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Top 10 Manliest Musicals

5. My Fair Lady

Best Musicals Movies
The archaic sexual politics of Pygmalion are still present in this re-working. Elisa Doolittle agrees to be transformed by Henry Higgins from a tramp into a lady, and the first thing Henry does is order his housekeeper to bathe Elisa and burn her old clothes. The film famously ends with the line “get me my slippers!” directed at Elisa. So yeah. Rex Harrison plays Henry Higgins like no one else could. He can’t sing too well, but he won’t let that stop him!

Here he is sticking up for his bro’s –

4. Aladdin

Best Musicals Movies
I know what you’re thinking: Aladdin should take that vest off, he looks like McLovin’. That and: this is a cartoon, for children, how manly can it be? Well, he’s a thief an a liar with a heart of gold and a way with a weapon – that’s stereotypical manly hero stuff right there! Sounds like a character Harrison Ford would play!

3. Bugsy Malone

Best Musicals Movies
I know what you’re thinking: I could just about swallow the Aladdin thing, but Bugsy Malone?! And I say yeah, think about it. The kids in this movie are playing adults. Mobsters. What is Bugsy Malone if not a meditation on the essence of manliness? A telling juxtaposition of manhood with boyhood? With splurge guns! Not to mention it has quite possibly the manliest songs of ANY of the films on this list:

2. Nine

Musicals Movies Best Of
It’s based on classic Fellini movie 8 1/2, and it stars Daniel Day-Lewis. Sure, the critical reception hasn’t been so hot, but the manliest of movies don’t often have that luxury. From exploitation films to B-Movies, the critically panned is invariably manly. And again, Daniel Day-Lewis. Even sans-moustache, there’s no denying it.

When I think cinematic bad-assery, the first name that springs to mind is Daniel Day-Lewis. Throughout whatever-the-f*ck that last decade was named, Day-Lewis towered over his peers and costars like Gulliver among the Lilliputians, first as the bloodthirsty Bill The Butcher in Gangs Of New York, then as a man who gains the world and loses his soul in There Will Be Blood. Pity the poor actors who had to act opposite Day-Lewis. In Gangs Of New York, his Godzilla-sized bad-assery made Leonardo DiCaprio look like a Catholic schoolgirl by comparison. Day-Lewis similarly ran roughshod over co-star/arch-nemesis Paul Dano as an evil oilman. Day-Lewis’ snarling tough was such a volcanic force of nature that he could probably create booming oil wells just by punching the ground. To quote another great bad-ass of the decade, King Kong had nothing on him. – The AV Club

1. Sweeney Todd

Best Musicals Movies
There is no musical more grim and dark than the grim and dark Sweeney Todd. A demon Barber, a man who kills and puts his victims in pies – AND THEN HAS A LITTLE SING SONG ABOUT IT.

Seriously, dude sings about knives. KNIVES.

Agree/Disagree? What’s missing? Let me know in the comments.

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  • gd smith said

    The most manly musical ever made is the Blues Brothers. It’s so manly most people don’t even realise that it was designed and conceived as a musical. The Phantom of the Paradise is another disguised manly musical.
    I also think Singing in the Rain is fairly manly and ironically so is the Rocky Horror Picture Show, a film so manly straight middle aged men feel free to dress like transvestites in public to watch it.

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  • Sheridan Passell said
    Sheridan Passell

    Popeye the movie. It’s a story of gruff sailors, boxing, and pipe-smoking. Popeye is unapologetic for his macho persona, as evidenced in the song “I Yam What I Yam.”

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  • Serg said

    No Cry-Baby? Really?

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  • kramer said

    What? WHAT?!?!?!? No Predator The musical??

    This puts all movies in this list to shame. ;P

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  • G said

    No Planet of the Apes from the Simpsons? For shame

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  • Thom said

    Wow a list of musicals without Mamma Mia. Hooray!

    I’m not sure if this article actually represents manly musicals or if it sounds like somebody trying to justify their love of the campest thing in cinema!

    One of my favourite musicals is Nightmare Before Christmas. Brutal deaths, Vampires, sadistic gifts, now that’s manly!

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  • d22guinness said

    gd smith got it right Blues Brothers all the way!

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  • CINEPHILE420 said


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  • Joker said

    Funny, I never thought the words musical and manly could ever go together.

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  • Vanilla said

    Music Man?

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  • SoM24Maria said

    no The Sound of Music? It’s the best.

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  • Joms said

    I wanted to see “Across the Universe” because I’m a Beatles fan.

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  • Joana said


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  • Joe Keller said

    Lets see. Cannibal the Musical and Evil Dead come to mind

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  • Joe said

    Paint Your Wagon.

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