Some movies stick with us for a lifetime; we relate to characters, find ourselves intrigued by twists and turns within the plot and are in awe of unique aspects in cinematography. There are plenty of elements needed to make a great film—amazing actors, directors with an eye for detail and, of course, the soundtrack. The soundtrack plays a major role in making or breaking a movie. Just think back to some of your favourite movies and the scenes you will never forget. Do you remember the song that was playing in the background? Of course you do, because it intensified the moment!
We decided to compile a list of some of our favorite movie song moments for you to revisit and perhaps plan your next movie marathon around!
Ok, so K-911 wasn’t Jim Belushi’s best work, but that doesn’t matter because his four-legged pal Jerry Lee made up for it. Spotting a snazzy-looking poodle in a car, Jerry Lee makes his move and enjoys a few romantic minutes with her, doggy-style.
When he’s finally finished doing his deed, he gets out of the car feeling reaaaal good, and lets the whole world know by doing a bit of a victory run through the park.
As far as High School movies go, 10 Things I Hate About You wasn’t half bad. Sure, it has the exemplary, preppy Miss Popular fighting over her reign with Miss I’m-Pissed-Off-At-The-World, but the balance here is just right.
The shallow experience of Bianca (Larisa Oleynik), aka Miss Popular, can work on our nerves sometimes, but her sister, Kat (Julia Stiles), is actually pretty entertaining in all her gloomy glory. We wouldn’t have described her as particularly sexy though … that’s until she climbs up on a table and works some ’90s twerking magic to Biggie’s “Hypnotize.”
Crazy is a German film based on the book by Benjamin Lebert. The book and film recount his experiences as a teenager in boarding school. His left arm and leg are paralyzed, but it doesn’t stop him from tagging along with the other guys when they go jumping off of diving boards, and sneaking out to see strippers.
He makes a few good friends in his roommate Janosch (Tom Schilling), and the silent Troy (Can Talyanlar). Troy doesn’t really speak at all, and mostly stays in his own little world. That’s what makes this scene so perfect—he’s still not talking but in the way he’s pounding his air guitar he’s making it pretty damn clear what he’s feeling.
Lords of Dog Town gave us an authentic feel of the Californian skateboard culture; we really felt the characters and the adrenaline as we watched them grinding rails, skating empty pools and turning tricks on their decks.
We also felt Emile Hirsch, shirtless and charming as ever, performing some kind of mating dance in an attempt to woo Kathy (Nikki Reed). Busting some tribal moves to the purple hazing master of the electric guitar, he really knew how to spark a “Fire” in her, à la Hendrix.
We often find ourselves having to adapt to new cultures, beliefs and traditions when moving to a new town. In most cases, we readily accept and perhaps even embrace these changes. What if you moved to a town where dancing was strictly prohibited, though? Would you fight the law or would you forever walk the streets with itchy feet?
In this scene of Footloose, we get to see just how much frustration the no-dancing-law is causing Ren McCormack (Kevin Bacon), and how he finds release in an abandoned warehouse, accompanied by Moving Pictures.
The scene in Risky Business, in which Tom Cruise dances around to “Old Time Rock and Roll,” really isn’t anything new—we do it all the time. And still it remains one of the most memorable scenes in the movie.
We especially like his make-shift microphone—we can tell he’s really feeling it when he gets down on his knees in a moment of pure lead-singer theatrics.
Ashtray (Shawn Wayans), Loc Doc (Marlon Wayans), Crazy Legs (Suli McCullough) and company’s strange fashion choices and daily struggles make for a highly entertaining hood movie—one with hardly any sense and few subtle parodies.
Marlon Wayan’s acting was priceless, but the ones who really stole the show were the two OG’s competing for God’s blessing by floor rocking and swiping B-Girl style.
We are so used to Tarantino’s films focusing on super stylish mobsters it took us a while to wrap our heads around the uniformed SS officers in Inglorious Basterds. This doesn’t mean to say it wasn’t filled with Tarantino-esque dialogues and violence, though.
Having moved on from the theme of revenge (Kill Bill), Quentin hit the screens with Inglorious Basterds in 2009 to prove a new theory: Karma really is a bitch.
Didn’t think we’d be covering animation movies, as well? Well, you thought wrong! A lot of Disney and DreamWorks movies have really cool soundtracks, including Shrek. Our grumpy ol’ Ogre marched Duloc to the sounds of Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” and their version of “I’m a Believer,” but our favorite moment in the film is when he takes out Lord Farquaad’s army, thus proving his “Bad Reputation.”
