The trend for the Jukebox Musical movies doesn’t show signs of disappearing from the film world any time soon. I’m pleased because I love a good musical, and sing along to a movie if the soundtrack is good.
Of course music is synonymous with the movies. Soundtracks can make a film. From the classic film composers like John Williams, Ennio Morricone or John Barry who created original soundtracks. To films which simply use current or popular tracks to tell the story.
Not forgetting musicals which have again become popular in the last 10 years or so. And biopics about famous musicians and singers like Rocketman about Elton John.
But what about those movies that aren’t about the specific artist or band, but which use their songs as the soundtrack. These moves are known as Jukebox musicals.
What are Jukebox Musicals?
Jukebox musicals don’t always just use the songs from one singer or band. Some will use music from a genre or musical era. Many of these musicals come from stage shows and vice versa. But the music all comes from previously recorded music, rather than being composed for the movie.
9 Jukebox musical movies
Last Christmas (2019)
A touching Christmas movie which brings together a troubled young wannabe singer working as an Elf in a Christmas shop, with a man who helps her put her life on the right path, as she falls for him. All set to the background of Wham’s songs.
Sunshine on Leith (2013)
To the songs of The Proclaimers, two soldiers return home to Leith, Edinburgh, and try to rekindle their home and romantic lives after their Afghanistan tour.
Romantic comedy directed by Danny Boyle, written by Richard Curtis, where a struggling musician realise he’s the only person on earth to know The Beatles. Cue his becoming famous using their songs as his own.
Mamma Mia (2008)
Romantic comedy set in Greece where a young girl tries to find out which of 3 men are her father ahead of her wedding, while her mother sings her way around the island back into love.
Not forgetting the follow up Mamma Mia Here We Go Again (2018)
Rock of Ages (2012)
A young woman comes to the city to become a singer, meets a guy who’s also trying to become a star, while Tom Cruise features as the troubled famous star on the way out. The film uses classic 1980s rock music as the soundtrack.
Saturday Night Fever (1977)
The music of the Bee Gees and 1970s made John Travolta famous playing Tony Manero as a student with a bleak future trying to make himself something at the disco.
Moulin Rouge! (2001)
Set in the Paris Moulin Rouge, the love story of a poor bohemian poet falling in love with a Moulin Rouge courtesan and star, who a duke wants. Music includes songs from Elton John, Sting, Queen and David Bowie.
Animated movie with a well known cast, about a Koala who wants to be a singing star, and puts on a singing competition. Songs include those many from singers who died in 2016 including George Michael, David Bowie and Leonard Cohen.
Coyote Ugly (2000)
Young songwriter heads to the city to get her songs heard, ends up working as a Coyote in a bar, meets a guy who finds the way to get her to perform her music. Some (not all) songs are based on Leanne Rimes country pop. (not strictly a Jukebox Musical, as there was original music on the soundtrack).
Which artist’s music would you like to see immortalised in the next jukebox musical?