Movies: Musical Bios

by qempyrean | created - 17 Mar 2017 | updated - 6 months ago | Public

Film biographies of selected composers, songwriters, musicians, bandleaders, and vocalists. List is not meant to be comprehensive.

 Refine See titles to watch instantly, titles you haven't rated, etc
  • Instant Watch Options
  • Genres
  • Movies or TV
  • IMDb Rating
  • In Theaters
  • On TV
  • Release Year
  • Keywords




IMDb user rating (average) to
Number of votes to »




Reset



Reset
Release year or range to »




































































































1. Stars and Stripes Forever (1952)

Unrated | 90 min | Biography, Comedy, Music

A film biography of the composer John Philip Sousa, from his early days in the Marine Corps Band through the Spanish-American War in 1898.

Director: Henry Koster | Stars: Clifton Webb, Robert Wagner, Debra Paget, Ruth Hussey

Votes: 722

2. Till the Clouds Roll By (1946)

Passed | 132 min | Biography, Musical

Biography of songwriter, Broadway pioneer, Jerome Kern. Unable to find immediate success in the USA, Kern sought recognition abroad. He journeyed to England where his dreams of success became real and where he met his future wife Eva.

Directors: Richard Whorf, Vincente Minnelli, George Sidney | Stars: Robert Walker, Van Heflin, Lucille Bremer, June Allyson

Votes: 1,924 | Gross: $6.72M

3. Words and Music (1948)

Approved | 120 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

Fictionalized story of the songwriting partnership of Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart.

Director: Norman Taurog | Stars: Mickey Rooney, Tom Drake, June Allyson, Perry Como

Votes: 1,079

4. Look for the Silver Lining (1949)

Approved | 106 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

This musical biopic chronicles the vaudeville-to-Broadway story of 1920s' star Marilyn Miller (June Haver). From her start on the boards in Findlay, Ohio, Marilyn sings and dances her way ... See full summary »

Director: David Butler | Stars: June Haver, Ray Bolger, Gordon MacRae, Charles Ruggles

Votes: 281

5. 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

6. I'll See You in My Dreams (1951)

Passed | 110 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

The success and decline of songwriter Gus Kahn is portrayed, with his wife, Grace Kahn, sticking by him the whole time.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Doris Day, Danny Thomas, Frank Lovejoy, Patrice Wymore

Votes: 818

7. The Glenn Miller Story (1954)

Approved | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Biography of bandleader Glenn Miller from his beginnings to his death over the English Channel in December 1944.

Director: Anthony Mann | Stars: James Stewart, June Allyson, Harry Morgan, Charles Drake

Votes: 7,369

8. The Benny Goodman Story (1956)

Approved | 116 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The young Benny Goodman is taught clarinet by a Chicago music professor. He is advised by bandleader Kid Ory to play whichever kind of music he likes best, but to make a living, Benny begins by joining the Ben Pollack traveling band.

Director: Valentine Davies | Stars: Steve Allen, Donna Reed, Berta Gersten, Barry Truex

Votes: 1,030

9. Lady Sings the Blues (1972)

R | 144 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of the troubled life and career of the legendary Jazz singer, Billie Holiday.

Director: Sidney J. Furie | Stars: Diana Ross, Billy Dee Williams, Richard Pryor, James T. Callahan

Votes: 3,372 | Gross: $9.60M

10. The Gene Krupa Story (1959)

101 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of legendary jazz drummer, Gene Krupa. Since his youth, all Gene ever wanted to do is play the drums and make music. This is something his parents would not approve of- they want ... See full summary »

Director: Don Weis | Stars: Sal Mineo, Susan Kohner, James Darren, Susan Oliver

Votes: 521

11. With a Song in My Heart (1952)

Approved | 117 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

After landing a job singing on the radio, Jane Froman marries musical accompanist Don Ross. Under Don's management, Jane rises to stardom and is invited to perform for the troops during ... See full summary »

Director: Walter Lang | Stars: Susan Hayward, Rory Calhoun, David Wayne, Thelma Ritter

Votes: 1,147

12. The Eddy Duchin Story (1956)

Approved | 123 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The life story of the famous pianist and band-leader of the 1930s and 1940s.