We don’t often get to see Will Ferrell in vulnerable, genuinely likable roles because he’s usually too busy playing a goofball. In Stranger Than Fiction, we experience a different side of Ferrell; still quirky yet incredibly uptight and anal—he finds it hard to relax and give in to flirtation.
It’s not until he’s gently strumming a guitar and quietly humming “Whole Wide World” that we see him let his guard down—much to his love interest’s liking….
Tim Burton is known for his weirdness; he baffles us with beautiful imagery (Big Fish) and leads us deeper into his wonky darkness. Yet nothing has quite compares to his 1988 classic, Beetlejuice. What trip must he have been on?
If you were a child of the nineties, this whacky ghost movie was either in your VCR or on your shit-list for being a tad too crazy. Whether you loved it or hated it, we know you spent the next few weeks singing “Daaaaaay-O, Daaaaaaaay-O! Daylight come and me wan’ go home!”
Baz Luhrmann is famous for his extravagant, colourful movies, but the one that was most spectacular in terms of music, costumes and choreography was most definitely Moulin Rouge. Full of classics such as “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “Children of the Revolution” and “Nature Boy,” it has truly made its mark in the history of musicals.
A beautifully intense scene, which gives us a true understanding of the power punters hold over ladies of the night, is that of the “Roxanne” tango. The rapid pace between the scenes and Ewan McGregor’s emotional pleads are fantastic.
If ever there was an actor who knows how to walk in order to prove he’s the man, it’s John Travolta. He has his swagger down as Danny the greaser (Grease), and walks the sidewalks of Brooklyn like the king of disco in Saturday Night Fever.
The opening credits show him cruising the street and the girls of New York before finally ending in a discotheque, where he gets to show off much more than his über-cool walk.
Vince (Travolta) is still busy floating through his heroin dreams when Mia (Thurman) gets him into joining the “Jack Rabbit Slim Twist Contest.” We can hardly believe he makes it to the stage, let alone bust a move.
But their little performance to You Never Can Tell really was a treat, and ever since, we are incapable of laying down a twist in any other way than “Pulp Fiction Style.”
Any proud father will be delighted to hear his daughter has been cast in a science fiction thriller, next to Bruce Willis and Billy Bob Thornton. Even more so when daddy gets to write the main theme song for the movie!
The roles have reversed: In the early nineties, Liv Tyler explored her acting skills in Aerosmith’s video for “Crazy”; in the late nineties, Aerosmith caused for a lot of tears with Armageddon’s theme song “I Don’t Wanna Miss A Thing.” Funnily enough, the director of “Crazy,” Marty Callner, had no idea Liv and Steven were related when he cast her!
Human Traffic is by far the best depiction of your typical raver’s weekend; it portrays the peak and crash of club candy better than anything we’ve seen before, and the actors are downright amazing. It hits us with the type of dry sarcasm only the Brits are capable of, and despite its festive anticipations and highlights, it stays grounded.
Justin Karrigan’s masterpiece opens up to Fat Boy Slim’s “Build it Up, Tear it Down” and footage from people spreading the love at street raves and clubs, and gets us ready to party like it’s 1999!
Let’s be honest, we all wanted the evil stepsister (Sarah Michelle Gellar) to go down, but when she finally does, the circumstances surrounding her demise are rather dramatic.
Luckily, The Verve’s “Bitter Sweet Symphony” accompanies Annette (Reese Witherspoon) driving out of the city in a Jaguar, giving us a moment to let the surprising ending to Cruel Intentions sink in.
Val Kilmer did a fine job slipping into the role of Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone’s 1991 biopic about The Doors and their troubled, yet genius lead singer. And what about Kyle MacLachlan as Ray Manzarek? He looks great in his ’70s wardrobe!
One of the most gripping music moments in this film was Val/Jim performing The End; at first the audience is hypnotized by his sensual manner, but as he dives deeper into his own philosophy behind the song, fans are left shocked and somewhat bewildered.
Who could resist this freckled, sweet little Irish kid and his love for dancing? Billy Elliot turned into an instant Christmas classic—the type of film you watch snuggled up with the entire family, readily embracing guaranteed laughter and perhaps an odd tear.
The film features a few T-Rex classics such as “I Love to Boogie,” “Get it On” and “Children of the Revolution,” but the song that best provides the overall feeling of Billy and what he’s all about is “Cosmic Dancer.” Just look at that wee face, those tapping feet, happily bouncing up and down on the bed—how is that not a scene to remember?
