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The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked

Updated June 12, 2020 6.5k votes 631 voters 17.1k views35 items

List RulesVote 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!

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  • 1
    Singin' in the Rain is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    286
    70

    Singin' in the Rain

    Debbie Reynolds, Gene Kelly

    Released1952

    Directed byStanley Donen, Gene Kelly

    Singin' in the Rain is a 1952 American musical comedy film directed by Gene Kelly and Stanley... more on Wikipedia

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  • 2
    The Sound of Music is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    272
    93

    The Sound of Music

    Julie Andrews, Christopher Plummer

    Released1965

    Directed byRobert Wise

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

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  • 3
    Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    238
    83

    Mary Poppins

    Julie Andrews, Dick Van Dyke

    Released1964

    Directed byRobert Stevenson

    Mary Poppins is a 1964 American musical fantasy film directed by Robert Stevenson and produced... more on Wikipedia

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  • 4
    The Wizard of Oz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    263
    100

    The Wizard of Oz

    Judy Garland, Margaret Hamilton

    Released1939

    Directed byMervyn LeRoy, Norman Taurog, King Vidor, George Cukor, Victor Fleming

    The Wizard of Oz is a 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 5
    The King and I is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    184
    66

    The King and I

    Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner

    Released1956

    Directed byWalter Lang

    The King and I is a 1956 musical film made by 20th Century Fox, directed by Walter Lang and... more on Wikipedia
  • 6
    The Music Man is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    119
    27

    The Music Man

    Ron Howard, Shirley Jones

    Released1962

    Directed byMorton DaCosta

    The Music Man is a 1962 musical film starring Robert Preston as Harold Hill and Shirley Jones... more on Wikipedia
  • 7
    Seven Brides for Seven Brother is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    194
    81

    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

    Julie Newmar, Jane Powell

    Released1954

    Directed byStanley Donen

    Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, is a musical film, photographed in Ansco Color in the... more on Wikipedia

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  • 8
    West Side Story is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    205
    91

    West Side Story

    Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno

    Released1961

    Directed byJerome Robbins, Robert Wise

    West Side Story is a 1961 American romantic musical drama film directed by Robert Wise and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 9
    Meet Me in St. Louis is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    170
    77

    Meet Me in St. Louis

    Judy Garland, Mary Astor

    Released1944

    Directed byVincente Minnelli

    Meet Me in St. Louis is a 1944 musical film from Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer which tells the story of... more on Wikipedia

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  • 10
    Yankee Doodle Dandy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    117
    67

    Yankee Doodle Dandy

    James Cagney, Joan Leslie

    Released1942

    Directed byMichael Curtiz

    Yankee Doodle Dandy is a 1942 American biographical musical film about George M. Cohan, known... more on Wikipedia
  • 11
    On the Town is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    124
    73

    On the Town

    Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly

    Released1949

    Directed byStanley Donen, Gene Kelly

    On the Town is a 1949 musical film with music by Leonard Bernstein and Roger Edens and book... more on Wikipedia
  • 12
    Oklahoma! is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    150
    99

    Oklahoma!

    Shirley Jones, Rod Steiger

    Released1955

    Directed byFred Zinnemann

    Oklahoma! is a 1955 musical film based on the 1943 stage musical Oklahoma!, written by... more on Wikipedia
  • 13
    Bye Bye Birdie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    141
    95

    Bye Bye Birdie

    Janet Leigh, Dick Van Dyke

    Released1963

    Directed byGeorge Sidney

    Bye Bye Birdie is a 1963 musical comedy film from Columbia Pictures. It is a film adaptation... more on Wikipedia
  • 14
    High Society is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    112
    71

    High Society

    Frank Sinatra, Grace Kelly

    Released1956

    Directed byCharles Walters

    High Society is a 1956 American musical comedy film directed by Charles Walters and starring... more on Wikipedia
  • 15
    A Star Is Born is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    105
    66

    A Star Is Born

    Judy Garland, Amanda Blake

    Released1954

    Directed byGeorge Cukor

    A Star Is Born is a 1954 American musical film written by Moss Hart, starring Judy Garland and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 16
    Anchors Aweigh is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    109
    72

    Anchors Aweigh

    Frank Sinatra, Gene Kelly

    Released1945

    Directed byGeorge Sidney

    Anchors Aweigh is a 1945 American Technicolor musical comedy film directed by George Sidney... more on Wikipedia
  • 17
    South Pacific is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    120
    84

    South Pacific

    France Nuyen, Doug McClure

    Released1958

    Directed byJoshua Logan

    South Pacific is a 1958 American romantic musical film adaptation of the Rodgers and... more on Wikipedia
  • 18
    Funny Girl is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    2
    1

    Funny Girl

    Barbra Streisand, Omar Sharif

    Released1968

    Directed byWilliam Wyler

    Funny Girl, the film, is a 1968 American biographical romantic musical comedy-drama film... more on Wikipedia

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  • 19
    Show Boat is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    105
    72

    Show Boat

    Kathryn Grayson, Ava Gardner

    Released1918

    Show Boat is a musical in two acts, with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar... more on Wikipedia

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  • 20
    Oliver! is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    117
    87

    Oliver!

    Oliver Reed, Leonard Rossiter

    Released1968

    Directed byCarol Reed

    Oliver! is a 1968 British musical drama film directed by Carol Reed and based on the stage... more on Wikipedia
  • 21
    Gigi is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    98
    69

    Gigi

    Eva Gabor, Leslie Caron

    Released1958

    Directed byVincente Minnelli

    Gigi is a 1958 American Metrocolor musical romantic comedy film directed by Vincente Minnelli.... more on Wikipedia

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  • 22
    The Harvey Girls is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    90
    61

    The Harvey Girls

    Judy Garland, Angela Lansbury

    Released1946

    Directed byGeorge Sidney, Robert Alton

    The Harvey Girls is a 1946 American musical film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer based on the... more on Wikipedia
  • 23
    Summer Stock is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    49
    20

    Summer Stock

    Judy Garland, Gene Kelly

    Released1950

    Directed byCharles Walters

    Summer Stock, known as If You Feel Like Singing in the UK, is a Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer musical... more on Wikipedia
  • 24
    Guys and Dolls is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    128
    106

    Guys and Dolls

    Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra

    Released1955

    Directed byJoseph L. Mankiewicz

    Guys and Dolls is a 1955 musical film starring Marlon Brando, Jean Simmons, Frank Sinatra and... more on Wikipedia

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  • 25
    Damn Yankees is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Very Best Classic Musical Movies, Ranked
    81
    62

    Damn Yankees

    Tab Hunter, Gwen Verdon

    Released1950

    Directed byGeorge Abbott, Stanley Donen

    Damn Yankees is a musical comedy with a book by George Abbott and Douglass Wallop, music and... more on Wikipedia
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