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Ten Films That Should Be Broadway Musicals
Jets Sharks.jpg"Give my regards to Broadway, remember me to Herald Square, tell all the gang at Forty-Second Street that I will soon be there."
George M. Cohan

The translation from film to stage musical and stage musical to film and then back again has been going on since the talkies were first invented.

What has not happened enough, is films that aren't musicals being made into lavish Broadway productions. That we need more of.

Such as a stage production of King Kong. Then we could hear the ape's side of the story. Through song. A few films have been translated into full-blown Bollywood hootenannies. Including Fight Club. That's not a joke. The Indians have the leg up on this.

The following are ten movies that should be made into Broadway musicals.

10. Gladiator - I think the song Are You Not Entertained? could be a potential showstopper. There should be a page taken out of the Lion King's book with the way they have dancers as animals. That way, when Clay Aiken as Maximus is in the arena, he can battle the dancing tigers and bears and no actual tigers and bears will be hurt. I look forward to the ballad, On My Signal, Unleash Hell.

Other potential songs:
Busy Little Bee
I Like The Blood
I Can't Wait For the Afterlife!

9. Boyz n the Hood - Could be a completely ground breaking piece of theater. A rap musical. A mix of the anger of NWA and the pageantry of West Side Story. So when Doughboy asks "We got a problem here?" and flashes his gat, the gang in the background is snapping in unison. Magic time.

Other potential songs:
Who You Callin' a Ho?
They Don't Care What's Going On In Da Hood
We're Reclaiming the N-Word

8. Psycho - We would finally get to hear the mother's side of all this. Her ghost could be played by Jessica Tandy. Wait, she's dead. Olympia Dukakis. There, she could play the mother, and belt out a tune called You Have To Let Me Go, Norman. The shower scene could require some tricky choreography. We need a real pro on that one.

Other potential songs:
12 Vacancies, 12 Cabins
A Boy's Best Friend Is His Mother
Transvestite Blues

Ryan.jpeg 7. Saving Private Ryan - The prologue would be the mournful tune Get Him the Hell Out of There. Tears immediately. Torrents. Then, as the rag-tag group makes their way to save Private James Ryan, each soldier would get their own song, expressing the emotions of the journey. The battle scenes should be kept realistic. Especially that guy holding his own arm. Chilling. When the final battle has gone down, the lights dim and we see an elderly gentleman singing Tell Me I've Led a Good Life. Good luck not weeping you bunch a' robots.

Other potential songs:
I Was a Schoolteacher
Let's Make Us a Sticky-Bomb!

6. Rocky IV - Some songs are already written. No Easy Way Out translates directly. (That may be the best montage in film history, by the way.) As does Livin' In America. With boxing footwork being compared to dance all the time, this seems like a no-brainer. The training sequence is where the real moments will happen. The stage is split into two sets. One side is the barn in Russia where Rocky is working out with ox yokes and bags of rocks, the other the state-of-the-art facility where Drago is being juiced with anabolic steroids. After the final fight, Rocky would sing Everybody Can Change. Could be a crossover radio hit.

Other potential songs:
Paulie's Robot Lament
If He Dies, He Dies

5. Fargo - Granted, the snow is going to be a challenge for the production designer, but it could happen. The show could feature songs about the Pancakes House, truck stop hookers, Shep Proudfoot, Marge and Norm Gunderson, even a tune sung by the wood chipper. The chipper could sing Yah, That Is His Accomplice In Me; I'm Just Doing My Job. That's a real toe-tapper. I wouldn't mind if the Paul Bunyan statue belted out a number. This one writes herself. Yah? Yah.

Other potential songs:
You're Darn Tootin'
He Was Kinda Funny Lookin' (Uncircumcised Refrain)
Just Think I'm Gonna Barf

4. The Shawshank Redemption - A potential crowd-pleaser would be the Sisters chasing Andy Dufresne around the laundry as they sang We're Not Actually Gay! Powerful. Red would still narrate the story, just through song. I don't know if I could keep it together when Brooks sings I'm Not Going To Stay before he hangs himself. Can't you just see Andy and Red singing the upbeat We Made It To Zihuatanejo! at the end of the play? Sounds of the ocean are piped in the theater. Now that's Broadway.

