Broadway The Best Musicals Based on Movies  

Buster McDermott
4.5k votes 330 voters 15.1k views 67 items

List Rules 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. 

1
136 37
The Lion King is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
The Lion King (1997) Mark Mancina , Elton John , Jay Rifkin - The Lion King (1994)

2
109 36
Beauty and the Beast is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Beauty and the Beast (1993) Alan Menken , Linda Woolverton , Howard Ashman - Beauty and the Beast (1991)

3
93 43
Mary Poppins is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Mary Poppins (2004) Richard M. Sherman , Robert B. Sherman , George Stiles - Mary Poppins (1964) and the book series by P.L. Travers

4
97 48
Hairspray is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Hairspray (2002) Scott Wittman , Marc Shaiman , Thomas Meehan - Hairspray (2007), which was based on the movie Hairspray (1988), dir. by John Waters

5
82 41
Newsies (2011) is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Newsies (2011) Newsies (1992)

6
85 48
The Little Mermaid is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
The Little Mermaid (2007) Alan Menken , Howard Ashman , Doug Wright - The Little Mermaid (1989)

7
77 42
Chicago is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
unlimitedbroadway added Chicago Bob Fosse , Fred Ebb , John Kander

8
67 35
Disney's Aladdin: A Musica... is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Disney's Aladdin: A Musical Spectacular (2003) Aladdin (1992)

9
73 43
Legally Blonde: The Musical is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Legally Blonde: The Musical (2007) Heather Hach , Laurence O'Keefe , Nell Benjamin - Legally Blonde (2001) and the novel by Amanda Brown

10
74 44
Little Shop of Horrors is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Little Shop of Horrors (1982) Alan Menken , Howard Ashman - Little Shop of Horrors (1960)

11
52 30
Heathers (2010) is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Heathers (2010) Heathers (1988)

12
60 41
Singin' in the Rain (1983) is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Singin' in the Rain (1983) Singin in the Rain (1952)

13
62 52
Shrek: The Musical (2008) is listed (or ranked) 13 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

14
53 44
The Producers is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
The Producers (2001) Mel Brooks , Thomas Meehan - The Producers (1968), dir. by Mel Brooks

15
48 39
Footloose is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Footloose (1998) Eric Carmen , Sammy Hagar , Tom Snow - Footloose (1984)

16
54 47
Spamalot is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Spamalot (2004) Neil Innes , John Du Prez , Eric Idle - Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975)

17
37 29
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (2002) Richard M. Sherman , Robert B. Sherman , Jeremy Sams - Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)

18
46 41
Billy Elliot the Musical is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Billy Elliot: The Musical (2005) Elton John , Lee Hall - Billy Elliot (2000)

19
40 37
Thoroughly Modern Millie is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Thoroughly Modern Millie (2002) Jeanine Tesori , Richard Morris , Dick Scanlan - Thoroughly Modern Millie (1967)

20
35 34
Elf: The Musical (2010) is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Elf: The Musical (2010) Elf (2003)

21
39 40
Sister Act the Musical is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Sister Act: The Musical (2009) Alan Menken , Glenn Slater , Cherie Steinkellner - Sister Act (1992)

22
30 30
White Christmas (2004) is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
White Christmas (2004) White Christmas (1954)

23
27 27
Snow White and the Seven Dwarf... is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1979) Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937)

24
42 46
Young Frankenstein is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Young Frankenstein (2007) Irving Berlin , Mel Brooks , Thomas Meehan - Young Frankenstein (1974), dir. by Mel Brooks

25
34 38
9 to 5 (2008) is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
9 to 5 (2008) 9 to 5 (1980)

26
30 33
A Wonderful Life (1991) is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
A Wonderful Life (1991) It's a Wonderful Life (1946)

27
29 32
Once (2011) is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Once (2011) Once (2006)

28
28 31
Seven Brides for Seven Brother... is listed (or ranked) 28 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

29
4 0
A Very Potter Musical is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
JulieBartlett added A Very Potter Musical StarKid Productions

30
27 31
Fame (1988) is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Fame (1988) Fame (1980)

31
29 34
The Wedding Singer is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
The Wedding Singer (2006) Chad Beguelin , Matthew Sklar , Tim Herlihy - The Wedding Singer (1998)

32
31 36
Kinky Boots (2012) is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Kinky Boots (2012) Kinky Boots (2005)

33
24 29
Scrooge is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Scrooge (1992) Leslie Bricusse - Scrooge (1970), which was based on the novella A Christmas Carol (1843) by Charles Dickens

34
25 31
Catch Me If You Can is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Catch Me If You Can (2009) Terrence McNally , Scott Wittman , Marc Shaiman - Catch Me If You Can (2002), which was based on the autobiography (1980) by Frank Abagnale, Jr.

35
27 35
Sunset Boulevard is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Sunset Boulevard (1991) Christopher Hampton , Don Black , Andrew Lloyd Webber - Sunset Boulevard (1950)

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24 33
42nd Street is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
42nd Street (1980) Mark Bramble , Al Dubin , Harry Warren - 42nd Street (1933), which was based on the novel (1932) by Bradford Ropes

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24 33
A Christmas Story: The Musical... is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
A Christmas Story: The Musical (2009) A Christmas Story (1983)

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26 36
The Who's Tommy is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
pigonthewing added The Who's Tommy Des McAnuff , Pete Townshend

39
28 39
Saturday Night Fever is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Saturday Night Fever (1998) Nan Knighton - Saturday Night Fever (1977)

40
19 28
Meet Me in St. Louis is listed (or ranked) 40 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)

41
22 33
Bring It On (2011) is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Bring It On (2011) Bring It On (2000)

42
26 40
High School Musical on Stage! is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
High School Musical on Stage! (2007) David Simpatico - High School Musical (2006)

43
19 30
Nine is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Nine (1982) Maury Yeston , Arthur Kopit - 8½ (1963), dir. by Federico Fellini

44
21 34
Big: the musical is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Big: The Musical (1996) John Weidman , Richard Maltby, Jr. - Big (1988)

45
23 37
Tarzan of the Apes is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Tarzan (2006) Tarzan (1999), which was based on Tarzan of the Apes (1912) by Edgar Rice Burroughs

46
20 33
Carrie is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Carrie (1988) Dean Pitchford , Lawrence D. Cohen -  Carrie (1976)

47
21 35
Victor/Victoria is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Victor/Victoria (1995) Blake Edwards , Frank Wildhorn , Leslie Bricusse - Victor Victoria (1982)

48
20 35
Xanadu (2007) is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Xanadu (2007)  Xanadu (1980), which was based on the movie Down to Earth (1947)

49
17 31
Big Fish (2013) is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Big Fish (2013) Big Fish (2003), which was based on the novel Big Fish: A Novel of Mythic Proportions (1998) by Daniel Wallace

50
21 38
Ghost the Musical is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Musicals Based on Movies
Ghost (2011) Glen Ballard , Bruce Joel Rubin , David A. Stewart - Ghost (1990)