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Every Movie Musical to Ever Win Best Picture, Ranked 

Movie musicals are a unique and beloved genre that combines the art of storytelling with the power of music. From sweeping ballads to upbeat dance numbers, these films have the ability to transport audiences to another world and leave a lasting impression. Many of these films are also known for their iconic soundtracks and memorable performances.

While there have been many amazing films that have won the top prize, the Best Picture award, there are a few movie musicals that have stood out above the rest. Over the years, the Academy has recognized a number of movie musicals with the Best Picture award. These films have captured the hearts of audiences and critics alike, and have cemented their place in film history.

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In this list, we’ll be ranking every movie musical that has won the Best Picture award. From the classic musicals of the Golden Age of Hollywood to modern masterpieces, this list has it all.

The Broadway Melody was the first ever movie musical to win the Academy Award for Best Picture, making it a historic film in the genre. The story follows the lives of two sisters who are hoping to make it big on Broadway. The film starred Anita Page and Bessie Love and was directed by Harry Beaumont. Despite its historical significance, many consider this film to be the weakest of the bunch, with its simple story and lack of memorable musical numbers. In fact, it barely beat out the silent film The Lion’s Roar for the top prize.

Next up is Gigi, a 1958 musical about a young Parisian girl who is being groomed to become a courtesan. Starring Leslie Caron and Louis Jourdan, this film received nine Oscar nominations and won nine, including Best Picture. The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and featured classic musical numbers such as “Thank Heaven for Little Girls” and “I Remember It Well.” In its essence, Gigi resembles Lolita.

The story is hard to digest, but somehow it received astonishing acceptance for its shaky establishment. While it’s certainly a charming and well-made movie, it’s not quite as memorable or groundbreaking as some of the other films on this list. This is mainly because of its unsavory premises. However callous with the subject, the film still manages to deliver some stunning shots of Paris. Not to forget the fact that it beat out heavy hitters like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Defiant Ones for the award of Best Picture.

Going My Way is a 1944 musical about a young, unconventional priest who helps revitalize a struggling church. Starring Bing Crosby and Barry Fitzgerald, this film was a huge hit at the box office and won seven Oscars, including Best Picture. While it’s a sweet and heartwarming movie, it doesn’t quite have the same pizzazz or memorable musical numbers as some of the other films on this list. Being an utter snooze in terms of energy and interesting performances, the movie created a buzz when it stole the Best Picture from the likes of Double Indemnity, Gaslight, and Since You Went Away.

The Great Ziegfeld tells the story of the legendary Broadway producer Florenz Ziegfeld Jr., played by William Powell. The film was directed by Robert Z. Leonard and also starred Myrna Loy as Billie Burke, Ziegfeld’s wife, and Luise Rainer as Anna Held, Ziegfeld’s first wife. The film features elaborate production numbers and was a critical and commercial success, winning three Academy Awards, including Best Picture. However, many consider this film to be a bit too long and bloated compared to the more streamlined entries on the list. It faced competition from Anthony Adverse, Dodsworth, and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town.

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An American In Paris follows the story of Jerry Mulligan, a young American painter played by Gene Kelly, who falls in love with a young Frenchwoman named Lise Bouvier, played by Leslie Caron, while living in Paris. The film was directed by Vincente Minnelli and features classic musical numbers such as “I Got Rhythm” and “An American in Paris.” While it’s not quite as well-known as some of the other entries on the list, this film boasts some of the most iconic and memorable musical numbers of any movie musical. It faced competition from A Place in the Sun, Decision Before Dawn, and Quo Vadis, but ultimately took home the top prize.

Oliver! is a film adaptation of the classic musical about a young orphan who finds himself caught up in the criminal underworld of London. This heartwarming tale follows the journey of Oliver as he navigates the dangers and delights of the city, making friends and enemies along the way. The film stars Ron Moody as the lovable pickpocket Fagin and Oliver Reed as the menacing Bill Sikes. With its catchy musical numbers and memorable performances, Oliver! is a classic of the movie musical genre. And while it is not as quite beloved as the other entries on the list, the movie still managed to beat out 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rosemary’s Baby for the top prize.

Chicago tells the story of Velma Kelly, a vaudevillian played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Roxie Hart, a housewife played by Renee Zellweger, who are both on trial for murder and use their fame and charisma to try and win their cases. The film also starred Richard Gere as Billy Flynn, a slick lawyer who represents both women. The film was directed by Rob Marshall and features classic musical numbers such as “All That Jazz” and “Cell Block Tango.”

Chicago was a critical and commercial success, winning six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. However, many consider this film to be a bit too cynical and dark compared to the more light-hearted entries on the list. It faced competition from Gangs of New York, The Hours, and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

The Sound of Music is the film adaptation of the classic musical about a young nun named Maria who becomes the governess for a family of seven children. The film stars Julie Andrews as Maria and Christopher Plummer as Captain von Trapp, the children’s father. The film was directed by Robert Wise and features classic musical numbers such as “Do-Re-Mi” and “My Favorite Things.” While it’s not quite as beloved as some of the other entries on the list, The Sound of Music is still a classic of the genre and features some of the most iconic and memorable musical numbers of any movie musical. It faced competition from Doctor Zhivago, Ship of Fools, and A Thousand Clowns, but ultimately took home the top prize.

West Side Story is the film adaptation of the classic musical about two rival gangs in New York City. The film starred Natalie Wood and Richard Beymer, and was directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins. While it’s not quite as beloved as some of the other entries on the list, West Side Story is still a classic of the genre and features some of the most iconic and memorable musical numbers of any movie musical.

The film’s modern retelling of Romeo and Juliet, set against the backdrop of gang violence in the city, is a timeless tale of love and tragedy. It beat out Fanny and The Guns of Navarone for the top prize. The film also won a total of ten Academy Awards, including Best Director for Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, and Best Supporting Actor for George Chakiris.

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Finally, we have My Fair Lady, the film adaptation of the classic musical about a young Cockney flower girl who is transformed into a sophisticated lady by a gruff phonetics professor. The film starred Audrey Hepburn and Rex Harrison, and was directed by George Cukor.

My Fair Lady is considered by many to be the best movie musical on this list, with its iconic musical numbers, charming performances, and beautiful production design. It’s a classic of the genre and a must-see for any fan of movie musicals. It beat out Becket and Dr. Strangelove for the top prize. The film also won a total of eight Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Rex Harrison and Best Art Direction.

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