Here’s a list of the best musical movie adaptations.
Musicals are among the most popular forms of visual entertainment. From elaborate sets to professional singing, musicals appeal to a wide variety of audiences, from small children who like the flashy costumes to full-grown adults who tear up at the soul in the song. Along with being fun, musicals can cover content ranging from revenge (Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street) to LGBTQ+ struggles (RENT). Whatever the story, musicals share it through music, one of the best mediums to portray a deeper level of emotion, creating a stronger connection with the audience.
Musical shows are a magical experience that can’t be compared to any other. The orchestra and the ambiance immerse you in the story entirely which is impossible to replicate. However, films bring about their own benefits that a stage performance can’t provide. As a result, many Broadway musicals have been turned into films. Here are a few of the best musical movie adaptations ever made.
10 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
The barber Sweeney Todd returns to London from his exile and seeks revenge on the judge (Alan Rickman) who sent him away and stole his wife and child. He practices on his clients and Mrs. Lovvett helps him hide the evidence. Tim Burton’s recreation of Sweeney Todd is a match made in heaven as Burton brings his auteur style, managing to make everything deeply unsettling. Tim Burton did such a phenomenal job with this masterpiece that it is considered one of Tim Birton’s best films to date.
9 Les Misérables
Ex-prisoner Jean Valjean is being hunted by Javert for breaking the parole of his 19-year sentence but manages to reinvent himself as a Mayor of a small town. Meanwhile, in the background, the French Revolution is making its way through the streets.
Known for the live singing that was done on set, Les Misérables won many awards for the performances and the dedication of the actors to their roles, as Anne Hathaway lost a lot of weight and let production team shave her head. The film adaptation brings with it the chance to see some of the world’s most famous celebrities in classic roles, it also allows for greater cinematic effect as being on a closed set allows for the use of more risky props, like the weapons used from the barricades.
8 Mamma Mia!
Mamma Mia! is a story that you can’t really go wrong with. Sophie, who is about to get married, invites her three potential fathers to her wedding in Greece, but she doesn’t know which one is her real father. The premise alone is enough to entertain comically and to tug at your heartstrings as Sohpie hides the truth from her mother Donna and Donna is panicking seeing her past loves in Greece, coincidentally at the same time her daughter is getting married.
The movie adaption brings forth the real Greece as the film was shot in the Greek isles. This is not possible with the stage performance as it’s on a stage and limited to how well it can recreate a setting. We also get to see the performance of Meryl Streep who shows off her singing abilities that many did not know she had. Mamma Mia! received so much attention that it received a sequel and it was recently revealed that there are plans for a third film to make a complete trilogy.
7 Little Shop of Horrors
Little Shop of Horrors, a hilarious musical that revolves around a plant named Audrey II that feeds on human flesh and blood, which makes it stronger and bigger. This classic has everything, a bit of gore, a bit of romance, and some classic tunes like “Feed Me Seymour.”
The movie adaptation brings Audrey II to life and makes it even more horrifying with the close-ups that the stage cannot provide. This along with a hilarious cast of Rick Moranis and Steve Martin, the movie adaptation of Little Shop of Horrors is a gem of a musical and the only one of its kind.
6 Fiddler on the Roof
Tevye the milkman has five daughters, each of which needs to get a husband through the matchmaker, but that does not always go according to plan. Life in an Orthodox Jewish community revolves around tradition and Fiddler on the Roof could not do a better job of portraying their lives and their difficulties. note: DER SCHEIN TRÜGT 2021 ganzer film deutsch
The movie adaptation takes Topol, who plays Tevye both in the film and on Broadway, and enhances his performance tenfold. Through beautiful cinematography and precise editing, the film is the best way to see Topol’s performance as Tevye in Fiddler on the Roof.
Set in New York, Rent follows a group of young people, some of whom suffer from AIDS, and their struggles managing to pay their rent. Popular on both Broadway and the screen, RENT is one of the few on this list that has most of the same cast from the Broadway show in the movie adaptation. It’s highly praised not only for the music and the performances but for the nuanced representation of LGBTQ+ characters and narratives. Some even say it got them into musicals in the first place.
The film adaptation of RENT is more intimate than the stage performance as you get a closer look at the suffering of the individuals both physically and emotionally through the camera as you get a clear view of their face. On top of this, the film also allows for a clear sound when the music comes through so the audience can have the best experience possible.
Following Tracy, the tubby teen who loves to dance, Hairspray is more than about just dancing. Hairspray brings forward the segregation of the 1960s and focuses on racial integration, opposed by most, except Tracy. Tracy is only accepted by the loving Motormouth Maybelle, played by Queen Latifah, and her children who only appear on Negro Day of the Corny Collins show
The film brings forth a stellar cast for this classic musical. With stars like Zac Efron, Queen Latifa, Michelle Pfiffer, John Travolta and Chistopher Walken, this adaptation was a recipe for success. The film gave us one iconic moment when Queen Latifa was leading a march against segregation in the streets of Baltimore, and it was a real march that others joined and soon the few became the many. This is difficult to recreate on stage and was a moment meant for the silver screen.
3 The Producers
A wannabe producer and a producer known for his flops seek to produce the worst play ever written to steal a million dollars. This remake of the original The Producers featuring Matthew Broderick, Nathan Lane and Uma Thurman is a hilarious take on fraud and the glamor behind being a Broadway producer. note: Annette 2021 ganzer film deutsch
The film brings us elaborate dances and numbers with yet another stellar cast that draws the eye of many. Most of all, this film brings the friendship of Bialistock (Lane) and Bloom (Broderick) to life. With Bloom’s number towards the end of the film “‘Til Him”, we get to see close-ups of both Bloom and Bialistock, showcasing what they’ve been through together, making the moment more magical.
Orphan Annie is adopted by rich man Oliver “Daddy”to improve his image and as much as she likes her lavish surroundings, Annie still longs for the day she will reunite with her birth parents. Annie is a classic with a wholesome story and a score to match, it’s impossible to not feel something when watching Annie.
The film brings us the true nature of Annie’s innocence and naivety. As the ginger navigates her life, she is still longing for something so simple as wanting to meet her real parents. Through the silver screen of cinema, we see her heart in its entirety and truly sympathize with Annie.
1 West Side Story
West Side Story has been referred to as a modern day Romeo & Juliet, but instead of two households, it’s two gangs battling for turf. One of the most romantic stories ever told, West Side Story brings out the romantic in us all as two lovers fight for their love. The film makes the love more intense with the close-ups that you can’t get from a stage performance. note: Ghostbusters: Legacy 2021 ganzer film deutsch
West Side Story is popular enough to receive another adaptation in 2021, fifty years after the original adaptation was made. The new adaptation is generating a lot of buzz as Steven Spielberg is the genius behind the camera. They even held a premiere ahead of pre-ticket sales due to the amount of interest in the remake.