The Five - Musicals
Written by Amy Cable
Compiled by Amy Cable, Hannah Ehrlich and Kyley Warren
When deciding on the musicals for this list, we did not have much debate as there were very strong titles that stole our hearts. We steered away from Disney’s musical films because we believe that they deserve their own list. These titles were chosen from a list of public favorites and were used on our list based on their spectacular overall composition. When choosing the musicals we took several elements into consideration: public popularity, cinematic devices, casting, and musical score. We also examined how the title relates to its theatrical version and how much they tributed to their original platform on stage. We decided to have La La Land (2016) as the honourable mention due to its mesmerizing cinematic techniques and its entrawlling musical score.
5. West Side Story (1961)
This misfortunate love story follows two starstruck lovers, Maria (Natalie Wood) and Tony (Richard Beymer), on their quest to run away together. The narrative is based on William Shakespeare’s classic tragedy, Romeo and Juliet (1597). We chose this musical for its popularity and its astounding score that rings in the audience’s ear long after the finally. Due to when the film was made it lacks visual appeal and deserves to be remade with today’s improved technology. The main appeal of this film is the hope that the two lovers bring to the audience, despite their chaotic and conflicting surroundings.
4. Annie (1982)
Despite the efforts of the most recent 2014 adaptation of Annie, we believe that the original film deserves the place of this list. The story begins with a young orphan girl named Annie (Aileen Quinn), who is trapped by the cold, unforgiving, orphanage caretaker, Miss Hannigan (Carol Burnett). Her life is turned around when she steals the heart of billionaire Oliver "Daddy" Warbucks (Albert Finney). This heartwarming tale brought joy to many younger audiences and the score enlightened many older generations, that could potentially relate to Annie’s cruel surroundings during the Great Depression. We believe that this film eclipsed the original theatre production as it proved to be more inventive and increasingly immersive for audiences.
3. Grease (1978)
Much like West Side Story (1961), this story has audiences dreaming of a love that cannot be. Innocent, Austrlian Sandy (Olivia Newton-John) transfer to school in the USA and falls for bad boy Danny (John Travolta). Due to social conformities within the highschool they are torn apart. This time-honoured musical brought teenage entertainment into the mainstream and made visiting the cinema a typical weekend activity for young adults and teens. Grease inspired generations to love who they are and explore new ideals of themselves, which was why it deserved a prime spot on our list. This comedic structure had audiences rooting for the love of Sandy and Danny and their friends struggles to find happiness and security in highschool cliques.
2. Les Miserables (2012)
This iconic, memorable musical follows a range of different characters as they interfere with Jean Valjean’s (Hugh Jackman) extraordinary life. The narrative takes place during the lead up to the French Revolution. This film was chosen for its popularity with public audiences and how it drew interest from a range of audiences of all ages. This film also demonstrated beautiful cinematic techniques that captured the hearts of audiences. The cinematic devices used allowed us to feel involved in the actions and connected to the characters. Despite this we would have liked to see more of the original production reflected in the cinematic adaptation, which could have been achieved with a little bit more creativity. However, the cinematic adaptation increased audience attachments to the characters, which was definitely needed considering there is a very vast cast.
1. Phantom of the Opera (2004)
The scene is set in 19th century Paris where Christine (Emmy Rossum) becomes the rising star of the Opera House, unknowingly catching the attention of the Phantom (Gerard Butler). Christine becomes torn between the Phantom and her more realistic love Raoul (Patrick Wilson). This film stood out to us as number one from the beginning of the decision process. We give tremendous credit to Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber for the score of this cinematic adaptation. The film was also cast spectacularly, with Rossum playing the innocent, deer in the headlights, Christine, and strong willed Butler as the thrillingly dangerous Phantom. The film also portrays the narrative with rich flavour and heavily reflects on the original theatrical production.