Musical Comedy

[4] Guys and Dolls pits men against women and vice against virtue in a light-hearted movie musical adapted from the popular Broadway play. Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra headline as two New York gamblers who make a bet that Brando can’t woo a female missionary (Jean Simmons) to a dinner date in Havana. The date unexpectedly results in true love, but the budding romance is …

[8] Julie Andrews stars as a magical nanny who swoops into a turn-of-the-century London family’s home to help two neglected children (Karen Dotrice and Matthew Garber) reconnect with their busy-body parents. Mary Poppins is often regarded the best of Walt Disney’s live-action efforts, thanks to an effervescent combination of music and fantasy, and charismatic performances from Andrews and co-star Dick Van Dyke, who plays a …

[8.0] Burt Reynolds and Dolly Parton star in this stage musical adaptation (based on a true story) about a bordello madam and a county sheriff who fight a tabloid television reporter’s campaign to close a legendary Texas whorehouse called the Chicken Ranch. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas is a bawdy good time, with charming performances from Parton and Reynolds, fun musical numbers, and comic …

[8] If you told me I’d enjoy a movie about a unabashed gold-digger and her showgirl best friend traveling to Paris while trying to pull the wool over the eyes of a private detective attempting to catch one of them in an act of infidelity to his client’s son — I’d have said probably not. But it turns out the gold-digger is played by the …

[6.0] Barbara Stanwyck stars in this comedy about a night of multiple murders at a burlesque opera house. Between the dancers sharing a small dressing space, a few shady boyfriends and stage hands, a snooty visiting Russian princess, and an owner whose keeping secrets of his own, everyone’s a suspect. And even though women are being strangled by their own g-strings (you better believe it!), …

[4] Patrick Dennis’ 1955 best-selling novel Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade was first adapted into a stage play, then a film starring Rosalind Russell, and then a stage musical, and then into Mame, a film musical starring Lucille Ball. All the versions follow young orphaned Patrick’s adventures with his only remaining living relative, an eccentric aunt with a zest for life and a flare for …

[3] Pia Zadora and Craig Sheffer star in a no-budget sci-fi rock opera that’s so abominable, it’s almost charming. When a bunch of space dudes in pink costumes land on Earth looking for the source of rock music, they find it in Zadora’s singing. While Zadora starts to fall in love with the lead alien guy (Tom Nolan), Sheffer gets jealous and decides to stop …

[7.0] I can’t imagine a harder franchise to revive than The Muppets. They’re so innocent, so low-fi, so much a product of the 70s and 80s… is it possible for them to garner new fans, or are kids today just too busy and cynical to give felt a chance? The verdict is out (at least until the weekend box office results are in), but as …

[6.0] A handful of fun musical numbers and charismatic performances make Grease an entertaining ride. John Travolta, Stockard Channing, and Jeff Conaway are the ones who really shine. Olivia Newton-John is better when she’s singing than when she’s acting, but the fact that she was able to pour herself into those skimpy leather pants at the end should surely count for something! I wish the …

[8.0] This version of Hairspray disarms you from the very beginning notes of “Good Morning, Baltimore” and builds to one of the most joyful finales of any movie in recent memory. The musical numbers are all superbly choreographed and staged by director Adam Shankman, but it’s the last half-hour of this movie that really seals the deal for me. The climactic performance of “You Can’t …

1 2