Your Favourite Movie Music Sequence
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Your Favourite Movie Music Sequence

By Mrs. Julien | Comment Diversions | September 7, 2013 | Comments ()

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This week’s comment diversion comes from Sara_Tonin00’s excellent suggestion that we share our favourite musical movie moments. Please tell us your favourite sequence, montage, or number.

I’ll start with something short and freaking hilarious . Corky working on his choreography in Waiting for Guffman:

My favourite musical number is Judy Garland singing “Get Happy” in the otherwise awful musical Summer Stock:

Unless you have no soul, your list will include the montage of censored movie kisses from Cinema Paradiso. Poetry:

Mr Julien asked me to include “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head” from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, in particular, the way the fence acts like frames of film during the second verse:

… and the “La Marseillaise” sequence in Casablanca. It’s a candle against the darkness:

In her suggestion email, Sara_Tonin00 said she would include something from Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, although how anything good can come from that tripe is beyond me.

Comment diversion suggestions, profanity-laced tirades, and Easter eggs can be sent here.

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • MissAmynae

    WHERE IS MY LITTLE BUTTERCUP??!! Argh, come on, guys!

  • Jiffylush

    It's not a musical but one of my favorite scenes

    The movie is Stranger Than Fiction and you should watch it, if don't want to watch it right now watch the clip in full, if you are just looking for the music it starts a little after 1:00.

  • dAvid

    Flip your wings and fly to Daddy.

  • Green Lantern

    Anything from "A Hard Day's Night" and/or "Help!". Honorable mention for "Magical Mystery Tour".

  • foolsage

    Plus most of "Yellow Submarine", for that matter.

  • Uriah_Creep

    I like your style, GL.

  • JQ

    Since I'm late to this discussion, I'm surprised that no one has mentioned Michael Caine teaching Steve Martin how to be "His Highness" in Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. The montage to the tune of Puttin' on the Ritz is glorious!

  • apsutter

    Also, gotta love the beauty pageant scene from Little Miss Sunshine where Violet and family dance to Superfreak

  • annie

    Iggy Pop's "Lust For Life" at the beginning of Trainspotting:

  • JuneBug

    Opening singing/dancing sequence to West Side Story, in fact, the entire musical.

  • BWeaves

    The whole Time Warp => Sweet Transvestite sequence from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Best ENTRANCE ever.

    Jail House Rock. Come on, it's ELVIS.

    Do, a Deer, from Sound of Music. My childhood favorite.

    Eclipsed only by The Sorcerer's Apprentice from Fantasia.

    And lastly, Tigger's song from Winnie the Pooh.

  • Mrs. Julien

    "Do, a Deer" that must be from the porn parody The Sound of Muffsex.

  • BWeaves

    Oddly enough, it's the actual name of the song.

  • L.O.V.E.

    Joaquin Phoenix and Reese Witherspoon from Walk The Line -- Time's a Wastin'

  • CuringBenSmith

    I think the accordion sequence from Holy Motors has to be one of my favourite things ever.

  • chiwhisox

    Saw 147 comments and expected someone to have already posted this, but I don't see it.

    Scorsese is so great at using music in his movies, but the second half of Layla set to the whackings in Goodfellas is one of the most amazing scenes I've ever seen:

    Could have easily chosen Donovan's "Atlantis" set to them beating the crap out of Billy Batts, but I like the Layla one a bit more.

    Edit: loaded more comments, and saw someone did post this. Still worth posting twice.

  • lowercase_ryan

    you all disappoint me. 140+ and no Michael Madsen?

  • Sara_Tonin00

    We can't all be psychopaths. No one said Clockwork Orange's Singing in the Rain yet either, did they?

  • manting

    actually I did

  • Berry

    Or Hip to be Square from American Psycho. *shudder*

  • Mrs. Julien

    Or the original Singin' in the Rain sequence? I didn't include because I thought it too obvious.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Why? Is Gene Kelly murdering people with the puddles he splashes?

  • mswas

    Ray Charles singing "Shake Your Tailfeather" in The Blues Brothers. Charles is always fantastic, and so is the band, and I love a good crowd dance scene. This one is just great - the kids, the old people, the construction workers, the lady with the awesome striped pants, and all of those different dances. "Hey Hey, Watusi!" I just love it.

  • MissAmynae

    One of my absolute favorites! When I was about 6, after much begging on my part, Mom spent an entire weekend teaching me all those dances so I could play along with the movie. :-)

    That soundtrack keeps me sane on crap days at work.

