Monday, August 11, 2008

ew: 25 greatest movie musicals

Entertainment Weekly has counted down the 25 Great Movie Musicals of All Time, and because there's so few options to choose from I actually don't have many problems with this list.

25. Once: Why is this at the bottom of their list? This movie reinvented the movie-musical concept. Don't believe me? Watch "Falling Slowly" -- easily one of my favorite songs.
19. Sound of Music: See my Top 5 below.
17. Chicago: This seems about right. It put movie-musicals back on the map, but it hasn't been around long enough to truly be considered "one of the greats." And of course, the music is phenomenal.
15. Hairspray: What? This is above The Sound of Music? Other than the song "There's a Light," this musical is kind of crap. I don't like the stage version either.
14. Grease: One of the most iconic movies and it's only #14? I dare you to find anyone that doesn't know all of the words to every song. This should be higher.
8. South Park: Bigger, Longer, and Uncut: Hahahaha. Haha. Ha. This should not be #8, but I appreciate the inclusion.

7. A Hard Day's Night: "That's not your father. I've seen your grandfather!" "That's the other one. I'm entitled to two." This movie is really amazing and #7 sounds about right.
5. Mary Poppins: A child's favorite movie? Check. Animated penguins? Check, check. Julie Andrews? Triple-check. Perfection! And the songs are wonderful. "Step in Time" is one of my favorite scenes.
4. Cabaret: I'm not so crazy about this one... blasphemy, I know.
3. Singing in the Rain: See my Top 5 below.
2. Westside Story: Once I realized that this was a modern take on Romeo and Juliet, I immediately liked it less. I actually really despise this musical. It's dated, the music is horrific, and the choreography is complete 80s. Snapping while playing basketball and flicking knives? Really?
1. Wizard of Oz: Okay, it's a great movie (top ten, in fact), but as far as musicals... I can only remember one song from this movie. And then it takes me a while to remember the others. I don't know. I just wouldn't put this in my top ten. To me, the Movie-Musical category should be primarily about the music, and Wizard of Oz just isn't.

My Top 5 (in order):

5. The Little Mermaid: Animated films tend to be lumped into the cartoon category, but let's not forget that Disney has cranked out some really fantastic songs over the years. Have you ever met a female that did know "Part of Your World" in its entirety? Have you ever seen anything more romantic than "Kiss the Girl"? The metaphors are wonderful (a fish may love a human, but where would they live?), and it's a feel-good movie with heart and morals.
4. Mary Poppins: Seriously, have you ever met anyone who didn't like this movie? Have you ever met anyone who hasn't seen the movie? Have you ever met anyone that didn't know the word "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious"?
3. Once: One of my favorite movies, one of my favorite soundtracks. The leads have such honest chemistry together, and it's a modern musical. It's the next evolution of movie-musicals. It's a strong love story without so much as a kiss. Now that's impressive.
2. Singing in the Rain: A few years ago, I watched this with a friend who had never seen the movie. I kept telling him "this is my favorite scene" every time a new scene came on. The three leads are infectious, and the plot is damn near perfect. A musical picture about making a musical picture? And Debbie Reynold's Kathy Seldon is truly a remarkable and empowering female character. She resists Don Lockwood for the first portion of the film, and she leaves him when she thinks he's double-crossed her. No sympathy for her. She's strong. And the music! "Moses, he knows-es his toes-es aren't roses, but Moses supposes erroneously!"
1. Sound of Music: True story: my mother refused to give birth to me until this movie was over. "But the Nazi part hasn't come yet," she said. I was born on Christmas Eve, and lucky for me, this film is still played every Christmas Eve and so I am able to watch it on my birthday. I grew up with this movie. It's such a wonderful love story, despite being far removed from actual events. Maria is strong and smart and kind, and she is just the person to bring music back in the Captain's life. The music is top-notch, and I can't think of another movie where I know every word, every note to every song. There's really no question about it. Sound of Music is #1.


Goddessdster said...

My personal list (which has no bearing on quality, just nostalgia)

1. The Sound of Music - I had the hugest crush on Captain von Trapp when I was a girl. Imagine my astonished disappointment when I realized how much older than me he truly was. (yeah, your story was better...)

2. Grease - no 11 year-old girl today has nearly the "budding sexuality - awareness of guys as something to admire" seminal moments this movie gave me.

3. Mary Poppins - just 'cause. and what you said.

4. Guys and Dolls - take my comment about Sound of Music, add two years and replace the Captain with Sky Masterson.

5. Singing in the Rain / My Fair Lady (tie) - mostly because I keep thinking of others. So ignore 5 and go with the other 4 as solid.

keyser soze said...

I think that's a really good list, but Guys and Dolls has been tainted by the fact that it's the #1 high school musical and once you go lackluster-high-school performance, you never go back.

And wow, just the words Christopher Plummer get me excited. He was one of my first crushes as a kid. The scene where Maria flushes after dancing with him? I blushed too.

Goddessdster said...

Yeah, I totally could have gone with The Pirates of Penzance...

It actually occurs to me I prefer Bedknobs and Broomsticks to My Fair Lady, but I rock hard for Angela Lansbury.