Recommendation: Musical films for the period of confinement
From Beckmesser we want to enrich the quarantine time with a recommendation of movies for all tastes
West Side Story (1961). Direction: Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris y Russ Tamblyn. The 10-Oscar-winning film is based on the musical of the same name with music by Leonard Bernstein. The play originally premiered in 1957 as a musical in an original Broadway production, and has continued to perform internationally since then. Steven Spielberg will present a new adaptation of the title this year with Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler as the lead couple.
My Fair Lady (1964). Direction: George Cukor. Starring: Audrey Hepburn y Rex Harrison. My Fair Lady is an adaptation of the homonymous musical by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Winner of 8 Oscars, the film has established itself as a classic of the genre.
Smiles and tears (1965). Direction: Robert Wise. Starring: Julie Andrews y Christopher Plummer. Film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name, Smiles and Tears features songs composed by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II. The soundtrack, by Irwin Kostal, deserved one of the 5 Oscars the film received.
Funny Girl (1968) Address: William Wyler. Starring: Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif and Walter Pidgeon. Adapted from Isobel Lennart’s play of the same name, Funny Girl marked Barbra Streisand’s big screen debut. The singer got back into the shoes of Fanny Brice, a role that made her famous on the Broadway and London stages.
One day in New York (1949) Address: Gene Kelly y Stanley Donen. Starring: Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra y Betty Garrett. Leonard Bernstein composed in 1944 this musical that in 1949 Stanley Donen would take to the cinema. For this he had great stars from the musicals of the time, such as Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin. Roger Edens and Lennie Hayton received the Oscar for Best Musical Score.
Victor or Victoria (1982). Direction: Blake Edwards. Starring: Julie Andrews, James Garner, Robert Preston y Lesley Ann Warren. Henri Mancini composed the soundtrack for this film, an adaptation of the German UFA (Universum Film AG) film of the same name, directed by Reinhold Schünzel in 1933 with Renate Müller and Hermann Thimig as protagonists.
red Mill (2001). Direction: Baz Luhrmann. Starring: Nicole Kidman and Ewan Macgregor. Australian Baz Luhrmann directed this film based largely on Verdi’s opera La Traviata. The film reuses pop and rock hits by artists such as Elton John, Queen, Nirvana and The Police. David Bowie and Rufus Wainwright featured on the soundtrack.
Cabaret (1972) Address: Bob Fosse. Starring Liza Minnelli, Michael York and Joel Gray. Free adaptation of the musical of the same name, Cabaret marked the musical debut of Liza Minnelli, a performance that earned her the Oscar for Best Actress.
Singing under the rain (1952) Address: Gene Kelly y Stanley Donen. Starring: Gene Kelly, Donald O’Connor y Debbie Reynolds. Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen co-direct this musical film inspired by the entire series of Broadway Tunes that were made in Hollywood in the 30s and 40s, coinciding with the appearance of talkies. It is considered the best musical in American cinema by the American Film Institute.
The Wizard of Oz (1939). Direction: Victor Fleming. Starring: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Morgan, Jack Haley, Bert Lahr, Billie Burke y Margaret Hamilton. Based on the children’s novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the film has become an icon of popular culture and is one of the few films considered Memory of the World by UNESCO.
Nightmare Before Christmas (1993). Direction: Henry Selick. Produced and conceived by Tim Burton, this animated film features the songs and soundtrack of Danny Elfman. The applause of the public which hosted the premiere has become universal critical praise for the originality and creativity of the visual and narrative elements, the soundtrack and the use of animation.
Grease (1978) Address: Randal Kleiser. Starring: John Travolta y Olivia Newton-John. Set in the 1950s, the film is based on the 1972 self-titled musical created by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. The film was an immediate box office success and catapulted the careers of its leading artists.
The Miserables (2012) Address: Tom Hooper. Starring: Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried y Sacha Baron Cohen. Based on the musical by Alain Boubill and Claude-Michel Schönberg, inspired in turn by Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables, the film is the result of a project started by Cameron Mackintosh in the late 1980s.
Chicago (2002) Address: Rob Marshall. Starring Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones and Richard Gere. Marshall recovered this title released in the 70s and originally written by playwright Maurine Dallas Watkins. The story was so successful that Fred Ebb and John Kander bought the rights to turn their storyline into the Broadway musical that is known today.
The Little Shop of Horrors (1986) Address: Frank Oz. Starring Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene y Vincent Gardenia. is the 1986 film adaptation of the Broadway musical of the same name by composer Alan Menken and lyricist Howard Ashman.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975) Address: Jim Sharman. Starring: Susan Sarandon, Tim Curry, Richard O’Brien y Patricia Quinn. Based on the musical The Rockey Horror Show, this film is a rock musical that honors and satirizes science fiction movies at the same time.
Farinelli (1994) Address: Gérard Cobiau. Starring: Stefano Dionisi, Enrico Lo Verso and Elsa Zyberstein. Stefano Dionisi takes on the role of Carlo Broschi to recreate the biography of the most famous castrato, Farinelli. To recreate the singer’s tone, the voices of Ewa Malas-Godlewska, a Polish soprano, and Derek Lee Ragin, American countertenor, with the aim of recreating an authentic castrato voice
Amadeus (1984) Address: Milos Forman. Starring: F. Murray Abraham, Tom Hulce y Elizabeth Berridge. The American film recreates the supposed rivalry between Mozart and Antonio Salieri, a literary device transferred to the film script that has no historical foundation. Sir Neville Marriner conducted the Academy of Saint Martin in the Fileds on a soundtrack that includes works by Mozart, Pergolesi, and Salieri.
The King and I (1956) Address: Walter Lang. Starring: Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner and Rita Moreno. Based on the musical The King and I by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, released in 1951 and inspired in turn by the book Anna and the King of Siam by Margaret Landon, the film received 5 Oscars among which the one received by Alfred Newman and Ken Darby for the best musical adaptation.