The Best Musicals Based on Movies

By 1.9k votes 159 voters 12k views 65 items tags f p @

List Criteria: Only stage musicals that cite films as their original source material - no adaptations directly from other mediums

List of musicals based on movies, ranked by fans and casual critics. Stage theatre has been a primary form of entertainment for thousands of years, in the forms of plays, operas, and musicals. Around the world, dozens of theatrical performances are brought to life on stages big and small. Most notably, the theatre districts of Broadway in Manhattan and the West End in London are home to the catchiest, most elaborate, most memorable musicals. Nothing is more inspirational than experiencing the art of actors who can also sing and dance with grace and style in front of a large audience of people. It’s no wonder that plays and musicals have remained so popular throughout the years! What are the best musicals based on films?
 
This list includes the greatest plays and musicals that were inspired by movies, ranked according to the opinions of voters. Which soundtracks have you played nonstop? Which lyrics have you memorized? Some of these plays on this list were smash hit successful Broadway productions that scored several awards and made the actors instant successes. Others are newer shows that are still in trial runs for smaller audiences in cities like Chicago and Los Angeles.

In addition to direct adaptations from film to stage, this list includes musicals inspired by movies that weren't musicals to begin with. Wondering why you don't remember the songs from Billy Elliott or Sunset Boulevard? That's because there weren't any. 
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  1. 1
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    Mark Mancina, Elton John, Jay Rifkin The Lion King (1994)

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  2. 2
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    Alan Menken ^! Linda Woolverton ^! Howard Ashman ^! Tim Rice Beauty and the Beast (1991)

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    Scott Wittman ^! Marc Shaiman ^! Thomas Meehan ^! Mark O'Donnell Hairspray (2007), which was based on the movie Hairspray (1988), dir. by John Waters

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  4. 4
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    - 15

    Richard M. Sherman ^! Robert B. Sherman ^! George Stiles ^! Anthony Drew ... Mary Poppins (1964) and the book series by P.L. Travers

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  5. 5
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    Alan Menken, Howard Ashman Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

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  6. 6
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    Alan Menken ^! Howard Ashman ^! Doug Wright ^! Glenn Slater The Little Mermaid (1989)

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  7. 7
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    Mel Brooks, Thomas Meehan The Producers (1968), dir. by Mel Brooks

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  8. 8
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    added by unlimitedbroadway
    Bob Fosse, Fred Ebb, John Kander

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  9. 9
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    Disney's Aladdin: A Musica... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular (2003) Aladdin (1992)

  10. 10
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    Singin' in the Rain (1983) is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Singin' in the Rain (1983) Singin in the Rain (1952)

  11. 11
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    Neil Innes, John Du Prez, Eric Idle Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

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  12. 12
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    Shrek: The Musical (2008) is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Shrek: The Musical (2008) Shrek (2001), which was based on the book Shrek! (1991) by William Steig

  13. 13
    + 28
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    Irving Berlin ^! Mel Brooks ^! Thomas Meehan Young Frankenstein (1974), dir. by Mel Brooks

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  14. 14
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    - 21

    Elton John, Lee Hall Billy Elliot (2000)

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  15. 15
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    Heather Hach ^! Laurence O'Keefe ^! Nell Benjamin Legally Blonde (2001) and the novel by Amanda Brown

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  16. 16
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    - 7
    A Christmas Story: The Musical... is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    A Christmas Story: The Musical (2009) A Christmas Story (1983)

  17. 17
    + 21
    - 15

    Eric Carmen ^! Sammy Hagar ^! Tom Snow ^! Walter Bobbie ^! Jim Steinman ^! Footloose (1984)

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  18. 18
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    - 20
    Newsies (2011) is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Newsies (2011) Newsies (1992)

  19. 19
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    Jeanine Tesori ^! Richard Morris ^! Dick Scanlan Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)

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  20. 20
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    - 13
    A Wonderful Life (1991) is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    A Wonderful Life (1991) It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

