What Movie Should Become a Broadway Musical?

Plenty of Broadway musicals have successfully made their way to the big screen, from The King and I to Tim Burton’s enjoyably bloodthirsty rendition of Sweeney Todd. Occasionally, that process of adaptation happens in reverse, as we’ve seen with film-to-stage hits such as The Producers and Carrie.

Well, OK, so Carrie was a big-time flop (The first time. They’re trying again), but The Producers was such a smash it made it all the way back to the big screen again. Now, we’ve got Back to the Future to look forward to…not to mention Animal House, Diner, and Rocky. Yes, Rocky.  And many, many others. We may as well not fight this trend as it is likely to continue for some time…sort of like remakes, reboots, sequels, comic book movies, and so on.

Fortunately, Movie Irv is here to help producers looking for the next “sure thing” on stage pick out just the right cinema classics to adapt to the live musical format:


  • Tito Pannaggi

    Valentino’s “The Sheik” (1921)!

  • wayne

    Good ? Geo-rv, as usual & good response above Tito. Am going to have to go with my heart and not head on this one. Since Ive never been able to grab the 1952 version of “Where’s Charley” with the great Ray Bolgers dancing and the wonderful song “Once in Love with Amy”, can we just settle for a plug to the Loesser estate to please re-release that one sometime before I die? Thanks, but had to twist that one around to suit my not so hidden agenda (yes, again)…I know, I know…say fare thee well young-in heart only-Skywalker; now get outta here! ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/hlynnknits Heidi McDonald Stetler

    “kate a and Leopold? I hope that doesn’t sound dumb but there is great music as well as romantic comedy. Just thinking….and…”the Quiet Man”? Good musical possibilities and story.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001193317380 Chris Matthews

    After The Producers, I’ve wanted to do Blazing Saddles or Young Frankenstein myself, But I keep thinking, “Nah. Mel Brooks is already thinking that.” but…is he?

    • Nils Goering

      YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN is already musicalized

  • ANH

    Chances Are
    Some Kind of Wonderful
    The Outsiders (has the potential of being better than West Side Story)
    The Philadelphia Story
    The Ghost and Mrs. Muir

    • R.D.Cochran

      The Philadelphia Story’s musical version was High Society (1956) with Bing Crosby,Grace Kelly,Frank Sinatra and Celeste Holm.

      • http://www.facebook.com/anne.m.jennings1 Anne Jennings

        But it’s never been a Broadway musical!

        • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.m.henderson Kenneth Henderson

          High Society might not have been a Broadway musical but many amateur groups do it and one such group(local professional where I live) had to do a repeat performance and the young sister part got the biggest rap of the version by audiences. The on stage jazz band was situated in a gazebo to great effect.

  • Movie Fan

    “Psycho, the Musical,” featuring such songs as “Don’t Trust Luck When You Steal A Buck,” “Stuff Your Troubles,” “Cut Out, Cut Up, Check In,” and “Hey Mama, Shake Your Bones.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/graham.bryant2 Graham Bryant

    the sing would make a great musical

  • maxfabien

    “The Apartment” and “Pocketful of Miracles” (or “Lady for a Day”)

    • SteveB

      The Apartment has already been made into a Broadway musical: ‘Promises, Promises’ (1968)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=713983697 Gordon Jackson

    “Bob, Carol, Ted and Alice”, or as Mad Mag once put them, Boob, Carnal, Tad and Alas. Consider the possibilities!

  • http://www.facebook.com/anne.m.jennings1 Anne Jennings

    What about that movie about Cole Porter, with Cary Grant? It would make a fabulous Broadway musical. Think of the songs — already written by a wonderful songwriter — that you could choose from. And in this day and age, the musical could be more true-to-life than the movie was able to be.

  • Susan Johnston

    What about that fine old romantic tear-jerker “An Affair to Remember” which starred Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr? It already has a very melodic title song and there could be romantic, bitter sweet moments somewhat like in West Side Story along with happier scenes where she is teaching children to sing. The cast would not have to be huge either. You’ve got pathos, drama, music and cute kids…all the elements for successful entertainment.

  • Kai Ferano

    Something romantic and magical, like “One Touch of Venus.”

  • http://www.facebook.com/kenneth.m.henderson Kenneth Henderson

    One Touch of Venus was a Kurt Weill Broadway musical in the 1940s that did 567 performances and later made into a film.

  • http://www.facebook.com/jlsanderson1 James Sanderson

    Cat Ballou is such a natural, I can’t believe somebody hasn’t done it. Brian Stokes Mitchell as “Kid Shaleen/Tim Strawn.” Delicious!

  • Woody

    Driving Miss Daisy
    Miracle Worker
    Midnight Cowboy (Oh I’m a Midnight Cow Boy)

  • Lenore Salinger

    1941′s THE WOLF MAN – songs could include, , “Telescopic Love”, “Those Moon shaped Earrings”,”Get Out of My Tent”, “Smitten and Bitten”, “Even a Man Who’s Pure in Heart”, “Maleva”,”Looking at a Five Pointed Star”, “Father, Things are Changing”, “From Big Heir to Big Hair”, “Howling and Prowling”, “I’m Begging for a Silver Release” and “Rest in Peace”

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000876895229 Dolores Tamoria

    Summer Stock
    The Frisco Kid
    Love Me Or Leave Me

  • Nils Goering

    PLAN 9 FROM OUTER SPACE – Years ago I attended a musical version of this stinker at a small theatre in Hollywood, CA which was lots of fun. A Broadway size do-over would be fantastic!
    SEX KITTENS GO TO COLLEGE – Loads of Broadway musical potential! Finding another Mamie Van Doren would be worth it alone!(though Ms. Van Doren herself is irreplaceable)
    THE PINK PANTHER – A natural for transforming into a musical. However, Ya gotta find a funny actor who can match Peter Sellers (forget Steve Martin).
    THE MALTESE FALCON – A duet with Cairo and Gutman would be worth the price of admission!

  • http://www.facebook.com/al.schweiger Al Schweiger

    “Myra Breckenridge” should be a lot of fun!

  • Bill

    A little known film yet very funny and perfectly suited for musicalization is “Champagne For Caesar”. This 1950 (or so) minor classic is screaming for musical numbers. The original cast (Vincent Price, Ronald Coleman, Celeste Holm, Art Linkletter) were all great and the film is full of laughs. I can definitely see this onstage as a musical.

  • Jerry

    Moonstruck would be my idea of a great
    Broadway Musical

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  • Shannonclan2

    “Gaslight”…with Angela Lansbury again, but as the elderly neighbor this time.

    • GeorgeDAllen

      I love, love, love this idea. I’m quite shocked it hasn’t already been done. Even if Ms. Lansbury (at 87 now) might not be up for a long Broadway run, this is a terrific idea.