As I'm sure you know, I love Musicals. I mean really love them. Some are good, some are horrific, but the calibre of talent that can be seen in a well made musical is in my opinion unparalleled by any other art form.
Unfortunately for myself and the rest of us here on planet earth, an impressive film musical hasn't been put out in the last 10 or so years. I'm not really sure I even endorse musicals on film, because they almost always get messed up, plotted incorrectly, or just end up being down right stupid. Granted I'm willing to alter my thoughts on this if the upcoming film adaptation of Les Miserables doesn't suck.
So when it comes to picking a best of the best, I'm going with the greatest musical performer of forever, and my mother's idol. No, not Louis Armstrong, but Barbra.
Hello Dolly! is ironically, a film adaptation of a stage musical, but it is done so well that it stands tall in its own right. Barbra is perfection as Dolly Levi, in her acting and of course her singing. Walter Matthau is precious as her gruff and reluctant lover, and a very young Michael Crawford is absolutely enchanting as Cornelius Hackel.
The production value of this musical is what makes it really astounding. It comes from an era of big sets, big costumes, big musical numbers and big stars. There must have been over 200 chorus members, as well as an unguessable number of extras. For God's sake one of the scenes takes place at a parade. Shot in wide angle lens!
The film is a spectacle if there ever was one and worth every second of watching.