Loosely based on a Truman Capote’s novella, Breakfast at Tiffany’s became an instant classic after its release in 1961. Audrey Hepburn is infamous for her portrayal of society-girl Holly Golightly, as it was the one she felt most challenged by.
Sitting on her window-sill singing “Moon River,” her eyes, her expression and her voice couldn’t get any dreamier.
If there was ever a man who knows how to cut off a hostage’s ear in style, it’s Mr. White (Michael Madsen) in Reservoir Dogs. While the hostage sits bleeding and crying, bound to his chair, Mr. White takes his sweet time about choosing the perfect song to help him stay in the zone whilst showing off his skilled knifing technique.
At least he offers his hostage a little entertainment by really getting into the groove of “Stuck in the Middle with You.”
Robert Rodriguez knows how to set a tone in his films, especially those set in Texas and Mexico, like his Mexico Trilogy. We all know that Antonio Banderas is a pure bred Malagueño, but he pulls off being a Mexican Mariachi pretty well in Desperado.
His passionate “guitar face” is priceless and his performance with Los Lobos in the opening credits of the film is entirely convincing, even as he adds some choreographed, theatrical violence with a simple whack of his guitar.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas graced us with a lot of classics from the ’60s and ’70s era, such as “One Toke over the Line” and “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again,” but nothing quite compared to the Jefferson Airplane moments of this film.
When Raoul Duke (Johnny Depp) finds himself in a disco high on … well, everything, he finally realizes he is a “victim of the drug explosion,” while everyone around him is getting groovy to “Somebody to Love.”
Oh, come on, you knew this one had to be coming! Stop whining already, we know it’s an oldie and a musical, but it’s a classic. The sudden transformation from pastel-toned preppy girl to leather-clad rocker chick was a shock to our systems—an electrifying one at that—and Danny’s jock boy desperation sent multiple chills up and down our spine.
So how the hell could we leave “You’re the One that I Want” out?
If ever there was a song that can encourage you to do anything you’ve ever dreamed of, this is it. Really, 8 Mile is just another hood movie, only it’s focused on the trailer park side of town. But we finally get to see Eminem’s vulnerable side as Jimmy “Rabbit.”
When Rabbit sets his mind to grabbing his next rap battle at the local “Shelter” by the balls, he starts scribbling rhymes on a messy notepad, while his sister Lily (Chloe Greenfield) paints him a picture. Awww!
Road movies and their soundtracks always know how to hit a certain spot in us, one that inspires a longing for the road and a disquieting sense of nostalgia. They remind us of a familiar purgatory environment—in between feeling at home and wanting to discover the world and all its crazy beautiful offerings.
After a wild, yet lonely night, Stillwater and their entourage take to the roads once again. Broken, torn and in dire need of a moment that will weld them all back together, Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” starts playing on the radio….
A feel-good song for a feel-good movie! We all loved Mowgli and his jungle friends, Baloo and Bagheera, when we were little, and secretly wished we could live amongst the animals, too.
Now, some forty-seven years since its release, if you ever feel office life and panty hoes getting you down, watch The Jungle Book and just remember the simple bare necessities of life!
Inspired by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the creators of South Park, the Monty Python reunited on stage of London’s O2 this month, complete with silly walks and all. It was a long wait, but so worth it!
With our favorite group of mad men back on tour, we thought it would be fun to remember the best song from their 1983 classic, The Meaning of Life. You know which one we mean … nudge, nudge, say no more!
In 1979, Christiane F. Met with journalists Kai Hermann and Horst Rieck of the German magazine Stern to share her story of drug addiction, prostitution and desperation with them. Christiane was only thirteen years old when she started using heroin; the product of a broken family, she found release in David Bowie’s music.
In 1981, Ulrich Edel turned her story into a movie. There are only a few happy moments in this film, but our favorite was Christiane and her friends running around an empty mall in the early morning hours to David Bowie’s “Heroes.”
Still buzzing from their night out and their uncomfortable silence, Vince and Mia get back to her house for a nightcap of the special variety. Still wearing Vince’s coat, Mia plays “Girl, You’ll be a Woman Soon” and crazily starts dancing through the living room while Vince tries talking his mirror image into leaving before things get dangerous.
Ready to chill, Mia crashes out on the couch and absentmindedly rummages through Vince’s pockets until she discovers—Hello!—a curious package of powder. Ever the coke-fiend, she fixes herself a line not realizing it’s actually heroin.
