Hollywood Musicals


The big film style from the 40’s, 50’s and even into the early 60’s was the Musical. Just did some background checks on Musicals in Film history.

In the 2000’s only one musical won best picture (Chicago 2002)
In the 1990’s there were no musicals winning best picture, If you count Disney’s Beauty and the Beast only 1 musical was nominated.
In the 1980’s none and I didn’t see any nominated
In the 1970’s none, I counted 3 nominations.
In the 1960’s there was West Side Story (1961), My Fair Lady (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), and Oliver! (1968) with many others nominated
In the 1950’s there was An American in Paris (1951), Gigi (1958) and again many others nominated
In the 1940’s Going my Way (1944) again there were many more nominated.

Now I realize that Academy awards are not a good indication of all the films made, it makes some logical sense to me that if more musicals are being made more will end up in the nomination process. That is just everyday statistics. So, I’m wondering, What happened to the musical? I may have to explore this when I have more time. The other question is, why do local community theaters always have to put on a musical? Never mind on that last question, there isn’t a budget for big special effects and action movies, I mean plays.

Post Script…
Fascinating sidebar for me. I started thinking of musicals was when I was discussing Fred Astaire with one of my daughters. I made the comment on how he made all of his dance partners look good, even the inanimate ones.

7 thoughts on “Hollywood Musicals”

  1. The two community theater groups in town put on musicals because they’re a big draw and bigger money makers than regular plays.

  2. TImes change I guess. Whether it be the nominators’ interest in musicals, other movies getting better technologically, or whathaveyou. It would be nice to see more winners in this category, or come to think of it releases. Well hey, that just may be an answer- musicals have to be released in order to win. The Addam’s Family Musical comes out next November- I wonder if that one will eventually make the big screen?

  3. I heard rumors that my favorite R&H musical (Carousel) was returning to the big screen. West Side won 10 Academy Awards in 1961.

  4. taylhis

    I’ve heard that magic shows, and fake karaoke shows make more money than the musicals!
    It isn’t just about the money, it is about our audience. The old folks like the musicals. Specifically they like the old musicals. I imagine that you could put on Fiddler on the Roof, Sound of Music, Oklahoma and make money almost every time. Some other musicals won’t make a dime, dare I say Chicago?


    Addam’s Family Musical??? What!!!


    I knew something wasn’t quite right with you. You don’t like the Music Man, and you like Carousel. 😉

  5. Hi John,

    I, for one, love musicals…and any live theatre.

    Maybe it’s the quality of the musicals that are being; I mean, I loved Hairspray, but I don’t really think it was Oscar worthy.


  6. Welcome Dawn. I like most musicals, but as far as our local community theaters go, I wish we would do fewer. I don’t sing or dance (in public or much in private for that matter), so every musical done means fewer chances for me to be on stage. Selfish, yes, but I also limit myself to roles/plays I like, so I really don’t want the theater doing it for me.

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