15 Movie Musicals That Will Brighten Your Dimming Spirit

Written by on April 18, 2020

It’s been a protracted few weeks in coronavirus isolation. 

“Phrases fail,” I say as I sip my fourth cup of espresso and look out the window, considering, “It’s quiet uptown.” I seize one other pair of leggings and a T-shirt I’ve had for a lot too a few years to alter into.

“Mom, what occurred right here?” I believe as I watch my toddler take a crayon and drag it throughout my front room wall. “When life offers you eggs, make an omelet,” I concede. On the finish of the day, I head to mattress, stressed. “Youthful than springtime, are you,” I inform myself within the mirror as I wash my dry, blemish-filled face. “It’s the bitch of dwelling.”

Thank God for musicals. Present tunes have helped me by means of these darkish days, which could final a bit longer than a few of us initially thought. So, since we will’t bodily head to Broadway, why not stream some magic by means of our front room screens? 

On this record, HuffPost tradition reporters share their picks for film musicals that can have you ever smiling, singing and maybe dancing by means of the pandemic, till we try and go “again to earlier than.”  

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“Meet Me In St. Louis” (1944)
Two phrases: Judy. Garland. If that alone isn’t sufficient to sway you, “Meet Me in St. Louis,” set in St. Louis proper earlier than the 1904 World’s Honest, is filled with lovely interval costumes, and enduring songs like “The Trolley Tune” and “Have Your self a Merry Little Christmas.” However, once more: Judy Freaking Garland.
― Emma Grey

Obtainable to look at (with business breaks) on the TVTime smartTV app, or hire on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and Amazon Prime.

“The Harvey Women” (1946)

Judy Garland will, after all, all the time be related to “The Wizard of Oz.” One of many less-heralded gems in her cinematic oeuvre, nonetheless, is 1946′s “The Harvey Women.” This delightfully campy Western fantasia offers us a showstopper within the exuberant “On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe,” which gained an Oscar for Greatest Tune. There’s additionally a 20-year-old Angela Lansbury as a “dancehall lady” from an area brothel, and even an Emerald Metropolis reunion of kinds between Garland and Ray Bolger, who performed the Scarecrow in “Oz.”
― Curtis M. Wong 

Obtainable for hire on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and Amazon Prime.

“Singin’ within the Rain” (1952) 

No film can brighten my temper and raise my spirits once I’m feeling down in mere seconds the best way that “Singin’ within the Rain” does. This film has the whole lot: that well-known MGM technicolor gloss, superb set items, Gene Kelly’s effortlessly lovely dancing, and Debbie Reynolds in her first massive function in a serious musical. Each single track on this film — and I imply EVERY single track — is a banger. From “Good Morning” to “Moses Supposes” to the titular track, each time a brand new quantity begins the eye to element and the artwork of pure spectacle and scale is unmatched. This film is humorous and candy and unhappy in all the suitable locations and, even at virtually 70 years previous, it nonetheless holds up.
― Zeba Blay 

Obtainable for hire on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and Amazon Prime. 

“Seven Brides for Seven Brothers” (1954)
I must preface this advice by saying that it’s … a problematic fave, to say the least. The plot of “Seven Brides” is rife with misogyny, but for those who noticed it as a child, like I did, you’re in all probability nonetheless enraptured by it. It’s about seven “scroungy backwoodsmen” out West and the ladies they fall in love with. The songs are lovely and catchy, and it comprises one of the crucial beautiful prolonged dance scenes I’ve ever seen.
― Emma Grey

Obtainable to hire on Apple TV, YouTube, iTunes, Vudu and Amazon Prime.

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“The Umbrellas of Cherbourg” (1964)

Jacques Demy’s attractive French ballad was impressed by Hollywood’s Technicolor musicals, portray a vivid however bittersweet portrait of an ill-fated romance. The 1964 traditional launched Catherine Deneuve’s profession, impressed “La La Land” and stays one of the crucial handsomely designed productions ever dedicated to movie. When you want a mild cry, that is your jam.
― Matthew Jacobs

Obtainable to look at on Criterion Channel, or hire on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes and Amazon Prime.

