Top 5 Live Action Musical Films

I have a bad feeling that the era of consistently good live action musicals is potentially over. Yes we see the occasional pretty good musical these days (and I emphasise pretty) but even they are really just exceptions to what is probably a waning genre of what used to be successful films.

I think potentially due to my mother’s great interest in musicals is how I’ve developed an interest in them. She watched them for entertainment, I watched them due to fact my legs hadn’t yet been trained how to move on their own yet. And here we are, 2 decades later and I’m writing a list on my favourite live action musical films. Enjoy!

Willa Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Gene Wilder = Legend. He is this movie. Without him, I believe it wouldn’t have been nearly as memorable as it is today. His unique spin on the character of Willa Wonka made the whole film seem somewhat plausible. Even if Roald Dahl disowned this film, I will never!

Moulin Rouge!

Moulin Rouge! is one of the exceptions to the more modern film musicals that occasionally pop up. This is Baz Luhrmann’s greatest film so far, and it’s no surprise why. This film is far beyond the norm in regards to filmmaking, and the risks Luhrmann takes are extremely successful. And how about Ewan McGregor and Nicole Kidman and the pipes they have? Sweet.


This film is another childhood classic for me. An awesome adaptation of a Broadway musical, not only does this film have awesome songs, it also has a sweet storyline.


Mary Poppins

A child cannot go through childhood without watching this film. Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke have brilliant chemistry and put on memorable performances in this adaptation of the Mary Poppins book series by P. L. Travers. A must watch if you haven’t seen this yet.


West Side Story

A classic film that is not only number one on my list, but is arguably the most critically acclaimed also, winning a total of ten academy awards at the 1962 Oscars. Whilst this film is an exceptional update to the classic Romeo and Juliet storyline, the main feature is the songs and choreography. A fitting number one to this list.

Now not everyone is a fan of live-action musicals, but perhaps there are a few of you who are. Let me know your favourite musicals in the comment box below.

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3 Comments on “Top 5 Live Action Musical Films”

  1. Cherub Says:

    I’ve been seeing lots of these musicals lately! It’s interesting to see it live on stage after watching the films too. I saw Chicago live it was much more comical to the movie, and I loved the fact that the band was on the stage and the characters interacted with them, by far a stand out. I also saw Mary Poppins a few weeks back I could’ve sworn the plot line was completely different to the movie. Both great but! And next month I will be seeing Hairspray 🙂 very excited!

  2. Karen Says:

    You’ve covered my faves! Can’t pick between Oliver and West Side Story – both such great films, and with drama and tragedy thrown into the mix! I also like that great old classic The Sound Of Music and how could you leave out Grease? Loved Chicago as well, both the movie and live

    • filmstank Says:

      Yeah very tough to decide between those two, such classics in my book. Well when compiling a list of only 5, you have to sacrifice some films – not easy to do. Where would you place Grease in the above list? What would you replace it with?

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