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What are the best movies based on Broadway musicals?

Musical theater is one of the most popular forms of stage performance. Be it on Broadway, West End, or a small community theater, famous musicals are almost universally loved by all. But do they translate well into movies? Do their film adaptations give justice to the original stage performance? Okay, that's a pretty hard question to answer, especially now that there's a myriad of upcoming movie musicals on the horizon. There are those that turn out to be as great as their stage counterparts, and there are those that aren't quite as fascinating in the big screens as it is on stage.

Of course, you also cannot discount the fact that the actors affect the overall appeal of the musical movie. There are actors who truly have what it takes to be on par with Broadway musical singers, and then there are those who aren't perfectly suited for the role. It's sort of a hit-and-miss situation when it comes to movies made into musicals.

So here, we're calling on all the musical aficionados out there to vote on which of these musicals you think is the best. Which of these titles made you love music more? Take your pick! From classic ones like Les Miserables to more modern titles like The Producers, we got them here!

13 comments
  1. 1Les Misérables

    128

    Les Miserables is a 2012 musical drama film adaptation of Victor Hugo's 1862 novel of the same title. It is also inspired by Boublil and Schönberg's original musical in 1980. It stars Hugh Jackman in the lead role.

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  1. 2Into the Woods

    120

    Into the Woods is James Lapine's musical fantasy film adaptation of the 1986 Broadway musical of the same name written by Stephen Sondheim. It was directed by Rob Marshall and was released in 2014. 

  2. 3The Producers

    115

    The Producers is a musical comedy film directed by Susan Stroman. It was written by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan and is inspired by their eponymous Broadway musical in 2001. 

  1. 4Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

    113

    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street is a musical period slasher film based on Christopher Bond's play of the same name in 1973. It was directed by Tim Burton and stars Johnny Depp in the lead role.

  2. 5Chicago

    112

    Chicago is a musical crime comedy-drama film adapted by Bill Condon from the stage musical of the same name written by Bob Foss and Fred Ebb. It stars Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones in the lead roles.

  3. 6Grease

    112

    Grease was a romantic musical film released in 1978. It was directed by Randal Kleiser and starred by John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, Stockard Channing.

  4. 7Mamma Mia!

    112
    Mamma Mia! is a musical film directed by Phyllida Lloyd based on the Broadway musical of the same name, with songs from pop group ABBA. Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgard, and Amanda Seyfried head the cast.
  5. 8The Phantom of the Opera

    112
    The Phantom of the Opera (2004) is a musical drama film directed by Joel Schumacher based on Andrew Lloyd Webber's 1986 musical of the same name. It stars Gerard Butler, Emmy Rossum, Patrick Wilson, Miranda Richardson, Minnie Driver and Jennifer Ellison.
  6. 9Jesus Christ Superstar

    112

    Jesus Christ Superstar is a 1973 movie based on the musical of the same name (which actually started off not as a Broadway or West End musical, but as a rock opera album).  The movie was directed by Norman Jewison and stars Ted Neeley as Jesus and the late Carl Anderson as Judas.

  7. 10Rent

    111
    Rent (2005) is a musical drama film directed by Chris Columbus based on Jonathan Larson's bohemian rock musical of the same name. The film takes place in the East Village of New York City from 1989 to 1990 and depicts the lives of several Bohemians.
  8. 11Little Shop of Horrors

    111
    Little Shop of Horrors (1986) is a rock musical horror comedy film directed by Frank Oz based on the Broadway musical comedy of the same name. The film stars Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, and Levi Stubbs.
  9. 12Fiddler on the Roof

    111
    Fiddler on the Roof (1971) is a musical comedy-drama film directed by Normal Jewison based on the 1964 Broadway musical of the same name and starring Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon, and Paul Mann.
  10. 13The Rocky Horror Picture Show

    110

    The Rocky Horror Picture Show is a musical horror comedy directed by Jim Sharman and starred by Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, and Barry Bostwick. This movie first appeared in 21 August 1975. 

  11. 14Hamilton

    0

    Yes, that's right! Hamiton is the recorded version of the original Broadway show of the same title. Wrapped around the elements of hip-hop and musical, this Disney-exclusive film showcases the impeccable talents of the esteemed cast of the original cast. If you were able to watch the live version, then Hamilton in 2020 is a good way to reminisce it.

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Here's something interesting for you, swifties: Did you know that Taylor Swift actually auditioned for Eponine in Tom Hooper's film adaptation of Les Miserables? Surprising, right? As you may all know, Swift is already set to play the character of Bombalurina in Tom Hooper's upcoming Cats movie adaptation. (By the way, the character has got some flirty sass we're excited to see Taylor bring out. And trust us, she's gonna be a sure-fire standout!) But Cats isn't actually the first time that the pop queen rubbed elbows with Hooper. Yup, as we said, she almost took part in his directorial debut in 2012.

