film The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
3k votes 299 voters 4.9k views 32 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest musicals released before 1970.

Sometimes it's easier to say things in a song. At least, that's the case in classic musical movies. The best old musical movies are upbeat, colorful, and full of catchy songs that help express deep emotion and tell a timeless story. This is a list of the best classic musical movies including everything from The Sound of Music to Singin' in the Rain to Fiddler on the Roof.

What films will you find in this roundup of early classic movie musicals? Maybe you're a fan of the sweeping romance West Side Story. Inspired by William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, this musical finds a young couple from rival New York street gangs falling in love, despite their families' animosity. Mary Poppins is another popular movie musical that continues to connect with fans each generation. The Technicolor favorite The Wizard of Oz took home two Academy Awards for its iconic music. Other good movies featured on this list of top classic musical films include High Society, Bye Bye Birdie, and The King and I.

Which timeless movie musical do you think is the best? Give your favorites a thumbs up and please add any great musicals that are missing. And don't be shy about singing along!

list ordered by

1
133 37
The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
The Wizard of Oz Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton, Frank Morgan The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and the most well-known and commercially successful adaptation based on the 1900 novel The Wonderful ...more

2
133 39
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Mary Poppins Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke, Elsa Lanchester Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced by Walt Disney, with songs written and composed by the Sherman Brothers. The screenplay is by Bill ...more

3
139 45
The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
The Sound of Music Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker The Sound of Music is a 1965 American musical drama film produced and directed by Robert Wise and starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The film is an adaptation of the 1959 Broadway ...more

4
128 41
Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Singin' in the Rain Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly, Rita Moreno Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen, starring Kelly, Donald O'Connor and Debbie Reynolds, and choreographed by Kelly and Donen. It ...more

5
110 47
West Side Story is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
West Side Story Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, John Astin West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. The film is an adaptation of the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name, which in turn ...more

6
95 38
The King and I is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
The King and I Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno The King and I is a 1956 musical film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and produced by Charles Brackett and Darryl F. Zanuck. The screenplay by Ernest Lehman is based on the ...more

7
78 43
Oklahoma! is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Oklahoma! Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger, Eddie Albert Oklahoma! is a 1955 musical film based on the 1943 stage musical Oklahoma!, written by composer Richard Rodgers and lyricist/librettist Oscar Hammerstein II and starring Gordon MacRae, Shirley ...more

8
82 48
Seven Brides for Seven Brother... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Julie Newmar, Jane Powell, Howard Keel Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, is a musical film, photographed in Ansco Color in the CinemaScope format. The film was directed by Stanley Donen, with music by Saul Chaplin and Gene de Paul and ...more

9
71 46
Meet Me in St. Louis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Meet Me in St. Louis Judy Garland, Mary Astor, Margaret O'Brien Meet Me in St. Louis is a 1944 musical film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer which tells the story of an American family living in St. Louis at the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition World's Fair ...more

10
64 48
Guys and Dolls is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Guys and Dolls Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, Jean Simmons Guys and Dolls is a 1955 musical film starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and Vivian Blaine. The film was made by Samuel Goldwyn Productions and distributed by MGM. It was ...more

11
60 46
South Pacific is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
South Pacific France Nuyen, Doug McClure, Mitzi Gaynor South Pacific is a 1958 American romantic musical film adaptation of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical South Pacific, and based on James A. Michener's Tales of the South Pacific. The film, ...more

12
12 1
The Music Man is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
JenME3 added The Music Man Ron Howard, Shirley Jones, Buddy Hackett The Music Man is a 1962 musical film starring Robert Preston as Harold Hill and Shirley Jones as Marian Paroo. The film is based on the 1957 Broadway musical of the same name by Meredith ...more

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13
47 46
Anchors Aweigh is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Anchors Aweigh Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Dean Stockwell Anchors Aweigh is a 1945 American Technicolor musical comedy film directed by George Sidney and starring Frank Sinatra, Kathryn Grayson, and Gene Kelly, in which two sailors go on a four-day ...more

14
48 48
Bye Bye Birdie is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Bye Bye Birdie Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke, Ann-Margret Bye Bye Birdie is a stage musical with a book by Michael Stewart, lyrics by Lee Adams, and music by Charles Strouse. Originally titled Let's Go Steady, the satire on American society is set in ...more

15
52 53
Oliver! is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Oliver! Oliver Reed, Leonard Rossiter, Hugh Griffith Oliver! is a 1968 British musical drama film directed by Carol Reed and based on the stage musical of the same name, with book, music and lyrics written by Lionel Bart. The screenplay was ...more

