Everyone loves a musical.
Everyone loves a musical. Whether you admit it or not, there’s no denying the intoxicating magic of the musical wonderlands that are London’s West End and New York’s Broadway.
That delight though can be recreated in your own living room thanks to the wonder of musical films. It even allows us to belt out the words to some of the best anthems musical theatre has produced, without drawing strange looks from the audience. I mean, we all do it, right?
With the recent release of British rom-com-drama musical film Walking on Sunshine, let’s take a look at some of the best musical films ever.
The Sound of Music (1965)
Musical veteran Julie Andrews starred in the 1960s hit, which is still wheeled out as a TV film favourite at Christmas.
Telling the tale of nun Maria who is faced with the challenge of caring for the seven Von Trapp children, the film earned the title of the highest-grossing film after its release. Stunning Austrian scenes and a timeless soundtrack with songs including Do-Re-Mi and My Favourite Things are a winning partnership in the musical film stakes.
However much it is slated, there’s no denying it is one of the best screen musicals ever made. The film divides audiences in a manner similar to Marmite.
Mary Poppins (1964)
Practically perfect in every way, Mary Poppins is one Disney classic that has undoubtedly stood the test of time.
The endearing story of the magical nanny on a quest to shake up the upper-class life of the Banks family still captivates children and adults alike today.
Mary Poppins combines animation and live-action, something that would later be replicated in Disney’s 2007 Enchanted.
Dick Van Dyke, and that Cockney accent, added to the adorable cartoon creatures and sweet, timeless show tunes elevate this musical film to classic status.
The original 1988 musical film got a glamorous makeover in the late Noughties with introduced the show to a whole new generation.
It’s the 1960s in Baltimore, and Tracey Turnblad just wants to sing, consolidate integration, and join The Nicest Kids in Town on The Corny Collins Show.
Full of Sixties-inspired musical numbers, the film battles controversial social issues such as segregation, racism and bullying.
Musical veteran John Travolta is scarily realistic as Edna Turnblad and Zac Efron (need I say more?) shines in the film’s final showstopper, You Can’t Stop the Beat.
Arguably the ultimate in musical films, Grease is a treat from start to finish.
Set in 1950s California, the film tells that age-old story of summer romances, only this time the two lovers are reunited when naïve Sandy Olsson moves to the school of stud Danny Zuko.
Of course memorable songs play a big part in musical films, and Grease has them to spare. Any semi-respectable DJ knows that the Grease Medley simply has to feature at some point in the night, and with good reason- the soundtrack is infectiously catchy.
The plot moves along smoothly, making the film incredibly easy to watch. A young John Travolta doesn’t particularly make it difficult, either.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
A stellar cast including Meryl Streep and Colin Firth allow this film adaptation of the 1999 musical to really come alive. It is, of course, as camp as Christmas- with ABBA hits casually dropped into conversation.
The film is full of energy and will almost definitely have you singing along by the second half.
The original ABBA songs fit nicely into a comfortable storyline. You can’t help but be moved by Streep’s powerhouse performance of The Winner Takes It All, and don’t let Pierce Brosnan’s wailing of the aptly-titled SOS put you off.
Still not convinced? The beautiful Greek island will distract you from the miserable British summer, if nothing else.
What are your favourite film musicals? Do you agree with our list? Comment below.