Best Movies Adapted From Musicals

How do franchises like Harry Potter and Hunger Games gain worldwide popularity and recognition (for their authors) these days? Through adaptation, of course. The same goes for playrights and their plays. How well were musicals adapted into films?

The Top Ten

1 Mamma Mia

All that romantic Greek island paradise...I dream of going to a Greek island one day. I also dream of what it would be like to be Sophie and live on one with your mother. See the beach everyday, ride your own boat; without a doubt, one of the best all-time musicals. - Ph03b3

2 Grease

Honestly, who doesn't love Grease? The times when you'd go to a soda fountain with friends, own Eldorados and Mustangs, wear poodle skirts or leather jackets, watch movies at drive-in theatres with your date; Grease lets you imagine yourself at that time and enjoy it, at the same time, keeping you on your dancing shoes. - Ph03b3

The 50s wasn't exactly a brilliant time. Rationing was still at large and people were still grieving about lost loved ones.

Not exactly subtle is it? Grease wished it was as subtle as Sunshine on Leith.

3 Sunshine On Leith

Les Miserables wished it had the homely charm that Sunshine on Leith has in spades. The sweeping shots of Scottish landmarks are bigger in scope than the entire length of Les Miserables

For those who don't know, Sunshine on Leith is based on a Dundee Reps (the Scottish equivilant to Broadway or the West End) stage production of the same name. Like Mamma Mia!, Sunshine on Leith is a jukebox musical in which the songs being used were pre-existiing (Mamma Mia! Is of course based around ABBA songs while Sunshine on Leith is based around the songs of The Proclaimers).

Unlike the other adaptations on this list, Sunshine on Leith is subtle.

Who needs an imcompitent Austrian nun when you can have 2 Scottish soldiers returning from the conflict?

V 6 Comments
4 Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street

Absolutely hate this film version with a passion. The score is brilliant but the film is terrible at best. Mr Depp (I think) is more suited to fantasy and light comedy. He ruined a potentially very good film. - Britgirl

Sacha Baron Cohen does fake Italian pretty well. And who would have thought that Johnny Depp and Helena Bonham Carter can belt out a few tunes?

Worst pies in London? That's debateble these days considering a certain horse meat scandal.

But surely The most annoying nun in Salzburg has nothing on this deranged barber from London. Sacha Baron Cohen is the real scene stealer.

5 Les Misérables

Definitely my favourite on this list. I love this because the content of the film doesn't differ at all from the stage. An excellent cast, top director and a wonderful, uplifting score. - Britgirl

Blew my mind when I went to see it.

V 1 Comment
6 The Sound of Music
7 Hairspray
8 Funny Girl
9 West Side Story
10 Hello, Dolly!

Amazing film. Did it for my school musical and absolutely loved it

The Contenders

11 Chicago

I'd argue that Chicago has a more interesting setting than Grease.

The times when gangsters would hide out in speakeasies, jazz would be played 24/7, mobsters would do drive-bys with 50 round Tommy Guns, people would wear zoot suits or fishnets and suspenders and crime & corruption were all part of the show. Chicago lets you imagine yourself at that time.

Never before has Prohibition-Era Chicago looked so glamorous. To quote Richard Gere, "Though you are stiffer than a girder, they'll let get away with murder"

Chicago should be at least top five. It is so amazing. The movie is so clever. It is literally a filmed stage show but better

V 1 Comment
12 The Producers V 2 Comments
13 Into the Woods
14 The Rocky Horror Picture Show
15 Rock of Ages

Tom Cruise's singing is so good he could take up a rock career if he wanted.

16 Annie
17 Fiddler on the Roof
18 Oliver!

Based more from the West End production of Lionel Bart than Dickens.

19 The Phantom of the Opera
20 Guys and Dolls
BAdd New Item

Recommended Lists

Related Lists

Top 10 Disney Movies That Should Be Turned Into Broadway Musicals Best Movies Adapted From Novels Best Movies of All Time Top Ten Saddest Movies Best Disney Animated Movies

List StatsUpdated 23 Mar 2017

27 listings
3 years, 213 days old

Top Remixes (5)

1. Sunshine On Leith
2. The Producers
3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
1. Sunshine On Leith
2. The Producers
3. Into the Woods
1. Grease
2. Mamma Mia
3. The Sound of Music

View All 5


Add Post

Error Reporting

See a factual error in these listings? Report it here.