Notable Movies with Good Music

KSDB highlights some of the greatest pieces of cinema defined by their music.

The Wiz

“But that’s the whole tragic point my friends. What would I do? If I could suddenly feel. And to know, once again, that what I feel is real?”

A musical, by Charlie Smalls and William F. Brown, based on The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by Lyman Frank Baum. The Wiz was released by Universal Pictures and Motown Productions in 1978. The film starred Michael Jackson as the scarecrow, Diana Ross as Dorothy, Richard Pryor as the The Wiz. Known today as a cult classic, a shy Harlem girl befriends a scarecrow, a tin-man and cowardly lion on her way to the Emerald City. (I will NOT explain this full mystery land story…We’re in Kansas!)

This is Michael Jackson’s only theatrical feature film and performance. In my opinion, The Wiz is the Musical GOAT!

Why Do Fools Fall in Love
“So you met someone who set you back on your heels, goody goody!”

A movie about Frankie Lymon,  lead singer of The Tennagers, whom wrote and recorded “Why Do Fools Fall in Love”in the 50’s during the Doo-Wop era. You are probably familiar with his hit song “Little Bitty Pretty One”!

This American story dramatizes Lymon’s fame and success in a 1998 biographical film from viewpoints of his three wives starring Halle Berry, Vivica Fox and Lela Rochon. Larenz Tate portrays Lymon in this Rags-to-Riches-to-Ruin Story directed by American film producer & screenwriter Gregory Nava.


“Anything for Salinas[sic]!”

In another biographical drama directed by Gregory Nava, Jennifer Lopez portrays Tejano Music Artist Selena Quintanilla-Perez. This film was released in 1997 and is coined by Rolling Stone as a Top 30  best music Biopics of all time.

This movie is a timeless classic and features a great cast. Lopez portrays Selena with dignity and has helped further the impact of the pop singer’s influence and legacy.

Her compelling story lives on today, 20 years later!

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella (1997 version)

“And because these daft and dewy-Eyed dopes keep building up impossible hopes, Impossible, things are happening everyday”

Seen on ABC’s Wonderful World of Disney, this $12-million production is the only musical Rodgers and Hammerstein wrote for television. This television remake was adapted by Robert L. Freedman, directed by Robert Iscove and produced by Whitney Houston.

Cinderella garnered sixty million views for its initial broadcast on Nov. 2, 1997 starring Brandy Norwood, Whitney Houston, Whoopi Goldberg, Bernadette Peters and Victor Garber. In my humble opinion, this version is more memorable than the Julie Andrews 1965 version. *shrugs*


“I’m telling these tears, ‘Go and fall away, fall away’, May the last one burn into flames”

Directed by Beyoncé and Khalil Joseph, this musical was released by Parkwood Entertainment via HBO on April 23, 2016. Lemonade featured many cameo appearances included Mothers’ of the Movement, Zendaya, Serena Williams, Ava Clark and Amandla Sternberg.

The imagery of this visual album is a jaw dropping display of superlative choreography and score.


By: LeAndre Carthen

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