9 Movies That Should Be Made Into Musicals
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.
Silent horror could make even better musicals than silent melodrama, and this is one of the quintessential silent horror movies. Added bonus: You wouldn't even have to pay Bram Stoker's family for using the "Dracula" story, since "Nosferatu" is "Dracula" with all the names changed.
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"
It's often been said that the sparkling entertainment of "The Thin Man" is a Hollywood musical with the musical sequences cut out, so why not throw some songs back in there? The plot's about a wealthy family that gets involved in a murder, and it's up to quasi-alcoholic detective Nick Charles to crack the case. Just add some songs about how fun it is to be rich and drunk in the 30s and you've got yourself the next hit musical.
It might be a good strategy to musical-ize movies that already have a famous song associated with them. In the case of "Casablanca," that song is the immortal "As Time Goes By," which could definitely be improved by some old-fashioned razzle dazzle. Here's another song suggestion "Victor is Really Boring." It's a ballad.
"Invasion of the Body Snatchers"
This would be a musical about the perils of conformity, which would probably resonate with the left-of-center audiences that musicals often attract. Also, body-snatching aliens. Any stage-designer worth his stuff would have a field day with the oozing replicating pods.
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.
Not everybody likes musicals, but everybody does like "Rocky." Plus, this is already a series of movies that's strongly associated with music. There are at least two songs that everyone calls "The 'Rocky' Song," so you've already got a musical foundation on which to build your tower of music. And the underdog element will also be a perfect fit for the outsized drama of musicals.
Popularity in the world of musicals is all about innovation, and what better opportunity for innovation than a fully functional battlesuit? "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.