16
48 49
Yankee Doodle Dandy is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Yankee Doodle Dandy James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about George M. Cohan, known as "The Man Who Owned Broadway". It stars James Cagney, Joan Leslie, Walter Huston, and ...more

17
43 43
High Society is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
High Society Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby High Society is a 1956 American musical comedy film directed by Charles Walters and starring Bing Crosby, Grace Kelly, and Frank Sinatra. The film was produced by Sol C. Siegel for ...more

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18
44 47
A Chorus Line is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
A Chorus Line Michael Douglas, Audrey Landers, Khandi Alexander A Chorus Line is a 1985 American musical film directed by Richard Attenborough, starring Michael Douglas. The screenplay by Arnold Schulman is based on the Tony Award-winning book of the 1975 ...more

19
42 45
On the Town is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added On the Town Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly, Ann Miller On the Town is a 1949 musical film with music by Leonard Bernstein and Roger Edens and book and lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green. It is an adaptation of the Broadway stage musical of the ...more

20
40 44
Show Boat is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Show Boat Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner, Howard Keel Show Boat is a 1927 musical in two acts, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. Based on Edna Ferber's bestselling novel of the same name, the musical follows the ...more

21
35 49
Gigi is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added Gigi Eva Gabor, Leslie Caron, Louis Jourdan Gigi is a 1958 American Metrocolor musical romantic comedy film directed by Vincente Minnelli. The screenplay by Alan Jay Lerner is based on the 1944 novella of the same name by Colette. The ...more

22
32 45
A Star Is Born is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
A Star Is Born Judy Garland, Amanda Blake, Laurindo Almeida A Star Is Born is a 1954 American musical film written by Moss Hart, starring Judy Garland and James Mason, and directed by George Cukor. Hart's screenplay was an adaptation of the original 1937 ...more

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23
29 45
Damn Yankees is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Damn Yankees Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon Damn Yankees is a musical comedy with a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop and music and lyrics by Richard Adler and Jerry Ross. The story is a modern retelling of the Faust legend set ...more

24
30 47
Porgy and Bess is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Porgy and Bess Sidney Poitier, Sammy Davis, Jr. Porgy and Bess is a 1959 American musical film directed by Otto Preminger. It is based on the 1935 opera of the same name by George Gershwin, DuBose Heyward, and Ira Gershwin, which is in turn ...more

25
3 8
Viva Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
JenME3 added Viva Las Vegas Elvis Presley, Ann-Margret, Teri Garr Viva Las Vegas is a 1964 American musical film starring Elvis Presley and actress Ann-Margret. Directed by golden age Hollywood musical director George Sidney, the film is regarded by fans and ...more

26
23 43
The Harvey Girls is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added The Harvey Girls Judy Garland, Angela Lansbury, Cyd Charisse The Harvey Girls is a 1946 MGM musical film based on the 1942 novel of the same name by Samuel Hopkins Adams, about Fred Harvey's famous Harvey House waitresses. Directed by George Sidney, the ...more

27
15 43
Pal Joey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added Pal Joey Frank Sinatra, Rita Hayworth, Kim Novak Pal Joey is a 1957 American Technicolor musical film, loosely adapted from the musical play of the same name, and starring Rita Hayworth, Frank Sinatra, and Kim Novak. Jo Ann Greer sang for ...more

28
13 44
The Jolson Story is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added The Jolson Story Al Jolson, Scotty Beckett, William Demarest The Jolson Story is a 1946 Technicolor musical biography which purports to tell the life story of singer Al Jolson. It stars Larry Parks as Jolson, Evelyn Keyes as "Julie Benson", ...more

29
12 46
Love Me or Leave Me is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added Love Me or Leave Me Doris Day, James Cagney, Cameron Mitchell Love Me or Leave Me is a 1955 biographical romantic musical drama film which tells the life story of Ruth Etting, a singer who rose from dancer to movie star. It stars Doris Day as Etting, James ...more

30
13 49
Can-Can is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added Can-Can Frank Sinatra, Shirley MacLaine, Louis Jourdan Can-Can is a 1960 musical film made by Suffolk-Cummings productions and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Walter Lang, produced by Jack Cummings and Saul Chaplin, from a ...more

31
12 47
Carmen Jones is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Carmen Jones Dorothy Dandridge, Diahann Carroll, Harry Belafonte Carmen Jones is a 1954 American musical film starring Dorothy Dandridge and Harry Belafonte, produced and directed by Otto Preminger. The screenplay by Harry Kleiner is based on the libretto for ...more

32
7 45
Love Me or Leave Me is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added Love Me or Leave Me Christian Keyes, Elise Neal, Terri J. Vaughn