10 Best Jukebox Musical Movies from Hollywood’s Golden Age, Ranked


For the reason that early days of cinema, musical films have been an ever-changing style and have been popularized by classics resembling The Wizard of Oz, West Aspect Story, and Singin’ within the Rain. Musical films have been at their prime throughout Hollywood’s Golden Age, giving audiences timeless songs and dance numbers that proceed to rank as all-time favorites amongst many cinephiles, together with The Sound of Music and Meet Me in St. Louis. Whereas there may be an infinite listing of titles that reign as among the biggest musical movies of all time, the jukebox musical is a subgenre that continues to be to be admired by audiences in the present day.




A jukebox musical is an adaptation of a stage manufacturing, novel, or movie which options established widespread songs and whereas the Golden Age of Hollywood was the prime time for brand spanking new musicals, there was additionally a justifiable share of jukebox musicals that paved the way in which for more moderen hits like Throughout the Universe, Rocketman, and Moulin Rouge. With notorious movies resembling Vincente Minnelli’s The Band Wagon, Love Me or Depart Me, and Yankee Doodle Dandy, these are the ten finest jukebox musical films from Hollywood’s Golden Age, ranked.


10 ‘Deep in My Coronary heart’ (1954)

Directed by Stanley Donen


José Ferrer stars in Deep in My Coronary heart because the famed American composer, Sigmund Romberg, who, whereas working in varied cafés and eating places all through New York Metropolis, organizes his personal orchestra and manages to publish just a few songs that result in Romberg’s preliminary success. He quickly strikes to Broadway, the place he composes music for widespread musicals, and operettas and finally transitions into composing among the biggest movie scores of the twentieth century.

Romberg is finest recognized for composing the music for the traditional operettas, The Pupil Prince, The Desert Music, and The New Moon. Deep in My Coronary heart was considered one of MGM Studios’ last biographical musical movies in regards to the lives of well-known composers and options among the studio’s greatest stars, together with Rosemary Clooney, Walter Pidgeon, and Paul Henreid. Regardless of being a business success, Deep in My Coronary heart wasn’t a giant hit with the critics, who famous it as being filled with traditional clichés, however the music and string of musical numbers make Deep in My Coronary heart an entertaining jukebox musical of Hollywood’s Golden Age.


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9 ‘Rock Across the Clock’ (1956)

Directed by Fred F. Sears

Promoter, Steve Hollis (Johnny Johnston), notices how massive band music is starting to fade out and turns into annoyed with the altering instances, however when he hears rock-and-rollers, Invoice Haley and the Comets, carry out at an occasion in New York, he instantly indicators the band to a contract. As Hollis books gig after gig for his new small-town act, Billy Haley and his Comets take off and make musical historical past.


Rock Across the Clock is a fictionalized jukebox musical movie in regards to the discovery of rock and roll music and options real-life rockers, Billy Haley and the Comets. The movie options a number of of the band’s widespread hit songs, together with R-O-C-Ok, See Ya Later Alligator, and naturally, Rock Across the Clock, which many could acknowledge as the theme song for the hit ABC show, Happy Days. Rock Across the Clock was an enormous field workplace success and was additionally the start line of the traditional jukebox musical movie, with others following resembling Rock, Rock, Rock, and The Large Beat. Contemplating the immense reputation of rock and roll music on the time and the affect Rock Across the Clock had on future jukebox musical movies, it ranks as top-of-the-line from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

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8 ‘Present Boat’ (1951)

Directed by George Sidney

When the main couple, Steve and Julie Baker (Robert Sterling, Ava Gardner) are pressured to depart the present boat, Cotton Blossom, the proprietor (Joe E. Brown) casts his daughter, Magnolia Hawks (Kathryn Grayson), with Gaylord Ravenal (Howard Keel) because the boat’s important attraction. Hawks and Ravenal are a large success and the 2 finally fall head over heels in love with one another, and after they tie the knot, their relationship sadly turns right into a turbulent marriage.


Present Boat is an adaptation of the favored 1927 stage musical by the identical identify and ended up being the second highest-grossing movie of 1951. The film marked the third adaptation of the manufacturing and was probably the most financially profitable model for MGM Studios. Critics praised Present Boat for its distinctive use of coloration, total riveting performances, and the wealthy musical numbers that remained true to the unique manufacturing. Present Boat is taken into account to be top-of-the-line diversifications of the enduring musical and, between its all-star forged and visible enchantment, it ranks as top-of-the-line jukebox musicals of Hollywood’s Golden Age.

