The Best Movies Based on Broadway Musicals
MFC TOP 5
The dream of musical fans has come true: the filmed version of the acclaimed play Hamilton was released as a movie on the Disney+ streaming platform. Created by Lin-Manuel Miranda and made popular by its run on Broadway, Hamilton became one of the most successful plays in the United States, even making it extremely difficult to acquire tickets for the show.
The Broadway circuit is regarded as one of the highest-level representatives of commercial theater worldwide and many cinematic gems were brought from its stages to the big screen. That is why at MFC we prepared a TOP 5 with The Best Movies Based on Broadway Musicals.
5. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (Tim Burton, 2007)
Sweeney Todd is a film adaptation of the musical play of the same name by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, which was inspired by the play written by Christopher Bond. It tells the story of Sweeney Todd, an English barber who murders his clients with the help of Mrs. Lovett, who bakes pies with their bodies.
The film features performances by Helena Bonham Carter as Mrs. Lovett, Sacha Baron Cohen as Adolfo Pirelli, and Johnny Depp as barber Sweeney Todd, in his sixth collaboration with the director. Despite the refusal of composer Stephen Sondheim to have his musical turned into a movie, Tim Burton‘s particular vision managed to convince him. Sondheim states that this is the only film adaptation of any of his works that is true to his original vision.
4. Chicago (Rob Marshall, 2002)
Directed by Rob Marshall, Chicago is a drama and black comedy musical starring Renée Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones, accompanied by a cast of stars conformed by Richard Gere, Queen Latifah, Lucy Liu and John C. Reilly, among others. It tells the story of Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart, two women who were arrested in Chicago in the 1920s and who will try to achieve the notoriety necessary to get their sentences overturned.
Before being a movie or even a Broadway musical, Chicago was a play written by Maurine Dallas Watkins, inspired by her own experiences and released in 1926. After the success of the musical version on Broadway stages, Chicago dominated the big screen and won the Academy Award for Best Film in 2003.
3. Jesus Christ Superstar (Norman Jewison, 1973)
Jesus Christ Superstar is an anachronistic staging that combines elements of cinema and theater to tell one of the most popular stories in the West. Featuring performances by Ted Neeley as Jesus, Carl Anderson as Judas, and Barry Dennen as Pontius Pilate, the film focuses on the relationship of Jesus and Judas during the week before the crucifixion.
Although the project originated in 1970 as a concept album, it made the jump to Broadway stages just one year after its conception. All music was composed by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Weber and is considered one of the most popular rock operas worldwide, as well as one of the best movies about Jesus Christ.
2. Hamilton (Thomas Kail, 2020)
Done by theater director Thomas Kail and actor-playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda, the filmed version of the acclaimed play Hamilton tells the story of Alexander Hamilton, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and right-hand man of George Washington during the Independence Revolution. Hamilton stands out especially for his rap acts, which make up most of the film’s musical sets and thanks to which the play is so acclaimed.
Although it was originally going to be released in cinemas in October 2021, Hamilton got released digitally on the Disney+ streaming platform due to the COVID-19 or coronavirus pandemic. Filmed at the Richard Rodgers Theater on Broadway, this movie is a unique opportunity to see one of the most successful plays of all time.
1. Les Misérables (Tom Hooper, 2012)
Directed by Tom Hooper, Les Misérables is a film adaptation of the musical by Alain Boublil and Claude-Michel Schönberg, which was inspired by the novel written by Victor Hugo in 1862. The film tells the story of Jean Valjean, an ex-criminal who becomes the mayor of a town in France, and its relation to the events that gave rise to the Paris Uprising of 1832.
Les Misérables has an ensemble cast that includes personalities such as Hugh Jackman, Anne Hathaway, Russell Crowe, Sacha Baron Cohen, Helena Bonham Carter, Eddie Redmayne and Amanda Seyfried, among others. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the 2013 Academy Awards, and Anne Hathaway won several awards for her portrayal of Fantine, including the Oscar and BAFTA awards for Best Supporting Actress.