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musical bracket oct 27 musical bracket oct 27

The Review/ Short Read/

TIFF's Movie Musicals Bracket

Help us choose: what's the best musical of all time?

by
Oct 27, 2016

TIFF LOVES MUSICALS

Fred Astaire's tap shoes. Dorothy's ruby slippers. Dr. Frank-N-Furter's platforms. Movie musicals have been dancing their way into our hearts for almost a century. At TIFF 2016 we were reminded of their power when audiences were swept away by our Grolsch People's Choice Award winner La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle (the follow-up to his 2014 hit Whiplash). Set in a mythical Los Angeles, Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone fall in love admidst the heartbreak of following their Hollywood dreams. Our audience's rabid appreciation got us thinking: What’s the best movie musical of all time?

WHAT'S A BRACKET?

This question naturally led us down a path of furious debate as we revisited old classics, cult favourites and foreign-language gems across cinema history. Eventually, we landed on a list of what TIFF considers the 64 Most Iconic Movie Musicals Ever Made, divided equally into four eras: The Early Musical (pre-1955); The Golden Era (1955-1969); The Modern Musical (1970-1989); and The Current Musical (1990-present). Doing this was hard enough. The only way forward was to use the rubric of a traditional sports bracket, most commonly employed during March Madness. Pitting movie musicals against each other in head-to-head matchups, each would have to prove itself against a worthy opponent. The questions became crushing: *Purple Rain* or *Labyrinth*? *Cabaret* or *Hairspray*? *An American in Paris* or *A Star is Born*? Matchups were determined by a seeding (1 through 16), representing the film’s gross box office revenue (adjusted for inflation rates). Titles that generated the most income were given a higher seeding, but not necessarily an easier time.

With each matchup, we looked at the films’ enduring cultural impact, originality, critical reception, storytelling, cinematic vision and the quality of their musical and dance numbers. From 64, we narrowed it down to 32; some losses were deeply lamented, but we bravely moved forward. From 32, the finalists were cut down to 16, and then eventually eight musical gems remained. This is where we stopped. We couldn’t possibly make these tough choices without the guidance and input of the most discerning film-going audience (that’s you!).

Starting tonight for 24 hours only, we’ll be opening up voting on each remaining round to determine the Best Movie Musical of All Time. The stakes? The winning film will play at TIFF Bell Lightbox on November 17 for a very special screening.

Tell us what you think of the bracket so far (feel free to disagree heartily) and vote on the remaining rounds. Only you can determine what song we can't get out of our heads.

THE BEST MOVIE MUSICAL CONTENDERS

Note: in standard bracket format, these final match-ups will go head-to-head. The winner of the semi-finals will move on the final four. Then those candidates will determine the last remaining two Greatest Musicals of All Time. Now, let the showdown begin!

West Side Story (1961) vs. Singin' in the Rain (1952)

THE POST-MODERN MUSICALS (1990-PRESENT)
THE GOLDEN ERA (1955-1969)
16
Bang Bang Baby
8
Dancer in the Dark
12
Topsy Turvy
13
Hedwig and the Angry Inch
6
South Park
3
Moulin Rouge!
7
3 Idiots
15
Dr. Horrible's Singalong Blog
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168629' target='_blank'><span class='modern'>8</span> <div>Dancer in the Dark</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0248845' target='_blank'><span class='modern'>13</span> <div>Hedwig and the Angry Inch</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0158983' target='_blank'><span class='modern'>6</span> <div>South Park</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1187043' target='_blank'><span class='modern'>7</span> <div>3 Idiots</div></a>

