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Has a Musical Adaptation of a Film Ever Made an Improvement?

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Jeffrey Karasarides
Broadway Star
joined:11/27/11
OK, so I've seen an earlier thread asking about if a film adaptation of a musical ever improved upon it's source material, I even posted in that thread this:

"Movies and Plays=Apples and Oranges

The two mediums are never meant to compete with one another. The REAL question you should really be asking is "Does the stay true to its source material as well as successfully standing on its own?""

Aside from all that, I was actually curious about starting a similar thread asking you guys if a musical adaptation of a movie has ever improved on its source material.

Any responses?
bwayobsessed
Stand-by
joined:5/28/13
Newsies and Little Shop of Horrors are the first two that stand out to me. Also I think Legally Blonde and Hairspray work much better as musicals then their source films.

Updated On: 6/1/14 at 07:55 PM
Musicaldudepeter
Broadway Star
joined:3/18/10
Light in the Piazza
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JBroadway
Broadway Star
joined:4/6/12
I personally think that the Lion King musical improved on the movie, which isn't to say that I have any negative feeling toward the movie, but what they did with the musical is just astounding.
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darquegk
Broadway Legend
joined:2/5/09
I firmly believe that the Wedding Singer works better as a stage musical than as a film.
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g.d.e.l.g.i.
Broadway Legend
joined:6/13/12
Some fans have made a convincing argument that the European version of Tanz der Vampire is an improvement on The Fearless Vampire Killers.
Formerly gvendo2005
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joined: 5/1/05

Blocked: After Eight, suestorm, FindingNamo, david_fick, emlodik, lovebwy
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Although the film of LITTLE SHOP isn't bad, by any measure, I don't agree it improves upon the stage version, even if only because the ending is so inferior.

I'm in the HAIRSPRAY film camp, however (and pun intended). I thought the movie had more heart and I like my camp mixed with a little honest emotion.

But the most obvious answer may be THE SOUND OF MUSIC. If only because it helps that the postulate isn't 50-years-old.
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SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
Are we counting movies based on novels that were also turned into musicals?
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
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Jeffrey Karasarides
Broadway Star
joined:11/27/11
Ether one is fine by me, though I'd personally prefer going for musicals based strictly on movies.
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Elfuhbuh
Featured Actor
joined:3/23/14
I second the Tanz der Vampire comment. EXCELLENT musical, meh movie.
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Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
I think BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY the musical is a huge improvement over the movie.
GREY GARDENS is fine work as a movie but I think the musical for the stage expands on the original so brilliantly, it actually makes it better.
MY FAIR LADY is for me a huge improvement over the movie PYGMALION. (It's true the show is based on the Shaw play, but many of the revisions credited to Alan Jay Lerner were already seen in the feature film made in the 30's.)
Updated On: 6/2/14 at 12:14 AM
ggersten
Broadway Legend
joined:5/11/06
I loved Billy Elliott as a film. I love the stage production more. It made an improvement only by giving a different voice to the characters. Instead of a "speech" we get a song or a dance. And when the coal miners go back to the mines off the back of the stage - or down into the stage - is a chilling moment that can't be captured on film. (Although, the film's sequence when the father breaks the strike line is more chilling and emotional on film).
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BroadwayStar4
Featured Actor
joined:6/16/12
After seeing Legally Blonde: The Musical, I can never see the movie version the same way again. I mean, the movie is still good, but the musical is just "So Much Better", pun intended.
degrassifan
Broadway Legend
joined:1/23/08
"But the most obvious answer may be THE SOUND OF MUSIC. If only because it helps that the postulate isn't 50-years-old."

Wasn't Sound of Music a stage musical before it became a film?
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Gaveston, the question posed was whether a musical adaptation OF a film ever improved the source material, not vice-versa.
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Jeffrey Karasarides
Broadway Star
joined:11/27/11
"Wasn't Sound of Music a stage musical before it became a film?"

The original inspiration for the stage musical was actually a West German film titled 'The Trapp Family'.

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0049876/
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SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
I disagree about Legally Blonde. The movie was better in terms of portraying Elle as an independent woman and the jokes were funnier, IMO.

I also disagree about The Wedding Singer, but maybe that's just because I absolutely love the movie.

I think BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY the musical is a huge improvement over the movie.

Yes, definitely. I'd also agree with The Light in the Piazza.

Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
Updated On: 6/2/14 at 12:49 PM
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mjohnson2
Broadway Star
joined:11/2/13
Ok quick question: was the 2009 Grey Gardens movie based on the musical or was it just on the documentary?
Anything regarding shows stated by this account is an attempt to convey opinion and not fact.
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quizking101
Broadway Legend
joined:12/25/09
I wouldn't say it is an improvement so much as a fresh perspective, but HEDWIG the movie allows us to see other characters and flashbacks in flesh, elaborating on the limitations of the stage production. However, for what it's worth, the stage production is an entirely different animal and could never be recreated in the same vein for film.
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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
"I disagree about Legally Blonde. The movie was better in terms of portraying Elle as an independent woman and the jokes were funnier, IMO."

Totally agree. Not to mention, the climactic court room scene takes a turn for the absurd in the musical.

mjohnson2 - the movie was totally unrelated to the musical, despite pretty much taking the same approach to the story.
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henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
Never mind I got the threads mixed up.
Updated On: 6/2/14 at 01:25 PM
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JohnBoy2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/21/06
For me, THE SOUND OF MUSIC (greatly improved), WEST SIDE STORY, THE MIRACLE WORKER and BYE BYE BIRDIE (as silly as the film is, it remains the most vibrant and best-choreographed production of it, I've ever seen, and that includes the original production). As for HAIRSPRAY, neither the stage nor the film version of the musical holds a candle to John Waters original film, imo. But, as a musical, I prefer it, on stage.
After Eight
Broadway Legend
joined:6/5/09
"Light in the Piazza"

The movie was beautiful. The musical was dreary, made especially so by its miserable score.

As for the musical people will simply not stop shoving down our throats even after its wholly understandable demise, I didn't see the film, but I can't imagine it could possibly have been any drearier than its ill-advised musical adaptation, made all the more so by its dismal dirge of a score.

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henrikegerman
Broadway Legend
joined:4/29/05
never mind, I got the threads mixed up.
Updated On: 6/2/14 at 01:49 PM
Kad Profile Photo
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
There are presently two threads with similar subject matter: one asking whether a film adaptation of a musical improved the source material, and this one, asking the inverse.
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haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
I can't think of any examples of this being true. I mean, there can be individual moments that are better realized, but not the overall work of art. I love The Producers and Hairspray as musicals, but if I were to watch a movie, I would go back to their non-musical inspirations and not their musical-inspired movie versions.

All of the previously cited examples seemed like better movies (and, in some cases, I'd probably also go back a step and say they were better books than movies, heh).

Most adaptations succeed if they merely honor the spirit of the work that came before them, and few manage to make it over that hurdle.

As to whether the Wedding Singer is a better musical or movie, my reaction would be "Is there nothing else we can see?"

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