Do you remember when you were little, a commercial for The Wizard of Oz or The Sound of Music would come on the television, and you’d get all excited and start making plans to stay up late for the one day a year these movies were broadcast? For better or worse, the convenience of the VHS and DVD player has changed all that. Then again, I still get excited when I see these commercials.
Many great movies that have started out as musicals in the theater, and if you’re in the mood for a good musical, these are the ones you should check out.
At number ten is Jesus Christ Superstar with music by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber. I still prefer this one live, but with many of the Broadway cast in the film, this 1973 film adaptation provides a quality performance.
Coming in at number nine is Annie, whose optimistic outlook is infectious. Many of you out there may not want to admit it, but we all know the words to the song “Tomorrow”. Aileen Quinn brings this 1982 film to life as the little red headed orphan, supported by a wonderful cast including Carol Burnett, Albert Finney, and Bernadette Peters. I do however only recommend this film for those with a strong threshold for cuteness.
Chicago takes its place at number eight with its over the top characters, delightfully played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, and Richard Gere. “All That Jazz“ is a great number, but I always loved “Cell Block Tango” myself.
When you’re a jet, you’re a jet all the way, from your first cigarette to you last dying day…” West Side Story is a classic Romeo and Juliet story, a tearjerker with some great songs, including “America” and “Gee, Officer Krupke
A lovably quirky movie, that you either love or hate, the 1986 musical adaptation of Little Shop of Horrors is silly and fun, and has a great mix of songs. My favorite song is “Skid Row (Downtown)” . This movie changes some things to allow for a more sympathetic main character, and a happier ending than the theatrical version.
At number five is a movie I was really looking forward to, and it met all of my expectations and then some. The 2007 version of Hairspray is filled with great songs and a sensational cast, including Nikki Blonsky, John Travolta, Zac Efron, Michelle Pfeiffer, Christopher Walken, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden, Queen Latifah, Elihah Kelley, and Brittany Snow.
At numbers four and three are two musicals that haven’t been turned into movies…yet. Disney is planning a 2010 release of the Elton John and Tim Rice adaption of Aida. The story line is actually based on an Italian Opera and is powerful and romantic, and the collaboration of Elton John and Tim rice is perfect for this production.
Now, I haven’t heard any plans yet, but I am hoping they are planning on a film adaptation of Wicked, which I am putting in at number three. With its amazing score and engaging storyline, this is a sure hit for all ages.
Mamma Mia! made its way to theaters in 2008. Casting made some mistakes in their selection as big names seemed to have been more important than talent in some of the roles, but overall, the storyline is fun and most of the songs are great! Amanda Seyfried was wonderful as Sophie, and Julie Walters and Christine Baranski we fabulous as the quirky friends of her mother, Donna (Meryl Streep).
My last spot is reserved for a movie that will never go out of style, even though the clothes have. Rodgers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music is a musical I grew up on. I know all the words to all of the songs, and probably most of the movie. Perfectly cast with Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer, it is a movie for families to enjoy together!
Jesus Christ Superstar
West Side Story
Little Shop of Horrors
Sound of Music