I’m sure most of you have danced with Gene Kelly in the rain, followed Dorothy down the Yellow Brick Road and battled it out with the Sharks and the Jets in the NYC streets. But have you taken center stage with Natalie Wood? Or gone out on the town with Frank Sinatra?
There are countless showstopper musicals that are just as entertaining, if not more so, than the more well known ones. So I’m sharing five of my favorites you may not have heard of. From comedies to dramas, all my picks are composed of sensational stories, steps and scores you’re sure to love.
Swing Time (1936)
Put on your dancin’ shoes and sway the night away with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in their best collaboration, an Oscar winner for Best Music. When an engaged entertainer (Astaire) heads to the big city to make big money, he winds up falling for his dance partner (Rogers) in this heavenly romance that’s as smooth as the footwork in it.
On the Town (1949)
Set your sights on NYC with three sailors (Gene Kelly, Frank Sinatra and Jules Munshin) on leave for 24 hours. On the hunt for a good time and some good gals, they take you sightseeing all over the city as they track down Ms. Turnstiles (Vera Ellen)—the dame who stole a sailor’s heart. And you’ll be tapping your toes, as it’s also an Oscar winner for Best Music.
There’s No Business Like Show Business (1954)
Travel from vaudeville to Broadway with the Five Donahues, a passionate family of professional performers who will make you want to get up and groove. Between Ethel Merman‘s powerhouse pipes, Donald O’Connor’s dance moves and Marilyn Monroe‘s sex appeal, this Oscar-nominated film will entertain its way into your heart.
Love Me or Leave Me (1955)
Get in the spotlight with Ruth Etting (Doris Day) in this true tale of a 1920s torch singer and her volatile journey from back-alley club entertainer to the toast of Broadway. Day ditches her good-girl image and gives a powerfully profound performance as brilliant as her voice, guaranteed to move you to tears.
Let Mama Rose (Rosalind Russell) and her performing daughter duo entertain you. After Louise (Natalie Wood), the daughter she deems less talented, becomes the burlesque star of Broadway, Mama leaves her hopes and heart on the stage with a show-biz swan song that will make you stand up and applaud.
If you love a good show tune, add these flicks to your must-watch list.
What’s your favorite classic movie musical? Share your picks in the comments section below.