7 fun musical movies (that are not necessarily movies that are musicals)

Here’s a list of some great musically-oriented movies. Not musicals, necessarily. (Where I define a musical as “a movie or play where the characters up and sing a bunch of their lines, and dance around randomly in a way that has nothing to do with the plot.”) So, not musical movies, but music movies, I guess. These are about singing and playing music. (I’ll get around to the dancing later.) (Not that I’ll be doing any dancing. Or at least not that I’m willing to share. But I will make a list.)

7 fun musical (though not musical) movies

  1. This is Spinal Tap (1984)
    This movie goes up to 11. Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and Harry Shearer totally rock in this heavy metal mockumentary. Okay, the music is bad. Deliberately bad. (With song titles like “Lick my love pump.”) In spite of the bad music, this early Rob Reiner-directed movie is lots of fun. And you just gotta love the Stonehenge scene.
  2. The Commitments (1991)
    A group of unemployed, underemployed and otherwise down-on-their-luck Dubliners put together a band to sing soul. The music is great, the story is entertaining, and the music is great. Plus, the music is great. (It’s actually a fun and funny movie, too.) Features an excellent, talented, but largely little-known cast. Maria Doyle Kennedy sings an excellent cover of Aretha’s “I Never Loved a Man.”
  3. Bob Roberts (1992)
    This movie is possibly more scary than fun. Not scary in a blood-and-guts nail-biting edge-of-your-seat sort of way. Scary in a too-close-too-home political sort of way. Tim Robbins plays a liberal-bashing manipulative politician. Who sings.
  4. Little Voice (1998)
    Jane Horrocks (perhaps best known as Ab Fab‘s Bubble) can sing like others like no other. Borrowing the songs (and voices) of such folks as Judy Garland, Shirley Bassey and Marilyn Monroe, Jane Horrocks lights up the movie with her incredible range and talent. (Michael Caine also plays a memorable role as a skeezy talent scout.)
  5. O Brother Where Art Thou? (2000)
    Bluegrass music is one of the stars of this Coen brothers film. The other stars, George Clooney, John Turturro and Tim Blake Nelson, play escaped convicts in the 1930’s deep south. Among the other adventures on their odyssey, they record an old-time song that becomes a radio hit.
  6. A Mighty Wind (2003)
    The brilliant minds and faces of Best In Show, Spinal Tap and Waiting For Guffman get together again. The amazing Christopher Guest directs. This time, the mockumentary is about folk singers. The music is fun, the dialog (improvised, mind you) is funnier. (“There was abuse in my family, but it was mostly musical in nature.”)


This post is being warbled, crooned, chirped, yodeled and otherwise sung for the 3rd //engtech group writing project. Earplugs not included.

6 responses to “7 fun musical movies (that are not necessarily movies that are musicals)

  1. Hey, three of my favourite films are on that list: Tarp, O Brother, and Mighty Wind.

    None, none more black.
    They loved him up and turned him into a horny toad.
    [I can’t think of a Mighty Wind quote, sorry.]

  2. Can’t think of a Mighty Wind quote?

    “If you poked a hole in them, you’d have a really good time.”
    “Wah happened?”
    And I can’t quote it verbatim, but Bob Balaban’s mother making him wear a football helmet at chess club for safety reasons. Perhaps because of “pointy bishops.”

    Love the list!

  3. denguy-
    Cool beans. You must have good taste in movies. (I have to say though that I was confused by “Tarp”. I needed John’s help to realize that this was about “Spinal Tarp,” the lesser known sequel.)

    Glad you like the list, and thanks for the additional quotage. But you know, I think I may need your help for the dance list I promised. I really haven’t seen all that many dance movies. I have 3 favorites. Which makes for a pretty small list. You, on the other hand, have a much broader knowledge of the dance movie genre…

  4. I really liked Almost Famous, but maybe that was more about groupies.

  5. maja-
    Yeah, that was a good movie, too, and certainly musically oriented.

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