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7 ‘Love Me or Depart Me’ (1955)

Directed by Charles Vidor


When a small-time Chicago prison, Martin Snyder (James Cagney), discovers a younger singer and dancer, Ruth Etting (Doris Day), he takes her below his wing as her supervisor with guarantees of stardom. The 2 subsequently start to fall in love and get married. Below her husband’s administration, Snyder makes good on his promise as Etting’s profession takes off, and her star begins to rise, however as she continues to achieve notoriety, Snyder’s obsessive and controlling conduct over her quickly turns into an issue for her profession and their happiness.

Love Me or Depart Me is a fictionalized account of well-known jazz singer and Broadway star, Ruth Etting, who rose to fame in the course of the Twenties and endured a poisonous relationship along with her husband and supervisor, Moe Snyder. The movie marked considered one of Day’s first main hits and allowed her to showcase her singing voice and dance strikes with established Warner Bros. star, Cagney, who was some of the underrated triple threats. Love Me or Depart Me earned a number of Academy Award nominations, together with Finest Music and Finest Actor for Cagney, and ended up successful for Finest Movement Image Story. The electrical performances and chemistry between Cagney and Day plus the movie’s immense success is what makes Love Me or Depart Me top-of-the-line jukebox musicals to return out of Hollywood’s Golden Age.


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6 ‘The Band Wagon’ (1953)

Directed by Vincente Minnelli

Famed music and danceman, Fred Astaire, stars in The Band Wagon as a well-known musical star, Tony Hunter, who feels as if his profession is beginning to fizzle out. When two of his buddies write a Broadway present to assist enhance his profession, Hunter thinks issues are beginning to lookup, however his hope is rapidly dashed after a younger dancer, Gaby Gerard (Cyd Charisse), is forged as his main woman. Regardless of Hunter’s preliminary cynicism about his youthful co-star, issues quickly take an surprising flip because the present goes on.


Regardless of being a flop on the field workplace, The Band Wagon is taken into account to be considered one of MGM’s best musical movies and options a number of music and dance numbers from the 1931 Broadway musical by the identical identify, which starred Astaire and his sister, Adele Astaire. With choreography by the legendary Michael Kidd, The Band Wagon showcases two of Hollywood’s biggest dancers of all time who each make every step look totally easy. The film earned a number of Oscar nominations, together with Finest Costume Design, Finest Music, and Finest Writing. With Astaire and Charisse main the image and the toe-tapping musical numbers, The Band Wagon is a top-notch jukebox musical from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

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5 ‘Easter Parade’ (1948)

Directed by Charles Walters

Don Hewes (Fred Astaire) is a well-known Broadway star who, after his dancing companion (Ann Miller) decides to embark on a solo profession, thinks he can flip the following dancer he sees into her alternative. When he meets a younger inexperienced performer, Hannah (Judy Garland), he struggles to mould her into her very best companion, however as he begins to fall in love along with her, he realizes that he should let Hannah develop into her personal form of dancing sneakers if she is ever to succeed in her full potential.


Astaire is paired with one other unbelievable star, Garland, within the widespread musical hit, Easter Parade, which options a number of of Irving Berlin‘s hit songs, together with “Steppin’ Out With My Child” and “We’re a Couple of Swells.” Based on Turner Classic Movies, Astaire had retired from present enterprise two years earlier, however when the unique star of the movie, Gene Kelly, broke his ankle, Astaire crammed in and reclaimed his standing as considered one of MGM Studio’s high stars. Whereas Kelly and Garland had confirmed to be an epic duo, Astaire and Garland shine simply as brilliant on this very important musical movie, which was the highest-grossing movie of the 12 months, making Easter Parade an distinctive jukebox musical movie from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

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4 ‘An American in Paris’ (1951)

Directed by Vincente Minnelli

Picture by way of Loew’s Inc.


On the finish of World Conflict II, American struggle veteran, Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly) stays in Paris to turn into a painter and falls in love with an area girl, Lise (Leslie Caron). When Mulligan’s paintings catches the eye of a rich American heiress, Milo Roberts (Nina Foch), his profession begins to look promising, however he quickly realizes that Roberts is curious about extra than simply his portray expertise.

The musical romantic comedy, An American in Paris, was impressed by the 1928 tone poem of the identical identify by American composer and pianist, George Gershwin. The film options spectacular musical numbers choreographed by Kelly and tailor-made to a number of songs by Gershwin, together with “I’ve Acquired Rhythm” and “Love is Right here to Keep.” Whereas your complete forged is elegant, Kelly runs away with the image and by no means misses a beat in any of his personally styled dance routines. An American in Paris was a large success, incomes a number of Academy Award nominations, successful seven, together with Finest Story and Screenplay, Finest Costume Design, and Finest Image, qualifying it to be one of many Golden Age’s finest jukebox musical movies.