  • mswas

    ooh I want to do that!

  • Uriah_Creep

    The entire Blue Brothers soundtrack is a delight. It's like an ode of love to a lot of the old musicians who influenced so many of our generation's stars.

  • Scootsa1000

    While A Star is Born as a whole is less than great, the beginning and end (when she introduces herself as Mrs Norman Maine and I turn into a blubbering pile of tears) are amazing.

    I just love James Mason watching while Judy does her stuff here.

  • Mrs. Julien

    The Man That Got Away is my favourite sequence, but I had used it in another thread about theme songs. It is the greatest singing performance I have ever, ever (ever) heard.

    I have a Judy Garland as Dorothy magnet on my desk. When people comment. I always tell them it's because they don't make one of her singing "The Man That Got Away". They *never* get it. Par for the course.

  • Scootsa1000

    Project for the day: Make an iron-on t shirt with an image judy signing this song to wear when I feel like doing some ass kicking. Digging out my Judy at Carnegie Hall cd right now.

    FYI -- I recently saw some magnets from A Star is Born on ebay or etsy...I think they were of the movie poster, but it might be worth a peek.

  • kirbyjay

    Kevin Kline dancing to "I Will Survive" in In and Out
    Steve Carell dancing to "Nasty Girl" in Dan in Real Life
    Steve Martin and Rick Moranis dancing to "The Meringue" in My Blue Heaven
    Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale walking the streets of Lowell, Ma to The
    Heavy's "How Do You Like Me Now" in the Fighter
    Moby's "Extreme Ways" after all the Bourne movies
    and the only thing I liked about The Departed is driving over the beautiful Zakim Bridge to "I'm Shipping Up To Boston" by the Dropkick Murphy's
    to name a few

  • manting

    The steve martin rick moranis part is great.

  • Strand

    Layla from Goodfellas deserves a mention. As for me? Stonehenge! Where the demons dwell, where the banshees live and they do live well!

  • foolsage

    Stonehenge! Where a man's a man, and the children dance to the pipes of Pan...

  • manting

    We built it to scale

  • So...we're doing Stonehenge tomorrow?

  • Salieri2

    No we're not gonna fucking do Stonehenge!!

  • CptFurillo

    Good Morning, from Singing in the Rain. Great song, three incredible performers, and a wonderful dance sequence using every day props.

    Or pretty much anything else involving Gene Kelly.

  • Berry

    Thought of one more: Mad World from Donnie Darko, 'cause I never really left my inner teen-age emo girl behind.

    And can I mention a couple of scenes from small screen? I can't decide from Doctor Who. And Put Your Lights On + Thousand Kisses Deep from seasons one and three of Veronica Mars, respectively.

  • the sandwich
  • Alex

    THE TROUBLE SEQUENCE FROM HAROLD AND MAUDE. Forever and ever and ever.

  • Salieri2

    I can't find the clip, but in The 40-Year-Old-Virgin, after Andy storms out of what'serface's house and pedals away on his bike, the Asia kicks in with "Heat of the Moment," and I alone, in a theater full of people, recognized it and honked surprised laughter into the opening bars.

    There has to be a German word for the combination of cleverness and embarrassment you feel when someone cracks a deeply nerdy joke and you out yourself catching the snap.

  • julied
  • manting

    great song but its a tv show

  • Anniescam

    Where is My Mind by the Pixies in Fight Club.

  • Salieri2

    Another favorite underscore, repetition be damned: "An Epitaph to War" and the ending credits of Glory, Harlem Boys Choir, kicks in around 3:38:

  • Salieri2

    One of my favorite underscores: The Fall of Gandalf, right after "Fly, you fools!" at about 2:20.

  • manting

    never fuck with Durins Bane.

  • Salieri2

    You delve too deep, you wake the nameless fear. It happens.

  • Salieri2

    Oh man, too hard to pick a favorite. I'll just toss in a few that haven't been mentioned: there are SO MANY.

    Kevin Kline's "I Will Survive" dance from "In & Out."

  • grr arrgh

    OH oh! How could I forget. The Time After Time dance from Romy and Michelle's High School Reunion. Come on, Pajibans. You all know you love this in all its cheesy, nonsensical glory.

  • citizen_cris
  • Uriah_Creep

    Almost anything from Easy Rider: The Pusher, The Weight, I Wasn't Born to Follow, If Six Was Nine, and of course, Born To Be Wild. There are half a dozen more, too. I was a teenager when that came out and it BLEW MY MIND (even without assistance from psychedelics (not that I didn't see it once or twice under the influence of unspecified substances)).