Director: George Sidney | Stars: Tyrone Power, Kim Novak, Victoria Shaw, James Whitmore

Votes: 1,544

13. The Helen Morgan Story (1957)

Not Rated | 118 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Torch singer Helen Morgan rises from sordid beginnings to fame and fortune only to lose it all to alcohol and poor personal choices.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Ann Blyth, Paul Newman, Richard Carlson, Gene Evans

Votes: 670

14. The Best Things in Life Are Free (1956)

Approved | 104 min | Biography, Musical

Ray Henderson joins Buddy De Sylva and Lew Brown to form a successful 1920s musical show writing team. Soon, they've got several hits on Broadway, but De Sylva's ambition leads to friction ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Gordon MacRae, Dan Dailey, Ernest Borgnine, Sheree North

Votes: 260

15. Rhapsody in Blue (1945)

Approved | 135 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

George Gershwin is a driven composer whose need to succeed destroys his relationship with singer Julie Adams and socialite Christine Gilbert.

Director: Irving Rapper | Stars: Robert Alda, Joan Leslie, Alexis Smith, Charles Coburn

Votes: 1,121

16. The Jolson Story (1946)

Approved | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Music

This movie shows the idealized career of the singer Al Jolson, a little Jewish boy who goes against the will of his father in order to be in showbiz. He becomes a star, falls in love with a... See full summary »

Director: Alfred E. Green | Stars: Larry Parks, Evelyn Keyes, William Demarest, Bill Goodwin

Votes: 1,401

17. Night and Day (1946)

Approved | 128 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

A fictionalized biopic of composer Cole Porter from his days at Yale in the 1910s through the height of his success to the 1940s.

Director: Michael Curtiz | Stars: Cary Grant, Alexis Smith, Monty Woolley, Ginny Simms

Votes: 2,480

18. Three Little Words (1950)

Passed | 102 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

The story of the successful Tin Pan Alley songwriting team of Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby is told loosely and lightheartedly.

Director: Richard Thorpe | Stars: Fred Astaire, Vera-Ellen, Red Skelton, Arlene Dahl

Votes: 1,471 | Gross: $2.80M

19. Swanee River (1939)

Approved | 84 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

More fictional than factual biography of Stephen Foster. Songwriter from Pittsburgh falls in love with the South, marries a Southern gal (Leeds), then is accused of sympathizing when the ... See full summary »

Director: Sidney Lanfield | Stars: Don Ameche, Andrea Leeds, Al Jolson, Felix Bressart

Votes: 117 | Gross: $0.29M

20. A Song to Remember (1945)

Not Rated | 113 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Biography of Frederic Chopin.

Director: Charles Vidor | Stars: Paul Muni, Merle Oberon, Cornel Wilde, Nina Foch

Votes: 1,116

21. Song Without End (1960)

Not Rated | 141 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The romantic story of Hungarian pianist Franz Liszt (Sir Dirk Bogarde), whose scandalous love affair forced him to abandon his adoring audiences.

Directors: Charles Vidor, George Cukor | Stars: Dirk Bogarde, Capucine, Geneviève Page, Patricia Morison

Votes: 552

22. Song of Norway (1970)

G | 138 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

Based on the life of Norway's greatest composer Edvard Grieg, and filmed in Norway where he lived. The soundtrack is all Edvard Grieg's music with added lyrics.

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Florence Henderson, Toralv Maurstad, Christina Schollin, Frank Porretta

Votes: 378

23. The Great Waltz (1972)

G | 135 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Composer Johann Strauss becomes the "Waltz-King" and woos a baron's mistress in 19th-century Austria.

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Horst Buchholz, Mary Costa, Nigel Patrick, Yvonne Mitchell

Votes: 204

24. Walk the Line (2005)

PG-13 | 136 min | Biography, Drama, Music

72 Metascore

A chronicle of country music legend Johnny Cash's life, from his early days on an Arkansas cotton farm to his rise to fame with Sun Records in Memphis, where he recorded alongside Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins.

