THE WORLD'S WORST MUSICALS

by Arcanus
The world’s worst musical film is “Song of Norway”, a 1970 film adaptation of the hideously awful operetta of the same name, “directed” by Andrew Stone (ho ho). It purports to tell of the early struggles of composer Edvard Grieg and his attempts to develop an authentic Norwegian national music. It “stars” (I hesitate to use that word about such a terrible film) Toralv Maurstad as Grieg and features an international cast including Florence Henderson, Christina Schollin, Robert Morley, Harry Secombe, Oskar Homolka and even Edward G. Robinson. The film was a deserved critical and commercial disaster. Someone called Pauline Kael wrote: “The movie… Read more

The world’s worst musical film is “Song of Norway”, a 1970 film adaptation of the hideously awful operetta of the same name, “directed” by Andrew Stone (ho ho). It purports to tell of the early struggles of composer Edvard Grieg and his attempts to develop an authentic Norwegian national music. It “stars” (I hesitate to use that word about such a terrible film) Toralv Maurstad as Grieg and features an international cast including Florence Henderson, Christina Schollin, Robert Morley, Harry Secombe, Oskar Homolka and even Edward G. Robinson. The film was a deserved critical and commercial disaster. Someone called Pauline Kael wrote: “The movie is of an unbelievable badness; it brings back clichés you didn’t know you knew – they’re practically from the unconscious of moviegoers”. Harry Secombe (a “star” of this horror) said it was the kind of film “you could take the kids to see… and leave them there.”

Numbers 1-10 on the list are therefore really 2-11. All the others in my list are like 25 watt bulbs eclipsed by the staggering eye-blinding horror of “Song of Norway”. But the film of Sondheim’s Sweeney Todd is quite a good 2nd place – the concept of taking the best stage musical of the 2nd half of the 20th century, cutting the score drastically and then casting as the two main roles two actors (Depp & Bonham-Carter) who are not only tone deaf but 20 years too young for their roles is actually a stroke of genius. Singin’ in the Rain is only redeemed by the hope that Gene Kelly will fall into the gutter when he sings the title song; Mary Poppins is famous for the worst attempted English accent in film history from van Dyke; South Pacific has the most sloppy lyrics ever; I could go on and on but I might vomit.

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