“Victor/Victoria” (1982)

If Julie Andrews hadn’t already been note-perfect in “Mary Poppins” and “The Sound of Music,” maybe extra reward can be heaped on the woefully neglected “Victor/Victoria.” Directed by Andrews’ husband Blake Edwards, the film is an entertaining, genre-defying farce that, for its time, was additionally forward-thinking when it got here to queer characters and themes. Andrews’ thrilling efficiency of “Le Jazz Sizzling” ranks alongside “My Favourite Issues” (from “The Sound of Music”) as a glowing musical achievement in cinema.
― Curtis M. Wong

Obtainable for hire on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes, Vudu and Amazon Prime. 

“Polly” (1989)

This made-for-TV film, directed and choreographed by Debbie Allen, was tailored from Eleanor H. Porter’s ebook “Pollyanna,” and starred Keshia Knight-Pulliam and Phylicia Rashad. The movie follows orphan Polly Whittier who visits her well-to-do aunt in Harrington, Alabama, within the 1950s. Polly brings the small, segregated city collectively together with her sunny disposition and, effectively, it’s additionally a little bit of a tear-jerker on the very finish. We performed the VHS tape advert nauseam in my residence within the ’90s, and I nonetheless know the phrases to all 9 of the 100-minute film’s musical numbers. It’s streaming on YouTube, however Disney Plus actually must get it collectively and add it to the service.
― Erin E. Evans 

Obtainable on YouTube.

“The 5 Heartbeats” (1991)

“The 5 Heartbeats” is, fairly merely, a traditional. The 10-song film musical follows a Motown-inspired R&B group over three a long time because the group members — portrayed by Robert Townsend, Michael Wright, Harry Lennix, Leon and Tico Wells — make hit information, battle alcohol and substance abuse, and face turbulent moments of their relationships. Townsend, who starred and directed the movie, stated it was a “rollercoaster experience” to make, taking greater than three years and 10,000 actor auditions earlier than it was lastly launched in theaters. Nevertheless it was all price it, after all. I’ve watched this film greater than a dozen instances and seeing Eddie King Jr. drunkenly sing “Nights Like This” by no means will get previous.
― Erin E. Evans 

Obtainable on Hulu, YouTube, Google Play, iTunes and Amazon Prime.

“Gypsy” (1993)

Though the 1962 movie is a traditional, I are likely to go for the Bette Midler-lead model of “Gypsy,” because it jogs my memory of high quality time spent with my mother, who sparked my love of musical theater. It tells the story of Louise (Elisabeth Moss/Cynthia Gibb), a woman who’s largely ignored by her domineering stage mom Rose (Midler) as she focuses her power on making youthful sister June (Lacey Chabert/Jennifer Rae Beck) a vaudeville star. However when June will get sick of present enterprise, Mama Rose is left with Louise, who ultimately proves her price within the burlesque world below the pseudonym Gypsy Rose Lee. If there’s anybody who can belt out successful whereas commanding the display, it’s Midler, whose rendition of the track “Rose’s Flip” is one to recollect.
― Leigh Blickley

Obtainable to look at on Vudu or with an Amazon Prime subscription, and for hire on YouTube, Google Play and iTunes. 

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“Velvet Goldmine” (1998)

Much less conventional than most musicals on this record, Todd Haynes’ subversive 1998 glam-rock fantasia borrowed from the lives of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lou Reed and Oscar Wilde to create a carnal circus that celebrates and critiques pop mythology. The costume design alone, with its sequined glint and colourful quirk, is electrifying, and the soundtrack pays homage to underground ’70s music by means of Thom Yorke, Sonic Youth and The Stooges. Plus, the solid is a who’s who of future movie-star royalty, from Ewan McGregor and Christian Bale to Toni Collette and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.
― Matthew Jacobs

Obtainable for hire on YouTube, Good Play, Vudu, iTunes and Amazon Prime. 

