and a gangster looking for some money owed to them.

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Kathryn Grayson, Howard Keel, Ann Miller, Keenan Wynn

Votes: 5,005

24. Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

Approved | 112 min | Comedy, Musical

A rock singer travels to a small Ohio town to make his "farewell" television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted.

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh, Maureen Stapleton

Votes: 6,591 | Gross: $13.13M

25. Godspell (1973)

G | 103 min | Musical

An adaption of the musical, in a modern-day song-and-dance recreation of the Gospel of St. Matthew.

Director: David Greene | Stars: Victor Garber, Lynne Thigpen, Katie Hanley, David Haskell

Votes: 2,870

26. Bells Are Ringing (1960)

Not Rated | 126 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A Brooklyn answering service operator becomes involved in the lives of her clients, including a struggling playwright with whom she begins to fall in love.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Judy Holliday, Dean Martin, Fred Clark, Eddie Foy Jr.

Votes: 2,523

27. Cabaret (1972)

PG | 124 min | Drama, Musical

80 Metascore

A female girlie club entertainer in Weimar Republic era Berlin romances two men while the Nazi Party rises to power around them.

Director: Bob Fosse | Stars: Liza Minnelli, Michael York, Helmut Griem, Joel Grey

Votes: 42,499 | Gross: $42.77M

28. 1776 (1972)

G | 141 min | Drama, Family, History

A musical retelling of the American Revolution's political struggle in the Continental Congress to declare independence.

Director: Peter H. Hunt | Stars: William Daniels, Howard Da Silva, Ken Howard, Donald Madden

Votes: 7,005 | Gross: $6.10M

29. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

R | 116 min | Drama, Horror, Musical

83 Metascore

The infamous story of Benjamin Barker, aka Sweeney Todd, who sets up a barber shop in London which is the basis for a sinister partnership with his fellow tenant, Mrs. Lovett.

Director: Tim Burton | Stars: Johnny Depp, Helena Bonham Carter, Alan Rickman, Timothy Spall

Votes: 317,485 | Gross: $52.90M

30. A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (1966)

Approved | 99 min | Comedy, Musical

A wily slave must unite a virgin courtesan and his young smitten master to earn his freedom.

Director: Richard Lester | Stars: Zero Mostel, Phil Silvers, Buster Keaton, Michael Crawford

Votes: 7,609

31. Hello, Dolly! (1969)

G | 146 min | Adventure, Comedy, Musical

Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.

Director: Gene Kelly | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Marianne McAndrew

Votes: 11,791 | Gross: $33.14M

32. Annie (1982)

PG | 127 min | Comedy, Drama, Family

39 Metascore

A young orphan girl's adventures in finding a family that will take her.

Director: John Huston | Stars: Aileen Quinn, Albert Finney, Carol Burnett, Ann Reinking

Votes: 35,719 | Gross: $57.06M

33. Dreamgirls (2006)

PG-13 | 130 min | Drama, Music, Musical

76 Metascore

A trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960s, facing their own personal struggles along the way.

Director: Bill Condon | Stars: Beyoncé, Jamie Foxx, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover

Votes: 63,475 | Gross: $103.37M

34. The Producers (2005)

PG-13 | 134 min | Comedy, Musical

52 Metascore

After putting together another Broadway flop, down-on-his-luck Producer Max Bialystock teams up with timid accountant Leo Bloom in a get-rich-quick scheme to put on the world's worst show.

Director: Susan Stroman | Stars: Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thurman, Will Ferrell

Votes: 38,145 | Gross: $19.38M

35. Evita (1996)

PG | 135 min | Biography, Drama, History

45 Metascore

The hit musical based on the life of Evita Duarte, a B-picture Argentinian actress who eventually became the wife of Argentinian president Juan Perón, and the most beloved and hated woman in Argentina.

Director: Alan Parker | Stars: Madonna, Jonathan Pryce, Antonio Banderas, Jimmy Nail

Votes: 31,818 | Gross: $50.05M

36. The Wiz (1978)

G | 134 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

An adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" that tries to capture the essence of the African-American experience.

Director: Sidney Lumet | Stars: Diana Ross, Michael Jackson, Nipsey Russell, Ted Ross

Votes: 12,423 | Gross: $21.05M

37. The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

PG-13 | 143 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

40 Metascore

A young soprano becomes the obsession of a disfigured musical genius who lives beneath the Paris Opéra House. He kidnaps the soprano and forces the owners of the play to keep her as the lead role of the play.

Director: Joel Schumacher | Stars: Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson

Votes: 108,285 | Gross: $51.27M



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