Musical Moments in Cinema

The top 40 musical moments in film history. (via Black Market Kidneys)

Discounting musicals, I would add The Who’s “A Quick One” during the vengeance montage in Rushmore, Schubert’s Piano Trio in E-Flat Major in that absolutely beautiful long shot of Lady Lyndon falling in love with Barry in Barry Lyndon, Khachaturian’s Sabre Dance during the hula hoop montage in The Hudsucker Proxy, that horrible version of the Eagles’ “Hotel California” during the Jesus montage in The Big Lebowski, the ironic use of Rossini in A Clockwork Orange, Night Ranger’s “Sister Christian” in Boogie Nights, Slaughterhouse’s “Power Mad” in Wild at Heart (beautifully twisted), Alan Price’s songs in O Lucky Man!, the use of Wagner in L’Age d’Or, and “Drum Boogie” in Ball of Fire (if you’re talking film history, which would include movies made before 1980, how the hell could you leave that out?).

(In fact, while I’m on the subject, I think it’s safe to say that the opening to Sexy Beast could not have worked without The Stranglers’ “Peaches” playing in the background. And the only reason why Sofia Coppola’s soulless films dupe their audiences is because of the music. I’d ramble further about how certain movies are absolutely hollow without their music (the mute button really reveals wonders), but there’s only so much time in the day.)


  1. Isn’t the Who’s “A Quick One While He’s Away” playing during the vengeance montage in Rushmore? I believe “Making Time” is played during the montage of Max’s extra-curricular activities earlier in the movie.

  2. I think you’re right, Rob. But I’m going to have to drag out the DVD and check. Creation’s song is so indelibly associated with the movie that I plead wrong, if that’s the case.

  3. yeah, I think it is “Quick one…” during that part, and yes, it is awesome.

    I agree too about hollow movies and music, and will take it one step further and say that in general, I really dislike the use of music in movies. I find background scores to be really distracting. Once upon a time they were used during scene transisitons, and that is good, but now it seems like music is always playing in the back ground of a movies and it drives me bannanas.

    Also, the use of pop songs in movies makes me want to barf and then barf on top of that barf. Garden State? *bleecch*

    How music should be used: Funny Games and Cache.

  4. Sister Christian definitely–I would also the ELO song at the very end of Boogie Nights–“It’s a Livin Thing”…?

  5. Or like almost every song in “Easy Rider”? e.g. Hendrix’ “If Six was Nine” as they’re driving stoned through the suburbs.

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