10 of The Darkest Musicals of All Time

When you hear the words “movies and musicals,” many people probably think of colorful, fun images and cheerful songs. Musicals are a lot of fun, and many of the most famous musical movies are feel-good. They’re comfortable movies, and many of the best movies present a reality where the opportunity to fall in love seems ubiquitous, and people can wear their hats and break into a song.

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This is an accurate way to describe some musicals, but it wouldn’t be fair to describe all musicals this way. Some filmmakers have used the genre to tell stories of music-filled tragedies, heartbreaks, and deaths that are never hilarious. His next ten films are among his darkest and most bleak musicals of all time, shocking to those who think of the genre as characterized only by goofy songs and gooey emotions. maybe.

Spoilers for the musical are discussed below.

“Dancer in the Dark” (2000)

split musical lead björk -who is best known for her music career- Dancer in the Dark It tells an unforgettable, shocking and tragic story. It is set in the 1960s and follows a single mother named Selma who is blind and wants to do whatever she can to raise money to have eye surgery that will prevent her only child from facing a similar ordeal. I think

things get darker and more hopeless Dancer in the Dark Continuing, Selma is forced to retreat into a fantasy world inspired by her love of musical theater. , can only hope that real life works like life in a musical…

“West Side Story” (1961)

west side story natalie wood richard beymer
Image by United Artists

The musical retelling of . Romeo and Juliet It’s going to be a bit of a downer. west side story famous William Shakespeare’s A doomed young love story transports it to the 20th century, showing two people on opposite sides of a violent gang war falling in love and the tragic consequences that flow from their romance.

Ultimately, the conclusion isn’t as bleak as the original play’s ending, but it’s not too far off either. In addition to his death, he didn’t pull any punches when it came to showing the love of two young people torn apart.

“Les Miserables” (2012)

Anne Hathaway in Les Miserables
Source: Universal Pictures

To put it bluntly, miserable Pretty miserable. Even with an ending that offers hope and redemption for some characters, there’s a fair amount of grief that those characters (and the viewers watching them) have to work through beforehand.

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This musical adaptation is an epic novel Victor Hugo It’s a tale of a thief seeking redemption in a time of social upheaval, and the music won’t make it any happier. , you seldom leave a place happier than when you entered it.

“Red Mill!” (2001)

Christian and Satine sing as the lights twinkle in the background of the Moulin Rouge!

Red mill! It can be a very silly, pretentious, and explosive movie musical when it wants to be. Baz Luhrmann Famous for his maximalist style and among all his films, Red mill! It might be the noisier one with the most eye-popping visuals, but when paired with lightning-fast editing, it can create an overwhelming (and sometimes fun) experience.

But the story of this movie is very sad and makes you realize it from the beginning. Ewan McGregor’s The character states at the beginning, “The woman I love has died,” so viewers know it will be a doomed romance from the start.

“Oliver!” (1968)

Oliver! - 1968

in the meantime Oliver! It may be a movie about children’s characters, and it has a lot of chipper-sounding songs, but it’s not exactly a children’s movie. The premise alone is a bit dark, but the second half is much darker.

Although the film was rated G, many of the deeds committed by its main antagonist, Bill Sykes, are far more violent and terrifying than most family movie villains. He defeated one of the movie’s most sympathetic characters and took his own life in a gruesome manner at the end of the musical.It’s incredibly dark and surprisingly Oliver! It is sometimes considered a family movie.

“Little Shop of Horrors” (1986)

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

An almost perfect combination of horror, romance, music and comedy, Little Shop of Horrors One of the best musicals of the 1980s. It centers around a young man who grows living plants that grow at an incredibly fast rate while having a desire for blood and, ultimately, a whole human being.

The film’s premise is considerably darker and more violent than most film musicals, but the theatrical version’s ending spares the two main characters so it doesn’t end in disrepair. , it is implied that the two main characters die and the plant continues to grow large enough to rule the world. Either way, the story is horror, but the director’s cut ending takes things to a whole other level.

“All That Jazz” (1979)

Bob Fosse made a biopic about himself at all that jazzAlthough the main character in this film isn’t called Bob Fosse, the real Fosse and the fictional Joe Gideon have a lot in common. Each was drunk and took drugs frequently, both were consistently marginalized workaholics, and each was a womanizer unable to sort out all affairs.

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Fosse is all that jazz, Gideon died of a heart attack at the end of the film, and Fosse himself died some eight years after the film’s release.When all that jazz Essentially about a man who works to death for his relentless lifestyle, it’s not exactly a happy movie.

“Jesus Christ Superstar” (1973)

Jesus Christ Superstar - 1973

jesus christ superstar takes the last day of of Jesus Christ Life – the lead-up to his crucifixion – and make it a rock opera musical.

The songs are catchy and the style is often bold and funny, but they don’t pull much punch in telling a story that is very violent in nature. It doesn’t help, either, that it leaves things on a dark note, and that the crucifixion itself is shown in considerable graphic detail.

“The Rocky Horror Show” (1975)

Cult Classics - Rocky Horror Show - Tim Curry

most of the time rocky horror show In execution, it’s a runaway, over-the-top, dark and funny musical runaway. Most are never too dark or depressing.

But when it comes to the ending, rocky horror show It presents itself as an amazing tragedy. Many people were killed, and even if the main characters Brad and Janet lost their lives in the strange castle the musical was set in, their relationship could be permanently damaged and they would be traumatized by what they did. Using . The last scene really highlights it.”horrorPart of the title of this musical.

“Cabaret” (1972)


cabaret A bold and incredibly unique film that helped redefine what was possible in musical cinema. Focusing on the group and ignoring what’s going on around them until it’s too late.

The focus on the effects of fascism and the dangers posed by such ideology becomes clearer as the film progresses, and can shock viewers in the same way that the characters in the film are astonished by it. . cabaret It’s a serious musical that tackles tough themes in an organic and brutally honest way. This may turn some viewers off, but for others he’s one of the reasons it’s become an all-important classic.

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