“Historically,” historical films tend to do very well at the box office. Maybe it’s because we like to look back and see how far we’ve come or remember the events that led us to the society we are today. Whatever the reason, there have been plenty of historical films made over the years about a wide range of things, from events that happen within a dayto events spanning decades.
However, while there is no shortage of historical films, these films tend to be less than historically accurate. This could be for several reasons. First, the average movie tends to be between an hour and a half and two and a half hours long. This is a very limited time to tell a full story with detailed accuracy. Another reason could be that the actual story isn’t as exciting as something Hollywood might imagine. These two reasons combined mean that our favorite historical films are often not as factual as we would like.
Today, we’re looking at the best musicals based on real events. This list ranks them based on how good the musical is, not necessarily how accurate they are to their historical events. Also, this excludes musicals like hamilton which have yet to be released as a film adaptation and have only been performed live or as a television play.
The king and me
This 1956 Rodgers and Hammerstein musical is loosely based on the true story of governess Anna Leonowens (Deborah Kerr), who raised the children of King Mongkut of Siam (Yul Brynner) in the early 1860s. is highly fictional and takes liberties when alluding to a romantic relationship between Anna and King Mongkut. However, what is true is that Anna deeply respected the king, but also chastised him for his views on slavery and misogyny. Moreover, Anna considered the king’s wives as her sisters and equals and did not assume them as she does in the film.
Get your tissues ready for this next entry, because unlike most musicals, Avoided doesn’t have a happy ending. Avoided tells the story of the life of Argentine political leader Eva Perón, second wife of President Juan Perón, and Eva’s early life before her rise to power and fame, as well as her charitable work and ultimately her death from a Uterus cancer.
In film, fame singer Madonna performs Eva, who is a ruthless, power-hungry woman willing to do whatever it takes to gain fame and success, even sleeping until she climbs the political ladder. While Madonna had limitations as an actress, casting a controversial celebrity to play a controversial historical figure is an awesome casting decision, especially since the two are true to themselves.
Annie take your gun
Annie take your gun is a fictionalized account of the story of Annie Oakley, who rose to worldwide fame with her sniper skills. Annie had humble beginnings but rose to fame on Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show thanks to her skills with a firearm. She would fall in love with and marry Frank E. Butler and go on to set records well into her 60s before dying at the age of 66.
In the 1950 musical, Annie is a petite, strong-willed and rough-edged woman. The film really plays on the romance between her and Frank, with Annie struggling to choose between her career and her romantic aspirations. In the end, Annie pretends to lose to Frank in a shootout, saving her pride and securing a marriage with him.
Have you ever wondered what the Founding Fathers of America were fighting over before the United States gained independence from England? The 1972 Musical 1776 answers all your burning questions through song and dance. Join Benjamin Franklin (Howard da Silva), John Adams (William Daniels) and Thomas Jefferson (Ken Howard) as they fiddle, spin and decide to write the US Constitution. While it’s comical to imagine the Founding Fathers getting into song and dance, the issues presented in this musical are very real and they give us a glimpse of what their conversations might have looked like years ago. many years.
The sound of music
“Brown paper parcels tied with strings. Here are some of my favorite things.” The sound of music is also one of many people’s favorite things and is considered one of the most beloved musicals of all time. The story follows the Von Trapp family who were renowned singers before World War II and recounts the events of how Maria left the convent and the fraternity to become the children’s governess, and eventually, a mother to them and a wife to Captain Baron Von Trapp.
Although the story is heartwarming and endearing, it takes a few liberties for dramatic purposes, such as changing the names and ages of all the children and omitting the other three that Baron and Maria would later have. However, perhaps the biggest change was the ending. In the film, the family flees Austria and the Nazis by crossing the Alps to Switzerland. However, all they had to do was cross the train tracks and board a train for Italy.
“One more day. Another day, another destiny. This endless road to Calvary. Wretched is a bittersweet musical about sacrifice and love, set in the midst of the June Rebellion, also known as the Paris Uprising of 1832. Based on Victor Hugo’s novel published in 1862, the 2012 musical follows the fictional characters of Jean Valjean (Hugh Jackman), Fantine (Anne Hathaway), Cosette (Amanda Seyfried), Marius Pontmercy (Eddie Redmayne), Javert (Russell Crowe) and Madame Thénardier (Helena Bonham Carter) as find redemption, fall in love, seek revenge and fight for freedom.
Although the characters are all fictional, the events of the June Rebellion did occur. However, it is not clear from the film that the film is about the Paris uprising of 1832 and not the French Revolution which occurred nearly years before the events of the film take place in 1789 until 1799.
The greatest showman
“Ladies and gentlemen, this is the moment you’ve been waiting for.” Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls of all ages, may I draw your attention to The greatest showman, a musical loosely following one of the biggest names in the circus, PT Barnum (Phineas Taylor Barnum). Life in the 1800s was not easy for PT Barnum (Hugh Jackman) who had a dream and barely a penny in his pocket.
By working hard, staying true to himself, and defying all the odds, PT Barnum finally achieved his dream and launched a world famous circus, which would become the greatest show on Earth. The 2017 musical film is somewhat precise, but like all Hollywood creations, it takes liberties and strays a little out of the way, especially since it paints a heroic portrait of PT Barnum when in reality, some of his marketing decisions and tactics were questionable.
Tick, tick… BOOM!
“They sing ‘Happy Birthday,’ you just want to lay down and cry. Not just another birthday, it’s 30/90. Tick, tick… BOOM! is a musical biography about Jonathon Larson, the man behind the hit musical, Lease. Most musical buffs know Leasebut before the release of Netflix Tick, tick… BOOM! as of November 2021, few knew Jonathon’s actual story. It’s a story many of us will identify with.
Jon is a budding composer At New York struggling with life, finances and relationships. He fears he made the wrong career choice in pursuing his dream of breaking into the world of performing arts and worries that his life is slipping away. The musical was originally written and performed by Jonathon Larson as a one-man show until his death in 1996. Ironically, it seemed like his worst fear of his life had come true, but not before he leaves a musical legacy in its wake. Andrew Garfield stars alongside Vanessa Hudgens and Alexandra Shipp in this epic musical masterpiece.
“Pulitzer and Hearst, they think we are nothing. Are we nothing? Nope!” Is a group of teenagers singing and dancing in the streets to protest against the increase in the price of newspapers historically accurate? No, but what is true in News These are the events of the newsboys’ strike just before the turn of the century in 1899. At the time, the streets of New York were home to hundreds of homeless newsboys, “newspapers” who were just trying to earn a living. salary to put food in their bellies.
Newspaper vendors went on strike in hopes of winning better wages at the newspapers of Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. After protesting for two weeks, news companies were forced to make changes and start offering full buyouts for all unsold newspapers. News had success both on Broadway and in this wonderful Walt Disney film in 1992 with Christian Bale.