Director: James Mangold | Stars: Joaquin Phoenix, Reese Witherspoon, Ginnifer Goodwin, Robert Patrick

Votes: 215,523 | Gross: $119.52M

25. Your Cheatin' Heart (1964)

Not Rated | 99 min | Biography, Drama, Music

The story of the country and western singer Hank Williams.

Director: Gene Nelson | Stars: George Hamilton, Susan Oliver, Red Buttons, Arthur O'Connell

Votes: 609

26. De-Lovely (2004)

PG-13 | 125 min | Biography, Drama, Music

53 Metascore

Inspecting a magical biographical stage musical, composer Cole Porter reviews his life and career with his wife, Linda.

Director: Irwin Winkler | Stars: Kevin Kline, Ashley Judd, Jonathan Pryce, Kevin McNally

Votes: 10,470 | Gross: $13.34M

27. Bird (1988)

R | 161 min | Biography, Drama, Music

78 Metascore

The troubled life and career of the jazz musician, Charlie "Bird" Parker.

Director: Clint Eastwood | Stars: Forest Whitaker, Diane Venora, Michael Zelniker, Samuel E. Wright

Votes: 10,616 | Gross: $2.18M

28. Magic Fire (1956)

Approved | 120 min | Biography, Drama

The life and career of German composer Richard Wagner.

Director: William Dieterle | Stars: Yvonne De Carlo, Carlos Thompson, Rita Gam, Valentina Cortese

Votes: 107

29. Song of Love (1947)

Approved | 119 min | Drama, Music, Romance

Composer Robert Schumann struggles to compose his symphonies while his loving wife Clara offers her support. Also helping the Schumanns is their lifelong friend, composer Johannes Brahms.

Director: Clarence Brown | Stars: Katharine Hepburn, Paul Henreid, Robert Walker, Henry Daniell

Votes: 840

30. Mahler (1974)

PG | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Composer Gustav Mahler's life, told in a series of flashbacks as he and his wife discuss their failing marriage during a train journey.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Robert Powell, Georgina Hale, Lee Montague, Miriam Karlin

Votes: 2,144

31. The Great Victor Herbert (1939)

Approved | 91 min | Biography, Music, Musical

Add a Plot

Director: Andrew L. Stone | Stars: Allan Jones, Mary Martin, Walter Connolly, Lee Bowman

Votes: 57 | Gross: $0.30M

32. St. Louis Blues (1958)

Not Rated | 105 min | Biography, Drama, Music

Will Handy grows up in Memphis with his preacher father and his Aunt Hagar. His father intends for him to use his musical gifts only in church, but he can't stay away from the music of the ... See full summary »

Director: Allen Reisner | Stars: Nat 'King' Cole, Eartha Kitt, Cab Calloway, Ella Fitzgerald

Votes: 503

33. 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: 13,088 | Gross: $11.80M

34. Deep in My Heart (1954)

Approved | 132 min | Biography, Comedy, Musical

Biographic movie about the American composer Sigmund Romberg.

Director: Stanley Donen | Stars: José Ferrer, Merle Oberon, Helen Traubel, Doe Avedon

Votes: 675

35. The Music Lovers (1971)

R | 123 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

Piano teacher Peter Ilych Tchaikovsky struggles against his homosexuality by marrying, but unfortunately he chooses a nymphomaniac whom he cannot satisfy.

Director: Ken Russell | Stars: Richard Chamberlain, Glenda Jackson, Max Adrian, Christopher Gable

Votes: 2,177

36. La Bamba (1987)

PG-13 | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Music

65 Metascore

Biographical story of the rise from nowhere of early rock and roll singer Ritchie Valens who died at age 17 in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper.

Director: Luis Valdez | Stars: Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Rosanna DeSoto, Elizabeth Peña

Votes: 25,712 | Gross: $54.22M

37. The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

PG | 114 min | Biography, Drama, Music

78 Metascore

The story of the life and career of the early rock and roll singer, from his meteoric rise to stardom, to his marriage and untimely death.

