BFI Musicals! The greatest show on screen

Singing and dancing its way into HOME this Christmas, this diverse and eclectic range of films specially selected by the HOME Film team celebrates the joyful, emotional but most importantly the shared experience of watching film musicals on the BIG screen.

From Gene Kelly’s famously twirling umbrella to a Sing-a-Long Calamity Jane, it’s a festive treat for cinephiles.

As well as looking at the musical genre as a way of reflecting the struggle of working class lives during the U.S. economic depression of the 1930s, our season continues our Celebrating Women in Global Cinema year-long project by looking at the work of Betty Comden, including a screening of the much-loved Singin’ in the Rain. No doubt Manchester will provide the appropriate weather.

We reference our increasingly influential Not Just Bollywood initiative with a showing of Pakeezah, one of the most extraordinary musical melodramas ever made. There are restorations and classics aplenty (our mask of solemnity slips with a sing-along version of Calamity Jane) and we have a rare 35mm presentation of Les demoiselles de Rochefort in conjunction with Bigger Than Life. We’ll be joined by various special guests for introductions. When we put on a film here, we like to make a song and dance where possible and Musicals! gives us ample opportunity to do just that.

These films have been specially selected by the HOME Film team, comprising Jennifer Hall, Andy Willis, Jason Wood and Rachel Hayward. 

Screening as part of BFI Musicals! The Greatest Show on Screen, a UK-wide film season supported by National Lottery, BFI Film Audience Network and ICO.




Book more and save!

  • Book 2-4 films & get £1 off each ticket
  • Book 5+ films & get £1.50 off each ticket
  • Discounts are automatically added in your online basket

Terms and conditions:

  • Excludes £5 advance tickets
  • Cannot be used retrospectively
  • Cannot be combined with any other offer
  • Must be booked together in one transaction

Previously in this season


Classic Liza Minnelli performance in a new 35 mm print of the legendary Bob Fosse's film.

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First a Girl

A little-known British adaption of the 1933 German film Viktor und Viktoria (later remade as Victor Victoria and similarly reworked in Shakespeare in Love.)

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A Star is Born

A Star is Born features an Oscar nominated Judy Garland and James Mason as the lovers on opposing ends of fame, and is widely considered…

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Not Just Bollywood presents/ Pakeezah

One of the most extraordinary musical melodramas ever made, Pakeezah is much beloved by audiences for Meena Kumari’s breathtakingly tragic turn as the doomed Sahibjaan.

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It’s Always Fair Weather

It’s Always Fair Weather follows the adventures of three GIs after they leave the army in 1945. Another classic from the imagination of Betty Comden…

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Bigger than Life/ Les Demoiselles de Rochefort

Jacques Demy’s joyous, pastel-hued follow-up to The Umbrellas of Cherbourg finds him working on an MGM scale as real-life sisters play twins looking for love…

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Sing Along/ Calamity Jane

Remember to bring your singing voice with you as we singalong to this Doris Day classic.

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The Backstage Musical: celebrating popular culture in times of struggle

A series of films from the 1930s demonstrating how the musical genre in Hollywood offered a space for film-makers to engage with social issues of…

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Not Just Bollywood presents Pakeezah + Introduction

Omar Ahmed, co-curator of Not Just Bollywood, introduces Pakeezah

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Bells are Ringing

Judy Holliday reprises her Tony award winning role as Ella, a switchboard operator tangled in an array of amusingly confusing interactions between her and those…

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On the Town

“New York, New York, a wonderful town. The Bronx is up but the Battery’s down”. One of the landmark Hollywood musicals of all time, starring…

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Singin’ in the Rain

With inspired direction from Gene Kelly and Stanley Donen and a dazzling array of show-stopping song and dance sequences, this Hollywood classic remains a triumphant…

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42nd Street

A landmark film directed by Lloyd Bacon with musical numbers choreographed by Busby Berkeley, 42nd Street is the archetypal back-stage musical.

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Gold Diggers of 1933

Gold Diggers of 1933 follows the adventures of four aspiring female actors who will go to almost any ends to find fame or fortune. How…

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The Barkleys of Broadway

The film that saw Astaire and Rogers re-united on screen after 10 years apart.

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Bigger than Life / Les demoiselles de Rochefort + Introduction

This screening at will be introduced by Bigger Than Life programmers, Tom Grieve and Jim Laycock.

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The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

Exquisitely designed in a kaleidoscope of colours, and told entirely through lilting songs by Michel Legrand, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg is one of the most…

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Footlight Parade

Lloyd Bacon and Busby Berkeley join forces once again to deliver this back-stage musical.

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Cabin in the Sky

With its all-black cast, MGM’s 1943 musical Cabin in the Sky provided a rare and invaluable showcase for some of the era’s most legendary African American…

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The Band Wagon

A great example of Comden and Green’s interest in the contrast between popular forms such as the musical theatre and the pretentiousness of dramatic theatre.

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Cabaret + Intro

The screening on Tue 17 Dec will be introduced by Dr Andrew Moor, Reader in Film at Manchester Metropolitan University.

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