125 Films of Ale: Musicals

by OldAle1 | created - 21 Feb 2017 | updated - 9 months ago | Public

Most of these are feature-length, "traditional" (i.e., Hollywood-type) musicals, both because as an American I've been most exposed to them, and because I really love the classic Hollywood form of the genre. But I do keep trying to expand my knowledge, and hopefully one day Hollywood won't dominate as strongly as it does now (2018). I'm certainly interested in seeing more films from India, Egypt, Hong Kong and France, among the major world cinemas that have produced significant numbers of musicals.

I've excluded completely animated films from the list as well; I've also generally excluded many comedies - such as the Marx Brothers' early films and the Hope and Crosby "Road" films - that have a fair amount of singing but are really not primarily musicals. There are some operettas and dance-films but I believe only two films - Mammame and The Red Shoes - that have few or no sung numbers. There will be made-for-TV and video works, but no single episodes of continuing TV series - the "Buffy the Vampire" episode Once More With Feeling would surely qualify, but much of it's power and quality derives from it's placement in the larger story-arc of the series; as a stand-alone work I don't feel it belongs.

Top 40 in order, the rest will be listed chronologically.

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1. La La Land (I) (2016)

PG-13 | 128 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

93 Metascore

While navigating their careers in Los Angeles, a pianist and an actress fall in love while attempting to reconcile their aspirations for the future.

Director: Damien Chazelle | Stars: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, Rosemarie DeWitt, J.K. Simmons

Votes: 446,711 | Gross: $151.10M

2. 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: 200,694 | Gross: $8.82M

3. The Young Girls of Rochefort (1967)

G | 125 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Two sisters leave their small seaside town of Rochefort in search of romance. Hired as carnival singers, one falls for an American musician, while the other must search for her ideal partner.

Director: Jacques Demy | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, George Chakiris, Françoise Dorléac, Jacques Perrin

Votes: 7,196 | Gross: $0.09M

4. The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

Not Rated | 91 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

86 Metascore

A young woman separated from her lover by war faces a life-altering decision.

Director: Jacques Demy | Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Nino Castelnuovo, Anne Vernon, Marc Michel

Votes: 20,968 | Gross: $0.02M

5. 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: 355,937 | Gross: $2.08M

6. Mammame (1986)

65 min | Fantasy, Music

A Ruizian adaptation of Jean-Claude Gallotta's iconic wordless ballet choreography.

Director: Raoul Ruiz | Stars: Eric Alfieri, Mathilde Altaraz, Muriel Boulay, Christophe Delachaux

Votes: 82

7. By the Bluest of Seas (1936)

71 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

Two best friends shipwreck on an island in the Caspian Sea and fall in love with the same woman while helping the villagers of their new home.

Directors: Boris Barnet, Samad Mardanov | Stars: Alexei Dolinin, Sergey Komarov, Nikolay Kryuchkov, Yelena Kuzmina

Votes: 781

8. Top Hat (1935)

Not Rated | 101 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, but she mistakes him for his goofy producer.

Director: Mark Sandrich | Stars: Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes

Votes: 15,946 | Gross: $3.88M

9. The Tales of Hoffmann (1951)

Not Rated | 128 min | Fantasy, Music, Musical

A melancholy poet reflects on three women he loved and lost in the past: a mechanical performing doll, a Venetian courtesan, and the consumptive daughter of a celebrated composer.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Moira Shearer, Robert Rounseville, Ludmilla Tchérina, Ann Ayars

Votes: 2,541 | Gross: $0.09M

10. Chunhyang (2000)

R | 120 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

79 Metascore

Mongryong marries the beautiful Chunhyang without telling his father, the Governor of Namwon. When his father is transferred to Seoul, Mongryong has to leave Chunhyang and finish his exams.... See full summary »

Director: Kwon-taek Im | Stars: Hyo-jeong Lee, Seung-woo Cho, Seong-nyeo Kim, Hak-young Kim

Votes: 1,527 | Gross: $0.80M

11. The Red Shoes (1948)

Not Rated | 134 min | Drama, Music, Romance

A young ballet dancer is torn between the man she loves and her pursuit to become a prima ballerina.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger | Stars: Anton Walbrook, Marius Goring, Moira Shearer, Jean Short

Votes: 25,110 | Gross: $10.90M

12. The Gold Diggers (1983)

89 min | Drama, Music

An avant-garde exploration of a woman's life.

