We all know a good soundtrack and a perfect score go a long way. Sure there is an Academy Award dedicated specifically to film scores. That’s not what we are looking at this week, though. This week, we want to celebrate the songs that make a scene great. Whether it’s introducing us to a character, pushing the narrative forward, or creating a comical juxtaposition, songs can take a scene to the next level, and in honor of that, we give you our top ten.
Honorable Mention: Silence of the Lamb- “Goodbye Horses” Buffalo Bill’s demented dress up scene is up there in our books, but we didn’t want to scandalize the kiddos out there by showing the clip, so here’s a little montage homage.
10. 10 Things I Hate About You- “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You”
Right off that bat, we are starting with one that will make any person in their right mind melt. Heath Ledger dazzles us all with his beautiful performance of this song, as well as his charming ear-to-ear smile and irresistible accent. Err… but anyway, back to the song. He does an amazing job. This could not have been done better, with the marching band included and a comedic chase sequence with security. In one song, we see the relationship of the two leads make an about-face, and the romance begins.
9. Office Space- ”Die Motherf*cker, Die”
A well placed score or song can really set the mood up for the entire scene. Very few do this better than the beautifully crafted scene where they destroy the office printer. I mean, I think we can all agree that the contrapuntality of this song on the scene works perfectly with how they are feeling.
8. Can’t Hardly Wait- “Paradise City”
How do you make the geek from school become the most popular guy at the party? You make him rock out to Guns N’ Roses in front of everyone! This scene does an excellent job at establishing the new story plot that continues to unfold throughout the party. “Can’t Hardly Wait” will always be one of the greatest gems from the 90s.
7. Punch-Drunk Love- “He Needs Me”
Nothing gives us goosebumps more than watching Adam Sandler rush to the woman he’s in love with while “He Needs Me” plays in the background. Yes, we know the song is originally from the “Popeye” film, sung by Olive Oyl, but watching a man fly to Hawaii for love while this soundtrack plays is one of the best cinematic moments we can remember. Also, this scene includes one of the best on-screen kisses from any film. This is no ordinary love story, so no ordinary song would do. We think they found the perfect match. Watch the entire scene and judge for yourself.
6. Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey- “Grim Reaper Rap”
Sure, it’s a very short song and there are much more important things happening in this sequence. However, we draw such happiness from seeing how much The Grim Reaper has come around. By rapping happily in this scene, we have seen the Reaper’s 180 degree turn in his character arc. Very fun scene!
5. Reservoir Dogs- “Stuck in the Middle With You”
I mean… Have you ever seen this scene? Great example of using music contrapuntally. And it works! Very very creepy…
4. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off- “Twist and Shout”
Ok, not even going to lie. We are HUGE Beatles fans here. Having said that, you can’t deny how great this scene is. Instead of playing it safe and hiding in the shadows, Ferris Bueller decides to be a main event in a parade during his “sick day” off from school. Shows the guts and enthusiasm this character has perfectly.
3. That Thing You Do!- “That Thing You Do”
Just a great song all around!. This song made the movie great. This montage shows the band’s rise to fame, and sets the stage for all the trouble that fame will bring. Plus, it’s just a great song all around! Makes us wish ‘The Wonders’ really had existed! Well.. they do. In our hearts
2. The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King- “Pippin’s Song”
This is an even better example of amazing usage of Juxtaposition. The emotions evoked by the sad melody match perfectly with the images of Faramir riding on his suicide mission. If this one doesn’t give you goosebumps, then I don’t know what will.
1. O Brother, Where Art Thou?- “Man of Constant Sorrow”
Our number 1 pick! Another song from a band within a movie (although not originally). ‘The Soggy Bottom Boys’ not only achieve fame through this song, but it also ends up saving their lives. Beautifully performed by Mr. George Clooney (you can’t tell at all that he isn’t actually singing) This song deserves the number one spot in our list!
Those are our Top 10 Songs from Movie Sequences. What do you guys think? Did we miss any huge ones?