Other potential songs:
Fresh Fish!
A Rock Hammer, a Rock Hammer, All I Need Is a Rock Hammer
Hope Is a Dangerous Thing

3. Jaws - I would like the shark to sing. Just putting that out there. Maybe he could have a song called The Ocean Is My Supermarket or This Is Not Personal, Amity. That would give the shark character a more well-rounded personality. He was always a little one dimensional. Of course a great scene would be Brody, Hooper and Quint drinking one night on the Orca, swapping stories and scars. Man, getting goosebumps here.

Other potential songs:
Amity Means Friendship
The Ballad of the U.S.S. Indianapolis
Smile You Sonofabitch

2. Goodfellas - The curtain raises and we see a doo-wop group singing acapella around a burning trash can. Then we hear "As far back as I could remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster." The audience is hooked right away. The first act would be like Jersey Boys except with murders. From there Henry Hill, Tommy DeVito and Jimmy Conway sing their way to the top of the mob. Tommy sings the sardonic How Am I Funny? Jimmy croons Pay Me My Money. That's a jaunty little ditty. The songs become more and more sullen as the crooks get their comeuppance. But what a musical ride before that.

Other potential songs:
Go Get Your Shinebox/No More Shines Billy Batts
I'm Trying To Bang This Jew Broad
Lufthansa, Lufthansa

1. Back to the Future - It probably wouldn't be that big a chore to get Huey Lewis to sign over the rights to Back In Time and The Power of Love. Once that happens, we're golden. Doc Brown could sing Goodnight Future Boy in his laboratory. (I think there could be a Flux Capacitor Refrain in that song.) Really looking forward to George McFly's soft version of My Density Has Popped Me To You. Every scene in the film translates to the stage. The chase through the town square while Biff Tannen belts out It's Like a Board With Wheels! Of course at the Enchantment Under the Sea Dance, Marty leads the audience on a rousing sing-along of Johnny Be Good. Let the Tony's roll in from there.

Other potential songs:
1.21 Jigowatts?!?
Calvin Klein, I Love You
What Are You Looking At Butthead?

Let's get cracking Broadway. If a turkey like Legally Blonde can have a run on The Great White Way, I don't see why these ten can't have one too.


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I'm up for Boyz in the Hood as a musical. You got some songs there for sure. Might not be pc. Then again it might.

Fargo I can kind of see too.

Don't really see Jaws, but then again, you know I would have pointed my cigar at you and said, 'Get out of here with your cockamamee ideas you punk! This here's a serious business!' when you told me about your idea to stage TS Eliot's cat poetry.

I find it fun to note that if you look a little further down this weeks posts you see people licking household items, possibly in tribute to John Waters. This guy went on to have a smash hit on broadway with the interpretation of his HairSpray.

Like you pointed out, if they can make a show out of that Reese Witherspoon thing, they can do anything.

Good luck and try to get Trump to finance.

said E on July 29, 2008 11:00 PM.

I don't see how Trump can't finance this. It's an untapped recourse. It's a gold mine.

Mr. Trump, I await your call.

said Johnny Wright on July 30, 2008 12:07 AM.

What about The Texas Chainsaw Massacre?

said penis envy on July 30, 2008 2:01 AM.

That's not bad, Leatherface needs to sing.

said Johnny Wright on July 30, 2008 2:15 AM.

Puntey Swope

said Shingle on July 30, 2008 8:08 AM.

I think Animal House: The Musical would be a masterpiece waiting to happen. I KNOW you could get an Irish drinking song or two in there along with a song and dance to tie into the stairs scene where the beatnik is singing to the chicks and Belushi smashes the guitar. I'm just imagining the choreography to that one. GENIUS!!!!

said Bigus Dickus on July 30, 2008 8:22 AM.

Johnny, you are breaking my heart.

No Red Dawn?

said Don't Swayze Bro on July 30, 2008 8:33 AM.

Don't be in too much of a hurry. Stephen King's "Carrie" was adapted into a Broadway musical in 1988. Cast included broadway veteran Betty Buckley, who played the gym teacher in the movie, but played Carrie's mom. Burned through $8 million, closed after 15 previews and 5 performances. Considered the most expensive flop ever staged (at the time).

said Kevin on July 30, 2008 8:35 AM.