Director: Sally Potter | Stars: George Antoni, Julie Christie, Kassandra Colson, Siobhan Davies

Votes: 199

13. The Saddest Music in the World (2003)

R | 100 min | Comedy, Musical

78 Metascore

A musical of sorts set in Winnipeg during the Great Depression, where a beer baroness organizes a contest to find the saddest music in the world. Musicians from around the world descend on the city to try and win the $25,000 prize.

Director: Guy Maddin | Stars: Isabella Rossellini, Mark McKinney, Maria de Medeiros, David Fox

Votes: 5,564 | Gross: $0.67M

14. Up, Down, Fragile (1995)

169 min | Comedy, Musical, Mystery

Adventures of three young women in a hot and lazy Paris in summer.

Director: Jacques Rivette | Stars: Marianne Denicourt, Nathalie Richard, Laurence Côte, André Marcon

Votes: 450

15. Girl Walk: All Day (2011 Video)

75 min | Music

Follows a day in the life of the Girl as she dances her way through New York to Girl Talk's "All Day".

Director: Jacob Krupnick | Stars: Anne Marsen, Dai Omiya, John Doyle

Votes: 320

16. The Wild Wild Rose (1960)

128 min | Musical

Grace Chang seduces as Hong Kong's most sensual Carmen ever. The torrid passions of Bizet's famous opera gets a postmodern reading when it is transposed to the noir-like setting of Hong ... See full summary »

Director: Tian-Lin Wang | Stars: Grace Chang, Yang Chang, Po-Chien Chin, Chi Hsieh

Votes: 131

17. Hellzapoppin' (1941)

Approved | 84 min | Comedy, Musical

Olsen and Johnson, a pair of stage comedians, try to turn their play into a movie and bring together a young couple in love, while breaking the fourth wall every step of the way.

Director: H.C. Potter | Stars: Ole Olsen, Chic Johnson, Martha Raye, Hugh Herbert

Votes: 2,540

18. Hallelujah I'm a Bum (1933)

Passed | 82 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

A New York tramp (Jolson) falls in love with the mayor's amnesiac girlfriend after rescuing her from a suicide attempt

Director: Lewis Milestone | Stars: Al Jolson, Madge Evans, Frank Morgan, Harry Langdon

Votes: 703

19. Love Me Tonight (1932)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A Parisian tailor finds himself posing as a baron in order to collect a sizeable bill from an aristocrat, only to fall in love with an aloof young princess.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Charles Ruggles, Charles Butterworth

Votes: 3,329

20. Blues in the Night (1941)

Passed | 88 min | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir

"Jigger' Lane forms a band that includes singer Ginger 'Character' Powell, wife of the trumpeter Leo Powell, and Nickie Haroyen and Peppi. All of them dedicate themselves to work as a unit ... See full summary »

Director: Anatole Litvak | Stars: Priscilla Lane, Betty Field, Richard Whorf, Lloyd Nolan

Votes: 870

21. The Band Wagon (1953)

Passed | 112 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

93 Metascore

A pretentiously artistic director is hired for a new Broadway musical and changes it beyond recognition.

Director: Vincente Minnelli | Stars: Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse, Oscar Levant, Nanette Fabray

Votes: 9,159

22. Sopyonje (1993)

112 min | Drama, Music

Despite its falling popularity, a father teaches his two children the Korean musical tradition of Pansori (one singer accompanied by one drummer).

Director: Kwon-taek Im | Stars: Myung-gon Kim, Jung-hae Oh, Kyu-chul Kim, Sae-kil Shin

Votes: 797

23. Pyaasa (1957)

Not Rated | 146 min | Drama, Musical, Romance

A talented but indigent poet Vijay struggles for love and recognition in this selfish world.

