From Stage to Silver Screen: Top 15 Movie Musicals of the Last 50 Years

By Ben Rimalower
14 Sep 2013


10. "Dreamgirls" (2006, directed by Bill Condon)

Dreamgirls may be the best musical of the 1980s and Bill Condon's wonderful 2006 film adaptation's biggest crime is not being as good a movie as Dreamgirls was a show — a failing that was probably unavoidable given Michael Bennett's auteur-like role as writer/producer/director/choreographer of the original — Dreamgirls was conceived expressly for the stage. It's a pleasant surprise that the "Dreamgirls" movie works as well as it does, particularly exciting as a vehicle for co-leading ladies Jennifer Hudson and Beyonce to strut their stuff amidst decadent production values. The only instances where the film begins to disappoint are in some of the more operatic moments, like the climactic musical group argument sequence, "It's All Over," where the all-of-a-sudden recitative song style is poorly established and fails to sizzle like it does on stage. Unfortunately, this is the moment that launches into the crown jewel of "Dreamgirls," "And I Am Telling You I Am Not Going." Alas, "Dreamgirls" is still great.


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