In 1971 Stanley Kubrick shocked the nation by filming Anthony Burgess’s novella A Clockwork Orange, depicting a violent youth culture. Complete with its own language, Nadsat, it tells the story of Alex (Malcom McDowell) and his droogs.
After returning home from a night of “ultraviolence,” Alex gives himself a good dose of Ludwig Van Beethoven’s “Ninth Symphony,” to ensure his evening’s perfect ending. Throughout the film, the contrast between acts of severe violence and rape and the classical music accompanying said scenes has a bizarre impact on the psyche.
We may have mentioned it before, but we’ll say it again: Human Traffic would turn a Hare Krishna into a bad boy! Jip (John Simm), Moff (Danny Dyer) and company make love to music, and believe us—they can go all night!
They are not above coming up with their own lyrics either—lyrics that describe our generation of alienation, techno emergencies and virtual realities in their very own “Techno Generation Hymn.”
We loved the opening scene to Trainspotting for several reasons: It’s cheeky, it’s dynamic, and it presents us with one of the best monologues throughout the whole movie. You know what we’re talking about! It’s all about the choices we make. So, what’s it going to be? Do you choose life?
With Iggy Pop’s “Lust for Life” getting us ready for a true, cult classic, we are reminded that we no longer need to choose “sitting on that couch watching mind-numbing spirit-crushing game shows”; we’ve got Trainspotting!
Since the first time we saw the musical Hair on film, we have become part of the “tribe” in one way or another; the political issues and personal restrictions presented in this 1967 classic may have changed, but the themes are as present today as they were back then.
Watching George (Treat Williams) and his fellow tribe members, swirling through Central Park in time to meet the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, we can’t help but feel inspired to continue fighting the good fight!
No matter how gruesome his actions, no matter how benign the topic, Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) never seems to be able to wipe that freakish smile off of his face, nor does he ever drop his sales-pitch tone.
Bateman sounds more like he’s trying to sell Paul (Jared Leto) the latest Huey Lewis & the News album “Fore!”, rather than kill the poor guy. But no worries, everything Bateman does he does in style, even butchering people.
Stand by Me might give you the impression of a classic boyhood movie at first, but it goes beyond cheeky teenaged adventures and pukey pie-eating competitions, and this scene proves it.
On their way to see the infamous dead body, Vern (Jerry O’Connell) and Teddy (Corey Feldman) goof around singing along to “Lollipop.” Gordie (Wil Wheaton) and Chris (River Phoenix) hang back to have a serious conversation that makes them sound older than their years.
Be honest—how many times have you walked the streets with a gang of your friends, feeling incredibly cool whilst hearing the tune “Little Green Bag” playing in your head? Yeah, we thought so. And which film do you owe this little fantasy to?
Reservoir Dogs, of course!
Seeing several suited, anonymous men take to the street to the sound of The George Baker Selection says it all—these guys are as suave as it gets!
It doesn’t happen too often that we get to see Jim Carrey in a serious role, so when we do, chances are the movie will have double the impact. Watching Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is like reading Alexander Pope’s Eloise to Abelard—captivating, curious and beautiful.
Seeing Jim Carrey pull anything other than a funny face is already a moment worth noting, but seeing him teary-eyed and vulnerable—that’s enough to get us all reaching for the tissues! This is a moment of great sorrow quietly lulled into a sense of relief, prompted by Beck’s words, “Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime.”
Larry Clark’s 1995 film Kids hit us hard on several accounts. Not only was it the most authentic depiction of teenaged life and delinquencies, it also dealt with an important theme in an in-your-face manner, typical of Clark.
When Telly (Leo Fitzpatrik), Casper (Justin Pierce) and the gang get into a silly discussion at the local park, it soon ends up in a full-blown, violent and, above all, unfair fight. However, by using Daniel Johnston’s “Casper the Friendly Ghost” in the background, the scene feels almost normal and regular.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch was by far one of the best musical comedy-dramas we’d seen in a long while. The performance is convincing and shrill at times, the soundtrack is incredible, and the play between drama and comedy is just right.
Watching Hedwig (John Cameron Mitchell) and her band of angry inches perform “Sugar Daddy” was funny—but excruciatingly so. The entire restaurant is mortified by Hedwig’s show, especially the guy who had his head under her skirt for a few seconds.
Juliette Lewis rocks the screen as much as she does the stage, and in Strange Days we get to see a combo. As the singer Faith Justin, she is trying to fend off her ex, the former LAPD officer Lenny (Ralph Fiennes).
