Reel Classics: the classic movie site


Recommendations

Action/Adventures | Comedies | Crime/Noirs | Dramas | Epics | Family Films | Holiday Films | Musicals | Suspense/Mysteries | Romances | Romantic Comedies | Tear-Jerkers | Westerns

 Musicals:
Some people just can't handle it when a character in a movie suddenly bursts into song, but I'm not one of those people. I love musicals of all shapes and sizes, especially ones with memorable songs and good voices to sing them. Good stories and acting as well as talented dancers here and there make them even better, but are not a requirement. Of course they cover an entire range of subjects, from dramatic and romantic to comedic and just plain silly. Here a several I think you'll enjoy:
THE SOUND OF MUSIC (1965)

Possibly the greatest musical ever brought to the screen. The music of this film is timeless and the cinematography almost unbeatable. Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer and a host of cute-but-not-too-sugary kids. Even if you've seen it before on TV, check out the wide-screen version and be wowed anew.

A STAR IS BORN (1954)

Judy Garland at her best as an aspiring actress who marries her mentor (a fellow actor, played by James Mason) just as his career begins to decline. Some songs are better than others, but overall it's a great film. Don't miss Judy throbbing away about "The Man That Got Away."

MARY POPPINS (1964)

A children's movie maybe, but this one is so much fun I can't pass up listing it here too. Julie Andrews is the magical nanny of every child's dreams, and Dick Van Dyke does a great job as the Jack-of-all-trades, Bert. Great, catchy songs and wonderful special effects make this one of my favorites.

THE WIZARD OF OZ (1939)

Judy Garland at age 16 goes over the rainbow and has all kinds of adventures, singing all the way. Another mostly children's movie, but one that everyone should experience if they haven't before. Early Technicolor at its most majestic.

FUNNY FACE (1957)

Yes, Audrey Hepburn did her own singing in this movie. She plays a bookworm recruited by photographer Fred Astaire to model for him in a Parisian photo shoot. The costumes are fabulous and musical numbers entertaining as well. Fred dances too of course.

OKLAHOMA! (1955)

After THE SOUND OF MUSIC, my favorite of the Rogers and Hammerstein movie musicals-- and the fact I'm from Oklahoma doesn't bias me in the least. Shirley Jones and Gordon MacRae in their first musical pairing and Jones' first film. Only the dream ballet takes away from the charm. The showstopper "Oklahoma" even became our state song.

MY FAIR LADY (1964)

Another great musical extravaganza with marvelous songs and costumes. The dubbing of several of Audrey Hepburn's numbers by Marni Nixon takes away from the soundtrack quality of this musical adaptation of Shaw's Pygmalion (not because Nixon is bad, but because the editing sometimes jumps back and forth between the two voices), but overall (especially given Rex Harrison's Oscar-winning performance as the cantankerous Prof. Henry Higgins), it's a lot of fun.

WEST SIDE STORY (1961)

Another dubbed leading lady (This time Natalie Wood was dubbed by Marni Nixon.) but this musical Romeo and Juliet set among 1950s gang wars in New York City is very well done. Not your usual showstopper songs, nor your typical Fred Astaire/ Gene Kelly dancing, but a fresh look at a familiar story.

FIDDLER ON THE ROOF (1971)

A moving musical about a Jewish family (including five daughters) living in a little town in Russia and their social and political trials as well as family conflicts. Great songs, a wonderful performance by Topol as the papa, emotional highs and lows and a wonderful story. No escapism here.

OLIVER! (1968)

No superstars in this one, just all-around good performances by a number of British actors who make this a most enjoyable musical. True to its Dickens settings and characters (though not totally to the actual plot of Oliver Twist), the young Mark Lester as Oliver is as believable as they get. More than a good spectacle.

MEET ME IN ST. LOUIS (1944)

Judy Garland has the lead, but little Margaret O'Brien almost steals the show in this story of a turn-of-the-century family (including four daughters) and their day-to-day adventures as residents of St. Louis in the year it hosts the World's Fair. Memorable songs include "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" and "The Trolley Song."

SOUTH PACIFIC (1958)

The color screens used for some kind of ambiance effect are notably distracting today, but this film adaptation of Rogers and Hammerstein's Broadway musical is still worth a look. Mitzi Gaynor is better spunky than serious, and this musical set on a Pacific island during World War II does raise some serious issues about race which were controversial at the time, but overall, songs like "I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Outta My Hair," "There Is Nothing Like a Dame" and "Some Enchanted Evening" pull through to make it fun and enjoyable.

THE KING AND I (1956)

Still another leading lady (Deborah Kerr) whose songs were dubbed by Marni Nixon, there are a few things about this movie that bother (most especially the Asian roles played by non-Asians) but Yul Brynner's fine performance as the king and songs like "Getting to Know You" and "Hello, Young Lovers" (not to mention the fine costumes) make this Rogers and Hammerstein musical adaptation of Anna and the King of Siam worth a look as well.

Also:

  • ANNIE (1982)
  • THE BARKLEYS OF BROADWAY (1949)
  • BLUE SKIES (1942)
  • CALAMITY JANE (1953)
  • THOROUGHLY MODERN MILLIE (1967)
  • DARLING LILI (1970)
  • EASTER PARADE (1948)
  • FOLLOW THE FLEET (1936)
  • THE GAY DIVORCEE (1934)
  • GREASE (1978)
  • GYPSY (1962)
  • THE HARVEY GIRLS (1946)
  • HELLO, DOLLY! (1969)
  • THE MUSIC MAN (1962)
  • SHALL WE DANCE (1937)
  • SINGIN' IN THE RAIN (1952)
  • STATE FAIR (1945)
  • SUMMER STOCK (1950)
  • SWING TIME (1936)
  • TEA FOR TWO (1950)
  • THERE'S NO BUSINESS LIKE SHOW BUSINESS (1954)
  • TOP HAT (1935)
  • WHITE CHRISTMAS (1954)
  • YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
  • VICTOR/VICTORIA (1982)

Return to the Index of Recommended Films.

 

Buy Videos & DVDs
Find your movie at MoviesUnlimited.com.
Movies Unlimited

Buy Movie Posters
& Film Stills
MovieGoods
MovieGoods

Buy Movie Posters
In Affiliation with AllPosters.com
AllPosters

Classic Movie Merchandise
-- recommended links to dozens of online vendors selling classic movies & all kinds of related products.


printer-friendly pagePrinter-friendly version.   return to the topReturn to the top.
Last updated: March 10, 2011.
Reel Classics is a registered trademark of Reel Classics, L.L.C.
1997-2011 Reel Classics, L.L.C.  All rights reserved.  No copyright is claimed on non-original or licensed material.  Terms of Use.  Privacy Policy.