Best Musical Biopics When Elvis Hits Theaters

Best Musical Biopics When Elvis Hits Theaters

Straight Outta Compton, Walk The Line and Bohemian Rhapsody hit the right notes.  (Universal/20th Century Fox)

Straight Outta Compton, Walk The Line and Bohemian Rhapsody hit the right notes. (Universal/20th Century Fox)

Elvis returned to the building.

The King is back on the big screen this week in the form of director Baz Luhrmann’s musical biopic, simply titled, Elvis.

Given the matter, and with Luhrmann at the helm, Elvis the film must be a brash mix of razzmatazz and good old rock n’ roll.

See More information: Baz Luhrmann calls Elvis The apocalypse now of musicals

Austin Butler, who just played a member of the Manson family in Quentin Tarantino’s Once upon a time in Hollywooddons the king’s blue suede shoes, while Tom Hanks is his famous controlling manager, Colonel Tom Parker.

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Austin Butler plays the lead role in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis biopic. (Warner Bros)

So, to paraphrase the superlative parody of the musical biopic Ride Hard: The Dewey Cox StoryElvis Presley needs to think about his whole life before he plays…

But will this version of Elvis’ story (Kurt Russell donned the famous white jumpsuit in a 1979 TV movie) stand the test of time and take his place among the all-star cast of the best musical biopics?

See More information: Are you an expert in musical biopic?

Let’s look at the movies you’ll have to match to make this list.

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Gwilym Lee as Brian May and Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.  (Credit: Fox)

Gwilym Lee as Brian May and Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury in ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’. (Fox)

No one can match Freddie Mercury, but Rami Malek gives it a good shot, winning an Oscar for Best Actor in the process.

The film contains a collection of historical inaccuracies longer than any Live Aid setlist, but it’s at its best in dissecting how Queen’s most famous songs were brought to life.

To control (2007)

Sam Riley as Ian Curtis in Control.  (Photos from Momentum)

Sam Riley as Ian Curtis in Control. (Photos from Momentum)

Sam Riley plays Joy Division frontman Ian Curtis in rock photographer-turned-debut director Anton Corbijn’s first foray behind a different camera.

Bleak, beautiful, uplifting and tragic, it made perfect sense to print the film in black and white, capturing late ’70s Britain and the life of a singer who left us too soon.

behind the chandelier (2013)

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Michael Douglas and Matt Damon in ‘Behind the Chandelier’. (HBO)

Michael Douglas has always been known for playing anti-heroes (Falling down, Fatal Attraction, basic instinct, Wall Street), but none as stylish as Liberace, the celebrated American pianist who is the focus of director Steven Soderbergh’s prolific HBO biopic.

Soderbergh’s regular collaborator Matt Damon plays Liberace’s lover, and the two actors boldly disappear into the footage, which turns out to be an unflinching look at the life of a Las Vegas legend.

straight from Compton (2015)

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The NWA story is told in ‘Straight Outta Compton’. (Universal)

Has a music biopic ever gotten so much mileage from the song that it inspired its title?

The NWA’s big screen history features the LA rappers’ signature music almost as much as What you do! appears in the fictional story of The Wonders.

But the repeated parts only emphasize its power in director F Gary Gray’s film, which has a super central (south) performance of O’Shea Jackson Jr, playing his father, rapper Ice Cube.

rocket man (2019)

Reg Dwight transforms into Elton John.  (Paramount)

Taron Egerton as Elton John in ‘Rocketman’. (Paramount)

If you really want to learn something about Elton John’s life, you’ve come to the wrong place. For example, the artist formerly known as Reginald Dwight did not take his stage name from Beatle John Lennon, as the film suggests, but from his former mentor, Long John Baldry.

But historical inaccuracies aside, rocket man explodes through the hits that made Elton a star. Credit to actor Taron Egerton also for singing these hits in his own voice.

The Buddy Holly Story (1978)

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Gary Busey in ‘The Buddy Holly Story’. (Colombia)

Forty years before Egerton won raves for scouring Elton John’s catalog with his own larynx, Gary Busey (yes, Gary Busey) was breaking the mold by doing the same thing with his portrayal of Buddy Holly.

The live scenes have such raw energy thanks to Busey and the other actors performing, putting the film above its average biopic. It also helps that the tragic Holly’s songs still sound phenomenal 60 years after they were recorded.

Sex and drugs and rock and roll (2010)

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Andy Serkis as Ian Dury in ‘Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll’. (entertainment film)

Rightly acclaimed for his incredible work as Gollum in Lord of the Rings movies and like Caesar in Monkey’s Planet reboot trilogy, Andy Serkis also has this little-seen gem in his catalog.

He looks great in this biopic of singer-songwriter Ian Dury, who, along with his band, The Blockheads, had hits like ‘Hit me with your rhythm stick‘, ‘Reasons to be Cheerful, part 3‘ and the song that gives the film its title.

The film encapsulates the mix of joy and anger that made Dury’s music so memorable, and Serkis is supported by a bunch of familiar British talent, including Ray Winstone, Naomie Harris, Olivia Williams, Toby Jones, Ralph Ineson, Mackenzie Crook and Luke. Evans. .

Good Vibrations (2013)

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Richard Dormer, left, as Terri Hooley in ‘Good Vibrations’. (The jobs)

No, this is not another Beach Boys biopic (you can check out the forgotten love and mercy for something close to that), but situated somewhere far from the California sun – Northern Ireland.

The title comes from the name of the Belfast record label and store run by Terri Hooley, wonderfully played by Richard Dormer, during the Troubles.

The moment a Hooley with headphones hear ‘Teen Kicks’ by The Undertones for the first time, a musical biopic scene without any music, is as mind-blowing as any pyrotechnic-laden performance.

walk the line (2007)

Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix as June and Johnny Cash in Walk The Line (Credit: Fox)

Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in ‘Walk The Line’. (Fox)

It’s, em, hard now to separate walk the line of your chief parody, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, which followed him into theaters two years later, but Hollywood doesn’t tend to parody box office bombs.

The Johnny Cash biopic, perhaps the modern model for the genre, ticks all the boxes, but is allowed to pass, having invented most of them. The James Mangold film is elevated by its two central performances, from Joaquin Phoenix as Cash and Reese Witherspoon as June Carter.

amadeus (1984)

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Tom Hulce as Mozart in ‘Amadeus’. (Orion)

They don’t do it like that anymore. But they also don’t make musicians like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart anymore.

The Oscar-laden Milos Forman biopic runs for two hours and 40 minutes, but not a second of this classic performance is wasted.

It may be Mozart’s name in the film, but this is also The Antonio Salieri Show, underscored by the fact that F Murray Abraham beat Tom Hulce at the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of the envious Italian composer.

An exquisite showcase of all that is good in music and film, audiences are unlikely to see anything similar again.

Best biopic of all time? Rock me, Amadeus.

Elvis will be released in IMAX and cinemas in the UK and Ireland on June 24th.

Watch Elvis’ trailer

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