With La La Land the latest musical to hit the big screen, Love London Love Culture takes a look at some of the best musical films that have been released over the years…
10. Oliver! : starring Ron Moody as the loveable rogue Fagin and Oliver Reed as Bill Sykes, this great screen adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens story features not only great music but fabulous choreography that never over sentimentalises the original story.
9. My Fair Lady: although the stage version starred Julie Andrews, the studio wanted a bigger star to help attract audiences to the cinema – hence Audrey Hepburn was hired. But the lavishness of the sets and costumes as well as an excellently cast film really helped to overlook any controversies.
8. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers: it might be slightly outdated in terms of sexual politics, but this film features an undeniably catchy score and the barn dance sequence is one of the most impressively choreographed scenes on screen.
7. Grease: consistently topping lists for Best Musical, the cast (even though considerably older than characters are supposed to be) were absolutely brilliant about bringing the likes of Frenchy, Rizzo, Sandy and Danny to life. The film truly captures the spirit of the musical and the era in which it is set.
6. Singin’ in the Rain: best known for the iconic sequence that Gene Kelly dances to the title song near the end of the film, the film is perhaps more focused and stronger on the dancing elements than the singing, but the whole thing is slickly put together and features some great characters.
5. Chicago: Catherine Zeta-Jones and Renee Zellweger were perfect casting choices as Velma and Roxie in this Oscar winning adaptation of the classic musical. The whole film is sharp, dangerous and features great choreography throughout.
4. High Society: what a classy cast this was to make this film! Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra providing beautiful vocals and plenty of personality, while Grace Kelly is oozing with grace and sophistication. The film has a great jazzy score, some of which is performed by Louis Armstrong and is a great place to start if you want to get into classic musicals.
3. The Sound of Music: who can resist Julie Andrews singing about her favourite things and falling in love with Captain Von Trapp? stunning scenery, wonderful music and a story which is heartfelt and beautiful, it is one of the most iconic musical films ever made.
2. Les Miserables: this 2012 film might bother some people for not using a lot more of the cast members of the West End production in favour of Hollywood A-Listers – but the cast actually did a a very good job of bringing the characters to life. It is a grim musical, but the music and the way Tom Hooper brought it to life is surprisingly tender.
1. Guys & Dolls: the choreography, the music, the script and characters are all make this film a delight to watch. Yes some sequences might be slightly too long, but you have so much fun watching it that it doesn’t really matter.