  • manting

    epic soundtrack. Whenver I do I shot of whiskey I still go "hellfire, injuns, injuns, as I work my elbow like a chicken.

  • Wigamer

    Broken Social Scene's cover of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" in The Time Traveler's Wife

  • bastich

    I love any number from the '86 remake of "Little Shop of Horrors, but especially "Skid Row" and "Dentist!":

  • MissAmynae

    Finally!! The Doo-Wop Greek Chorus is one of the best things on the planet!

  • "Suddenly Seymore." Maybe the last great movie musical performance.

  • grr arrgh

    I can't believe no one's mentioned it. The Day O dinner scene from Beetlejuice!! My love of that scene knows no bounds. Also from Beetlejuice, the final Jump in the Line dance. "Shake, shake shake senora!"

    Cell Block Tango from Chicago. If that doesn't make you wish you had the ability to spontaneously do a perfectly choreographed dance number about how you were right to murder some man, I don't know what will.

    Other favorites of mine are the parade/Twist and Shout/Danke Schoen parade scene and the museum visit scene from Ferris Bueller's Day Off, just about any song montage from a Disney movie, any montage from Clueless, the rest of Chicago, oh the Wonder Woman theme song dress up montage from To Wong Foo (Again, my love of that movie knows no bounds.). I know I'm forgetting so many things.

  • kirbyjay

    Cell Block Tango YES!!! Love that. I fast forward through the movie just to get to that scene, and then I shut it off. He had it coming, for sure.

  • apsutter

    To Wong Foo= Gloriously that movie

    Great list...Ferrs Bueller's parade scene is so wonderful. Beetlejuice is always great and there are just so many great parts in Chicago.

  • grr arrgh

    Also from To Wong Foo, the "Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me" scene. That movie makes my heart burst rainbows and kittens.

    Thank you! I could just marathon all of those movies. I love them all so much.

  • grr arrgh

    Why won't disqus show me who upvoted me without making me upvote myself? Has it always done that?

  • Lovely Bones

    Reloading the page will generally solve that, it happens for me too sometimes. Are you the same grr argh that I've spoken to before?

  • grr arrgh

    Thank you! Reloading helped. Possibly. I've been a lurker/guest commenter longer than I've been commenting under this name.

  • Lovely Bones

    Are you on the AV Club?

  • grr arrgh

    Nope. That's someone else. I guess we both decided to reference Joss Whedon's Mutant Enemy demon.

  • Lovely Bones

    Okay, that makes sense. Sorry.

    I love the Mutant Enemy thing, for the record, I was just hopeful that you were one and the same.

  • grr arrgh

    It's totally fine. Don't worry about it. I get it.

    Thanks. Sorry to crush your hopes.

  • delle

    I love the music from Kill Bill, but I adore the scene where the Bride is in Hattori Hanzo's loft looking at his swords ("The Wound That Heals" by Salyu) and then the scene immediately following where he presents her with the sword he made for her ("The Lonely Shepard" by Zamfir). Always gives me tinglies.

  • Salieri2

    Certainly the most effective use of Zamfir possible.

  • Jill

    Haven't read it yet so I'll throw out Ferris running home at the end of Ferris Bueller's Day Off

  • Some Guy

    The English Beat

  • Bananapanda

    Most of American in Paris (Gene Kelly see it!) is amazing.

    More recently I gotta go Junebug and this scene:

  • Bananapanda

    Also the Desperado scene ( in In America.

  • Guest

    68 Comments and this hasn't been mentioned?

  • manting

    Id fuck me

  • Mrs. Julien

    I'm still waiting for Singin' in the Rain.

  • kimk

    My brain will never be able to reconcile the kindly policeman from "Monk" with.... this guy.

  • $65530708

    Once Upon a Time in the West:


    The Arcade Fire version also works nicely...

  • mrsdalgliesh

    That Arcade Fire version is fantastic. Thanks for posting!

  • Guest

    And And And And:

    Pitch Perfect - Since U Been Gone

    (This totally sold me on the movie, even with the shower scene).

    Love a Kelly Clarkson song? I'd never admit that before this.

    *Don't just bring it, sing it!

  • MelBivDevoe

    I love your choices, from Once to Scott Pilgrim. But this one was the very first scene that popped into my head! To this day, if I hear Clarkson's version on the radio, I immediately starting singing, "Zum zum zum zum...."

