With the BFI presenting a season celebrating film musicals, Emma Clarendon picks five of her favourite film musicals….
The Sound of Music: this 1965 film featuring music and lyrics by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II is based on the memoirs by Maria von Trapp. Filled with such memorable songs such as ‘My Favourite Things’ and ‘Do Re Mi’ this is a musical that has really stood the test of time and is my ultimate favourite Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: as a child this was one of the first musical films that I can remember watching (excluding Disney films of course) and instantly fell in love with the characters and music as well as the magical flying car! There is a really lovely sincerity about it that rings through Richard and Robert Sherman’s music and lyrics – particularly during ‘Toot Sweets’ and ‘Hushabye Mountain’ which are so instantly recognisable.
The Greatest Showman: in recent years, the film musical has been becoming popular again with the likes of ‘Mamma Mia!’ and ‘La La Land’ being released. But in my opinion, The Greatest Showman delivers on all fronts (ok yes there is some question about historical accuracy – but let’s appreciate its entertainment values) from a strong cast to strong songs written by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, it is a film that wins you over with its sheer infectious joy. It is a spectacle that entertains from start to finish.
Moulin Rouge: for those in search of a passionate but heartbreaking story of love while containing edgy interpretations of some classic songs will certainly need to watch Moulin Rouge. Dazzling visually to watch and with a story with plenty of twist and turns along the way, it is a musical film that is electrifying to watch unfold – no matter how many times you watch it.
Grease: with its great sense of humour, quirky mixture of characters and great range of songs that are constantly played at parties and special occasions, Grease is another musical that has somehow managed to stay endearing and enjoyable to watch over the years. It has so many memorable lines and moments that it is difficult not to enjoy from start to finish.
The BFI musicals season will be presenting events across the UK from October. For more information visit: https://www.bfi.org.uk/musicals