  21. 21
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    - 12
    Fame (1988) is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Fame (1988) Fame (1980)

  22. 22
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    Alan Menken ^! Glenn Slater ^! Cherie Steinkellner ^! Douglas Carter Beane ... Sister Act (1992)

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  23. 23
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    - 15
    9 to 5 (2008) is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    9 to 5 (2008) 9 to 5 (1980)

  24. 24
    + 17
    - 14

    Nan Knighton Saturday Night Fever (1977)

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  25. 25
    + 15
    - 12

    Blake Edwards ^! Frank Wildhorn ^! Leslie Bricusse Victor Victoria (1982)

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  26. 26
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    Snow White and the Seven Dwarf... is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1979) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

  27. 27
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    Once (2011) is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Once (2011) Once (2006)

  28. 28
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    White Christmas (2004) is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    White Christmas (2004) White Christmas (1954)

  29. 29
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    added by pigonthewing
    Des McAnuff ^! Pete Townshend

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  30. 30
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    Richard M. Sherman ^! Robert B. Sherman ^! Jeremy Sams Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

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  31. 31
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    Leslie Bricusse Scrooge (1970), which was based on the novella A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens

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  32. 32
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    Glen Ballard ^! Bruce Joel Rubin ^! David A. Stewart Ghost (1990)

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  33. 33
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    Seven Brides for Seven Brother... is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954) Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (1954), which was based on "The Sobbin' Women" by Stephen Vincent Benét

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  34. 34
    + 11
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    John Weidman, Richard Maltby, Jr. Big (1988)

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  35. 35
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    The Wedding Singer (2006) is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    The Wedding Singer (2006) Chad Beguelin ^! Matthew Sklar ^! Tim Herlihy The Wedding Singer (1998)

  36. 36
    + 14
    - 14

    Tarzan (1999), which was based on Tarzan of the Apes (1912) by Edgar Rice Burroughs

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  37. 37
    + 13
    - 13
    Elf: The Musical (2010) is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Elf: The Musical (2010) Elf (2003)

  38. 38
    + 13
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    Terrence McNally ^! Scott Wittman ^! Marc Shaiman Catch Me If You Can (2002), which was based on the autobiography (1980) by Frank Abagnale, Jr.

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  39. 39
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    new! & added by Tom Islava
    James Lapine, Alan Menken, Stephen Schwartz The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996), which was based on the novel of the same name by Victor Hugo

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  40. 40
    + 15
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    Christopher Hampton ^! Don Black ^! Andrew Lloyd Webber Sunset Boulevard (1950)

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  41. 41
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    Tom Hadley ^! Robert Cary Flashdance (1983)

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  42. 42
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    - 10

    Maury Yeston ^! Arthur Kopit 8½ (1963), dir. by Federico Fellini

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  43. 43
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    - 9

    Jeffrey Lane, David Yazbek Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

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  44. 44
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    - 14
    Kinky Boots (2012) is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Kinky Boots (2012) Kinky Boots (2005)

  45. 45
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    The Bodyguard (2012) is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    The Bodyguard (2012) The Bodyguard (1992)

  46. 46
    + 6
    - 9
    Meet Me in St. Louis (1989) is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    Meet Me in St. Louis (1989) Hugh Wheeler ^! Hugh Martin ^! Ralph Blane Meet Me in St. Louis (1944)

  47. 47
    + 11
    - 15

    Terrence McNally ^! David Yazbek The Full Monty (1997)

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  48. 48
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    added by lorraine-doo
    Richard Maltby^! Jr. ^! Claude-Michel Schönberg ^! Alain Boublil

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  49. 49
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    Mark Bramble ^! Al Dubin ^! Harry Warren ^! Michael Stewart 42nd Street (1933), which was based on the novel (1932) by Bradford Ropes

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  50. 50
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    - 16
    High School Musical on Stage! ... is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies

    High School Musical on Stage! (2007) David Simpatico High School Musical (2006)

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