Okay, to those of you who have seen the musical movie, you'd probably agree with us when we say that Anne Hathaway slayed that part, and there's denying the fact that when it comes to sheer talent, the Hollywood actress is a force to be reckoned with. Yet, you have to admit, our Taytay would have given a powerful performance had she been chosen for the role too. Her vocal chops would have been insane! After all, Taylor is no stranger to musicals. Still, when you come to think of it, maybe fate had other plans for her. Well, she is one of the most popular music artists now for a reason, so that rejection certainly did not mean she wasn't good enough. In fact, she even finds that experience enjoying. Now, if you still need any more convincing about her prowess, then you should watch Cats! You'll know what we're talking about.

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13 comments

  • #1
    A
    Anonymous
    September 12, 2017
    "Well, if you start with one of the greatest Broadway musicals, then you're likely to have one of the best movies based on Broadway musicals. I was reasonably happy with this offering, but then I saw the Broadway play first. If you did so as well, then it may be hard to match that experience from film. It was definitely worth my time, but if you saw it originally with a top flight Broadway cast, then just go in with the expections that it will be very good, but probably not seem great to you."
    Refering to:
    8
    The Phantom of the Opera
  • #2
    A
    Anonymous
    September 12, 2017
    "I'm not a big fan of musicals, but I really enjoyed Sweeny Todd. There's nothing else like it. The musical bits fit well in the story, the subject matter is a lot different than what you'd normally come across in the genre, and the atmosphere is very absorbing. I highly recommend it to anyone that wants to watch something both entertaining and eccentric."
    Refering to:
    4
    Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
  • #3
    A
    Anonymous
    September 12, 2017
    "Although I think I actually liked the Broadway version better, this movie definitely stayed true to form. The cast was superb and actually pulled of the singing quite well. The sets were beautiful and, of course, the songs were wonderful. If you can't get to see this on stage, I would absolutely recommend watching this."
    Refering to:
    7
    Mamma Mia!
  • #4
    A
    Anonymous
    June 9, 2017
    "I have always been a fan of watching movies based on Broadway musicals. I just simply love the enhanced productions that happen with movies compared to their original musicals. A great movie that was based on a musical that I recently watched was Fiddler on the Roof."
    Refering to:
    12
    Fiddler on the Roof
  • #5
    A
    Anonymous
    June 8, 2017
    "I found Into The Woods to be a good solution for this problem. It was a nicely made movie and had a nice storyline that I found interesting. It was a good movie overall though I found it to be one of the best movies that I have seen based on a Broadway Play."
    Refering to:
    2
    Into the Woods
  • #6
    A
    Anonymous
    September 12, 2017
    "The producers is my long favorite movie that is based on Broadway musicals. It is a classic film with classic actors including Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick, Uma Thuman, and Will Ferrell. Of course, the soundtrack is the best too."
    Refering to:
    3
    The Producers
  • #7
    A
    Anonymous
    April 11, 2017
    "The acting on Rent was top-notch and definitely did seem to be inspired by the musical (which I admit I'm not overly familiar with, just enough). The music alone makes it worth the price if nothing else. Good value for the money."
    Refering to:
    10
    Rent
  • #8
    A
    Anonymous
    April 5, 2017
    "Being a fan of Richard Gere for a long time, I was attracted to this movie when it came out. I remember I went to see it in theater with my friends the very day it came out. It's a good mixture of fun, great acting and drama"
    Refering to:
    5
    Chicago
  • #9
    A
    Anonymous
    October 4, 2017
    "I never got the hype on this. It is historically and biblically inaccurate. There are some positive, the production value and music were put together very well. Would not watch it again but was glad I saw it once."
    Refering to:
    9
    Jesus Christ Superstar
  • #10
    A
    Anonymous
    December 5, 2019
    "This is what really made John Travolta's career soar. I'll never forget how our generation was taken by storm all thanks to this movie! Amazing."
    Refering to:
    6
    Grease
  • #11
    A
    Anonymous
    February 21, 2017
    "I like me a good musical, but I sometimes have trouble finding any movie adaptations. Little Shop of Horrors was a really inspired solution!"
    Refering to:
    11
    Little Shop of Horrors
  • #12
    A
    Anonymous
    June 26, 2017
    "Perfect movie based on a Broadway musical. I haven't seen this one, but for people who like this, it's a great match."
    Refering to:
    1
    Les Misérables
  • #13
    A
    Anonymous
    January 3, 2018
    "A classic. Legendary status."
    Refering to:
    13
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show
This list is about What are the best movies based on Broadway musicals
RankAnswersTypeVotesPrice
1Les MisérablesMovies 128 Paid
2Into the WoodsMovies 120 Paid
3The Producers Movies 115 Paid
4Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet StreetMovies 113 Paid
5Chicago Movies 112 Paid
6GreaseMovies 112 Paid
7Mamma Mia!Movies 112 Paid
8The Phantom of the OperaMovies 112 Paid
9Jesus Christ SuperstarMovies 112 Paid
10Rent Movies 111 Paid
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