June 15th, 2012
12:33 PM ET
From "Singin' in the Rain" (1952) to "Mamma Mia!" (2008), the category of musical movies is filled with hits.
But for some reason, the idea of using song and dance to help tell a story can still be viewed as pretty cheesy, leaving us skeptical whenever we hear the word "musical" and "movie" in the same sentence.
A prime example of that skepticism surrounds this weekend's "Rock of Ages," in which Tom Cruise stars as '80s hair metal rocker Stacee Jaxx, and Julianne Hough as the small town girl pursuing her dreams of stardom in Hollywood.
When done well, a musical movie can be fun and exciting, and at their best they make the song and dance seamless with a compelling story. The fact that "Rock of Ages" is helmed by "Hairspray's" Adam Shankman and features a great cast should calm some fears, and we're hopeful that it'll join the ranks of some of our favorite musical movies. (Reviews, we should note, have been pretty mixed.)
But in the meantime, we're recounting the best of the best in this category. The list of top-notch musical films is an incredibly rich one, and we stick pretty close to the classics here.
As always, tell us your top five musical movies in the comments! (If we don't see "The Wiz" at least once, we're going to be disappointed.)
1. “West Side Story” (1961) - This acclaimed 10-time Oscar winner is a given, just like the aforementioned "Singin' in the Rain." Raise your hand if you, too, can sing the bars to "America" or "I Feel Pretty" without even thinking twice.
2. “Mary Poppins” (1964) - The first of two fantastic Julie Andrews performances, with the second being ...
3. “The Sound of Music” (1965) - ... in the timeless, Oscar-winning story of the Von Trapp family.
4. “Grease” (1978) - It's entirely possible to know songs from this film without ever having seen the movie - that's how ingrained "Grease" is in pop culture.
5. “Chicago” (2002) - "With the right song and dance, you can get away with murder."
“The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975) - Let's do the time warp, again!
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