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Movie musicals without show tunes?
May 21, 2012 5:01 AM   Subscribe

What movies are like "The Blues Brothers" and "O Brother Where Art Thou" in that they have music, but not in the "show tunes" style of most musicals?
posted by TheophileEscargot to Media & Arts (70 answers total) 27 users marked this as a favorite
 
Moulin Rouge?
posted by Pomo at 5:03 AM on May 21, 2012


My Best Friend's Wedding, sort of.
posted by Malla at 5:04 AM on May 21, 2012


Sister Act 1 and 2
posted by nicebookrack at 5:07 AM on May 21, 2012


The Wicker Man
posted by Grangousier at 5:09 AM on May 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Maybe some movies that were later adapted into more traditional musicals, like the original Hairspray or Footloose?
posted by sparrow89 at 5:09 AM on May 21, 2012


The Night of the Hunter
posted by hydrophonic at 5:11 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Commitments
posted by nebulawindphone at 5:14 AM on May 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


I can think of three examples for different ways of looking at this question. All or none of them might be what you're after:
  1. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou has, in the film but not directly related to the plot, Seu Jorge singing David Bowie songs in Portuguese. (Here's Life on Mars, and the album on Spotify.)
  2. Much of Magnolia is based around Aimee Mann songs, including the famous Wise Up montage. The songs were not written for the film but feature heavily. (Spotify.)
  3. Eddie Vedder wrote music for Into the Wild, the songs for which are featured in the film but not performed or sung by any characters. (Guaranteed won a Golden Globe; Spotify again.)

posted by smcg at 5:18 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Ladykillers (Coen bros)
posted by coldhotel at 5:21 AM on May 21, 2012




The upcoming "Rock of Ages" film (based on the musical) has 80s rock music being sung by its cast.
posted by inturnaround at 5:26 AM on May 21, 2012


Tommy
posted by fuse theorem at 5:33 AM on May 21, 2012


The Big Chill.
posted by Dolley at 5:36 AM on May 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny
posted by jozxyqk at 5:40 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


A Clockwork Orange?
posted by trip and a half at 5:43 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'll throw out Amadeus and 8 Mile as occupying opposite ends of the non-showtunes musical film spectrum.
posted by drlith at 5:47 AM on May 21, 2012 [6 favorites]


This is Spinal Tap
Any of the Beatles' movies
posted by Dolley at 5:50 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Almost Famous
posted by DigDoug at 5:54 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Absolute Beginners
posted by TheRaven at 5:55 AM on May 21, 2012




In addition to Spinal Tap, how about A Mighty Wind?
posted by mskyle at 6:00 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


That Thing You Do
posted by peagood at 6:00 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pirate Radio
posted by jferg at 6:01 AM on May 21, 2012


School of Rock
posted by saffry at 6:02 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Concert footage movies generally - specific example: Stop Making Sense.
posted by rongorongo at 6:03 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Once.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:07 AM on May 21, 2012 [4 favorites]


Dogfight features a lot of mid-60s folk music.
posted by apricot at 6:08 AM on May 21, 2012


Pump Up The Volume
posted by Beardman at 6:12 AM on May 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


I always thought Hustle and Flow was, in it's own weird way, a musical. There is definitely music, and it is definitely not showtunes-style.
posted by windbox at 6:13 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


More of an extended music video with a story: Interstella 5555
posted by Ernest Frawde at 6:14 AM on May 21, 2012


South Park: Bigger, Longer, Uncut was kind of a musical. Maybe more so than you are looking for though.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 6:16 AM on May 21, 2012




The Wall?
posted by jferg at 6:25 AM on May 21, 2012


Airheads
posted by MustardTent at 6:38 AM on May 21, 2012




The Runaways
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:39 AM on May 21, 2012


Cabaret.
posted by Ideefixe at 6:42 AM on May 21, 2012


Hmm. On the face of it, The Singing Detective looks like the "show tunes out of nowhere" kind of show you're trying to avoid, but it's really very, very different; it embraces the fact that "people bursting out of song out of nowhere" is a surreal thing and works that surreality into the plot (the main character is a little nuts, and the people-bursting-into-song is a sign that you're seeing things from his own hallucinatory perspective).

All That Jazz is similarly "show tunes out of nowhere but in a weird funky experimental-reality way".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:46 AM on May 21, 2012


(FYI - there was an American remake of Singing Detective that was not bad.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:49 AM on May 21, 2012


Purple Rain
posted by Burhanistan at 6:58 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Streets of Fire
posted by jadepearl at 6:59 AM on May 21, 2012


The Big Lebowski came to mind. Also The Bodyguard.
posted by daikaisho at 7:02 AM on May 21, 2012


Songcatcher is about a musicologist living in and learning about the culture and music of ~1910 Appalachia, so there's a lot of music in the movie.
posted by aimedwander at 7:04 AM on May 21, 2012


Times Square.
posted by Devoidoid at 7:28 AM on May 21, 2012


24 Hour Party People and Human Traffic
posted by empath at 7:32 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Coal Miner's Daughter.
posted by MexicanYenta at 7:32 AM on May 21, 2012


Velvet Goldmine.
posted by ephemerista at 7:33 AM on May 21, 2012




The Wedding Singer?
posted by pupstocks at 7:37 AM on May 21, 2012


The Rose
Great Balls of Fire
Ray

Any biopic of a musician or band, really
posted by Dolley at 7:52 AM on May 21, 2012


If you like blues, "Black Snake Moan" is terrific.
posted by Rad_Boy at 7:55 AM on May 21, 2012


Strictly Ballroom
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:58 AM on May 21, 2012


The Kids Are Alright
posted by chazlarson at 8:22 AM on May 21, 2012


Still Crazy is about a rock band reforming and going on tour, so there are various songs and performances.
posted by shelleycat at 8:25 AM on May 21, 2012


Monsoon Wedding
posted by Mchelly at 8:44 AM on May 21, 2012


Harold & Maude. The Graduate.
posted by thejoshu at 8:54 AM on May 21, 2012


The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash.
posted by mazola at 9:13 AM on May 21, 2012


High Fidelity.
posted by Sunburnt at 9:25 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


the weird and wonderful Bugsy Malone.
posted by scody at 9:37 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Rock 'n' Roll High School
posted by Aznable at 10:15 AM on May 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Across the Universe
posted by mdn at 10:30 AM on May 21, 2012


True Stories
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 12:06 PM on May 21, 2012




Cabaret? Rather than the songs coming out of nowhere, there is a rationale for them as they are part of the action - songs sung at the Kit Kat Klub.
posted by paduasoy at 12:41 PM on May 21, 2012


Seconding Once. It's exactly what you're looking for.
posted by cnc at 12:49 PM on May 21, 2012


If you're into flamenco at all, both Carmen and Vengo are exactly what you're looking for.
posted by rjs at 1:48 PM on May 21, 2012


Nobody's mentioned Robert Altman?
Nashville
Popeye
A Perfect Couple
A Prairie Home Companion
Probably some others, too, but I'm not sure which.

And I'm fairly sure Earth Girls are Easy had quite a few songs sung by the actors.
posted by still_wears_a_hat at 2:20 PM on May 21, 2012


Velvet Goldmine
posted by kandinski at 9:17 PM on May 21, 2012


Pulp Fiction
posted by SisterHavana at 10:52 PM on May 21, 2012


Thanks folks! Some really good suggestions here which I'll be checking out.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 10:56 PM on May 21, 2012


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