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The 5 Best Broadway To Film Adaptations (& 5 Worst) | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

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The 5 Best Broadway To Film Adaptations (& 5 Worst) | CBR – CBR – Comic Book Resources

Sometimes the Broadway stars shine bright on the big screen, and sometimes they burn out and crash at the box office.
There is just something wonderful about seeing a production live on Broadway, from collecting the Playbills that result from the many attended shows to the once-in-a-lifetime memories that each show can create. Of course, not everyone has the chance or ability to see a Broadway show, but that’s where the beauty of the motion picture experience can step in and help spread the joy from the streets of Manhattan to the rest of the world.
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Many films have been adapted into Broadway productions. However, many more Broadway productions have been adapted into films. Although not all translate as well on the screen compared to onstage.
Cats is a 2019 film based on the 1981 eponymous stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is also notorious for being the mastermind behind Phantom of the Opera and other classic Broadway musicals. Tom Hooper, who previously worked on Les Misérables, directed the film
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Cats was savaged by critics and audiences alike, and Webber even used just how terrible the movie is as a way to get his dog on a plane, as he explained to VarietyI wrote off and said I needed him with me at all times because I’m emotionally damaged and I must have this therapy dog,” Webber said. “The airline wrote back and said, ‘Can you prove that you really need him?’ And I said ‘Yes, just see what Hollywood did to my musical Cats.”
The Sound of Music is a 1965 film based on the 1959 stage musical with the same name. The film stars Julie Andrews as Maria, who begins the film as a nun-in-training at Nonnberg Abbey in the Austrian city of Salzburg. The Mother Abbess employs Maria at a nearby villa to care for the seven von Trapp children.
The father, Georg, raises his children with an iron fist following the death of his wife. However, Maria brings playfulness and song to the children, and they become happy again. Maria and Georg fall in love and raise the children together. The songs of The Sound of Music continue to be hummed today.
The King and I was created by the legendary duo of Rodgers and Hammerstein based on Margaret Landon’s novel, Anna and the King of Siam. The musical was adapted into an Academy-award-winning film in 1956 and the adaptations should have stopped there but badly, an animated film version was released in 1999. The King and I remains the only animated feature film Morgan Creek Entertainment created, and only resulted in half of the budget being made back at the box office. Many critics label this animated film disrespectful to the original work.
Mamma Mia! is a jukebox comedy based on the eponymous 1999 musical. The film is based on the songs of the 1970s and 1980s pop group, ABBA. The plot of the first film focuses on the life of Sophie Sheridan on the fictional Greek island of Kalokairi. Sophie, who is played by Amanda Seyfried, is about to be married and invites three men who could be her father. A sequel titled Mamma Mia! Here We Again was released in 2018 and remains the only sequel film that Meryl Streep has starred in.
A Chorus Line is a 1985 film directed by Richard Attenborough that is based on the 1975 stage musical with the same title. It stars Michael Douglas as Zach, a choreographer who critiques every move of every dancers’ performance. Zach encounters an old flame named Cassie, who hopes to be part of the chorus line.
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Zach is looking for eight dancers to join a chorus line for an upcoming Broadway production but encounters many obstacles along the way. A Chorus Line also encountered an obstacle in theaters – the film only made half of its budget at the box office.
The original 1961 film version of West Side Story was adapted from the 1957 musical with the same title and inspired by William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The film is set in 1950s New York City and focuses on the conflict over turf, which involves two teenage gangs, The Jets and The Sharks. Maria is the younger sister of Bernardo, who leads the Puerto Rican Shark gang.
Maria falls in love with a former Jet named Tony and winds up in a star-crossed lovers romance. West Side Story was adapted again by Steven Spielberg in 2021, but nothing compares to the original film version.
Man of La Mancha is a 1972 film based on the 1965 eponymous musical by Dale Wasserman. The film stars Peter O’Toole, who became widely known for his performance as T.E. Lawrence in the 1962 film Lawrence of Arabia, as both Miguel de Cervantes and Don QuixoteHere’s a musical that’s supposed to be some kind of affirmation of human hope, and all it really does is encourage whistling in the dark. What’s worse, it does so with words and ideas that would embarrass a Dale Carnegie instructor,” stated Roger Ebert in his 2-star review.
Jonathan Larson has had a resurgence in popularity thanks in part to Netflix’s 2021 biographical musical Tick, Tick… Boom!, which stars Andrew Garfield in the lead role. Larson suddenly and tragically passed away from Marfans Syndrome complications shortly before Rent was able to open on Broadway in 1996. The musical, loosely inspired by Giacomo Puccini’s 1896 opera, La Bohème, was adapted into a highly successful film in 2005. The film stars six original Broadway cast members who play characters struggling in New York City in the height of the AIDS epidemic and increasing living costs.
Why would someone ruin the masterpiece that is Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera? The film industry has done him dirty with this adaptation, along with Cats. The production of a film adaptation of the 1986 musical Phantom of the Opera was announced in 1989 but didn’t start development until 2002.
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The 2004 film stars Gerard Butler as The Phantom and Emmy Rossum as Christine. While Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical has had great success on the stage, this version meant for movie theaters was roundly, and rightfully, ignored by audiences.
Chicago is a 2002 comedic crime story based on the eponymous and successful 1975 musical. The plot follows the scandalous life of Roxie Hart, played by Renée Zellweger, during the Jazz Age in Chicago. Roxie attends a performance by Velma Kelly, played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, a famous Jazz singer who gets arrested for her husband’s murder. Roxie murders Fred Casely out of rage, and she lands herself in Cook County Jail, alongside many other female murderers. It remains one of the highest-grossing film adaptations of a Broadway musical.
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Cassidy Stephenson is a reader, writer, and video game enthusiast based outside of Nashville, TN. She is a recent graduate of Concordia University Chicago and served as the co-editor-in-chief for her campus newspaper. She now works as a Gaming Lists writer for Comic Book Resources. In her free time, she loves watching anime, listening to music, and pulling 5-stars on Genshin Impact. Follow her on Twitter for more shenanigans @Cassidy_Lee18 You can also contact her at cassidy.stephenson9@yahoo.com

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