Film The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked  

Ranker Film
3.3k votes 366 voters 6.7k views 33 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
158 41
The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 1 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

2
164 50
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 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

3
147 44
Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 3 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

4
145 44
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 4 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

5
121 50
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

6
99 41
The King and I is listed (or ranked) 6 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

7
98 50
Seven Brides for Seven Brother... is listed (or ranked) 7 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

8
88 47
Oklahoma! is listed (or ranked) 8 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

9
78 49
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

10
72 52
Guys and Dolls is listed (or ranked) 10 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

11
66 48
South Pacific is listed (or ranked) 11 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

12
20 4
The Music Man is listed (or ranked) 12 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

13
53 48
Anchors Aweigh is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
51 46
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

15
53 50
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

16
49 47
High Society is listed (or ranked) 16 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

17
51 51
Bye Bye Birdie is listed (or ranked) 17 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, the satire on American society is set in ...more

18
56 57
Oliver! is listed (or ranked) 18 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

19
46 46
Show Boat is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

20
44 52
A Chorus Line is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

21
3 0
Stars and Stripes Forever is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
NikiSanders added Robert Wagner, Debra Paget, Clifton Webb Stars and Stripes Forever is a 1952 American biographical film about late-19th-/early-20th-century composer John Philip Sousa, played by Clifton Webb. Sousa is best known for his military ...more

22
36 47
A Star Is Born is listed (or ranked) 22 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

23
40 53
Gigi is listed (or ranked) 23 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

24
34 45
Damn Yankees is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

25
32 43
The Harvey Girls is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added 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

26
7 11
Viva Las Vegas is listed (or ranked) 26 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

27
31 49
Porgy and Bess is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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

28
18 45
Pal Joey is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added 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

29
16 50
Can-Can is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added 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

30
13 46
The Jolson Story is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added 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

31
13 49
Carmen Jones is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
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
12 48
Love Me or Leave Me is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added 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

33
7 48
Love Me or Leave Me is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
OLDDAWG added Christian Keyes, Elise Neal, Terri J. Vaughn