In “The Greatest Showman,” audiences get to witness Hugh Jackman, Zendaya, Zac Efron, and Michelle Williams sing. What’s not to love about that? This story is based on the outrageously true tale of Phineas Taylor Barnum, the entertainer portrayed by Jackman, as he faked his way to the top of a roaming circus. It was set in the late 19th century and showcased Barnum’s ability to blur the line between fiction and reality.
He is hungry for triumph and thirsty for invention after introducing the never-before-seen live circus acts. It’s a gamble as he risks everything to appeal to a high-brow audience, but will he be able to become the greatest showman of all time? This musical managed to get an Oscar nomination for the original song “This Is Me.”
There are only a handful of musical masterpieces that have managed to successfully leap from stage to screen, and "Chicago" is one of them. This movie featured some of the biggest names in the industry, including Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger, Richard Gere, and Queen Latifah, to name a few.
Set in 1920s Chicago, the housewife Roxie Hart, played by Zellweger, has dreams of becoming famous that are so big that somehow it leads her to death row. She and another criminal named Velma, played by Zeta-Jones, form a rivalry, and the two compete for fame in hopes that it'll keep them from their fate. "Chicago" won a mighty six Oscars, which made it the first musical to do so since "Oliver!" from 30 years before.
42nd Street (1933)
Some cinematic critics have claimed that this movie was the source from which all musicals flow. We can believe that since it was released way back in 1933, it probably makes it one of the oldest movies on this list. The story follows a sickly Broadway director who makes a comeback to create one last, final show, but after his leading lady breaks an ankle, she gets replaced by a young actress who ends up stealing the show.
The extravagance, precision, and pure joy that come out of this musical is unrivaled. The story also includes a number of hummable hits like "Shuffle Off to Buffalo," "You're Getting to Be a Habit With Me," and, of course, "42nd Street."
Top Hat (1935)
A golden oldie coming out of the 1930s is the four-time Oscar-nominated "Top Hat." Starring Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, this movie exemplifies this power duo's on-screen chemistry, and it is considered the high point of their careers. While most of their flicks feature cosmic dancing, "Top Hat" gets extra credit for holding up as a genuinely outstanding comedy.
This story is about Jerry Travers, the song and dance icon, who is in London to open a show produced by his good pal Horace. Late one night, much to the annoyance of Dale Tremont, who was trying to sleep, Jerry whips out his dance moves in the hotel room. Dale decides to go downstairs to tell him off for the racket he is creating, but the two have an instant attraction. Things start to get messy when Dale confuses Jerry with the show's producer.
"Grease" wasn't the only remarkable musical that John Travolta got to be a part of. In 1977, he played the leading role in "Saturday Night Fever." Five years later, in 1983, he was cast in the leading role in "Staying Alive." And in 2007, Travolta gave us another taste of his talents in performing the musical "Hairspray." This movie was special for him as he actually played the role of a woman by the name of Edna Turnblad. Besides Travolta, other big names we could drop from this movie are Michelle Pfeiffer, Queen Latifah, and Christopher Walken, to name a few.
The star-studded cast is probably one of the reasons that made this film succeed the way it did. The stage version of this movie won eight Tony awards in 2002, and thanks to that recognition, it got this iconic film in its honor five years later. It's fun, it's silly and delightfully energetic.