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

By Ben Rimalower
14 Sep 2013

Julie Andrews

3. "The Sound of Music" (1965, directed by Robert Wise)

And speaking of Nazism, "The Sound of Music," while lighter fare than "Cabaret" to be sure, touches on the Nazis too, albeit mostly in a successful 11th-hour escape. But what is most remembered of "The Sound of Music" is Julie Andrews' timeless performance, the iconic Rodgers and Hammerstein score and those glorious mountains, against which so much of the story is played. Certainly, when many people think of musicals, they think of that opening sequence. "The Sound of Music" is such an ingrained part of our culture that it can bring up negative associations with saccharine cliché, but the movie is truly engrossing and Julie Andrews is at her formidable best. It's an extremely effective realization of a classic musical and it will remain the standard bearer for generations. I hasten to add the similarly sumptuous "The King and I" might have made this list too were it not released prior to my convenient 50-year cut-off. The same goes for the very different in aesthetic, but perhaps even more essential as Hollywood representation of the Golden Age of Broadway Musicals, "Oklahoma!" and "Carousel."


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