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Movies/Films About Music and Musicians

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I love watching movies, especially those that are inspiring. There are many great films about music that have been made over the years. Some are based on the lives of musicians, others center on the struggles of a fictional character who want to become a musician. As a parent of a child who is musically inclined, I find that exposing my daughter to such movies has its advantages. As a musician who is trying to hone my skills, watching movies like these fuel my desire to continue learning. Here are some movies worth checking out:

Bird (Rated: R)
A film directed by Clint Eastwood, it stars the actor Forest Whitaker as the great jazz saxophone player Charlie "Bird" Parker. This movie depicts the life of Parker, his talent, his struggles and his music. Compare Prices on the DVD

Lady Sings the Blues (Rated: R)
Based on the life of legendary blues singer Billie Holiday. Diana Ross makes her film debut and portrays the role of Holiday. Compare Prices on the DVD

New York New York (Rated: PG)
A bitter-sweet love story between an up and coming singer (Liza Minnelli) and a jazz saxophone player (Robert DeNiro}. Directed by Martin Scorsese.Compare Prices on the DVD

Ray (Rated: PG-13)
This film is based on the life of keyboardist/musician Ray Charles. Charles, played by actor Jamie Foxx, had to overcome great obstacles in life including his blindness and drug addiction. A very inspiring movie on the life of this legendary musician. Compare Prices on the DVD

A Hard Day's Night (Rated: G)
A movie about one of the most beloved band in history - The Beatles. It gives us a glimpse of John, Paul, George and Ringo's life, rise to stardom and everything else that comes with it. From adoring fans chasing them to the often humurous way the group handles their fame, this movie, including the music, will bring you back to yesteryears with a smile. Compare Prices on the DVD

Jailhouse Rock (Rated: PG)
One of Elvis Presley's classic movies, it's a story about a man who was imprisoned after he killed someone during a brawl. Once in prison, he discovers his knack for singing and playing the guitar. He would further pursue his talent after his release from prison. This movie touches on how fame goes to a person's head and the universal truth that it is during the lowest point of your life when you realize who your true friends are. Compare Prices on the DVD

The Commitments (Rated: R)
Jimmy Rabbitte (played by Robert Arkins) wanted to create a rhythm and blues band in Dublin. The question is, will he find the right people to play for the band? He finds the answer after holding auditions and soon after a band called The Commitments is formed. Wlll they rise to stardom? In real life the cast members who made up the band really played their own instruments and even went on a concert tour after the movie was released. This movie is based on Roddy Doyle's novel.Compare Prices on the DVD

The Doors (Rated: R)
Based on the 1960's rock band The Doors. In this film directed by Oliver Stone, Val Kilmer plays Jim Morrison. This movie attempts to chronicle Morrison's early years and his rise to stardom as a musician. It reveals how the group was formed as well as how Morrison's personal struggles affected the band. Compare Prices on the DVD

La Bamba (Rated: PG-13)
Based on the life of young musician Ritchie Valens, his rise to fame and his untimely death. Valens is played by actor Lou Diamond Phillips. Compare Prices on the DVD

A Coal Miner's Daughter (Rated: PG)
Chronicles the life of the "Queen of Country Music" Loretta Lynn, her relationship with her husband, her personal struggles and her music. Sissy Spacek gives a superb performance as Loretta. Compare Prices on the DVD

Know of other movies that should be on this list? Email it to musiced@aboutguide.com

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