BySimon Hardy Butler, writer at

I give up. Two of my favorite musicals have been around for decades, and they've never been made into big-budget Hollywood motion pictures. Why?

I submit to the film industry the cases of Candide, with music by Leonard Bernstein, and The Most Happy Fella, scored by Frank Loesser. They're both classics, with memorable, singable songs and terrific lyrics, plus books that are both humorous and moving.

Why are we slated to get a movie of the inferior Into the Woods and a rehash of Annie before either of these two greats I mentioned?

It's not that Candide and The Most Happy Fella are inaccessible. Hardly; they're incredibly tuneful. Granted, the latter musical was based on the play They Knew What They Wanted, which became a 1940 film starring Charles Laughton, so there is a precedent for this tale. Still, it was packaged without the Loesser tunes, which elevate the story greatly.

Here's a clip featuring perhaps the greatest song in the American musical canon, "Make Our Garden Grow" from Candide. And Into the Woods is better than this? No freakin' way.

And here's a clip featuring one of the best melodies from The Most Happy Fella: "Joey, Joey, Joey." Good stuff.

Big-budget cinematic productions of these two musical masterpieces would be potential moneymakers and need little to no updating. Plop in a solid director, actors who can sing, a top-tier orchestra, and there you go.

I hope Hollywood's listening.


Latest from our Creators