Family Guy did a Red Dawn Musical joke. They are a lot funnier than I am. So I steered clear. I did consider Road House, though.

Just for the record, I believe that value reader and frequent commenter Don't Swayze Bro is actually Patrick Swayze. Thank you Patrick for your input.

said Johnny Wright on July 30, 2008 9:08 AM.

Damn you, Johnny Wright! I actually had a similar idea for a post, but you beat me to the punch. Well done.

"It probably wouldn't be that big a chore to get Huey Lewis to sign over the rights to Back In Time and The Power of Love." What?! Sign over the rights? You mean Huey wouldn't actually be performing these live himself? Were you worried Huey's shift supervisor wouldn't give him the time off?

Also, with Fargo: The Musical, the scene where Steve Buscemi takes the prostitute to see Jose Feliciano -- do you envision this with the real Jose, or a Jose impersonator, a la 'Jersey Boys'?

said Jeem on July 30, 2008 9:35 AM.

Sorry buddy. That is why I don't go to the staff meetings. Then I can rip off ideas and I'm not "responsible."

I think you're right, Huey probably is available.

And I would prefer the real Jose Feliciano. Realism is key on Broadway.

said Johnny Wright on July 30, 2008 9:51 AM.

No worries, man. Although I am going to wear a tin foil hat during future brainstorming sessions, to repel your mind-reading rays.

said Jeem on July 30, 2008 10:29 AM.

The Elephant Man. (In the movie The Tall Guy, Jeff Goldblum was an actor in this show. Good stuff.)

said E on July 30, 2008 10:37 AM.

The Elephant Man! Now that's what I'm talking about!

Atta kid, E.

said Johnny Wright on July 30, 2008 10:45 AM.

Fine then. Sophie's Choice. Or Faces of Death.

said Don't Swayze Bro on July 30, 2008 12:42 PM.

Anyone up for a Gremlins musical? I think a chorus line of kicking Gremlins with Stripe as the center would be dy-no-mite!

said Bigus Dickus on July 30, 2008 1:43 PM.

Gremlins would be really good. A song about why Pheobe Cates doesn't celebrate Christmas would be a touching moment.

And who wouldn't want to see a Mogwai Chorus Line?

said Johnny Wright on July 30, 2008 1:54 PM.

Don't feed them after midnight - could make a catchy chorus. You might be on to something Biggus.

Sophie's Choice and Faces of Death sound good too Swayze. FOD might be a little edgy. Thinking off Broadway there.

Party Monster might be good too. It's real. It's in NY. They were kind of fun, kind of jazzy. Get the retro vibe going...

said E on July 30, 2008 2:09 PM.

Damn straight Johnny! Along the same lines, Goonies anyone? I think a Chunk/Sloth love song would bring tears to even the most cold hearted person.

said Bigus Dickus on July 30, 2008 2:13 PM.

While awarding E 10 points for his "Faces of Death off-Broadway" joke...

The Goonies would be really good. Data could croon "Slick Shoes," Mikey could sing "It's Our Time!" at the bottom of the well and a Sloth-Chunk duet would bring the house down.

See, this is why I love The Loyal 77, your ideas are better than mine.


said Johnny Wright on July 30, 2008 2:32 PM.

i went to a workshop they did for a Gladiator musical.....
theres more info about it here...


said hiland on July 30, 2008 4:40 PM.

Now that is fantastic. Thanks hiland.

said Johnny Wright on July 30, 2008 5:01 PM.

Silence of the Lambs.

said E on July 30, 2008 8:45 PM.

I had Lambs in the notes. I thought about it. Especially a song called "Fava Beans and a Nice Chianti."

said Johnny Wright on July 30, 2008 8:48 PM.

"Batman: The Dark Knight (The Musical)"

Too soon?

With such hits as "Why so serious?" and "Let's put a smile on that face" ... it almost sounds like a revamped Mary Poppins.

said chudez on July 31, 2008 1:08 AM.

By the way; these would make good musicals-

One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb
Lawrence of Arabia
To Kill a Mockingbird
A Clockwork Orange
Requiem for a Dream
Raging Bull
All About Eve
The Princess Bride
All Quiet on the Western Front
Dolce vita, La
Shaun of the Dead
Once (built in)
A Streetcar Named Desire (Simpson's did it)
and The Ice Pirates.

said BIGMEX on July 31, 2008 3:13 AM.

