Top Hat (1935)
With an IMDB rating of 7.8, Top Hat is a glamorous depression-era diversion, with acrobatics and physical stunts that seem as perfect as they could ever get. In this fabulous musical, an American dancer comes to Britain and falls for a model whom he initially annoyed, yet she mistakes him for his goofy producer. This nearly flawless musical is a must-see.
Douglas Pratt :“The plot is involving, especially as it builds to its seemingly impossible-to-solve finale.”
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
With an IMDB rating of 8.1, The Wizard of Oz is probably one of the best loved musicals in the cinema history, with a teenaged Judy Garland playing the mesmerising role of Dorothy Gale. In this charming film, Dorothy and her dog, Toto, are swept away to a magical land in a tornado and they embark on a quest to see the Wizard who can help them return home. The soothing fantasy has an innocent charm and is an absolute masterpiece with groundbreaking visuals and grand storytelling. It is a must-see musical within range of any age whatsoever.
Claudia Puig :“The blend of old-fashioned and classic storytelling makes it the greatest American movie fantasy.”
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
With an IMDB score of 8.3, Singin’ In The Rain is on the top of nearly every list of best musicals of all time. Whether it’s the glamorous on-screen and off-screen relationship between Lina Lamont and Don Lockwood or the comedic humour clearly sensed in the choreography, Singin’ In The Rain is clever, incisive, funny, and a masterpiece of the classical Hollywood musicals.
Stephen Garrett :“If you’ve never seen it and didn’t love it, you’re bonkers.”
With an IMDB rating of 7.6, West Side Story is the award winning adaptation of the classic romantic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet. It is a great romantic musical with electrifying dancing and sensational songs. The plot being that of two youngsters from rival New York City gangs falling in love. Tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy, and West Side Story remains perhaps the most iconic of all the Shakespeare adaptations to visit the big screens.
Whitney Willaims :“West Side Story is a beautifully-mounted, impressive, emotion-ridden and violent musical.”
With an IMDB rating of 7.8, Mary Poppins is one of Disney’s classics and best live-action films and one of the most popular as well. A magical nanny who can make all things better descends on her umbrella to work for a cold banker’s unhappy family. This lightful movie is old yet it never loses its magic and fans whether that is because of its light-hearted comedy or its undeniable charmingness.
David Parkinson :“This is easily the best of Disney’s experiments in combining animation and live action, and one of the studio’s best-loved films.”
With an IMDB rating of 7.2, Grease is one of the most incredible musicals, from the outstanding animated titles of John Wilson, to the rousing ending when Travolta and Olivia Newton ride off into the teenage- like happy ever after. It has a great plot of good girl Sandy and greaser Danny unexpectedly discovering they are in the same high school after having a short summer romance. Grease is a pleasing and fun musical with catchy songs that make you want to get up and dance.
Arthur Knight :“What makes it work is its youthful vitality, the tremendous energy and imagination expended on its virtually wall-to-wall song and dance number.”
With an IMDB rating of 8.0, Beauty and the Beast is without a doubt one of the finest Disney musicals of all time. With the dramatic plot about Belle offering herself instead of her imprisoned father to the beast, unaware her captor is actually an enchanted prince, this animated film was nominated for best picture, and will always be one of those movies. Hopefully it will never be forgotten.
Kristine :“It has unbelievably terrific animation, a beautiful story, lovable characters, and is just overall a perfect movie. I really love this film so much, I don’t think anyone couldn’t fall in love with it.”
With an IMDB rating of 8.7, La La Land is a modern-day romantic comedy that tells the story of actress Mia (Emma Stone) and musician Sebastian (Ryan Gosling) who struggle in Los Angeles, a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. It is clearly the type of musical that will be remembered and won’t lose its spark in the future. The release date was in August, but the musical is still not out in most countries, so some people need to have a little patience to watch this dreamy film.
Allyson Johnson :“La La Land has us with our eyes glued, feet tapping and hearts pounding with anticipation of just what wonder it’s going to produce next.”
Going up the dates from 1935’s Top Hat, to the present day’s La La Land, these musicals will surely go down in history. There are more than 100 musicals that I personally believe should have also been on this list; unfortunately, the top ranks have a limited amount of space.
Do you think I forgot some must-watches?