Dave Karger
September 11, 2009 AT 04:00 AM EDT

”Guess who hasn’t seen the movie? Me,” says Gladys Knight, costar of this month’s Tyler Perry’s I Can Do Bad All by Myself. ”I’m nervous,” she explains. ”I would want to go back and do it again. Once I do an album, I don’t listen to it. ‘Cause I will tear it up every single time.” She needn’t be worried: As bighearted church elder Wilma, the R&B legend, 65, provides some of the drama’s most emotional moments, particularly when belting out a melancholy nightclub number, ”The Need to Be.” Before Knight heads out on what she calls her farewell British concert tour next month, she shares her favorite movie musicals.

YANKEE DOODLE DANDY (1942)
”I just love Jimmy Cagney. He was so well-known as a dramatic actor. I didn’t know he could dance like that.”

AN AMERICAN IN PARIS (1951)
”Gene Kelly and Leslie Caron were well matched. You felt the romance. When they danced, it was poetry.”

CARMEN JONES (1954)
”One of our first African-American musicals, with Harry Belafonte and Dorothy Dandridge. She was a beauty.”

GIGI (1958)
”I love Maurice Chevalier and his class. It’s almost like a talking part. The music was so well chosen. It fit like a puzzle.”

THE LION KING (1994)
”It’s a fantastic story. Even though it’s about a little lion, it touched you. That’s the measure of what a movie should do.”

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