my top ten favorite movie musicals.

Since writing my review of Guys & Dolls, I’ve had musicals on the brain. The last time I compiled a list of my favorite musicals was wayyy back in 2017 (and that was only old Hollywood musicals). Time for a new list, methinks! This particular list will focus on live-action movie musicals. No Jane Eyre, Hunchback of Notre Dame, or A Tale of Two Cities. No animated Disney films either. With that made clear, let’s jump in!

10. Guys & Dolls (1955)

Wasn’t actually sure if Guys & Dolls would get this spot, as the other contender was Mary Poppins (1964). Nostalgia or Sky Masterson? XD But you know, although I love the trifecta of Saving Mr. Banks, Mary Poppins, and Mary Poppins Returns, I don’t fully love MP itself. And Guys & Dolls is so fresh and fun—my current musical crush, in fact. (It will probably climb higher on this list the more I watch it.) Since I just wrote a whole blog post about my love for G&D, I’ll direct you there instead of elaborating further right now.

9. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

Intrinsically tied to my childhood. The songs, the crazy story, the characters. CCBB is one of those special, personal films that I love but can’t really explain why.

8. Newsies (1992)

If they ever do a real, true movie version of the Broadway musical, it will probably be much higher on this list. But the 90’s film, the OG, is still a lot of fun. The songs are iconic to the max. And you get to see Christian Bale sing and dance. And Bill Pullman’s in it!

7. State Fair (1945)

The first time I watched State Fair, I was fresh from watching The Ox-Bow Incident and, probably, The Purple Heart. So it was such a relief to see Dana Andrews in a happy, cheerful, sweet role. ❤ (I wish the story had focused more on Pat and Margie’s story than Wayne’s doomed crush. Sigh.) The feel of this film overall is cozy and heartwarming—so heartwarming. (I dare you not to cry when Pa and Ma Frake see their humble dreams realized at the fair.)

6. The Greatest Showman (2017)

I find myself relating more and more to Hugh Jackman’s Barnum as the months and years go by. And his character development throughout the film is impeccably done. Like?? He starts out singing “it’s everything you ever want, it’s everything you ever need, and it’s here right in front of you” while imagining himself as the greatest showman, and then he sings the exact same thing at the end of the film while watching his daughters perform on-stage, as he sits beside his wife, having given up the circus life to be with his family. I LOVE IT.

5. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954)

I used to think this musical was misogynistic. But it’s not. Sure, Adam is awful at the start (and remains so for most of the movie). But the film doesn’t condone his behavior! Millie is the true hero(ine) of the story. She’s my heroine. Overall, the characters (especially Millie, Benjamin, Frank, and Gideon) and the fun songs are what keep me coming back for more.

4. White Christmas (1954)

Best to watch at Christmas, but you can really enjoy White Christmas any old time. As with most of the musicals on this list (if not all, besides Guys & Dolls), I’ve seen this one so many times that I have it about memorized. I still love it though. Your favorite couple (Phil and Judy or Bob and Betty) says a lot about you, I bet. 😉

3. The Happiest Millionaire (1967)

Apparently, when I watched this movie as a toddler, I walked around the house afterwards imitating the alligator roars. I’ve been a fan ever since, lol. This is a movie that I really associate with my grandfather, so it’s special in that way. Sure, maybe it’s a bit too long. But the songs and the story and the characters are all great. Again—NOSTALGIA.

2. The Sound of Music (1964)

I think, having grown up with it, I tended to take The Sound of Music for granted. But it really is one amazing movie musical. Recently, I rewatched it and was blown away by how truly Great a movie it is. One of those impeccable films that never gets old. Love the Captain and Maria’s relationship after they’re married. They’re so comfortable and natural together—it’s very sweet!

1. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Singin’ in the Rain has been on my list of top ten favorite movies for years. It’s possibly one of my top five favorite movies. Catchy songs, memorable characters, a fast-paced plot, a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at ‘the pictures’, and one of the best villain comeuppance scenes in movie history. Utter perfection. (Also featuring Gene Kelly as possibly my first actor crush. Those were the days…)

Have you seen any of these musicals? What are some of your favorite movie musicals?


11 thoughts on “my top ten favorite movie musicals.

Add yours

  1. Lovely list! ❤ I’ve seen all of these except The Happiest Millionaire which means I need to fix that – pronto! Such nostalgia looking at these pictures (I love the behind the scenes shots you’ve chosen, especially that last one – so magical!)

    “When the circulation bell starts ringing, will we hear it? No!” Ahh such good stuff…:)


    1. The Happiest Millionaire is perhaps a little over-long, but the songs and story are so fun that I can forgive that. ❤ I hope you enjoy it!

      Now I'm going to have Newsies songs stuck in my head all day. XD (Not that I'm *really* complaining.)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Out of the ten you’ve listed, I’ve only seen White Christmas, The Sound of Music, and Singin’ In the Rain. I would agree that they’re all very good though. As for myself, I’d also include Fiddler on the Roof. If Disney movies counted, than my list would be mostly dominated by them


    1. Fiddler on the Roof is definitely in my top fifteen favorite musicals! Maybe I’ll do another post at some point focusing on Disney musicals–that would be fun.


    1. “THIS IS THE GREATEST SHOW.” Indeed. Indeed it is.

      Yep! And interestingly enough, my taste in musicals has barely budged over those years. I’m sure nostalgia has a lot to do with that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice choices! Some of these remain my favorites and others I haven’t seen in a long time! The Sound of Music, The Greatest Showman, and Seven Brides for Seven Brothers are instant classics for me.


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