Musical movie is a film genre in which songs by the characters are interwoven into the narrative, sometimes accompanied by singing and dancing. The songs usually advance the plot or develop the film’s characters, but in some cases, they serve merely as breaks in the storyline, often as elaborate production numbers. The musical movie was a natural development of the stage musical after the emergence of sound film technology. Many of us are music lovers, and it feels good to watch musical films with family and friends. These movies make our souls happy with their wonderful music.
Let’s have a look at the top 10 musical movies of all time.
Grease is a 1978 American musical romantic comedy film based on the 1971 musical of the same name by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Written by Bronte Woodard and directed by Randal Kleiser in his theatrical feature film debut, the movie depicts the lives of greaser Danny Zuko and Australian transfer student Sandy Olsson, who develop an attraction for each other during a summer romance. The movie stars John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John as Danny and Sandy. Released on June 16, 1978, “Grease” was successful both critically and commercially, becoming the highest-grossing musical film ever at the time. [Source: www.esquire.com]
Hairspray is a 2007 American musical romantic comedy movie based on the 2002 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn was based on John Waters’s 1988 comedy film of the same name. The film was directed and choreographed by Adam Shankman and has an ensemble cast including John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah, Brittany Snow, Zac Efron, Elijah Kelley, Allison Janney, and Nikki Blonsky in her feature film debut. Set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland, the film follows the “pleasantly plump” teenager Tracy Turnblad as she pursues stardom as a dancer on a local television dance show and rallies against racial segregation.
Chicago is a 2002 American musical black comedy crime film based on the 1975 stage musical of the same name, which in turn originated in the 1927 film of the same name. It explores the themes of celebrity, scandal, and corruption in Chicago during the Jazz Age. The film stars Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Richard Gere. “Chicago” centers on Roxie Hart and Velma Kelly, two murderesses who find themselves in jail together awaiting trial in the 1920s Chicago.
West Side Story (1961)
West Side Story is a 1961 American musical romantic drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. With a screenplay by Ernest Lehman, the film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same title, which in turn was inspired by Shakespeare’s play “Romeo and Juliet”. It stars Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, and George Chakiris, and was photographed by Daniel L. Fapp in Super Panavision 70. The music was composed by Leonard Bernstein, with lyrics by Stephen Sondheim. The film received high praise from critics and viewers, and became the highest-grossing film of 1961.
Sing Street (2016)
Sing Street is a 2016 musical coming-of-age comedy-drama film written and directed by John Carney from a story by Carney and Simon Carmody. Starring Ferdia Walsh-Peelo, Lucy Boynton, Maria Doyle Kennedy, Aidan Gillen, Jack Reynor and Kelly Thornton, the story revolves around a boy starting a band to impress a girl in the 1980s Ireland. It is an international co-production between producers from Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States. The film received positive reviews from critics, grossed $13 million worldwide, and was nominated for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy at the 74th Golden Globe Awards. [Source: www.editorial.rottentomatoes.com]
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Mamma Mia! is a 2008 jukebox musical romantic comedy film directed by Phyllida Lloyd and written by Catherine Johnson, based on her book from the 1999 musical of the same name. The film is based on the songs of pop group ABBA, with additional music composed by ABBA member Benny Andersson. The movie features an ensemble cast, including Christine Baranski, Pierce Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried, Stellan Skarsgård, Meryl Streep, and Julie Walters. The plot follows a young bride-to-be who invites three men to her upcoming wedding, with the possibility that any of them could be her father.
The Muppets (2011)
The Muppets is a 2011 American musical comedy film directed by James Bobin and written by Jason Segel and Nicholas Stoller, and the seventh theatrical film featuring The Muppets. The film stars Segel, Amy Adams, Chris Cooper, and Rashida Jones, as well as Muppets performers Steve Whitmire, Eric Jacobson, Dave Goelz, Bill Barretta, David Rudman, Matt Vogel, and Peter Linz. In the movie, devoted Muppet fan Walter, his human brother Gary and Gary’s girlfriend Mary help Kermit the Frog reunite the disbanded Muppets, as they must raise $10 million to save the Muppet Theater from Tex Richman, a businessman who plans to demolish the studio to drill for oil.
In the Heights (2021)
In the Heights is a 2021 American musical drama movie directed by Jon M. Chu from a screenplay by Quiara Alegría Hudes based on the stage musical of the same name by Hudes and Lin-Manuel Miranda. The film stars Anthony Ramos, Corey Hawkins, Leslie Grace in her film debut, Melissa Barrera, Olga Merediz, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Gregory Diaz IV, and Jimmy Smits. The film follows a similar plot to the musical, telling the story of a corner in the predominantly Dominican Washington Heights neighborhood of Upper Manhattan in New York City, where every member of the community pursues their sueñitos, little dreams for a better life.
Rocketman is a 2019 biographical musical drama film based on the life and music of British musician Elton John. Directed by Dexter Fletcher and written by Lee Hall, the film tells the story of John in his early days in England as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his musical partnership with Taupin, and is titled after John’s 1972 song “Rocket Man”. The film stars Taron Egerton as John, with Jamie Bell as Bernie Taupin, Richard Madden as John Reid, and Bryce Dallas Howard as Sheila Eileen, John’s mother.
La La Land (2016)
La La Land is a 2016 American romantic musical comedy-drama film written and directed by Damien Chazelle. It stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone as a struggling jazz pianist and an aspiring actress, respectively, who meet and fall in love while pursuing their dreams in Los Angeles. John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt, Finn Wittrock, and J. K. Simmons appear in supporting roles. The film was a commercial success, grossing $448 million worldwide on a production budget of $30 million, and received widespread critical acclaim with particular praise given to Chazelle’s screenplay and direction, the performances of Gosling and Stone, score, musical numbers, cinematography, and production design. [Source: www.parade.com]
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