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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168629' target='_blank'><span class='modern'>8</span> <div>Dancer in the Dark</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1187043' target='_blank'><span class='modern'>7</span> <div>3 Idiots</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0168629' target='_blank'><span class='modern'>8</span> <div>Dancer in the Dark</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055614' target='_blank'><span class='golden reverse'>6</span> <div>West Side Story</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058450' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>12</span> <div>The Umbrellas of Cherbourg</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055614' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>6</span> <div>West Side Story</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059742' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>1</span> <div>The Sound of Music</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058450' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>12</span> <div>The Umbrellas of Cherbourg</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055614' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>6</span> <div>West Side Story</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058331' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>2</span> <div>Mary Poppins</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059742' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>1</span> <div>The Sound of Music</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056891' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>8</span> <div>Bye Bye Birdie</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058450' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>12</span> <div>The Umbrellas of Cherbourg</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050188' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>13</span> <div>Mother India</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055614' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>6</span> <div>West Side Story</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058385' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>3</span> <div>My Fair Lady</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062803' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>10</span><div>Chitty Chitty Bang Bang</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058331' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>2</span> <div>Mary Poppins</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0059742' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>1</span> <div>The Sound of Music</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055572' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>16</span> <div>A Woman is a Woman</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0056891' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>8</span> <div>Bye Bye Birdie</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050556' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>9</span> <div>Jailhouse Rock</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062994' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>5</span> <div>Funny Girl</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058450' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>12</span> <div>The Umbrellas of Cherbourg</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0063385' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>4</span> <div>Oliver</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050188' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>13</span> <div>Mother India</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0055614' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>6</span> <div>West Side Story</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1829003' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>12</span> <div>The Love Eterne</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058385' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>3</span> <div>My Fair Lady</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0050419' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>14</span><div>Funny Face</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053291' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>7</span> <div>Some Like It Hot</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0062803' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>10</span><div>Chitty Chitty Bang Bang</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0058331' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>2</span> <div>Mary Poppins</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0053146' target='_blank'><span class='golden'>15</span><div>Black Orpheus </div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077631' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>1</span> <div>Grease</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071994' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>16</span> <div>Phantom of the Paradise</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091419' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>8</span> <div>Little Shop of Horrors</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078504' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>9</span> <div>The Wiz</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068327' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>5</span> <div>Cabaret</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095270' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>12</span> <div>Hairspray</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079588' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>4</span> <div>The Muppet Movie</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073707' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>13</span> <div>Sholay</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0087957' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>6</span> <div>Purple Rain</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091369' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>12</span> <div>Labyrinth</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067093' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>3</span> <div>Fiddler on the Roof</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092219' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>14</span><div>Window Shopping</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0086619' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>7</span> <div>Yentl</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084865' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>10</span><div>Victor Victoria</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073629' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>2</span> <div>The Rocky Horror Picture Show</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0090125' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>15</span><div>Tangos the Exile of Gardel</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0077631' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>1</span> <div>Grease</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078504' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>9</span> <div>The Wiz</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068327' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>5</span> <div>Cabaret</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0079588' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>4</span> <div>The Muppet Movie</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091369' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>12</span> <div>Labyrinth</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0067093' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>3</span> <div>Fiddler on the Roof</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084865' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>10</span><div>Victor Victoria</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073629' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>2</span> <div>The Rocky Horror Picture Show</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0078504' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>9</span> <div>The Wiz</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068327' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>5</span> <div>Cabaret</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0091369' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>12</span> <div>Labyrinth</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073629' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>2</span> <div>The Rocky Horror Picture Show</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0068327' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>5</span> <div>Cabaret</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073629' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>2</span> <div>The Rocky Horror Picture Show</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0073629' target='_blank'><span class='weird'>2</span> <div>The Rocky Horror Picture Show</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045152' target='_blank'><span class='early reverse'>4</span> <div>Singin' in the Rain</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045152' target='_blank'><span class='early'>4</span> <div>Singin' in the Rain</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047522' target='_blank'><span class='early'>10</span><div>A Star Is Born</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032138' target='_blank'><span class='early'>1</span> <div>The Wizard of Oz</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045152' target='_blank'><span class='early'>4</span> <div>Singin' in the Rain</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037059' target='_blank'><span class='early'>3</span> <div>Meet Me in St. Louis</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047522' target='_blank'><span class='early'>10</span><div>A Star Is Born</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032138' target='_blank'><span class='early'>1</span> <div>The Wizard of Oz</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0027125' target='_blank'><span class='early'>9</span> <div>Top Hat</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024034' target='_blank'><span class='early'>12</span> <div>42nd Street</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045152' target='_blank'><span class='early'>4</span> <div>Singin' in the Rain</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047472' target='_blank'><span class='early'>6</span> <div>Seven Brides for Seven Brothers</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037059' target='_blank'><span class='early'>3</span> <div>Meet Me in St. Louis</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047522' target='_blank'><span class='early'>10</span><div>A Star Is Born</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045810' target='_blank'><span class='early'>15</span><div>Gentlemen Prefer Blondes</div></a>
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            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032138' target='_blank'><span class='early'>1</span> <div>The Wizard of Oz</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018773' target='_blank'><span class='early'>16</span> <div>Circus </div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048445' target='_blank'><span class='early'>8</span> <div>Oklahoma!</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0027125' target='_blank'><span class='early'>9</span> <div>Top Hat</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0018037' target='_blank'><span class='early'>5</span> <div>The Jazz Singer</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0024034' target='_blank'><span class='early'>12</span> <div>42nd Street</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045152' target='_blank'><span class='early'>4</span> <div>Singin' in the Rain</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0145856' target='_blank'><span class='early'>13</span> <div>Jhanak Jhanak Payal Baje</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047472' target='_blank'><span class='early'>6</span> <div>Seven Brides for Seven Brothers</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0041716' target='_blank'><span class='early'>12</span> <div>On The Town</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0037059' target='_blank'><span class='early'>3</span> <div>Meet Me in St. Louis</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0342079' target='_blank'><span class='early'>14</span><div>Days and Nights</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0043278' target='_blank'><span class='early'>7</span> <div>An American in Paris</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0047522' target='_blank'><span class='early'>10</span><div>A Star Is Born</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0048140' target='_blank'><span class='early'>2</span> <div>Guys and Dolls</div></a>
            <a href='http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045810' target='_blank'><span class='early'>15</span><div>Gentlemen Prefer Blondes</div></a>
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        <div class='semi' id='semi-bottom'>Singin' in the Rain</div>
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    <div class='bracket-titles'>
        <div class='weird-text'>THE MODERN MUSICALS (1970-1989)</div>
        <div class='early-text right'>THE EARLY MUSICALS (PRE-1955)</div>
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    <a class='smaller' href='https://images.contentful.com/22n7d68fswlw/3usDdYAQjm426gek0Ee2qO/e3747635cbf3d232f265ba4c735430b2/MUSICAL-BRACKET-white-v2.jpg'>Download as an image</a>
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