Music plays an important role in any film. Whether it’s a main title or end credits theme, a song played to help convey emotion in a scene, a character breaking into song or even just a piece being played in the background to help the subtlety of a scene, you will be hard pressed to find a film without music in it.
The music we hear in movies is often one of the main selling points of that movie too. How often do you see trailer for a film on the TV or at the cinema and recognise the song being played, if you don’t recognise it then you go and find it out at some point. Just the other month, I saw about three Facebook status’ in a row exclaiming how good The Great Gatsby soundtrack looked.
My point is, music is everywhere in films whether we notice it or not, and today I would like to share with you my five favourite songs featured in movies. The clips vary in length and come from a variety of different film genres.
The Film: Blade (1998)
The Song: Confusion (Pump Panel Recon Mix) performed by New Order
Why I like it: This song takes place in the first scene of the film and it’s in that scene where most of the major characters are first shown. But primarily this is Blade’s set up, there is no need to have the first 40 minutes telling us how he became Blade and why he does what he does (which is kill vampires really well by the way), we just get this one brilliant scene where he takes on a whole nightclub of vampire baddies and comes out without a scratch on him. Pretty badass if you ask me. This song is actually the sole reason I bought the Blade soundtrack. There was no iTunes or anything like that at the time and if you wanted a song then dammit you had to go and buy it. The rest of the album is a little hit and miss, featuring mostly poor attempts at rap but the final five songs are where it becomes worth the wait, featuring another favourite of mine “Wreck Tha Discotek”, no I have no idea why it’s spelt that way either.
The Film: Predator (1987)
The Song: Long Tall Sally performed by Little Richard
Why I like it: Arriving early in the movie this is another character set up scene. Anyone who matters in the film is in this scene, apart from the Predator of course, and we see the camaraderie and tension between all those on board. It also features quite possibly the best line ever spoken in motion picture history when Jesse Ventura’s Blain tells us exactly what the tobacco he’s chewing on can do for a man “This stuff will make you a god damned sexual Tyrannosaurus, just like me.” The song gives the scene pace and almost makes it feel like an action scene, when really not much at all is happening. It also helps that it really makes me want to dance every time I hear it.
The Film: 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
The Song: Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You performed by Heath Ledger
Why I like it: Everyone knows this song and everyone has heard at least one version of it. In the film Heath Ledger’s Patrick Verona has some serious making up to do towards Julia Stiles’ Kat Stratford. What better way to do that than serenade her in front of the entire girls soccer team, with the marching band providing assistance and then getting arrested by campus security. A sure way to a woman’s heart, no?
The Film: American Psycho (2000)
The Song: Hip To be Square performed by Huey Lewis & The News
Why I like it: American Psycho is a wonderful movie and features some brilliant 80’s songs but the standout scene is where Christian Bale’s Patrick Bateman gets to do something we’ve all longed to do and kill Jared Leto (I kid of course). The scene is memorable for many reasons, Bateman’s 80’s yuppie at his quick talking best, his little jig to Huey Lewis & his constant ramble about how relevant he feels their music is. From the timing of the lyrics to the brutal murder of one of his colleagues, to the way he calmly sits down and pulls out a cigar afterwards, this is a hugely memorable scene in a brilliant movie.
The Film: Ghostbusters (1984)
The Song: Savin’ The Day performed by Alessi
Why I like it: I admit this is probably the most cheesy song on the whole list, but it’s also probably my favourite. Ghostbusters has always been my favourite movie and I watched it roughly 17,688 times when I was a kid and this song was always the one I liked most. Yes everyone knows the theme song, but this song meant something more to me. After the Ghostbusters have been freed from jail and they convince the Mayor that they are the only people who can stop the dead rising from the grave there is a rather powerful scene that follows. As the Ecto-1 is escorted down the street flanked by the police and the army, on their way towards Dana Barrett’s apartment, “Savin’ The Day” builds the tension and anticipation for the final showdown. Maybe I’m reading too much into it, but that really is one of my favourite moments in the movie.