7 Movies and Documentaries to Watch and Celebrate the Legacy of Harold Prince

Film & TV Features   7 Movies and Documentaries to Watch and Celebrate the Legacy of Harold Prince
 
The 21-time Tony winner of such Broadway hits as Company, Sweeney Todd, Evita, and The Phantom of the Opera passed away July 31 at the age of 91.
Harold Prince
Harold Prince Marc J. Franklin

Broadway is mourning the loss of Harold Prince, the 21-time Tony-winning producer and director who is credited with shaping the face of modern musical theatre. Luckily, the artist's legacy lives on. As we remember this Broadway trailblazer, here are some documentaries and movies that immortalized the genius of Hal Prince.

Harold Prince
Harold Prince

Harold Prince: The Director's Life
This documentary, directed by Lonny Price, offers a retrospective of Prince's entire career, complete with archival clips from his productions and interviews with the artists with whom he worked. PBS will be re-airing the documentary on August 2 at 10 PM ET, and it will also be available to stream at PBS.org through August 14.

READ: Lonny Price on Directing Harold Prince: The Director's Life

Gwen Verdon in Damn Yankees.
Gwen Verdon in Damn Yankees. The New York Public Library

The Pajama Game and Damn Yankees
Prince made his name on Broadway—and won his first Tony Award—producing both of these musicals for the stage, and he was an associate producer on their film adaptations. Both films are near carbon copies of the works' stage productions, with several cast members recreating their performances for the big screen.

Zero Mostel
Zero Mostel Friedman-Abeles/©NYPL for the Performing Arts

Fiddler: A Miracle of Miracles
Among Prince's final sole Broadway producing credits was Fiddler on the Roof, the Bock and Harnick musical that would go on to become one of the most beloved and produced musicals in the canon. This new documentary digs into the work's origin story, with interviews from Prince, Harnick, Austin Pendleton, and more. The film will be in select theatres beginning August 23.

WATCH: The Trailer for the New Fiddler on the Roof Documentary

Company_Original_cast_Album_HR

Original Cast Album: Company
Stephen Sondheim and Prince worked together on an unprecedented string of six groundbreaking musicals in the 1970s and early 1980s, changing the face of musical theatre on Broadway in the process. This documentary from D.A. Pennebaker lets us be a fly on the wall at the recording session for the original cast album of Company, Sondheim and Prince's first musical as a composer-lyricist and director team in 1970. The film is an invaluable peek at the beginning of a genre-defining collaboration.

Angela Lansbury and George Hearn in Sweeney Todd
Angela Lansbury and George Hearn in Sweeney Todd Martha Swope

Sweeney Todd, The Demon Barber of Fleet Street
Almost none of Prince's stage productions were filmed live for commercial release, but a fortunate exception is Sweeney Todd, Sondheim and Prince's 1979 musical that blurred the lines between Broadway and opera and won eight Tony Awards including Best Musical. Captured on the production's post-Broadway national tour, this film features several original Broadway cast members reprising their performances, including Angela Lansbury (who won a Tony Award for her Mrs. Lovett), Ken Jennings (Tobias), and Edmund Lyndeck (Judge Turpin).

BWT3.jpg
Lonny Price, Ann Morrison, and Jim Walton Right photo, Martha Swope, left picture, Bruce David Klein

Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened...
Merrily We Roll Along would end Prince and Sondheim's partnership; after a disappointingly brief run of just 16 performances on Broadway, the two wouldn't collaborate again until Prince directed Bounce (now Road Show) in Chicago and Washington, D.C. Though Merrily wasn't a financial success, it remains a cult favorite among many theatre fans. This documentary, directed by one of the production's original stars, Lonny Price, features interviews with Prince, Sondheim, and cast members.

WATCH: A Clip from Merrily We Roll Along Documentary

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