All Time MUST see Musicals

by anandsahaja | created - 26 Nov 2017 | updated - 26 Nov 2017 | Public

Classic Musical Comedy Theater at its finest. No animation in this list, only fine real performances with terrific scores and production numbers.

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1. Hans Christian Andersen (1952)

Approved | 112 min | Biography, Family, Musical

The opening scene of the movie describes it best: "Once upon a time there lived in Denmark a great storyteller named Hans Christian Andersen. This is not the story of his life, but a fairy tale about the great spinner of fairy tales."

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Danny Kaye, Farley Granger, Zizi Jeanmaire, Joseph Walsh

Votes: 3,136

Few people know that this score was written by the same manewho wrote the infamous song, Luck Be A Lady from the score to Guys and Dolls! A beautiful and sometimes haunting score by Frank Loesser. Danny Kaye ain't too bad a star either :-)

2. Oliver! (1968)

G | 153 min | Drama, Family, Musical

74 Metascore

After being sold to a mortician, young orphan Oliver Twist runs away and meets a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

Director: Carol Reed | Stars: Mark Lester, Ron Moody, Shani Wallis, Oliver Reed

Votes: 31,807 | Gross: $16.80M

"Who Will Buy" has got to be the best production number ever ever EVER produced on film.

3. Guys and Dolls (1955)

Not Rated | 150 min | Comedy, Crime, Musical

In New York, a gambler is challenged to take a cold female missionary to Havana, but they fall for each other, and the bet has a hidden motive to finance a crap game.

Director: Joseph L. Mankiewicz | Stars: Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra, Vivian Blaine

Votes: 14,306 | Gross: $13.00M

Sit Down You're Rocking the Boat!!!!!

4. How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying (1967)

Approved | 121 min | Comedy, Musical

Armed with the titular manual, an ambitious window washer seeks to climb the corporate ladder.

Director: David Swift | Stars: Robert Morse, Michele Lee, Rudy Vallee, Anthony 'Scooter' Teague

Votes: 3,980

The Sets. The Costumes. The Era. A Secretary is NOT a Toy.

5. Hello, Dolly! (1969)

G | 146 min | Adventure, Comedy, Musical

51 Metascore

Matchmaker Dolly Levi travels to Yonkers to find a partner for "half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder, convincing his niece, his niece's intended, and his two clerks to travel to New York City along the way.

Director: Gene Kelly | Stars: Barbra Streisand, Walter Matthau, Michael Crawford, Marianne McAndrew

Votes: 12,358 | Gross: $33.14M

So many beautiful choreographed numbers in this movie. The stars give wonderful performances, but the dancing surpasses it all. How could it not with a director like Gene Kelley in charge?

6. Auntie Mame (1958)

Approved | 143 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

An orphan goes to live with his free-spirited aunt. Conflict ensues when the executor of his father's estate objects to the aunt's lifestyle.

Director: Morton DaCosta | Stars: Rosalind Russell, Forrest Tucker, Coral Browne, Fred Clark

Votes: 9,614 | Gross: $23.30M

There are two best buddies songs on film: one is "What a Swell Party This Is" between Frank Sinatra and Bing Crosby in High Society. The other one is "Bosom Buddies" with Lucille Ball as Mame and Bea Arthur as Vera.

7. Pippin: His Life and Times (1981 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 112 min | History, Musical, Romance

At the goading of the ominous and omnipresent Leading Player, Pippin, the eldest son of King Charlemagne, samples life's pleasures to discover his place in the world and the meaning of his life.

Director: David Sheehan | Stars: Ben Vereen, William Katt, Leslie Denniston, Benjamin Rayson

Votes: 424

A highly underrated score and production. The show captures a moment in time of the Broadway talents of Ben Vereen and Bob Fosse. If you want to see Fosse's work, I'd actually pick this over Sweet Charity or All That Jazz.

8. West Side Story (1961)

Not Rated | 153 min | Crime, Drama, Musical

86 Metascore

Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.

Directors: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise | Stars: Natalie Wood, George Chakiris, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 89,133 | Gross: $43.66M

The all time classic that starts with the best titles ever and only gets better.

9. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

G | 144 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

A down-on-his-luck inventor turns a broken-down Grand Prix car into a fancy vehicle for his children, and then they go off on a magical fantasy adventure to save their grandfather in a far-off land.

Director: Ken Hughes | Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Sally Ann Howes, Lionel Jeffries, Benny Hill

Votes: 38,006

Hearing Dick Van Dyke sing the melodious "Hushabye Mountain" makes me feel safe and warm. Between that and The Old Bamboo, and oh don't forget the children-hating Baron and Baroness, this movie will not disappoint.

10. Doctor Dolittle (1967)

Approved | 152 min | Adventure, Comedy, Family

34 Metascore

After the animal communicating veterinarian goes too far for his clientele, he and his friends escape their hometown to the sea in search of the Great Pink Sea Snail.