Director: Guru Dutt | Stars: Guru Dutt, Waheeda Rehman, Mala Sinha, Rehman

Votes: 4,728

24. The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)

G | 89 min | Family, Fantasy, Music

A young boy travels to an imaginary world where, assisted by his family's plumber, he must save other piano playing kids like himself from the dungeons of his dictatorial piano teacher who also mind-controls his mother.

Director: Roy Rowland | Stars: Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, Hans Conried, Tommy Rettig

Votes: 3,493

25. Hallelujah (1929)

Passed | 109 min | Drama, Musical

A sharecropper decides to become a preacher after falling for a vamp from the city.

Director: King Vidor | Stars: Daniel L. Haynes, Nina Mae McKinney, William Fountaine, Harry Gray

Votes: 1,433

26. Subarnarekha (1965)

Not Rated | 143 min | Drama

A man (Abhi Bhattacharya) opposes the love between his sister and the orphan (Satindra Bhattacharya) they adopted years earlier.

Director: Ritwik Ghatak | Stars: Madhabi Mukherjee, Bijon Bhattacharya, Abhi Bhattacharya, Indrani Chakrabarty

Votes: 735

27. Nashville (1975)

R | 160 min | Comedy, Drama, Music

96 Metascore

Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.

Director: Robert Altman | Stars: Keith Carradine, Karen Black, Ronee Blakley, Shelley Duvall

Votes: 21,481 | Gross: $14.82M

28. Head (1968)

G | 86 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical

The Monkees are tossed about in a psychedelic, surrealist, plotless, circular bit of fun fluff.

Director: Bob Rafelson | Stars: Peter Tork, Davy Jones, Micky Dolenz, Michael Nesmith

Votes: 5,335

29. Kaagaz Ke Phool (1959)

148 min | Musical, Romance

Suresh Sinha, a famous director, discovers star potential in Shanti, a woman he stumbled into one rainy evening, and casts her as the lead in a film. In a twist of fate, Shanti becomes a superstar and Suresh faces a decline in his career.

Director: Guru Dutt | Stars: Waheeda Rehman, Guru Dutt, Kumari Naaz, Johnny Walker

Votes: 1,790

30. A Woman Is a Woman (1961)

Not Rated | 84 min | Comedy, Drama, Romance

71 Metascore

A French striptease artist is desperate to become a mother. When her reluctant boyfriend suggests that his best friend impregnate her, feelings become complicated when she accepts.

Director: Jean-Luc Godard | Stars: Anna Karina, Jean-Claude Brialy, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Henri Attal

Votes: 13,549 | Gross: $0.10M

31. Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog (2008)

TV-PG | 42 min | Comedy, Musical, Sci-Fi

An aspiring supervillain must balance his career and his pursuit of a beautiful do-gooder.

Stars: Neil Patrick Harris, Nathan Fillion, Felicia Day, Simon Helberg

Votes: 40,139

32. 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: 15,001 | Gross: $14.95M

33. Show Boat (1936)

Approved | 113 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Despite her mother's objections, the naive young daughter of a show boat captain is thrust into the limelight as the company's new leading lady.

Director: James Whale | Stars: Irene Dunne, Allan Jones, Charles Winninger, Paul Robeson

Votes: 2,628

34. Tokyo Tribe (2014)

R | 116 min | Action, Musical

58 Metascore

In an alternate Japan, territorial street gangs form opposing factions collectively known as the Tokyo Tribes. Merra, leader of the Wu-Ronz tribe of Bukuro crosses the line to conquer all of Tokyo. The war begins.

Director: Sion Sono | Stars: Ryôhei Suzuki, Young Dais, Nana Seino, Shunsuke Daitô

Votes: 2,785

35. It's Always Fair Weather (1955)

Passed | 101 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

Three soldiers meet ten years after their last meeting in New York, and find out that they have little in common now.

