Friday's Top Five: Best musical movies
June 15th, 2012
12:33 PM ET

Friday's Top Five: Best musical movies

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."


Honorable mention:

The Rocky Horror Picture Show” (1975) - Let's do the time warp, again!


Filed under: Friday Top Five • movies

soundoff (9 Responses)
  1. Jim Dandey

    I'm telling you now: skip Rock of Ages. It's completely ridiculous, from the singing to the mashups to the dance choreography. Absolutely horrible all around...

    June 18, 2012 at 8:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LaKingsChamps

    What about: "Fiddler on the Roof" ?? Was "Scarface" a musical?

    June 17, 2012 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Katie

    The Phantom of the Opera with Gerald Butler!!!

    June 15, 2012 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Christopher

    FUNNY GIRL!, that ranks up there with West Side Story. Also, Lady Sings The Blues, this movie might not fit the Musical Genre formula, but boy was the music and performances incredible. I just thought of another one.........
    Cabaret!, hey..............what good is sitting all alone in your room, come heare the music play........... (oh know.....
    here's another one.............The Wizard Of Oz!)

    June 15, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Reader50

      My Fair Lady. We should beam MFL into outer space to let any and all advanced civilizations know how incredibly talented and awesome we earthlings are. They will want to come here to be our friends. Doesn't get much better than that....The Sound of Music is a close second place.

      June 15, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. moon627

    My favorites are The Music Man, Oklahoma and South Pacific ... sure theyre old fashioned and corny – thats exactly what i like about them besides the songs.

    June 15, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Sly Sadie

    Opps, think that was called Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club. How about the Blues Brothers , the best little wh ore house in texas, Momma Mia

    June 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sly Sadie

    Woodstock – Yellow Submarine-Beatles

    June 15, 2012 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |

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