Wow, what a funny coincidence. At 5 am after a party years ago a friend and my boyfriend and I came up with Silence of the Lambs: The Cockney Musical. Much drunken giggling and reeaally bad accents followed. All I can remember is "'Ello Clarice." I remembered recently and decided to blog it so this post is *extra* funny for me.

said inwhich on July 31, 2008 7:19 AM.

This is brilliant. My favorite was "Back to the Future: The Musical." LOL on that one. Thanks for getting my workday off to a great start

said Ret on July 31, 2008 9:04 AM.

BigMex, those are all really good. Ice Pirates killed me. I wish I has thought of Rope. I love that film.

Thanks Ret. Thanks for reading.


said Johnny Wright on July 31, 2008 9:15 AM.

Midnight Cowboy, Schindler's List and the Day the Clown Cried.

said Don't Swayze Bro on July 31, 2008 11:08 AM.

Ooh, Midnight Cowboy. Beauty.

Ratso croons the ballad "You're Beginning To Stink, and For a Stud, That's a Handicap."

That's gold.

said Johnny Wright on July 31, 2008 11:24 AM.

the jason bourne trilogy.
"bourne dead gives me nothing, gives me nothing at all"
"get bourne, get bourne"
just think of the large scale chase/dance sequences amazing!

said hyper1.2 on July 31, 2008 12:35 PM.

Hyper, I tip my hat to that suggestion. Amazing.

said Johnny Wright on July 31, 2008 12:39 PM.

How about Ghostbusters? It would have one killer number to be sure.

said Biff Fearless on July 31, 2008 1:39 PM.

I know, Biff, I had Ghostbusters on the short list. I keep second-guessing leaving it off. Slimer could sing.

These were the songs from the notes...

Potential Songs:
Get Her!
This Man Has No Dick
Who Brought the Dog?
Stay Puft Blues
There's A Dog In My Fridge

I may have botched that one.

said Johnny Wright on July 31, 2008 1:53 PM.

>"5. Fargo - Granted, the snow is going to be a challenge for the production designer"

FYI: Belgian stage director Luk Perceval made a piece called 'Moliere' in Vienna two years ago in which it snows on stage for the entire six(!) hours of the performance. The designers used some kind of synthetic, wool-like material, and it has an awesome, almost hypnotic effect. I definitely see great potential for a snow white Fargo-musical. Don't forget the touching ballad by Mike Yanagita: 'You were such a super lady'.
Great list!

said Simber on July 31, 2008 2:34 PM.

Really?!? That is amazing.

"You're Such A Super Lady" would bring the house down.

Thanks for reading Simber.


said Johnny Wright on July 31, 2008 2:42 PM.

how about Forrest Gump? i can hear "The Ballad of Leiutenant Dan" now... and the hit numbers "Run, Forrest, Run" "Stupid is as Stupid does" "Life is Like a Box of Chocolates" "Shrimp, Shrimp, Shrimp!" hello? this musical writes itself.

also, for your consideration: The Big Lebowski, with songs like "The Dude Abides" "Shut the fuck up donny" "The White Russians" "Log Jammin" "He Pissed on my Carpet" "This is what happens when you fuck a stranger in the ass(meet a stranger in the alps)!"...and so much more...

said alex z on July 31, 2008 4:32 PM.

That's gold, Alex.

said Johnny Wright on July 31, 2008 4:39 PM.

Me, I want Die Hard the musical. Wit the Swat Team Blues, C (is)4 Christmas, Yippie-kay-ay M*****F****** and possibly Gruber singing I can't help falling for you as the lead in to the huge finale...

said Ell on July 31, 2008 8:22 PM.

oh come on.. NO ONE said Pulp Fiction?

with such great numbers as:
In the fifth my ass goes down.
royale with cheese
the duet of pumpkin and honey bunny
she's ODing
i shot marvin in the face

it would be briliant.

I totally second the goonies motion. That would be awesome.

said Katie on July 31, 2008 9:47 PM.

Damn. Good Stuff! I can totally see these as hits. Productive discussion here Johnny.

Get some high energy song and dance, you guys got the book already, kid, you're gonna be a star.

said E on July 31, 2008 10:00 PM.