“Carmen: A Hip-Hopera” (2001)

“Carmen: A Hip-Hopera” is arguably the most effective musical that doesn’t take itself too critically to look at at a time like this. Directed by Robert Townsend, it marries Georges Bizet’s 1875 “Carmen” and the world of hip-hop to ship a star-studded but kitschy romance. Sgt. Derek Hill (Mekhi Phifer) is seduced by a younger, aspiring actress, Carmen (Beyoncé), who convinces him to maneuver to Los Angeles after he ruins his engagement, will get fired from his job and will get arrested. The musical is stuffed with bops to sing alongside to, however the spotlight is Bey’s iconic sing-rapping within the “If Appears Might Kill You’d Be Useless” quantity.
― Taryn Finley

Obtainable for hire on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes or Amazon Prime.

“Hedwig and the Offended Inch” (2001)

Neil Patrick Harris was completely pleasant within the 2014 Broadway incarnation of this musical, however John Cameron Mitchell will all the time be the definitive Hedwig. Songs like “The Origin of Love” and “Depraved Little City” all tug on the heartstrings and will make this film worthwhile viewing on their very own. However by as we speak’s requirements, it’s additionally simple to neglect how subversive the movie was in that includes a gender-fluid heroine at its middle.
― Curtis M. Wong

Obtainable for hire on YouTube, Google Play, iTunes or Amazon Prime.

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“Chicago” (2002)

There’s no denying the expertise on this movie adaptation of “Chicago.” Renee Zellweger. Catherine Zeta-Jones. John C. Reilly. Queen Latifah. Taye Diggs. Richard Gere! When the film hit theaters almost 18 years in the past it was a bonafide hit, incomes $306.7 million worldwide and 6 Oscars, together with Greatest Image. The story about two death-row murderesses who develop a fierce rivalry is such a crowd pleaser and options among the finest musical numbers caught on movie. Zellweger and Zeta-Jones stun in a cellblock tango very a lot well worth the watch.
― Leigh Blickley

Obtainable with Hulu and Amazon Prime subscriptions, or for hire on Google Play, YouTube, Vudu and iTunes.  

“Increase Your Voice” (2004)

So that you’ve exhausted all of the award-winning, critically hailed film musicals and also you’re left questioning: Shouldn’t these all star the premiere vocalist of our instances, Hilary Duff? Properly, let or not it’s identified that a bit movie referred to as “Increase Your Voice” exists, and the story a small-town lady attending the performing arts college of her goals is the right quarantine watch. The film options essentially the most emotionally complicated flip of Duff’s early-aughts oeuvre ― “Cinderella Story” please take SEVERAL seats ― as she grapples with discovering her (you guessed it) voice after the tragic dying of her brother. It’s an in the end uplifting tearjerker that hits virtually all the suitable notes. Rita Wilson additionally stars as Duff’s mother, and John Corbett performs her eccentric music trainer, so actually what are you ready for?
― Cole Delbyck 

Obtainable for hire on YouTube, Google Play, Vudu and iTunes and Amazon Prime.

“Start Once more” (2013)

Keira Knightley starring in a film set on this century sans corset doesn’t occur fairly often. However one by which she sings and performs guitar, a lot to the delight of a scruffy Mark Ruffalo, makes “Start Once more” a should see. The John Carney-directed movie didn’t make a lot of an affect when it was launched in theaters again in 2013, but it surely’s a feel-good film that’s not overly saccharine and options some genuinely well-written (and Oscar-nominated!) songs. The movie captures the polarities of dwelling New York Metropolis, a spot that may make you’re feeling on their lonesome or on the middle of the universe, as Knightley and Ruffalo’s characters got down to file an album in numerous public locations round city. For the remaining Maroon 5 followers on the market, Adam Levine additionally stars as Knightley’s pop star ex and is an sudden vibrant spot within the movie. After “Start Once more” was launched, Carney disparaged Knightley’s efficiency, so watch it in her honor as a result of on this family we don’t tolerate SLANDER.
― Cole Delbyck

Obtainable for hire on Vudu, iTunes and Google Play.


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