An American in Paris

Launch Date
September 26, 1951

Director
Vincente Minnelli

Forged
Gene Kelly , Leslie Caron , Oscar Levant , Georges Guétary , Nina Foch , The American In Paris Ballet

Runtime
113

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3 ‘Yankee Doodle Dandy’ (1942)

Directed by Michael Curtiz

James Cagney stars in his Oscar-winning function as Broadway legend, George M. Cohan, who, whereas visiting the White Home to obtain the Congressional Gold Medal, displays on his life and the monumental achievements of his profession. By way of a sequence of flashbacks, he remembers performing as a toddler in Vaudeville together with his household and struggling as an aspiring songwriter to his success as an actor, director, and author who gained fame for patriotic songs resembling “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “Over There,” and “You are a Grand Previous Flag.”


Cagney exhibits off his unbelievable expertise as a triple menace within the large hit, Yankee Doodle Dandy, which obtained overwhelming reward from audiences and critics. The movie is filled with lighthearted humor and real sentiment in the direction of Cohan’s profession and has been considered top-of-the-line and most correct biographical movies in historical past. Yankee Doodle Dandy earned eight Academy Award nominations, together with Finest Image and Finest Supporting Actor for Walter Huston, and ended up successful for Finest Actor, Finest Music, and Finest Sound Recording. With Cagney’s award-winning efficiency and the movie’s total homage to some of the outstanding figures on Broadway, it makes Yankee Doodle Dandy top-of-the-line jukebox musicals from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

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2 ‘Meet Me in St. Louis’ (1944)

Directed by Vincente Minnelli

Judy Garland standing with other women and smiling in Meet Me in St. Louis
Picture by way of Loew’s, Inc.


In. St. Louis, Missouri, the kids within the Smith household expertise the inevitable life modifications resembling younger love, going through childhood fears, and rising into younger mature people whereas the nation goes by means of a sequence of modifications. The household’s second-oldest daughter, Esther (Judy Garland), falls in love with the boy subsequent door and as they construct a relationship by means of the 4 seasons of the 12 months, their love is examined by unexpected occasions that would tear them aside.

Meet Me in St. Louis is one of Garland’s signature films in addition to MGM’s most profitable musical in the course of the Nineteen Forties. The film is predicated on the 1942 novel by the identical identify written by Sally Benson and has turn into a favourite amongst film followers in the course of the Christmas holidays. Directed by her future husband, Vincente Minnelli, Garland is astonishing as the beautiful Esther who learns conventional classes about life and romance on the flip of the century. Meet Me in St. Louis was the second-highest-grossing movie of the 12 months and songs carried out by Garland resembling “The Trolley Music” and “Have Your self a Merry Little Christmas,” grew to become staples in her legacy. Garland’s showstopping efficiency, her iconic musical tunes, and the movie’s basic success and vitality in cinema historical past make Meet Me in St. Louis an important Golden Age jukebox musical movie.


Meet Me in St. Louis

Launch Date
November 28, 1944

Director
Vincente Minnelli

Forged
Judy Garland , Margaret O’Brien , Mary Astor , Lucille Bremer , Leon Ames , Tom Drake

Runtime
113

Fundamental Style
Household

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1 ‘Singin’ within the Rain’ (1952)

Directed by Gene Kelly & Stanley Donen

Donald O'Connor as Cosmo Brown, Debbie Reynolds as Kathy Selden, and Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood huddling in Singin' in the Rain
Picture by way of Loew’s Inc.

When silent movies are changed with Talkies, famed film star, Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly), will get the concept to show his upcoming movie right into a musical, however regardless of the studio’s finest efforts, his frequent co-star, Lena Lamont (Jean Hagen), does not have an interesting voice. Lockwood crosses paths with an aspiring younger actress, Kathy Seldon (Debbie Reynolds), who, in change for a studio contract, agrees to her voice being dubbed for Lamont’s and shortly, Lockwood finds himself falling in love with the beautiful Kathy.


Singin’ within the Rain is a quintessential romantic comedy musical co-directed and choreographed by Kelly and his frequent collaborator, Stanley Donen. The movie’s titular music was first featured within the 1929 Broadway manufacturing, The Hollywood Music Field Income, and was the inspiration behind the movie’s title. One other widespread music from the film, “Make ‘Em Chuckle,” carried out by Donald O’Connor, is intently primarily based on Cole Porter‘s “Be a Clown.” Regardless of being an preliminary modest hit, Singin’ within the Rain is in the present day considered one of many biggest musical movies of all time recognized for the gorgeous set design, costuming plus dazzling singing and dance routines that make it the all-time finest jukebox musical from Hollywood’s Golden Age.

Singin in the Rain

Launch Date
April 9, 1952

Director
Stanley Donen , Gene Kelly

Forged
Gene Kelly , Donald O’Connor , Debbie Reynolds , Jean Hagen , Millard Mitchell , Cyd Charisse

Runtime
103


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KEEP READING: 10 Most Memorable Musicals from Hollywood’s Golden Age


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