10 Times Hollywood Didn’t Mess Up When They Made A Musical Into A Movie

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I love musicals. I can’t act, sing, or dance, but man, can I appreciate them. There’s just something about following an ridiculously impossible storyline perfectly set to music that draws me in. I’ve even reserved one of my magic genie wishes to turn my life into a musical (the others are for Harry Potter to be real and for me to be Harry Potter).

Though I love physically seeing musicals, sometimes it’s really expensive or inconvenient to see them live — but luckily the big wigs over in Hollywood understood my dilemma and adapted them into movies! Here are 10 of my favorite musicals that were adapted for the big screen. There are many others that deserve proper recognition, too, of course, so put your own suggestions in the comments. Just try not to be too hard on me for loving Mamma Mia!

1. West Side Story

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Whenever I’m out at college and I see two guys fighting on the sidewalk I’m always secretly hoping one of them will rally their buddies to join in with a little, “when you’re a jet/you’re a jet all the way” and engage in highly choreographed punches ideally involving a see-saw and well timed snaps. But I digress…

2. The Sound of Music

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My body still may be recovering from post-traumatic-cringe disorder due to the live action version, but I still sob tear up when Christopher Plummer and Charmiam Charn sing Edelweiss and I don’t care that anyone knows. Badass rep, be damned!

3. Chicago

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I’ve never experienced jury duty, but I can only assume it’s filled with well choreographed dance numbers and incredibly flexible, perfectly pitched murderers. I could just see myself deliberating with the other jurors, “Guys, come on, she’s innocent! They totally both reached for the gun. We all saw the routine!”

4. Grease

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I’ve been over this, Grease rules. I don’t if you say flying cars don’t exist, I prefer to live in a world where rivalries are hashed out in dance battles or drag races, pregnancy scares are evaporated within a verse, and my friends are super interested in my summer hookup. And, hasn’t it been great to see former T-Bird, Danny Zucko transform into expert teleprompter reader, John Travolta?

5. Rocky Horror Picture Show

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I’m always a little hesitate when I’m showing it to friends for the first time, because, as good as it is, you have to admit it’s weird, but it’s the mark of a true friendship when you share a crazy, cult movie with someone and make it out alive sans judgement.

6. Les Miserables

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It’s an opera so it technically shouldn’t be in here, but I’d be remiss if I couldn’t express the extreme patriotism I felt for France (sry ‘Murica) and my desire to make out with my favorite freckled actor, Eddie Redmayne and the beautiful Aaron Tveit. Thank you, Tom Hooper for your extreme close-ups.

7. Gentlemen Prefer Blondes

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As part of my master procrastination plan during finals last semester, I went through a classic movie phase on Netflix and was reminded how awesome this movie is. No wonder Lindsay Lohan, Ariana Grande, and everyone in between idolize Marilyn Monroe.

8. Annie

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I used to belt out “It’s A Hard Knock Life” whenever I was asked to do anything. (The life of a dramatic child is never boring.) So I always felt like I could identify with the little orphan Annie. I am soooo excited to see Quvenzhané Wallis’ take on everyone’s favorite redhead. I don’t even care that I’ll be the oldest person in the theater without a child.

9. Hairspray

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Though it’s an adaption based off an adaptation and John Travolta and Christopher Walken make a terrifyingly strange couple, the tunes are so catchy and it’s full of the fun and camp-iness a musical should have. Oh and did I mention Zac Efron is in it??

10. Mamma Mia!

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Sometimes I hate on MM in front of mixed company, but truly I love it and I’m hooked, crazy plot and all. I’m waiting for the day when I invite a boy over, click shuffle on my iPod, and three hours of Mamma Mia! blasts out of my speakers. There’s nothing like trying to French while James Bond and Mr. Darcy sing about their feelings. Actually, that doesn’t sound half bad.

You can reach this post's author, Lily Savage, on twitter.
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    • LadyClodia the Modest Rat

      I have never seen the Mamma Mia! movie, but that gif makes me want to see it.

      • Lily Savage

        Oh it’s arguably the best part of the movie, make it your weekend mission! You won’t regret it!

    • CMJ

      Grease the stage play is FUCKING AWFUL.

      This is one time where the movie is about a million times better than the stage version.

      • itpainsme2say

        So much misogyny btw have you seen legally blonde the musical

      • Lily Savage

        Mmmmm perfectly describes how I feel about Tvieit!

      • CMJ

        He’s the perfect man.

    • RobertaF

      This is the best thing ever!!!! I grew up watching musicals,
      so anything positive to do with them makes me undeniably happy. This list would be miles long for me, but may I suggest my two favorites, “Seven Brides for Seven
      Brothers” in all of its Stockholm Syndrome glory, and “On The
      Town” which features the goofy/amazing antics of Gene Kelly and Frank
      Sinatra (my girlhood crush) in their prime.

      • Lily Savage

        You and I are cut from the same cloth. Musicals make me undeniably happy as well!

      • loser_sneeze

        Seven Brides for Seven Brothers is so problematic and SO GLORIOUS. I’ve watched it twice this week. Doesn’t hurt that the brothers are pretty cute *looking at you Benjamin*

    • loser_sneeze

      I, too, love Mamma Mia! I just can’t help myself. Although I have to chuckle at how ernest Pierce Brosnan is every time he sings. SO MUCH EMOTION. :)

      • Lily Savage

        I lost it in the theater when he and Meryl sang SOS

    • itpainsme2say

      Can phantom be added because come on gerard deserves it

      • itpainsme2say

        Btw for a worst adaptation I nominate 9(or 8 1/2) even though I loved furgie’s(sp) bit

      • Lily Savage

        I haven’t seen 9, but I’ve heard awful things about it! And yes, all about PotO. Emmy Rossum totally deserves a bit of recognition too!

      • itpainsme2say

        I couldn’t remember her name but ya i love watching her in alllll the things. 9 was boring and for the most part tried to hard with its huge (and talented in other things) cast but the musical numbers like Fergie’s, Hudson’s and Cotillard’s(fav) were really well done. They were I believe directed by the same people/person who did Chicago so if you ever get the chance they at least are worth watching on youtube.

      • joanne

        I’d throw in Rent for worst adaptation. How can it be terrible when it has almost all the original cast members? It is an unanswerable question.

    • Cellardoor14

      Cabaret and Singing in the Rain need to be on this list- such much old school Hollywood awesomeness!

      • Nbl

        Yes to Singing in the Rain!

      • Lily Savage

        Yaaaas Singing in the Rain is a classic!

    • Anonymous

      I love these musicals! but, how about My Fair Lady? I really enjoyed that movie..

      • Lily Savage

        My Fair Lady is another great one! Anything with Audrey Hepburn is a winner in my book

    • Bree

      It’s a crime Fiddler on the Roof isn’t on here.

      • Music Mamma

        For the dream sequence alone!

      • Lily Savage

        Yes, for sure! It’s so hard to pick only 10 musicals when there are so many great ones to pick from.

    • Music Mamma

      I absolutely love “Fiddler on the Roof.” I show it to my middle school students every couple of years and they sit in rapt attention.

      • Lily Savage

        Educating the younger generation, I like it!

    • Joey Lee

      John Waters’ Hairspray is the best!

    • Jenima

      This list is idiotic. Grease, gentlemen prefer blondes and the rocky horror picture show where all movie first, not stage musical. Also, gentleman prefer blondes has never been a stage musical. Someone didn’t do their research.