ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

Cinema goers have been shouting from the rose-tinted rooftops about the innovative originality of La La Land, but stylistically it isn't as original as you might think.

The visually stunning Damien Chazelle directed Oscar-darling borrows heavily from the style of old Hollywood to give it it's signature lavish look and below are the classic movies it drew inspiration from to achieve greatness.

I've taken these GIFs from Sara Preciado's wonderful, impeccably researched video and all of the impressive in-depth cinematic knowledge is plucked directly from her cultured grey matter.

'Les Demoiselles De Rochefort'

Les Demoiselles De Rochefort is a 1967 French musical film that was both written and directed by Jacques Demy. The movie received and Oscar nomination for Best Score, so it should be no surprise that it was in music lover Chazelle's cultural lexicon.


Even the most casual movie-goer would have probably noticed this wonderfully put together homage to the classic Grease bedroom scene, complete with nods to the powder pink walls and bold color-block outfits.

'Sweet Charity'

An adaption of a stage musical Sweet Charity was released as a movie in 1969, and it was best known for its dance sequences (choreographed by Bob Fosse), so it's great to see some of the iconic scenes honored in .

'Boogie Nights'

One of the more contemporary sources of inspiration for Chazelle, Boogie Nights was released in 1994. The creative camera work in the pool scene really helps the audience feel the riotous party vibe, and it works just as well in '50s inspired La La Land as the '70s inspired original.

See Also:

'Singing In The Rain'

By far the most obvious movie reference to anyone with even a passing knowledge of musical cinema, Singing In The Rain is given multiple nods in La La Land with each one truly doing the original justice while building on its legacy.

'Shall We Dance'

Starring Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers in their seventh musical comedy together, Shall We Dance has a playful energy that Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling have managed to channel perfectly.

'The Band Wagon'

The Band Wagon is yet another Astaire and Rogers number, which makes total sense when you consider their enormous influence in shaping and popularizing musical cinema

'Moulin Rouge'

Baz Luhrmann's visually sumptuous Moulin Rouge has a lot of parallels with La La Land, so it's not surprising that its famous dancing among the clouds scene got a stunning LA remix.

'West Side Story'

Another truly iconic musical, it's only natural that 1961's Romeo and Juliet retelling, West Side Story gets more than one hat tip from Chazelle.

'Funny Face'

Emma Stone does a marvelous job of channeling the vibrant elegance of Audrey Hepburn, and the reference to 1957's Funny Face is clear from the bunch of balloons splashing color into the scene.

'An American In Paris'

The artistic painted backdrops of An American In Paris are a visual high note of the 1951 Gene Kelly fronted musical comedy so it totally makes sense that it made a splash in La La Land.

'Broadway Medley Of 1940'

Watch the whole video below and see a few additional movies who have small references in La La Land:

Were you surprised how many classic musical homages were crammed into La La Land?


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