My Favorite Rodgers and Hammerstein Movies

Liz Vestal 

Rodgers and Hammerstein: Least to Best
I’m taking a risk. A big one. I’m ranking my favorite R&H movie musicals since I’ve seen all of those. Most of you won’t agree. That’s fine. I’m secure in my love of R&H and in my list. I can take it… however if you need me in the next several days, I will be on a desert island with no wi-fi. Here it is from least (although it’s R&H- even my least favorite is still great) to best:  

8.  State Fair (1945)

Catchy songs and a cute story this is everything you would want to see as an American in the midst of year four of a massive world war.  Best moment: Wayne schooling the barker at his own game. 

7.    Flower Drum Song

Perhaps one of their more interesting and most dated shows. Best cinematography: the 3 Nancy’s singing “I Enjoy Being a Girl” in the movie version. For its time, that was a cool trick.

6.    Cinderella (1957)

The story we all know and love with songs we all love to hum. IBest Part: a young Julie Andrews showing off her stunning voice. 

5.    Oklahoma

A sweet, simple story line with songs perfectly matched to each character and situation. Favorite Song: “I’m Just a Girl Who Cain’t Say No”.  I dare you to sing that song with anything but a twangy accent and a cheeky grin. You can’t, can you? 

4.    The King and I

Gorgeous costumes, and one of my favorite R&H scores evoking the majesty and splendor of imperial Thailand. Best Moment: the look between the King and Anna as they go into their dance. The love, respect and passion conveyed in that moment is pure magic.  

3.    Carousel

One of their more mature storylines with a score to match. Fun trivia: because the movie’s stars, Gordon McRae and Shirley Jones, also starred in Oklahoma for YEARS I thought Carousel was the prequel to Oklahoma. Curly talks about first seeing Laurie on the carousel when they were younger… someone else agree with me here, I can’t be the only one confused! 

2.    The Sound of Music

 Sure you could make fun of my choice. But you know all the songs, you know all the words and yet there’s something about it that keeps drawing us back every year. Best song: The Sound of Music. When sung well, it’s like a prayer to nature. 

1.    South Pacific

This is a show I never understood or appreciated as a child.  The storyline and themes were a bit too “adult” for me. Once I became an adult, it all clicked. Best song: This Nearly Was Mine. Heartbreaking piece of musical perfection. 
That’s my list. What’s yours?