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'Grease' Is The Word: No1 All Time Musical
Grease (1978)
© Paramount Pictures
Posted: 29 Dec 2003 Genre: All
By: News Desk
  'Grease' Is The Word: No1 All Time Musical  
  The 1978 musical ‘Grease’ starring John Travolta and Olivia Newton John was voted number one favourite musical after UK TV station Channel 4 tested the nation to see if they really new their musicals. And indeed they did as some of the greatest musicals of both stage and screen notched up key spots in the all time top 100.

‘Grease’ kept family musical 'The Sound Of Music' in second place with the classic 1939 musical 'Wizard of Oz' taking the third spot. The musical score by Leonard Bernstein for the 1961 musical 'West Side Story' helped it into fourth place with another Julie Andrews appearance at five with the wonderful 'Mary Poppins' from 1964.

'Singin' In The Rain' from 1952 sees Gene Kelly and 19-year-old newcomer Debbie Reynolds set the screen alight. Despite Kelly's reputed temperature of 103 whilst filming the title song, it remains one of the most memorable musical scenes ever. Tim Curry's performance as Frank-N-Furter sealed the number seven musical’s position in history as 'The Rocky Horror Picture Show' instantly gained cult status. The film also stars a very young Susan Sarandon as Janet and rocker Meatloaf.

The most recent musical to appear in the top 100 poll is 'Chicago' from 2002 at number eight. It stars the Hollywood trio of Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere and Renée Zellweger. Based on the original West-End & Broadway stage show the film captured moviegoers hearts and picked up an array of Oscars. The late Lionel Bart's musical 'Oliver' is brought to life by British director Carol Reed. At number nine the 1968 film is a lavish slant on the Dickens novel with many memorable performances including Ron Moody as Fagin.

Number ten in the top 100 musicals is the surreal, exotic, lavish and exuberant 'Moulin rouge'. With an extraordinary score by composer Craig Armstrong the film takes many classic tracks including Madonna's 'Like A Virgin' and delivers them in a unique way. With classic performances by Jim Broadbent as Harold Zigler and the divine Nicole Kidman as Satine, director Baz Lurhmann mixes lavish sets & costumes with unique imagery and the classic score. Scottish actor Ewan McGregor puts in a popular performance as poet Christian and gets to test his vocal skills.

The rest of the top 100 contain many classic musicals (and a few not so classic!) ranging from Bollywood to Jazz, rock to punk and everything in between. Proving that the genre is alive and well be it in the theatre or on the screen.

The Top 20 (of 100) as voted by the public in Channel 4's Top 100 Musicals.

1. Grease (1978)
2. The Sound Of Music (1965)
3. The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
4. West Side Story (1961)
5. Mary Poppins (1964)
6. Singin' In The Rain (1952)
7. Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)
8. Chicago (2002)
9. Oliver (1968)
10. Moulin Rouge (2001)
11. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (1968)
12. My Fair Lady (1964)
13. Buffy The Vampire Slayer - Once More With Feeling (TV one-off)
14. The Lion King (1994)
15. Les Miserables (1985)
16. Willy Wonka And The Chocolate Factory (1971)
17. Cabaret (1972)
18. Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
19. Bugsy Malone (1976)
20. Phantom Of The Opera (1986)
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