Director: Richard Fleischer | Stars: Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley, Richard Attenborough

Votes: 7,700 | Gross: $9.00M

Leslie Bricusse wrote a few wonderful musicals, this and Willy Wonka, Victor Victoria, Stop the World I Want to Get Off, Scrooge, and others. This is my favorite, especially since it includes a love song to a seal. The world IS full of beautiful things!!!

11. My Fair Lady (1964)

G | 170 min | Drama, Family, Musical

95 Metascore

Snobbish phonetics Professor Henry Higgins (Sir Rex Harrison) agrees to a wager that he can make flower girl Eliza Doolittle (Audrey Hepburn) presentable in high society.

Director: George Cukor | Stars: Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway, Wilfrid Hyde-White

Votes: 80,660 | Gross: $72.00M

Best costume scenes ever: the races with its black and white pre-turn of the century finery and the ball and the street vendors.

12. Holiday Inn (1942)

Passed | 100 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

At an inn which is only open on holidays, a crooner and a hoofer vie for the affections of a beautiful up-and-coming performer.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Bing Crosby, Fred Astaire, Marjorie Reynolds, Virginia Dale

Votes: 11,849 | Gross: $8.18M

It's fun to see Fred Astaire playing a cad against the good hearted Bing. Two of Fred's best dance numbers are in this musical: Be Careful It's My Heart comedy mashup duet and his solo Fourth of July dance with firecarackers!

13. Mary Poppins (1964)

G | 139 min | Comedy, Family, Fantasy

88 Metascore

In turn of the century London, a magical nanny employs music and adventure to help two neglected children become closer to their father.

Director: Robert Stevenson | Stars: Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, David Tomlinson, Glynis Johns

Votes: 145,664 | Gross: $102.27M

Too many wonderful songs to list. You know then all by heart anyways... score is by Robert and Richard Sherman

14. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

G | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

99 Metascore

A silent film production company and cast make a difficult transition to sound.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Donald O'Connor, Debbie Reynolds, Jean Hagen

Votes: 200,577 | Gross: $8.82M

Gene Kelly has starred in many great musicals, Anchors Aweigh and that Paris one. But this really is his piece de resistance. It cannot be denied.

15. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)

Not Rated | 91 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Showgirls Lorelei Lee and Dorothy Shaw travel to Paris, pursued by a private detective hired by the suspicious father of Lorelei's fiancé, as well as a rich, enamored old man and many other doting admirers.

Director: Howard Hawks | Stars: Jane Russell, Marilyn Monroe, Charles Coburn, Elliott Reid

Votes: 28,531 | Gross: $12.00M

Marilyn Monroe glows and shows how deep and wide her talent really went.

16. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

PG | 102 min | Adventure, Family, Fantasy

100 Metascore

Dorothy Gale is swept away from a farm in Kansas to a magical land of Oz in a tornado and embarks on a quest with her new friends to see the Wizard who can help her return home to Kansas and help her friends as well.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, Mervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, Richard Thorpe, King Vidor | Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger, Bert Lahr

Votes: 355,839 | Gross: $2.08M

Land of Oz song has the best lyric ever: "We get up at noon and start to work at one. "Take an hour for lunch and then by two we're done. "Jolly Good Fun!"

17. The Music Man (1962)

G | 151 min | Comedy, Family, Musical

Harold Hill poses as a boys' band leader to con naive Iowa townsfolk.

Director: Morton DaCosta | Stars: Robert Preston, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett, Hermione Gingold

Votes: 14,994 | Gross: $14.95M

Top three favorite musicals ever.

18. Oklahoma! (1955)

G | 145 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

In Oklahoma, several farmers, cowboys and a traveling salesman compete for the romantic favors of various local ladies.

Director: Fred Zinnemann | Stars: Gordon MacRae, Gloria Grahame, Gene Nelson, Charlotte Greenwood

Votes: 10,448

Top Three Musicals ever.

19. South Pacific (1958)

Approved | 157 min | Musical, Romance, War

On a South Pacific island during World War II, love blooms between a young nurse and a secretive Frenchman who's being courted for a dangerous military mission.

Director: Joshua Logan | Stars: Rossano Brazzi, Mitzi Gaynor, John Kerr, Ray Walston

Votes: 7,476

20. On the Town (1949)

Not Rated | 98 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

71 Metascore

Three sailors on a day of shore leave in New York City look for fun and romance before their twenty-four hours are up.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Betty Garrett, Ann Miller

Votes: 14,787

Such a great show. And I love hearing Frank Sinatra tell a girl she's awful, nothing, cheap, and old.

21. Yankee Doodle Dandy (1942)

Passed | 126 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

The life of the renowned musical composer, playwright, actor, dancer, and singer George M. Cohan.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, Richard Whorf

Votes: 13,084 | Gross: $11.80M

Jimmy Cagney. hoofing. nuf said.