Yeah, the input from the Loyal 77 and others has been really impressive. (Yep, I'm looking at you Katie and your Pulp Fiction suggestions. Beauties.)

We're going to bring Broadway to a whole new level.

I do appreciate the contributions my friends.


said Johnny Wright on July 31, 2008 10:04 PM.

I'm on board with the Pulp Fiction idea too. Katie, the pumpkin and honey bunny scene is a winner for sure. (Just watched it again last weekend on VH1. I do love that flick.)

said E on July 31, 2008 10:23 PM.

I'm still waiting for Planet of the Apes the musical, The Simpsons already made up a few of the songs and it was hilarious.

said SJ on July 31, 2008 11:03 PM.

I always thought that Holes would make a great musical, if they could find a way to "dig holes" onstage. It would include "This Ain't a Girl Scout Camp" and "Peaches and Onions (The Magic Formula)," among many other Tony-quality numbers.

Or what about The Breakfast Club? I don't know what the songs would be but it would be excellent for sure!

said The Bee's Knees on July 31, 2008 11:34 PM.

Nothing spells love (or success) like a Nancy Thompson/Freddy Krueger duet. Perhaps veteran stage performer and 80s songwriter Deborah Gibson could score it. Or at least adapt "Only In My Dreams". Not to mention that quaint nursery rhyme: one, two, Freddy's coming for you...

Gold, I tell you. Gold!

said Aidan on July 31, 2008 11:35 PM.

Okay, note to self...

Planet of the Apes, Holes, Breakfast Club (wow), Nightmare on Elm Street.

Noted. Amazing. Cheers.

I keep laughing to myself thinking of Principal Vernon singing "You Mess With the Bull, You Get the Horns!"


said Johnny Wright on July 31, 2008 11:43 PM.

At first I was like... O_o
But then I realized you're halfway joking...You are, right?

said DCMovieGirl on August 1, 2008 12:10 AM.

I've been thinking Brazil would make a kind of awesome musical. As would Reservoir Dogs. Tarantino's movies are so talky, they'd be perfect for this kind of thing.

Featured songs for Reservoir Dogs:
"Tipping the Waitress" complete with the "Toby Chew, Toby Chew..." thing repeated in the middle
"Seymour Scagnetti"
"The Drug Tale"
"Ya ever listen to K Billy's Super Sounds of the 70s?"

I personally would love to see 300: The Musical, as well.

said Jessi on August 1, 2008 12:42 PM.

James Bond flicks ache all over for a musical treatment!

Don't nobody love me but my kitty.

Oh M, doncha wish U were Me? I'm up to my neck in P!

I'd love see you fry, but I gotta fly.

Tied up deep underground, rifle fire all around...hey, Q, Need You.

Suck me out the window like Goldfinger, mama.

said G on August 8, 2008 4:34 AM.

I can't believe (even though it's a book) no one mentioned Hunter S. Thompsons "Hell's Angels".

said Jeni Gump on August 11, 2008 12:32 PM.

As one of Dr. Thompson's biggest fans, I will put in an official request to Owl Farm to get the Hell's Angels film made. Then I will write another column that says Hells Angels should be a musical.

I can right the ship. Just be patient.

said Johnny Wright on August 11, 2008 12:40 PM.

Thank you Night Cobra, Thank you.

I can't get through 'By the Ticket, Take the Ride' without welling up. That should also be a musical. And Fear and Loathing. And, well anything that awesome son of a bitch ever dreamed up in his deliciously warped mind...

Hopefully, a long time from now, he'll grant me an audience for 30 seconds so I can shake his hand and incoherently, hopefully incoherently, since he might be good enough to share what mind altering substances he's found on the great white highway, try to tell him how much he means to me.

said Jeni Gump on August 11, 2008 1:13 PM.

I'm looking forward to the song "It Never Got Weird Enough For Me."

said Johnny Wright on August 11, 2008 1:26 PM.

It's a shame we lost Carlin also, I woulda loved to see Carlin play Thompson.

...fucking thunderstorm here right now...

said Jeni Gump on August 11, 2008 1:32 PM.

i love the movie goodfellas but i think i'm gonna love the broadway musical better! i haven't laughed so hard about goodfellas since i was watching it last week.

said deedee on November 8, 2008 6:43 PM.
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