Among the many bad movie musicals are The Wiz, Nine and Cats

The Wiz. Picture: Supplied

The Wiz. Picture: Supplied

While there are movie musicals that are often revived, there are others that, well, aren't. Some are dreadful cheapies - check out The Wonderful Land of Oz (1969) on YouTube sometime.

Other times, though, the misfires are lavish, big-budget affairs, some from highly successful sources. Whether they were miscast, misdirected or simply misconceived, here are some big disappointments.

The Wiz(1978): Sidney Lumet was an excellent dramatic director but was out of his element here. This African-American update of The Wizard of Oz was a Broadway hit but this film is dreary and joyless, though it apparently has its fans. Diana Ross is Dorothy and Michael Jackson the Scarecrow, with Nipsey Russell as the Tin Man and Ted Ross as the Lion.

Nine (2009): Whatever fine qualities the award-winning stage musical based on the Fellini movie Eight and a Half had on stage, they didn't make it to the screen. A talented director (Rob Marshall, who made the film Chicago ) - and a cast including Daniel Day Lewis, Marion Cotillard, Judi Dench and Sophia Loren - can't give this any life. It just sits there.

Lost Horizon(1973): This expensive flop was nicknamed "Lost Investment". James Hilton's novel was adapted with songs by Hal David and Burt Bacharach - The World is a Circle is painful - and stars Peter Finch and Liv Ullmann were dubbed. John Gielgud called the film "idiotic", admitted he only took the role for the money, and jokingly referred to it as "Hello, Dalai!"

Cats(2019): Yes, it's an easy choice, but Tom Hooper's film of the Andrew Lloyd Webber hit is creepy with its CGI-enhanced human felines and doesn't compensate for the original's lack of story. It became infamous for the number of people who discussed seeing it while high (which was much more entertaining than the film itself).

Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978): A weird mess of a musical using songs by The Beatles performed by various artists including Steve Martin (Maxwell's Silver Hammer), Peter Frampton and the Bee Gees. For a much better Beatles jukebox musical try Across the Universe. It's not perfect but it's far superior to this.

This story Adaptations that hit a sour note first appeared on The Canberra Times.