The Folk Prophet Posted August 27, 2021 Report Share Posted August 27, 2021 (edited) I watched West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof back to back last week. I can't decide which is the better movie musical. But this much I can say. They are, without a doubt, top 2 in my opinion. Objectively The Sound of Music is as good a movie musical...but less my cup o' tea....er....cocoa...I mean cup o' cocoa. If I had to choose though, I think I'd have to put West Side Story as my #1. Fiddler is phenomenal. Maybe even objectively better. It's deeper in meaning. It's filmed better (for the most part). More grounded. Less...gang-members-doing-ballet-y (which I don't hate...but....objectively....I get the critique....). But I just like West Side Story. I'm really interested in what Stephen Spielberg does with his upcoming remake. I'm talking movie musicals. Stage musicals I'm more of a Les Miz, Miss Saigon fan. But the movie of Les Miz was, perhaps, the biggest piece of junk movie musical ever made. When it comes to Sondheim, I also quite love Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods, but really only know them from the recordings, having never seen them on stage. I've seen the movies, and although Sweeney Todd is one of the better recent movie musicals, it pales compared to stage versions where the singers can actually sing. (Speaking of which, I recently came across the version with Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton. Wow! But I've been thinking and wondering... Up and into the 70s movie musicals were, in my opinion, oft times stronger than the stage versions. Now I can't directly compare to the stage versions of yesteryear, having not been alive then, but I can to the stage versions of them I've seen. And even if they didn't completely out class the stage versions, they were still really well made, good renditions of musicals. Oklahoma, South Pacific, The Sound of Music, Man of La Mancha, the afore mentioned West Side Story and Fiddler on the Roof. These are solid interpretations of musical adapted to a movie. Since the 1980s movie musicals STINK. There are rare entries that are okay-ish. But way inferior to their stage counterparts. The most egregious of these being the Tom Hooper versions of Les Miz and CATS and the awful version of Phantom. To be fair, CATS is a garbage musical anyway, in my opinion. But the movie is even worse, removing the primary meaning and plot of the stage show.* Phantom is also a terrible musical but with some wonderful, wonderful music that almost saves it. As a soundtrack it does save it. So what do they do for the movie version... ruin the ONE thing it has going for it by casting a lead that can't sing or perform the part correctly! Seriously!? There are exceptions. As I said, Sweeney Todd was well adapted. Chicago was great (though not to my personal tastes). Into the Woods was okay-ish (some disagree...it was, in some ways, pretty gutted... but that's a longer conversation that I won't go into.) But why? Why can't they adapt musicals to movies any more with any level of proficiency? It's frustrating to me. What changed? Or do I simply see the "olden day" movie musicals through rose colored glasses? * Edit: The CATS movie, however, for some reason is a bit of a guilty pleasure. Something about it was actually enjoyable. Not enough that I'd own it or watch it regularly...but.... Edited August 27, 2021 by The Folk Prophet dprh, Godless, NeuroTypical and 1 other 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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