As an adult, you probably think about your health more than ever before. Our culture tells us to get to the gym, eat healthy diets, and take supplements to get our bodies on the right track. And while you can certainly invest in your health using high quality products from Metagenics, Standard Process, and Terry Naturally, provoking joy and excitement can give you a mental boost that could improve your physical wellbeing.
This is why most popular musicals are upbeat and sunny. Sure, there are some dour dirges thrown in, and the occasional tragic tale, but the modern musical is almost always about singin’ your cares away. Here are the best examples ever to grace the silver screen.
Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
“Singin’ in the Rain” persists as an American film classic for numerous reasons. The 1950’s homage to the silent film era that came before was a revolution in craft and creativity, expanding what was possible with the Hollywood equipment and best practices of the day. As a result, the handbuilt sets and dynamic performances of the stars carry a weight that is absent in the greenscreen and CGI movies we know today. And that doesn’t even take into account the songs.
Songs by Nacio Brown and Arthur Freed have now been sung by generations of moviegoers. Even if you’ve never seen “Singin’ in the Rain,” you can still hum its title tune. Whether or not you have any connection to the era Singin’ evokes, the craft and nostalgia dripping from every note can transport you to a happy place.
The Sound of Music (1965)
“The Sound of Music” remains one of the most bulletproof song cycles in cinematic history, as well as one of most compelling stories to go along with a lyrical score. Songs like “Favorite Things” have been studied for decades, because of their complexity and catchiness, and you probably know a few of them even if you haven’t seen the film.
Beyond the score, “The Sound of Music” remains relevant because of the story it tells. The film is set in Austria, just as Hitler begins to stoke the events in nearby Germany that led to World War II. The film masterfully balances the concerns of a group of children and their nanny, while faraway anxieties build to such a pitch that they can no longer be ignored.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The “Wizard of Oz” might be the most recognizable movie released in the 1930’s to audiences of the present day. And while most 30’s media doesn’t have any relevance to today’s viewers, The “Wizard of Oz” somehow stands the test of time. Much can be said about the film’s opulent set design, the still-surprising transition from black and white to color, and the iconic songs that still contain 2020-compatible earworms. However, it may be the central performance of Judy Garland that is the most compelling reason to watch The “Wizard of Oz” today.
Judy Garland is still a cultural icon, even decades after her death, and this movie shows why. Equally gifted at singing, dancing, and commanding powerful reactions as an actress, Garland’s Dorothy character never gets overshadowed by the wildly colorful surroundings, creatures, and characters of Oz. With Garland at the center, Oz somehow seems timeless, even modern, even though this film was made nearly a century ago.
No list of the best movie musicals of all time would be complete without these three entries. You could certainly include others, like “Grease,” “West Side Story,” “Mary Poppins,” “Hairspray,” “Mamma Mia,” or “Fiddler on the Roof,” but this trio of classics may be the best of the bunch, even among other cherished and respected company.