Want to escape our troubled times? Immerse yourself in the emotional, life-enhancing pleasures of the musical.
BFI Player's blockbuster collection celebrates the film musical from the late 1920s to today, exploring the visionary work of the artists who transformed the musical into the most joyful and creative of film genres. Going beyond escapism, our global journey will see how the musical tackled the Depression, confronted racism and how it continues to reflect the contemporary world. But most of all we’ll be having fun.
Musical2016128 minsDirector: Damien Chazelle
Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone channel old-school Hollywood glamour in this bright and playful romantic musical from director Damien Chazelle (Whiplash).
Musical2004107 minsDirector: Gurinder Chadha
Gurinder Chadha’s Bollywood retelling of Austen’s classic romance is an all-round joy, adding colour and song to Austen’s evergreen wit.
Drama2016106 minsDirector: John Carney
The third in John Carney’s trilogy of musical films is the utterly charming story a boy who escapes his troubles through fronting a pop band.
Comedy198892 minsDirector: John Waters
‘Pleasantly plump’ teen Tracey Turnblad (Ricki Lake) dances her way onto Baltimore TV using the opportunity to send up the absurdity of segregation in John Waters’ commercial hit.
Musical199877 minsDirector: Julian Henriques
Neeta and her crew rise to dancehall fame in North West London's Caribbean community, in the first Black British musical.
Musical201592 minsDirector: Rufus Norris
Daring, startling and wholly original: a musical based on the infamous Ipswich murders of 2006, adapted by National Theatre director Rufus Norris.
Melodrama193075 minsDirector: Richard Eichberg and Walter Summers
Chinese-American star Anna May Wong dazzles as a Chinese dancer forced to give herself to a Russian General in order to save her brother.
Musical193566 minsDirector: John Baxter
Rarely-seen 1930s British musical about two African American travelling minstrels in search of entertainment work.
Musical1972136 minsDirector: Ken Russell
A timid actress is forced to cover for the injured star and falls for the leading man, in Ken Russell's thoroughly British variant on the MGM musical.
Biopic1976103 minsDirector: Ken Russell
Ken Russell's characteristically spectacular biopic of Liszt, with Roger Daltrey portraying the composer as a rock god, is a heady brew complete with garish Freudian symbolism, Hitler, spaceships and Ringo Starr as the Pope.
Musical200192 minsDirector: John Cameron Mitchell
The trailblazing cult musical about a transgender punk from East Germany who reinvents herself as a rock diva.
Musical1951113 minsDirector: Vincente Minnelli
Gene Kelly stars as a former GI turned bohemian artist, torn between two women in this exhilarating ride through the Gershwin songbook.
Musical1944113 minsDirector: Vincente Minnelli
Vincente Minnelli’s hymn to family, home and community is a musical miracle with Judy Garland as its beating heart.
Musical1954102 minsDirector: Stanley Donen
Stanley Donen's classic musical western, in which a backwoodsman brings home his new bride, sparking inspiration in his six brothers, who decide they want to get married too.
Comedy198694 minsDirector: Frank Oz
Frank Oz's vivid adaptation of the cult sci-fi musical, with Rick Moranis as a flower-shop assistant battling a 'Mean Green Mother from Outer Space'.
Animation & Artists Moving Image199981 minsDirector: Trey Parker
In the outrageous spinoff from the animated series, Cartman and co. inadvertently instigate a war between the US and Canada.
Comedy193569 minsDirector: Friedrich Zelnik
Jolly gender-swapped musical version of Cinderella, featuring a play within the film in which the characters star in ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’.
Comedy193692 minsDirector: Victor Saville
Sparkling musical comedy about a shop girl who pretends to be a boy in order to perform on stage as a female impersonator.
Drama1960111 minsDirector: Val Guest
Val Guest's 1959 London-shot Brit Beat classic charts the fortunes of aspiring musician Bert Rudge (Cliff Richard)