22. Swing Time (1936)

Not Rated | 103 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A performer and gambler travels to New York City to raise the $25,000 he needs to marry his fiancée, only to become entangled with a beautiful aspiring dancer.

Director: George Stevens | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Victor Moore, Helen Broderick

Votes: 11,251

It's hard to single out a best single Fred and Ginger movie. You may disagree with my choice, but I bet you'd still put this in your top three of their movies.

23. Victor Victoria (1982)

PG | 134 min | Comedy, Music, Musical

84 Metascore

A struggling female soprano finds work playing a male female impersonator, but it complicates her personal life.

Director: Blake Edwards | Stars: Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston, Lesley Ann Warren

Votes: 18,110 | Gross: $21.93M

Another Leslie Bricusse classic!

24. Bye Bye Birdie (1963)

Approved | 112 min | Comedy, Musical

A rock singer travels to a small Ohio town to make his "farewell" television performance and kiss his biggest fan before he is drafted.

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret, Janet Leigh, Maureen Stapleton

Votes: 6,960 | Gross: $13.13M

Terrific teeny bop production number: Gotta Lotta Living to Do!

25. High Society (1956)

Not Rated | 111 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A spoiled heiress must choose among three suitors: her jazz musician ex-husband, a stuffy businessman, and an undercover tabloid reporter.

Director: Charles Walters | Stars: Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, Frank Sinatra, Celeste Holm

Votes: 12,741 | Gross: $13.00M

In my top three favorite musicals for sure. But I am a sucker for the song "True Love." My she was yar...

26. Sweet Charity (1969)

G | 149 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

53 Metascore

Taxi dancer Charity continues to have Faith in the human race despite apparently endless disappointments at its hands, and Hope that she will finally meet the nice young man to romance her ... See full summary »

Director: Bob Fosse | Stars: Shirley MacLaine, John McMartin, Ricardo Montalban, Sammy Davis Jr.

Votes: 4,543

Has a horrible ending for a musical - but still a MUST see due to the Rhythm of Life number by Sammy Davis Jr.

27. Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)

G | 138 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Millie comes to town in the roaring twenties to encounter flappers, sexuality and white slavers.

Director: George Roy Hill | Stars: Julie Andrews, James Fox, Mary Tyler Moore, Carol Channing

Votes: 5,461 | Gross: $34.34M

An elevator that runs on tap dancing! And Broadway baby Carol Channing has never been more enchanting. Raspberries!

28. Paint Your Wagon (1969)

PG-13 | 164 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

50 Metascore

Two unlikely prospector partners share the same wife in a California gold rush mining town.

Director: Joshua Logan | Stars: Lee Marvin, Clint Eastwood, Jean Seberg, Harve Presnell

Votes: 11,222 | Gross: $31.68M

"I talk to the trees, but they don't listen to me..." Worth watching the entire movie just for the ending.

29. The Happiest Millionaire (1967)

Approved | 141 min | Comedy, Family, Musical

A happy and unbelievably lucky young Irish immigrant, John Lawless, lands a job as the butler of an unconventional millionaire, Biddle. His daughter, Cordelia Drexel Biddle, tires of the ... See full summary »

Director: Norman Tokar | Stars: Fred MacMurray, Tommy Steele, Greer Garson, Gladys Cooper

Votes: 1,621

If you love Mary Poppins, then you owe it to yourself to see this movie. It is yet another outstanding musical song score by Robert and Richard Sherman.

30. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

G | 102 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

75 Metascore

In 1850 Oregon, when a backwoodsman brings a wife home to his farm, his six brothers decide that they want to get married too.

Director: Stanley Donen | Stars: Jane Powell, Howard Keel, Jeff Richards, Russ Tamblyn

Votes: 19,738

Men with axes in the woods singing. Need I say more?

31. Scrooge (1970)

G | 113 min | Drama, Family, Fantasy

58 Metascore

A musical retelling of Charles Dickens' classic novel about an old bitter miser taken on a journey of self-redemption, courtesy of several mysterious Christmas apparitions.

Director: Ronald Neame | Stars: Albert Finney, Alec Guinness, Edith Evans, Kenneth More

Votes: 8,285

Thank you very much. Thank you very much. That's the nicest musical anyone ever wrote about some ghosts!

32. Babes in Arms (1939)

Unrated | 94 min | Comedy, Musical

A group of vaudevillians struggling to compete with talkies hits the road hoping for a comeback. Frustrated to be left behind, all of their kids put on a show themselves to raise money for the families and to prove they've got talent, too.

Director: Busby Berkeley | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Judy Garland, Charles Winninger, Guy Kibbee

Votes: 2,138

If I have to pick a Rogers and Hammerstein musical, I will pick Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney over Sound of Music any day.



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