Turning movies into musicals is a big craze now, what with "Young Frankenstein," "The Producers" and "Spider-Man: Everybody Dies" burning up Broadway stages. But there are, like, at least a hundred movies that have been turned into musicals. In a formula that just might equal big box office bucks, film studios could cram some musical numbers in there – but we wouldn't want just any movies to get this treatment. Here are a few that seem to be amenable to this procedure, even if they aren't all the kind of stories you normally see get turned into musicals.
Musicals are all about outsized emotions, so silent melodramas would be perfect to adapt into the musical form, and "Broken Blossoms" is probably the best of all silent melodramas. It is about a young girl who meets a kindly Chinese man who falls in love with her. The questionable racial content would have to be polished away for 2011, but the story could be basically unchanged – just add dancing.
If there's one thing that the musicals of today are missing, it's the murder of children. There are lots of opportunities for musical sequences here, culminating in a showstopping number featuring the main character pleading with his criminal kangaroo court that it's not his fault that he's compelled to kill children. Throw a back beat on there, you're golden.
"The Thin Man"
Francis Ford Coppola's paranoid thriller would make a great musical because it has a built-in audio component. The plot has to do with the world of audio surveilance, and the danger that accompanies it. You could even change the title from "The Conversation" to "The A Capella Jam." Boom, that's half of the job done already.
Iron Man" also has a great superhero plot, featuring the rise and also rising of a flashy and colorful superhero, who could hopefully still be played by Robert Downey, Jr. And might this lead to a full-blown "Avengers" musical? Time will tell.