The musical is for many the only fully American film genre.
Born in the late 1920s, consolidated as a genre during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, practically abandoned between the 70s and 90s, but rejuvenated with the arrival of the new century. Musical movies are never out of fashion.
Outside of Hollywood and the United States the production of musicals has had a specific weight, as in the cases of Mexican filmography in the mid-twentieth century. Also it is necessary to emphasize great part of the greater successes of Bollywood or even during a good part of the history of Spanish cinema.
We will review below some of the most emblematic films of this genre, which captivates a large part of the audience. There are also many moviegoers who do not like to be listening to music in one scene and another not.
Table of Contents
- 1 The City of Stars: La La Land (2016) by Damien Chazelle
- 2 The Broadway Melody (1929) by Harry Beaumont
- 3 Chicago (2002) by Rob Marshall
- 4 Blood Wedding (1981) by Carlos Saura
- 5 Beauty and the Beast (1991) by Kirk Wise and Gary Trouslade (2017) by Bili Condon
- 6 Mary Poppins (1964) by Robert Stevenson
- 7 Sweedney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) by Tim Burton
- 8 The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) by Henry Selick
- 9 Mamma Mia (2008) by Phyllida Lloyd
- 10 Everybody Says I Love You (1996) by Woody Allen
- 11 Singing in the Rain (1952) by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen
- 12 Dancing in the Dark (2002) by Lars Von Trier
- 13 Les Miserables (2012) by Tom Hooper
- 14 Hairspray (2007) by Adam Shankman
The city of stars: La La Land (2016) by Damien Chazelle
For much of the public and critics, this it's the best movie of 2016 and one of the best musicals ever filmed. A classic love story, even conventional, but with a imposing staging and a simply spectacular soundtrack composed by Justin Hurwitz.
He has had Oscar nominations (record alongside All About Eve y Titanic), although it will also be remembered by the embarrassing mistake by Warren Betty when announcing the winner of the Best Picture at the 89th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Awards.
The Broadway melody (1929) by Harry Beaumont
Officially, this is the first fully sung tape, whose speeches are songs, accompanied by a choreographic staging. He won Oscar for Best Film, also becoming the first sound film to win this recognition.
Chicago (2002) by Rob Marshall
Based on the Broadway musical show created in the 70s by Fred Ebb and Bob Fosse. Another winner of the Oscar for Best Film, considered by many to be the best cinematographic musical of all time.
Bodas de sangre (1981) by Carlos Saura
The Huesca-born filmmaker delivered with this the first of his three films about flamenco. A tragic love story, told through dance. One of the best Spanish films of all time.
Beauty and the beast (1991) by Kirk Wise and Gary Trouslade (2017) by Bili Condon
The animated film from the early 90s, served to that Disney officially kick off what many call its "rebirth", which includes animated musicals from The Little Mermaid (1989) to Tarzan
Based on the shortened version of the homonymous text written by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaument, with music by Alan Menken and lyrics by Howard Ashman, the achievements of this film are several: it was the first animated film to exceed $ 100 million in gross and the first to compete in the category of Best Picture at the Oscars (at that time the category of Best Animated Film did not exist).
At the beginning of 2017 it was released a Live Action version which, in essence, is the same story. The gross at the box office was equally impressive.
Mary Poppins (1964) by Robert Stevenson
If there is a movie that deserves the nickname of "Disney Classic" it is this one, because in addition, Walt Disney himself was one of the producers. Starring Julie Andrews, based on the character created by PL Travers, she is an icon of Hollywood cinema.
Sweedney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2008) by Tim Burton
A pretty dark musical, very much in the style of the celebrated American director. Another movie based on a Broadway musical. He stars as Johnny Depp, alongside Helena Bonham Carter, Sacha Baron Cohen, and Alan Rickman.
An animated film using the Stop Motion technique. Although not listed as director, this is a "classic" story Burtonian, considered even by many as the best film of all the filmography of Tim Burton. The most “hardcore” fans of this film know all the songs by heart. songs Danny Elfman wrote for the soundtrack.
Mamma Mía (2008) by Phyllida Lloyd
It is not one of the best exponents of musical films, but it is one of the funniest. Based on the Broadway musical written from the songs of the famous Swedish ABBA quartet. Merly Streep excelled at the helm of a multi-star cast.
They all say I love you (1996) by Woody Allen
The controversial New York director also ventured into the musical, with a film that, although not one of the most remembered of his filmography, is of the funniest. Despite being a musical, it is the typical Woody Allen tape: men and women arguing about sex, politics and religion, in minimalist environments and with a simple and even elementary staging.
In the cast, only stars: besides Allen himself, Drew Barrymore (the only one who dubbed his songs), Julia Roberts, Alan Alda, Tim Roth, Goldie Hawn, Natalie Portman ...
Singing under the rain (1952) by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen
La scene where Gene Kelly sings in the rainIt is the most iconic in musical cinema, and one of the most important in the entire history of the "Seventh Art".
Dancing in the Dark (2002) by Lars Von Trier
Co-produced between Denmark and Germany, starring Björk and the eternal Catherine Denueve. Winner of the Palme d'Or in Cannes, as well as a number of other awards around the world. It is the best film by Lars Von Trier, responsible for several of the most grotesque films of cinema. The interpretation of Björk as a Czech immigrant in the United States who is gradually losing her sight is simply masterful.
The Miserables (2012) by Tom Hooper
Based on the homonymous musical, inspired by the novel by Victor Hugo. It was widely acclaimed by global critics and a major box office success, mainly driven by the cartel of actors who participated in it: Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe, Anne Hathaway, Sacha Baron Cohen, Amanda Seyfried and Helena Boham Carter.
Hairspray (2007) by Adam Shankman
A story about racism and complexes in American society in the 60s. An ensemble cast that was well received by audiences and critics. Highlight John Travolta playing an overprotective mother and quite overweight.
Image sources: HobbyConsolas / Digital Freedom / Everything is cinema