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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Best Broadway to Film Adaptations.

The Best Broadway to Film Adaptations.
This past weekend, my wife and I had the pleasure of seeing Les Miserables in theaters. For those of you who don’t know, the globally successful Broadway show is considered one of the greatest musicals of all-time. Based in early 19th century France, the story of Jean Valjean’s redemption includes tales of romance, freedom, religion, and rebellion. As my wife and I walked out of the theater, we each had mixed reviews of the film. While overall, we absolutely liked the film, we both admitted that the film was lacking in certain areas. Beyond the actors used instead of singers and the horrible camera work, the film was quite enjoyable. It had me thinking of some other great Broadway shows that were brought to the big screen. Here are some of the best film adaptations.

After some early critics when it first came out in the 70s, the mid 90s revival got rave reviews and sparked an Oscar winning film. Starring Catherine Zeta Jones, Renee Zellweger, Richard Gere, Queen Latifah and John C. Reily, the film had a star studded cast. With massive box office success the film received critical acclaim. Beyond the Art, Costume and Sound awards, Catherine Zeta Jones took home the Best Supporting Oscar while the film took home the Best Picture Oscar. Basically the entire cast was nominated. Simply put, this was a success.

Sound of Music
This 1959 film will in eternity. With cult classics like “My Favorite Things”, “Do-Re-Mi” and “The Sound Of Music”, people will be singing these songs for centuries to come. The film is iconic in its filmmaking, visual scenery and of course the music. This is definitely a classic that everyone should see.

Little Shop Of Horrors
I grew up watching this film. Based on the 1986 musical, the film followed the story of a nerdy florist who begins to feed a raunchy plant with human blood. Starring Rick Moranis and Steve Martin the film became a home-video cult hit. Nominated for two awards, this film was quite successful despite the below average singing.

The Producers
Though I had never seen this on Broadway, the film-to-show-to-film production mimicked the Broadway show as much as possible, some felt almost too much. But there is no denying the entertainment value of this show which is still filling up crossword puzzles around the world.

Since it began on Broadway on 1981, Dreamgirls was just waiting to be made into a film. The Motown musical was at one point a coveted role, attracting the likes of Whitney Houston and Lauryn Hill. Eventually the film starred Beyonce Knowles and Jennifer Hudson, who landed an Oscar win for her role. Though not a mind blowing film, the film did a great job and was a great adaption of the film.

In my opinion, this was one of the best adaptations in a long time. The film which starred most of the original cast was excellently done. The songs were great and the film felt like a film while still paying true homage to the original ground breaking show.

West Side Story
Based on the 1957 musical based on Romeo and Juliet, the film about the rival Jets and Sharks and a love story is an all-time favorite play. This is without a doubt the most successful film adaptation of all-time. With a stunning 10 Oscar wins, including Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor and Actress, no other stage-to-film adaptation comes close.

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