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Greatest Modern Musical Characters: 5 Roles That Live on Through the Big Screen

By    |   Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 11:41 PM

It is fairly common for entertainment projects to make the switch from one medium to another. Many do not succeed. In some cases, though, these pieces of work do better in the new form. Below are some of the modern movie characters that have thrived after making their way to the big screen.

The Phantom from “The Phantom of the Opera”

With no name given except for “The Phantom,” Gerald Butler makes the title role from “The Phantom of the Opera” his own. Not even close to the source material that showed The Phantom as evil and hideous, the 2004 film by Andrew Lloyd Webber turned the monster into a romanticized anti-hero.

Not everyone that saw the film liked it, however. Film critic Roger Ebert decided that he did not think that Lloyd Webber wrote a very good musical. Despite that, Ebert stated that he was pleased to see the film, as compared to just hearing it.

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Velma Kelly from “Chicago”

In 2003, “Chicago” won a slew of Academy Awards, including for Best Picture. According to the Academy’s website, the musical received five other awards, including Best Supporting Actress for Catherine Zeta-Jones’ portrayal of Velma Kelly. Zeta-Jones made the audience care about what happened to a woman who killed her adulterous husband and his girlfriend.

Sweeney Todd from “Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street”

The character Sweeney Todd goes back to an 1846 serial known as The People’s Periodical, according to PBS. Eventually, it became a musical by Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler, and then it was a Tim Burton film starring Johnny Depp. It was one of most iconic roles for the actor outside of the “Pirates of the Caribbean” films. Metacritic ranked “Sweeney Todd” as number three on the list of the 10 best films in the past 20 years that was adapted from the stage.

Despite the number of remakes of this character over the years, it is Depp’s version that most people are familiar with, making his one of the greatest modern musical characters.

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Frank N. Furter from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”

Can anyone see Tim Curry and not think of Frank N. Furter, his over-the-top transvestite alien from “The Rocky Horror Picture Show?” Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 79 percent; audiences rate it at 86 percent. The original version was created by Richard O’Brien in England as a means to keep him busy while he was unemployed, according to the website for “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”



Annie from “Annie”

Last year’s film adaptation of “Annie,” starring Jamie Foxx and Quvenzhane Wallis, shows the enduring nature of the title character. This marks the third major theatrical release of the story. Despite a very poor rating by Rotten Tomatoes of only 27 percent, audiences rated it at 62 percent, perhaps giving more emphasis on the sentiment of the character than the movie itself.

Jean Valjean from “Les Miserables”

If the listing of movie award nominations and awards from Fandango’s site is any indication, the 2012 adaptation of “Les Miserables” was a smashing success. Hugh Jackman was able to pull off the role of Jean Valjean to the point of earning a nomination for Best Actor. It is perhaps the chance at redemption for Valjean that appeals to audiences so much that has allowed the character to persevere over the years.

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It is fairly common for entertainment projects to make the switch from one medium to another. Many do not succeed. In some cases, though, these pieces of work do better in the new form. Below are some of the modern movie characters that have thrived on film.
modern, musical, characters, films, movies
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2015-41-28
Tuesday, 28 Apr 2015 11:41 PM
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