I must admit, I don’t have a television in my house. So I miss most things until they end up online where I run into it. One of my recent unexpected finds was this:
Daniel Radcliffe, singing and dancing! This has become one of my favorite things to watch and listen to, and (funny thing) it got me to thinking about musicals. So I figured I’d share some of my favorite movie musicals. Some of these will be well known to readers, being big modern productions, others are classics that unless you’re into musicals you may not know.
I’ll start with the ones you’ll probably know the story, and maybe some of the songs even if you’ve never watched them.
Annie: Do I really need to go over story? Doubt it. “Hard Knock Life” says it all. This is the 1999 version staring Kathy Bates, Alan Cumming and Kristin Chenoweth. I personally love Alan Cumming as Miss Hannigan’s no-good loser brother Rooster.
Chicagois the story of Roxie Heart and Velma Kelly – 1920s darlings who commit murder and through amazing song and dance numbers try to out-do each other for the chance of a vaudeville career after their respective trials.
Grease: The original High school musical! This is a you love it or hate it musical. Tough guy John Travolta tries to win the goodie-good Olivia Newton-John by becoming a good guy and she tries to win him by becoming a bit of a tramp.
Sweeney Todd:The Demon Barber of Fleet Street : Johnny Depp brings a subtle sort of creep to the devlish killer who is killing anyone who sits in his barber, chair in his attempt to get revenge on the man who took his family and sent him to prison.
Rent: A social statement set to music! Drag queens, lesbians, AIDS and the lives of struggling artists – all rolled up into one jumping dramatic story of love, loss and of course music.
Moulin Rouge: Beautiful period piece, taking place in 1899 Paris and the Moulin Rouge nightclub where Nicole Kidman stars as the girl of every man’s dreams (for a price) with dreams of her own of a future as an actress. Of course, it’s a tragedy in the end but beautiful and the songs will stick with you.
Next up I’ve got some of my absolute favorite musicals of all time. This is an eclectic list to say the least but these are titles that are absolutely worth checking out.
De-Lovely: De-Lovely is the dramatized account of the life of Cole and Linda Porter from their meeting in Paris, their eventual marriage, the trials and tribulations of their lives and the ups and downs of his career. It includes the music from some of his best shows and has great cameos from Alanis Morissette, John Barrowman, Robbie Williams, Sheryl Crow, Elvis Costello and many more.
Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat: Unlikely addition to the list, this musical is based on the Biblical story of Joseph from The Book Of Genesis. Starring Donny Osmond, it’s a lot of fun for the religious and non-religious alike.
Rocky Horror Picture Show: An “erotic nightmare beyond any measure” this musical has science fiction, rock’n'roll music, dancing, and a sweet transvestite from Transexual, Transylvania.
Victor/Victoria: Julie Andrews stars as Victoria a songstress in 1934 Paris who can’t find a job until a chance meeting and a little help from a clever gay performer Toddy. Who decides that with a bit of a haircut and a suit Victoria can become Victor – a woman pretending to be a man who is pretending to be a woman.
White Christmas: World War II vets, Bing Crosby and Danny Kaye leave the military and become song and dance men, eventually hooking up with a beautiful sister act. The group winds up at an inn owned by their former commanding officer. Finding he’s in trouble they use all their connections to make sure it’s a very merry White Christmas.
The Producers: Nathan Lane and Mathew Broderick bring their stage hit to film in this movie remake of their broadway smash, which in turn was a musicalization of the 1968 movie about Leo Bloom and Max Bialystock, an accountant and Broadway producer who try to make a fortune by putting on the worst Broadway musical ever.
Every one of these musicals is worth watching, even if you don’t like musicals, there is something in all of these that can catch your attention and keep you watching.