Musicals are strange creations in the world of cinema. Their storylines are often told with as much dialogue as music and an extra layer of suspension of disbelief is needed as intense scenes break down into all the characters, friend and foe alike, joining together to sing and dance. Despite all this, the greatest musicals are among the most beloved creations in all of entertainment. They tug at the heartstrings in a way that other movies just can’t.
The movies on this list belong to many different musical subgenres, including comedy, romance, and action. The Marx Brothers appear many times for their goofy comedies of early cinema with sound. “Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory” tells the fantastic story of a young boy’s adventure into the strange world of an eccentric confectioner.
There are also many films about life in the entertainment industry and directing musicals. But the most common theme of all is love. Many of the plots are about impossible or forbidden love and inevitable tragedy. Others are much warmer stories that leave viewers with hope and a sense of lightness. Many of these classics are part of the greatest love stories in the history of cinema.
Most of these films are in English and come from the United States and the United Kingdom. However, several of the top rated films are Indian Hindi films and a few French ones make the list. Musicals played an important role in both film and music, pushing both mediums to new heights and creating timeless tales that still hold true today. (The 30 most inspiring films of the last 100 years)
Click here to see the best musicals of all time
To determine the best and worst musical movies of all time, 24/7 Wall St. created an index based on Rotten Tomatoes average critic rating, Rotten Tomatoes average audience rating, and average user rating. from the Internet Movie Database. To be considered, each film had to have at least 10,000 total user ratings between IMDb and Rotten Tomatoes and 10 critic-approved reviews from Tomatometer. The “best” films had to have been classified as a musical or musical film by IMDb and all the “worst” films only fell under the musical. The “Notable Song” listed for each musical is either the film’s biggest single, or a culturally significant song, particularly important to the film, or particularly popular.