Director: Steve Rash | Stars: Gary Busey, Don Stroud, Charles Martin Smith, Conrad Janis

Votes: 7,630 | Gross: $14.36M

38. Coal Miner's Daughter (1980)

PG | 124 min | Biography, Drama, Music

87 Metascore

Biographical story of Loretta Lynn, a legendary country singer that came from poverty to worldwide fame. She rose from humble beginnings in Kentucky to superstardom and changing the sound and style of country music forever.

Director: Michael Apted | Stars: Sissy Spacek, Tommy Lee Jones, Levon Helm, Phyllis Boyens-Liptak

Votes: 15,459 | Gross: $67.18M

39. Sweet Dreams (1985)

PG-13 | 115 min | Biography, Drama, Music

65 Metascore

The story of Patsy Cline, the velvet-voiced country music singer who died in a tragic plane crash at the height of her fame.

Director: Karel Reisz | Stars: Jessica Lange, Ed Harris, Ann Wedgeworth, David Clennon

Votes: 3,861 | Gross: $9.09M

40. Bound for Glory (1976)

PG | 147 min | Biography, Drama, Music

70 Metascore

The early life of Woody Guthrie as a vagabond folk singer.

Director: Hal Ashby | Stars: David Carradine, Ronny Cox, Melinda Dillon, Gail Strickland

Votes: 4,382

41. Great Balls of Fire! (1989)

PG-13 | 108 min | Biography, Drama, Music

49 Metascore

The life and career of wildly controversial rock 'n' roll star Jerry Lee Lewis.

Director: Jim McBride | Stars: Dennis Quaid, Winona Ryder, John Doe, Stephen Tobolowsky

Votes: 14,564 | Gross: $13.74M

42. Star! (1968)

G | 176 min | Biography, Comedy, Drama

A musical biography of Gertrude Lawrence, who led a hustling and bustling life on the stage.

Director: Robert Wise | Stars: Julie Andrews, Richard Crenna, Michael Craig, Daniel Massey

Votes: 1,839 | Gross: $4.00M

43. Song of Scheherazade (1947)

Approved | 105 min | Adventure, Biography, Drama

In 1865, Russian Navy midshipman Rimsky-Korsakov is inspired by a romantic interlude with a cabaret dancer while on shore leave in Spanish Morocco and writes the symphonic suite Scheherazade.

Director: Walter Reisch | Stars: Yvonne De Carlo, Brian Donlevy, Jean-Pierre Aumont, Eve Arden

Votes: 161

44. The Great Waltz (1938)

Passed | 104 min | Biography, Drama, Music

In 1845 Vienna, Johann Strauss II - Schani to his friends - would rather write and perform waltzes than anything else, this at a time when a waltz is not considered proper society music. ... See full summary »

Directors: Julien Duvivier, Victor Fleming, Josef von Sternberg | Stars: Luise Rainer, Fernand Gravey, Miliza Korjus, Hugh Herbert

Votes: 963

45. Unfinished Symphony (1934)

84 min | Biography, Drama, Musical

Composer Franz Schubert--broke, struggling and unhappy--gets a break when a wealthy friend wangles him an invitation to a command performance in front of a princess of the royal family. ... See full summary »

Directors: Anthony Asquith, Willi Forst | Stars: Mártha Eggerth, Helen Chandler, Hans Jaray, Eliot Makeham

Votes: 25

46. Amadeus (1984)

R | 160 min | Biography, Drama, History

88 Metascore

The life, success and troubles of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, as told by Antonio Salieri, the contemporaneous composer who was insanely jealous of Mozart's talent and claimed to have murdered him.

Director: Milos Forman | Stars: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, Roy Dotrice

Votes: 342,175 | Gross: $51.97M

47. The Doors (1991)

R | 140 min | Biography, Drama, Music

62 Metascore

The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band The Doors and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.

Director: Oliver Stone | Stars: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Kyle MacLachlan, Frank Whaley

Votes: 78,880 | Gross: $35.18M

48. Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

PG-13 | 134 min | Biography, Drama, Music

49 Metascore

The story of the legendary British rock band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985).

Director: Bryan Singer | Stars: Rami Malek, Lucy Boynton, Gwilym Lee, Ben Hardy

Votes: 378,417 | Gross: $216.43M



Recently Viewed