Best Romantic Musicals
Musicals also known as “sing and dance movies” are a popular film genre (which transpired with the emergence of talking motion pictures in the history of cinema) that encompass songs, music, dance and choreography.
They found their roots from stage musicals; hence musical films still wear the theatrical characteristics with musical numbers, dance sequences, extravagant background and the characters’ performances resembling those of the theatres’. And, Romantic musical movies carry all these elements, that is, the singing and dancing by the characters, but with a strong underlying theme of “romance” on the plot. Romantic Musicals are entertaining, and viewed more of an escapist form of cinema, and love, or success becomes the quest of main characters.
There are hundreds of romance musicals, and we have compiled some top ones for you on the list below. Please enjoy and feel free to send us suggestions.
West Side Story
Starring Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris
Directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins
Overview: A retelling of the classic Shakespeare play “Romeo and Juliet” set in New York City in the 1960s. Converted from the stage musical, West Side Story is one of the top romantic movies, alive with energetic dance scenes, bright Technicolor, stirring music and heartfelt and romantic lyrics.
My Fair Lady
Starring Audrey Hepburn, Rex Harrison, Stanley Holloway
Directed By George Cukor
Overview: Probably the most famous retelling of Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion, “My Fair Lady” is a romance classic, adapted from the Learner and Lowe stage musical of the same name. After making a bet with one of his friends, Higgins takes in the “guttersnipe” Eliza, promising to make her a lady, what he didn’t expect was for love to slowly blossom.
Meet Me in St. Louis
Starring: Judy Garland, Margaret O’Brien, Tom Drake
Directed By Vincente Minelli
Overview: Another grand and colorful MGM musical, “Meet Me in St. Louis” is the sweet and innocent story which follows the lives of four sisters throughout one year, during first-loves and childhood uncertainties. Including such well-known songs as “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” and “The Trolley Song”.
Starring Nicole Kidman, Ewan McGregor, Jim Broadbent
Directed By Baz Luhrman
Overview: Retelling of the classic romantic opera, “La Traviata”, a young penniless poet falls madly in love with a beautiful, doomed courtesan. The movie is filled with pop and classical music, bright vivid colors, elaborate dance numbers and over the top sets, which could only be accomplished successfully by Baz Luhrman.
Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
Starring: Howard Keel, Jane Powell, Julie Newmar
Directed by Stanley Donen
Overview: Who would have thought that a love story based on Plutarch’s “The Rape of the Sabine Women” could be so enjoyable, charming and family-friendly? The story of seven brothers, so desperately in love that they are willing to kidnap their true loves in the midst of a snowy Oregon winter. Full of lively song and dances in MGM-style.
Editor's Pick: Watch Seven Brides for Seven Brothers Movie Trailer
Audrey Hepburn, Fred Astaire, Kay Thompson, Michael Auclair
Directed By Stanley Donen
Overview: Another retelling of Bernard Shaw’s “Pygmalion”, this time with Audrey Hepburn as a timid bookshop clerk, discovered by photographer Fred Astaire. Audrey Hepburn is whisked away to Paris to be the next new face in fashion photography but soon love brews between Astaire and Hepburn. Full of wonderful dances set to the impeccable score of George and Ira Gerswhin.
Starring Grace Kelly, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra
Directed by Charles Walters
Overview: A musical version of the very popular movie, “The Philadelphia Story”, starring three of the biggest stars of the period and produced by MGM, the studio known for magnificent, elaborate musicals. Can successful jazz musician Dexter win back his ex-wife before she marries a bland, boring gentleman? Comedy ensues as Dexter’s plan to learn about his ex-wife’s upcoming marriage backfires when the reporter he sends to find out about her marriage falls in love with her as well. Full of wonderful songs by Cole Porter.
Singing in the Rain
Starring Gene Kelly, Debbie Reynolds, Donald O’Connor
Directed By Stanley Donen, Gene Kelly
Overview: One of the most celebrated and well-loved movie musicals from MGM, “Singing in the Rain” is full of romance, drama and comedy. With a variety of beautiful dance numbers, from Gene Kelly’s famous dance in the rain, to elaborate Busby Berkeley style sequences. A wonderful satire of the transition from silent movies to talkies, with a charming love story to top it off.
Starring Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers
Directed By Mark Sandrich
Overview: Considered the best-known work of the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers team, “Top Hat” is described as a screwball musical comedy, in which Fred Astaire’s character tries to win the heart of Ginger Rogers. Full of characteristically beautiful dance numbers from the famous duo, along with catchy tunes from Iriving Berlin, including the famous, “Cheek to Cheek”.
The King and I
Starring Deborah Kerr, Yul Brynner, Rita Moreno
Directed by Walter Lang
Overview: Rogers and Hammerstein’s movie musical about a widow who becomes the governess for the children of the King of Siam. Friendship and love soon develops between the King and the governess, but for the King will love overcome duty to his country? The exotic sets are vivid in bright Technicolor, with many memorable song and dance scenes, such as, “Shall We Dance?” and the always romantic, “We Kiss in the Shadow”.
Starring Amy Adams, Patrick Dempsey, Susan Sarandon, and James Marsden
Directed By: Kevin Lima
Overview: A wonderful Disney creation, mixing aspects of live-action musical, with wonderful cartoon animation, tied together by a modern fairy tale. “Enchanted” follows Princess Giselle after she is tricked by her evil Stepmother Narissa from the fairy-tale land of Andulusia to real-world New York. As her fairy-tale prince follows her, Princess Giselle begins to fall in love with her New York Prince. With music and lyrics by Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz, the movie is brought to life by Amy Adams, as the lovable Princess Giselle.
The Phantom of the Opera
Starring Emmy Rossum, Gerard Butler, Miranda Richardson
Directed By Joel Schumacher
Overview: A movie adaptation of the widely popular stage musical of the same name, director Joel Schumacher takes advantage of what can be done in film but not on stage. This movie is sheer spectacle, with huge elaborate sets and very dramatic lighting and camera work, however the love story is still the main heart of this musical.