We get to watch Faith make sweet love to her microphone when Lenny comes to see her in the nightclub she’s playing. The scene is so freaking hot, we completely forget about the potential danger she might be in….
Whether he’s sweet we’re not entirely sure, but Tim Curry, aka “Frank N. Furter”, sure as hell was the sexiest transvestite we’ve ever seen walk the screen. The 1975 musical comedy/horror film has one of the most epic soundtracks to be revisited time and time again, but our favourite song is without a doubt the “Sweet Transvestite.”
In a pair of killer platform shoes complete with glitter and glitz, Frank N. Furter introduces himself to the nerdy couple Brad (Barry Bostwick) and Janet (Susan Sarandon) as the “sweet transvestite from transsexual, Transylvania”.
We hadn’t really given it that much thought, but if we chose to go out by electrocuting ourselves in the bathtub, we’d probably choose “White Rabbit” as the soundtrack, too. Dr. Gonzo (Benicio del Toro) may be completely mad, but he sure has good taste in psychedelic tunes.
Dr. Gonzo’s mescaline-acid-cocaine-uppers-downers-screamers-laughters-tequila-induced freak-out and Raoul Duke’s (Johnny Depp) reaction to it is highlighted by Grace Slick’s order to feed their heads.
Chuck Palahniuk is the man when it comes to twisted storytelling and innovative writing techniques. We were a bit worried about how his 1996 novel Fight Club would translate into a movie, but David Fincher couldn’t have done any better.
Any movie that features a Tom Waits song has got to be special, but Fight Club’s most musically impactful moment was right at the very end, when the Pixies start playing “Where Is My Mind?” just as the city comes crashing down before Marla Singer (Elena Bonham-Carter) and The Narrator (Edward Norton).
Suffice to say Tarantino really knows how to choose the women for his movies: they’re all sexy, smart and too cool for school. But there’s one Tarantino chica who really stands out in terms of pure, raw sexuality: Vanessa Ferlito.
With her lap dance in Deathproof, she turned many a straight woman and danced herself into every man’s hopeful dreams. Daaayum, girl!
Mulholland Drive is one of David Lynch’s most memorable movies on several accounts. Moving between a world of dreams and alternate realities, it was described by A. O Scott of The New York Times as “an intoxicating liberation from sense, with moments of feeling all the more powerful for seeming to emerge from the murky night world of the unconscious.”
Lynch is an artist in every sense of the word and his own fascination for music makes itself present in all of his movies. His films and series are always marked by key songs such as Julee Cruise’s “Falling” (Twin Peaks), Trent Reznor’s “Driver Down” (Lost Highway) and, in Mulholland Drive, Rebekah del Rio’s “Llorando.”
There is absolutely nothing ordinary about Holy Motors. Every moment spent following Mr. Oscar’s (Denis Lavant) every move promises a new surprise. Especially the scene where Mr. Oscar appears playing an accordion.
It feels more like an interlude rather than a part of the plotline, but the energy of “Let my Baby Ride” being performed by at least ten accordionists and various other musicians led by Mr. Oscar is truly indescribable.
This is another one for all you nineties kids! We were all dead impressed with the opening credits of Wayne’s World, when Wayne (Mike Myers) puts a tape of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” on in the car.
Much like an incredibly stoned, hard-rock version of Queen, Wayne and his friends sing along en route to their next adventures.
There are so many memorable scenes in Trainspotting, including the charming toilet dive and spider-baby Dawn. None of them were quite as moving as Mark Renton’s (Ewan McGregor) overdose and his newfound affection for his dealer’s carpet.
Everything about this scene fits together perfectly: Lou Reed’s voice and the overall depressing vibe floating amidst the backdrop of a blue-lipped junkie being dragged out into Kingdom Estate, on a miserable, grey, Edinburgian “Perfect Day.”
Pumpkin and Honey Bunny must be the most gangster couple since Bonnie and Clyde. We can literally see them getting off on the idea of robbing the diner they are in, and when they finally take to the tables we are surprised to see that little Miss Honey Bunny is not half as delicate as she looks.
Since the release of Pulp Fiction in 1994, we are incapable of having lunch in a diner without thinking of this scene and excitedly humming the tune of “Misirlou.”
There are plenty more movies we would have loved to add to this list, but unfortunately we were unable to find videos. Requiem for a Dream and Clint Mansell’s “Tense/Beginning of the End,” Run Lola Run and Franka Potente & Thomas D.’s “I Wish,” and of course Natural Born Killers and Bob Dylan’s “You Belong to Me”—you were not forgotten!