Directors: Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly | Stars: Gene Kelly, Dan Dailey, Cyd Charisse, Dolores Gray

Votes: 2,683

36. Oshidori utagassen (1939)

69 min | Comedy, Musical

Oharu is in love with ronin who lives next door, but he is being pursued by two of the town beauties. To make things even more difficult for Oharu, her father is obsessed with antiques, ... See full summary »

Director: Masahiro Makino | Stars: Chiezô Kataoka, Ryôsuke Kagawa, Takashi Shimura, Mitsuru Toyama

Votes: 139

37. Dancing Lady (1933)

Passed | 92 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An attractive dancer is rescued from jail by a rich man, who helps her to have her first big opportunity at a musical play on Broadway.

Director: Robert Z. Leonard | Stars: Joan Crawford, Clark Gable, Franchot Tone, May Robson

Votes: 1,853

38. Stormy Weather (1943)

Approved | 78 min | Musical

The relationship between an aspiring dancer and a popular songstress provides a retrospective of the great African American entertainers of the early 1900s.

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Lena Horne, Bill Robinson, Cab Calloway and His Cotton Club Orchestra, Katherine Dunham and Her Troupe

Votes: 1,773

39. Love Me or Leave Me (1955)

Passed | 122 min | Biography, Drama, Music

A fictionalized account of the career of jazz singer Ruth Etting and her tempestuous marriage to gangster Marty Snyder, who helped propel her to stardom.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell, Robert Keith

Votes: 3,433

40. Enchanted (2007)

PG | 107 min | Animation, Comedy, Family

75 Metascore

A young maiden in a land called Andalasia, who is prepared to be wed, is sent away to New York City by an evil queen, where she falls in love with a lawyer.

Director: Kevin Lima | Stars: Amy Adams, Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey

Votes: 167,047 | Gross: $127.81M

41. Applause (1929)

80 min | Drama, Musical

A burlesque star seeks to keep her convent-raised daughter away from her low-down life and abusive lover/stage manager.

Director: Rouben Mamoulian | Stars: Helen Morgan, Joan Peers, Fuller Mellish Jr., Jack Cameron

Votes: 1,209

42. The Love Parade (1929)

Passed | 107 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

The queen of mythical Sylvania marries a courtier, who finds his new life unsatisfying.

Director: Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Lupino Lane, Lillian Roth

Votes: 1,795

43. Just Imagine (1930)

Passed | 113 min | Comedy, Fantasy, Musical

New York, 1980: airplanes have replaced cars, numbers have replaced names, pills have replaced food, government-arranged marriages have replaced love, and test tube babies have replaced ...... See full summary »

Director: David Butler | Stars: El Brendel, Maureen O'Sullivan, John Garrick, Marjorie White

Votes: 592

44. À Nous la Liberté (1931)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Musical

Seeking better life, two convicts escape from prison.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Raymond Cordy, Henri Marchand, Rolla France, Paul Ollivier

Votes: 3,785

45. Le Million (1931)

Not Rated | 81 min | Musical, Comedy

An impoverished painter and his rival engage in a race across Paris to recover a jacket concealing a winning lottery ticket.

Director: René Clair | Stars: Annabella, René Lefèvre, Jean-Louis Allibert, Paul Ollivier

Votes: 2,982

46. 42nd Street (1933)

Passed | 89 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

A director puts on what may be his last Broadway show and, at the last moment, a naive newcomer has to replace the star.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: Warner Baxter, Bebe Daniels, George Brent, Ruby Keeler

Votes: 9,836 | Gross: $2.30M

47. One Hour with You (1932)

Passed | 78 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

An unhappily married couple try to come between a happy one.

Directors: George Cukor, Ernst Lubitsch | Stars: Maurice Chevalier, Jeanette MacDonald, Genevieve Tobin, Lili Damita

Votes: 1,863

48. Footlight Parade (1933)

Passed | 104 min | Comedy, Musical, Romance

Chester Kent struggles against time, romance, and a rival's spy to produce spectacular live "prologues" for movie houses.

Director: Lloyd Bacon | Stars: James Cagney, Joan Blondell, Ruby Keeler, Dick Powell

Votes: 4,290

49. Gold Diggers of 1933 (1933)

Not Rated | 97 min | Comedy, Drama, Musical

7.8