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Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen

October-December 2019

Dust off your dancing shoes, practice your scales and join us for some heart-lifting movies, special events and joyful singalongs.

Introduction by Robin Baker, Head Curator, BFI National Archive


Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen

  • On the Town

    On the Town

    A joyous musical set in New York from the directors of Singin’ in the Rain.

  • Du Barry Was a Lady

    Du Barry Was a Lady

    Lucille Ball and Gene Kelly visit the Technicolor court of Louis XV.

  • Funny Face

    Funny Face

    Audrey Hepburn and Fred Astaire find love and haute couture in Paris.

Barbra Streisand

Joint ticket available for all three films £24, concs £18 (Members pay £3 less) availble through the BFI box office in person or by phone.

  • Funny Girl

    Funny Girl

    Barbra Streisand is the greatest star in the tale of Ziegfeld Follies star Fanny Brice.

  • Hello, Dolly!

    Hello, Dolly!

    70mm presentation of Barbra Streisand’s triumphant, whirlwind performance as Dolly Levi.

  • Yentl


    Streisand directs and stars in this musical about a woman who goes to extreme lengths to get an education.


Four classic films; just bigger, better and louder.

Bob Fosse

Joint ticket available for all three films £24, concs £18 (Members pay £3 less) availble through the BFI box office in person or by phone.

Judy Garland

Judy Garland Day: Joint ticket available Sun 22 Dec £24, concs £18 (Members pay £3 less)

Vincente Minnelli

Doris Day

Doris Day Day: joint ticket available Sat 7 Dec £24, concs £18 (Members pay £3 less)


  • Image from Singin’ in the Rain

    Singin’ in the Rain

    Gene Kelly heads up a sparkling cast in the most beloved of all movie musicals. We dare you not to smile…

  • Tommy


    Ken Russell’s feverish feast of unrestrained imagination features The Who, Tina Turner, Elton John and many more!

  • The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

    Jacques Demy’s all-sung tale of first love is a ravishing mix of music, romance and fertile cinematic invention.

Family screenings

Talks and events

ICO Archive Screening Day 2019 - Thu 5 Dec

BFI Course


  • Image from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

    Musical Spaces

    Showcasing BFI Special Collections this exhibition reveals the spaces of big-screen musicals.



  • Image from The ADHD Foundation Umbrella Project

    The ADHD Foundation Umbrella Project

    BFI Southbank will play host to The Umbrella Project installation, an archway of colourful umbrellas located in our Main Foyer, which will be in place for one month during our BFI Musicals! season.


October/November (Part 1)

“Ladies and gents, this is the moment you’ve waited for... This is the greatest show!”
The Greatest Showman

Want to escape our troubled times? From October through to the end of December immerse yourself in the emotional, life-enhancing pleasures of the musical. Expect the biggest stars! Expect epic song-and-dance routines! Expect Technicolor! Expect exclamation marks!!! We’ll be celebrating musical talent from the late 1920s to today, rubbing sequinned shoulders with the likes of Astaire, Streisand, Jackman and Beyoncé, and exploring the visionary work of those behind the camera, artists who transformed the musical into the most joyful and creative of film genres. Going beyond escapism, our global journey will see how the musical tackled the Depression, confronted racism and how it continues to reflect the contemporary world. But most of all we’ll be having fun.

Robin Baker

December (Part 2)

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others”
The Wizard of Oz

Musicals come to the rescue at times of adversity. 42nd Street helped people get through the Depression. Meet Me in St Louis and the MGM classics offered a Technicolor distraction during World War Two. So, there could be no better time than right now to immerse ourselves in the emotional, life-enhancing experience of watching a musical on the big screen. In the final month of our musical odyssey we celebrate Doris Day, a great movie musical talent who died this year, as well as the genius of Judy Garland and Vincente Minnelli. We’re also celebrating the very medium of film itself, projecting three musical rarities on 35mm Technicolor dye transfer prints from the BFI National Archive, and a rare 35mm 3D print of Kiss Me Kate.

Robin Baker


See our screenings of Tommy, a Med Hondo musical, and our families’ musicals.

For programme updates, details of the UK-wide programme and information about the extensive collection of musicals available in the BFI Southbank Mediatheque and on BFI Player see bfi.org.uk/musicals.


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