  • Guest
  • Guest
  • foolsage

    Also from Office Space:

    Damn it Feels Good to Be a Gangsta

  • $65530708


    Falling Slowly from Once (a underrated gem featuring one of my favourite bands).

  • Bananapanda

    And one of the best Oscar moments - both their performance as well as Jon Stewart bringing them back onstage to finish their speeches. Lovely film.

  • Morgan_LaFai

    The save Alice cliff chase scene at the end of Last of the Mohicans was the first thing that popped into my head, and I stand by it. It is a beautiful and haunting scene.

    The whole movie is on my list of the most beautiful movies of all time. It isn't doesn't make the cut for favorite movie, or greatest movie, or whatever; but it definitely makes the cut for beauty. It's a gorgeous film through and through. But hands down my favorite moment is when the angry Indian finally lowers his knife but it is to late and Alice jumps. The look on her face, with the music, and the scenery, and the wind blowing and tiny drops of mist in the air... Just beautiful.

  • mrsdalgliesh

    That sequence merges two pieces of music heard separately in earlier parts of the film, which is of course perfect for a climactic scene.

  • Morgan_LaFai

    I was listening again and I can't believe I never noticed that before. You are quite right. With out looking up the tracks it sounds like the piece from the fort scene when the world was on fire, and either the scene where the are tracking the girls or the opening credits. It has been a while since I watched the film or listened to the soundtrack, hence my questionable guess work. But you are right, it is perfect.

  • EliotKami

    It's a beautiful mess of a movie, but the one bit that everyone remembers; a blood-splatted Justin Timberlake doing a full musical sequence to All These Things That I've done in Southland Tales. Brilliant.

  • Guest

    +1 for Richard Kelly. THe alternate opening for Donnie Darko using INXS is fantastic! + Tears for Fears.

  • treatment_bound

    I'm pretty sure the Phoebe Cates/Moving in Stereo sequence from "Fast Times" might get a few votes, right?

  • manting

    she was so hot, so very very hott

  • jja

    Good suggestions. I'll nominate just about any moment from my favorite movie, Amadeus. For simplicity, let's say the scene where Salieri opens the folder of Mozart's manuscript music and the music poors out....

    Or any dance sequence from the Astaire/Rogers movies....

  • Berry

    Since you brought up Amadeus, I have to mention the Beethoven movie Immortal Beloved, with a couple of disclaimers: a. I know many serious classical music fans despise Ode To Joy. I do not care. b. I know the movie isn't strictly speaking historically accurate. I do not care about that either, because this scene just works for me:

  • jja

    Berry, not true, it's great that you like this. I think pretentious aficionados (such as myself) do get a little annoyed when people think it's a "song." (Like a stand-alone thing called "Ode to Joy." Another example is the Pachelbel Canon in D in all its noxious wedding modes. Or, I really wish people knew where "Here Comes the Bride" comes from.)

    But I've never met a classical music lover who thinks Beethoven's 9th symphony -- the whole thing! -- isn't a towering masterpiece.

  • foolsage

    Beethoven's Ninth is inarguably a masterpiece. It also makes for great flash mobs.

    But yes, there's some snobbery there among aficionados. People who don't like classical music but love "Ode to Joy" are a bit like people love "Stairway to Heaven" but don't know any other Zep songs; they're looked down upon by "true fans".

  • jja

    I'm in the rarified air at the height of snobbery, then. I couldn't bear to call myself a "fan" of any composer of European art music (see what I did there?), and referring to the main theme of the last movement of the Beethoven ninth by a phrase that sounds like a song name just seems so....common.

    But at least I can make fun of myself about it. Right? Right?

  • foolsage

    Heh, yes, I saw what you did there.

    There's a difference between using a culturally common referent (e.g. "Ode to Joy") to refer to a given work (or in this case, movement thereof), and being unaware that said referent is only one of several names for the work in question.

    Why wouldn't you call yourself a fan of any composers of Western (predominantly secular) art music between, say, the late sixteenth and early twentieth centuries? Yes, I'm aware of outliers, but that's the main set we're discussing. You don't appear to be too proud to admit that you enjoy the works of some of these composers. Is it a fear of association with "lesser" fanhoods? Would you call yourself a "fan" of anything, or is the term "fan" itself your main concern there?

    I agree that it's all good, as long as we can make fun of ourselves. Anyhow, one snob to another, at least you appreciate some good music. :)

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