35 Best Musical Movies of All Time

best musical movies

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If there is one thing that is essential for a rainy day, it is a really great musical film – after all, who can withstand a catchy and melodic melody and dazzling dance numbers? Since song and dance first appeared on the big screen with the invention of sound technology in the 1920s, music films have long been an integral part of cinema – and have even come back in recent years, especially with the growing popularity of music biopics, screen adaptations and live movies (we’re watching you, Disney!).

Of course, while all musical movies generally follow the same formula (i.e. a lot of great songs and breathtaking dance routines), there is actually an incredible variety to the genre – which means there really is something for everyone, from romantic movies to epic and heartbreaking dramas to make you cry. Fortunately, to help you choose, we’ve put together some of the best music movies to date, ranging from those that have been adapted from classic Broadway hits to others that are purely original for the movie screen. Whether you like old family classics (like The sound of music) or more modern musicals (like La La Land or red Mill!), those 35 greatest music movies are sure to put a song in your heart – and make you sing and dance to some of the movie’s biggest songs in no time.

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The sound of music (1965)

La La Land (2016)

A true love letter to Hollywood and the genre of the musical film, La La Land follows the dreamy romance of a budding actress (Emma Stone) and a jazz musician (Ryan Gosling) in the golden age of Los Angeles. This is a deeply stunning film that will leave you breathless – especially to the spectacular soundtrack and the deep end.

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Les Misérables (2012)

Emotionally thematic, this 2012 cinematographic adaptation of the classic musical Wretched (based on Victor Hugo’s novel) has everything from an epic story to several characters to real cast performances. Warning: you absolutely want to keep your handkerchiefs handy while looking at this one.

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Red Mill! (2001)

Set in bohemian Paris in the early 19th century, this eclectic and vibrant musical film by director Baz Luhrmann follows the secret romance of a young writer (Ewan McGregor) and a cabaret actress (Nicole Kidman) – while highlighting featured popular songs from modern artists such as Madonna, Elton John and The Police.

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Annie (1982)

There is no other musical comedy that will remind you that “the sun will rise tomorrow” than this charming wellness film centered around Little Orphan Annie, who sets out on a mission to find her parents when she chose to live at the house of America. richest billionaire.

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My beautiful lady (1964)

Audrey Hepburn plays the pretty Eliza Doolittle in this musical film set like a modern Cinderella story, with Eliza transforming from a working class florist (with an unforgettable Cockney accent!) Into a refined and polite member of high society.

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RELATED: 40 rare photos from the life of Audrey Hepburn

Chicago (2002)

The winner of six Oscars including Best film, this sparkling murder tale from Jazz Age presents everything from a star cast to some of the best performances in ChicagoThe most popular musical numbers (including the dark and sensual “Cell Block Tango”).

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Funny Girl (1968)

Known for his iconic hit “Don’t Rain on My Parade” Funny girl has Barbara Streisand in her first film debut – and sees her really shine as legendary vaudeville singer Fanny Brice heading to the Broadway stage.

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Once (2007)

For fans of moving romantic movies, this indie Irish musical film takes the audience through a moving story of flourishing love, while charming them with some of the most eloquent and romantic songs (including Oscar-winning Falling Slowly).

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In the woods (2014)

Inspired by the legendary Broadway musical by Stephen Sondheim, this fantastic Disney film tells the classic genre of fairy tales with imaginative creativity and an epic sense of adventure – not to mention the memorable performances of a truly stellar cast.

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West Side Story (1961)

There may be a new remake of Steven Spielberg in preparation for 2020, but this original West side story 1961 movie is undeniably the true classic, with impressive performances and dazzling visuals as he reinvents that of Shakespeare Romeo and Juliet on the streets of modern New York City.

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Cabaret (1972)

In this magnificent musical film that put actress and singer Liza Minnelli on the map (and won a total of eight Oscars!), A cabaret singer in Berlin during the Nazi era meets a British academic and a German playboy – leading to a good old style love triangle and lots of dazzling musical numbers.

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Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

The first adaptation of Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story, this captivating film is as much a fantastic film for the family as it is a wonderfully original musical. Gene Wilder delights as eccentric chocolatier Willy Wonka – in particular with his timeless performance of “Pure Imagination”.

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Hairspray (2007)

As if there were even more reasons to watch this hit tube about a dance-loving teenager in Baltimore (in addition to catchy and catchy musical numbers, of course), he also features John Travolta as Edna , Tracy’s mother, and Zac Efron like the handsome, Link worthy of fainting.

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Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Admittedly, sometimes we all need a break from the classic and joyful musical film – which brings us to Tim Burton’s adaptation of Stephen Sondheim’s gruesome musical, with Johnny Depp as the deadly main character.

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The Greatest Showman (2017)

Inspired by the true story of P. T. Barnum, The Greatest Showman dazzles with his enchanting performances by a cast of stars – which includes Hugh Jackman, Zac Efron and Zendaya – and takes the audience through a high-level tale of show business.

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Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

For fans of the legendary rock group Queen, this extraordinary musical biopic follows Freddie Mercury (Rami Malek) on his inspiring ascent to stardom – and truly fascinates audiences with his electrifying performances and musical sequences.

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Sing in the rain (1954)

Start Over (2013)

If you liked Once, you will love this equally comforting film by the same director who follows a young singer (Keira Knightley) as she meets a label director (Mark Ruffalo). His song “Lost Stars” (by Adam Levine from Maroon 5) even won the Oscar for best original song!

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Dreamgirls (2006)

Beyonce and Eddie Murphy may impress in this wonderful and moving adaptation of the Tony Award-winning musical, but the real star of the film is Jennifer Hudson, who dazzles in an Oscar-winning performance that propelled her to international stardom.

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The umbrellas of Cherbourg (1964)

Pitch Perfect (2012)

Comedy aloud meets modern music in this extremely popular film that follows student Beca (Anna Kendrick) as she joins the a cappella group from her school. Even if you haven’t watched the movie (or the following two sequels), you will certainly remember the viral “The Cup Song” of its time.

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Rocketman (2019)

A very entertaining tale is not the only captivating element of this biopic rock which is coupled with a sincere tribute to the life and music of Elton John – it is also the stellar soundtrack of the most beloved songs of the musician.

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Nice to meet you (2007)

Both homage and parody of the classic Disney princess genre, this witty film sees Giselle (Amy Adams) as a Disney princess who finds herself transported to the real city of New York. Of course, in the classic fashion of the Disney movie, it also offers a number of delicious musical songs (as well as a real kiss of love!).

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RELATED: The 41 best Disney songs of all time

The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

There is a reason Rocky horror is the Ultimate cult success even to date: it not only offers an incredibly daring tale inspired by early science fiction and horror films, but also gives us original characters and unmatched offbeat energy – not to mention a soundtrack really catchy.

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An American in Paris (1951)

Winner of six Oscars at the time (including one for best picture), this musical film combines the classic songs of George Gershwin with the star power of Gene Kelly as he depicts an American veteran staying in Paris after the war to become painter.

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

The Phantom of the Opera (2004)

Who could forget the legendary musical which is The Phantom of the Opera? This 2004 film adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical brings “the music of the night” with its sumptuous costumes and scenography combined with a rich and striking soundtrack.

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Rent (2005)

Based on the success of Broadway in the 90s, Rental follows the story of a group of bohemian friends living in New York at the dawn of the 1990s – and even includes some of the original Broadway actors (including Idina Menzel of Frozen) in a great adaptation of the scene on the screen.

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Editorial researcher
Hannah is a member of the editorial staff of Good Housekeeping, where she enjoys covering the home, health, entertainment and other lifestyle content.

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