Memorable Moments From Movie Musicals
No matter your opinion on them, grand musical numbers are notorious earworms. Here we’ve compiled some of the most famous, beloved, and recognizable movie musicals. Go on, sing along, everyone else will too.
Top Hat (1935)
This was the first screenplay that was written specifically for Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, though they would go on to do at least 6 more movie musicals together. The movie helped to save RKO from bankruptcy with $3 million in box office revenues and it was only beaten by Mutiny on the Bounty, which would go on to win the 1935 Best Picture.
Singing in the Rain (1952)
Although it is now most of the most cherished movie musicals of all time, ranked at #10 on the American Film Institute’s ‘Greatest American Movies of All Time’ list, MGM only gained faith in the production after it returned a $7.7 million profit upon release. And the song at the center of that toe-tapping musical number synonymous with the movie itself? It was actually published in 1929 and had appeared in several other movies before Gene Kelly helped it rocket to fame.
West Side Story (1961)
The opening dance sequences were filmed on a demolition site where the current Lincoln Center now stands, appropriately on the West Side of New York City. Over the course of production, actors wore out over 200 pairs of shoes and split some 27 pairs of pants – though the studio probably didn’t mind after the movie won 10 Oscars, including Best Picture and the first Best Director award for two directors.
Cabaret won 8 Oscars the year it was released, including Liza Minnelli’s win for Best Actress, which makes her the only person who has won an Oscar after both her parents had done so as well. It would be the most successful movie musical for many years after, casting a shadow over shows like Mame (1974).