Entertainment

The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
4.9k votes 576 voters 14.5k views 34 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
Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#220 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #2 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Timefeaturing Every Song in Singin' in the Rain, Ranked by Singability

2
The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer, Eleanor Parker

If you love this classic, be sure to check out our list of family musical movies.

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

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#80 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing The Real Story Behind ‘The Sound of Music’ Is Far More Depressing Than The Filmlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

3
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#3 of 78 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novelsfeaturing Behind The Scenes, The Making Of 'Mary Poppins' Was Not As Magical As You'd Thinklisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

4
The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#9 of 78 The Best Film Adaptations of Young Adult Novelsfeaturing Strange Things You Definitely Didn't Know About The Wizard of Ozlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

5
West Side Story is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#5 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Timefeaturing The Behind-The-Scenes Of 'West Side Story' Was Plagued With More Hatred Than The Movie Itselflisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

6
The Music Man is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
JenME3 added 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 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #34 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

7
The King and I is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#14 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #41 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

8
Seven Brides for Seven B... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#308 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #15 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

9
Meet Me in St. Louis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#17 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #59 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #310 of 808 The Greatest Chick Flicks Ever Made

10
Oklahoma! is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#30 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #51 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #122 of 396 The Best Western Movies Ever Made

11
Guys and Dolls is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#95 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #117 of 170 The Greatest Date Movies of All Timefeaturing Every Song in Guys and Dolls, Ranked by Singability

12
South Pacific is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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
13
Lady and the Tramp is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
Nicholas Panagoplos added Peggy Lee, Stan Freberg, Dallas McKennon
Lady and the Tramp is a 1955 American animated musical romance film directed by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson, and Hamilton Luske. The romantic tale of a sheltered uptown Cocker Spaniel dog ...more

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#28 of 599 The Best Animated Films Ever #37 of 505 The Best Duos of All Time #42 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time

14
On the Town is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added 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

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#57 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #80 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

15
Yankee Doodle Dandy is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#65 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #71 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

16
Bye Bye Birdie is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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, Bye Bye Birdie is set in 1958. The story ...more

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#832 of 997 The All-Time Greatest Comedy Films #221 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #66 of 196 The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked

17
Summer Stock is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
DeborahTragasz added Judy Garland, Gene Kelly, Phil Silvers
Summer Stock, known as If You Feel Like Singing in the UK, is a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical made in 1950. The film was directed by Charles Walters and stars Judy Garland and Gene Kelly and ...more
18
High Society is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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
19
Anchors Aweigh is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#114 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #95 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

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#163 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songs #76 of 196 The Greatest Musicals Ever Performed on Broadway, Ranked #41 of 49 The Best Grammy-Nominated Musical Theater Albums of the 1980s

21
Oliver! is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

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#26 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #56 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

22
Gigi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added 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

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#64 of 371 The Best Musical Movies of All Time #104 of 223 Musical Movies With the Best Songslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

23
A Star Is Born is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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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24
The Harvey Girls is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added Judy Garland, Angela Lansbury, Cyd Charisse
The Harvey Girls is a 1946 American musical film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer based on the 1942 novel of the same name by Samuel Hopkins Adams, about Fred Harvey's famous Harvey House ...more
25
Viva Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
JenME3 added 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

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