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Although today is becoming more and more usual for a movie, musical or not, to became a stage musical, there was a time when the inverse was very common.

It all began in 1929, when the movies started to talk. Suddenly musicals seemed a sure bet and the best place to find material was the Broadway stage. As you can guess Hollywood wouldn’t leave the material intact and as a result each show was adapted according to one of the following rules:

  • keeping almost the entire score and be faithful to the show (OKLAHOMA!);
  • let’s eliminate most of the songs, add new ones and “improve” the story (CABARET);
  • give me members of the original cast or stars who can sing and dance (DAMN YANKEES);
  • using big star names and dubbing them if necessary (MY FAIR LADY);
  • there’s no need for musical numbers (IRMA LA DOUCE).

Of course there are other variations, but they can all be fitted in one of those rules.

The golden age of Hollywood adaptations of Broadway shows was the 50s and 60s, with several titles reaching the box office top ten of the year (GUYS AND DOLLS), others becoming huge hits (THE SOUND OF MUSIC) and even winning the Oscar for Best Picture (OLIVER!).

There were a few hits in the 70s (GREASE) but the public didn’t seemed very interested in the genre in general and that combined with the escalating production prices put future adaptations on the hold. But now, thanks to the success of the film adaptation of CHICAGO, it seems that Hollywood is giving a second look to the Broadway Musical.

Many of those movies have already been released on DVD, while others are expecting for someone to remember they exist. Anyway, here you can find a list as complete as possible and in alphabetic order of all the titles you may find on DVD, all you have to do is click on the logo-letters to enter each page.

by Jorge T. Santos (2005)


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