Top 5… Musical Movies

Sunday would have been Judy Garland’s 90th birthday and so as I mainly remember her for her musicals I thought I would run down my top 5 movie musicals!


5. My Fair Lady

I really love Audrey Hepburn but no more so than her rendition of Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Rex Harrison agrees as a wager to take in the awfully spoken Eliza and pass her off at an upper class ball. What follows is brilliant comedy, great romance and memorable songs. It’s true that Audrey’s singing was dubbed by Marni Nixon but that doesn’t take anything away from the performance she puts in.

4. The Sound of Music

After being slightly disappointed when I finally watched Mary Poppins again as an adult, I stayed away from watching this war time tale of a singing nun as I thought I would be equally disappointed. It’s long, but thoroughly worth it. What works bets though is the story of the oncoming war being told behind the songs is actually gripping and would work just as well without those hills being alive with the sound of music.

3. The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I remember the first time I saw this film, and then very quickly after that the second, third and fourth times. This film is probably my most watched and listened to musical. It’s camp, outrageous and incredibly entertaining. With this one you can forget the plot and instead get totally wrapped up in the music and over-the-top performances, especially from the never better Tim Curry.

2. Moulin Rouge!

I can’t help but love this film. Baz Lurhmann managed to create a modern original musical that worked. The use of contemporary songs made it instantly familiar but underneath it all the simple story of love and loss is what really works. A film that I immediately want to watch all over again as soon as it is finished.

1. The Wizard of Oz

But the best musical ever made is also one of the earliest. From the use of black and white and colour, to the gorgeous sets and iconic characters, this film has the ability to entertain anyone at any age and from any time. The greatest endorsement I can ever give to this film is when my two young nephews put down their PlayStations where they were killing things and blowing stuff up and sat enthralled, listening to Judy Garland sing for 2 hours. Magical!

Honourable Mentions

  • Labyrinth – This childhood favourite had to appear in here somewhere!
  • South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut – So funny. So, so funny..
  • Grease – Mature and very well made. I’m always surprised when I watch it.
  • The Blues Brothers – A comedy classic. I can hear the beat now…
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