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Great Songs That Play Over Movie Credits

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On 7/23/2017 at 1:36 PM, HoldenIsHere said:

Harry Nilsson's recording of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin'" from the opening credits of John Schlesinger's MIDNIGHT COWBOY.

The song underscores Joe Buck's walk to the Big Spring, Texas restaurant where he's been working as a dishwasher to collect his final paycheck before he begins his bus ride to New York City to embark on his new career as a hustler.

I discovered this movie in college, and it  remains to this day on my list of top ten (probably top five) movies of all-time. 

Jon Voight brings Joe Buck fully to life during this sequence and the part where Joe is almost hit by the Lone Star Beer truck reminds me of the later scene where Dustin Hoffman's Rizzo is almost hit by a cab on the streets of New York City (the famous "I'm walkin' here!" scene which was actually one that was not planned). 

I love Joe's suitcase!

The song is also revisited during Joe's bus ride to New York.




It is so interesting that the two most famous Dustin Hoffman pictures of the sixties both end on a bus with the other riders looking back at him with intense curiosity. In The Graduate, we again hear "The Sounds of Silence" as Katherine Ross looks about befuddled next to smiling, but looking straight ahead, Hoffman. In Midnight Cowboy, Jon Voight is equally befuddled. Hoffman has that effect on co-stars, I guess. Of course what makes that later scene so effective is John Barry's harmonica theme that is repeated as often as Nilsson's song.

Going off the main musical topic... and don't watch the below videos if you don't want spoiled.

Equally interesting to me is that Dustin is essentially "married" to both Ross and Voight in these two films. Well... O.K... not really. In the former, he merely crashes a wedding and runs off with the bride a.k.a. It Happened One Night. In the latter, Jon's Joe Buck is holding Dustin's Rico like a husband in mourning. No, they hadn't been sexual together (being that the movie was released a month before Stonewall and too many decades before gay marriage was legalized), but neither was Elaine and Ben for that matter... even though Ben was with her mother!

Joe is one very lonely man who was closest to his zany grandma Sally Buck and so many key scenes involve older women regaining their past youth. Examples: Sylvia Miles' Cass ("knock a couple of pounds here and there and I'd really be a gorgeous chick") and that legitimate-actress-from-the-stage interviewed at the Warhol party. The whole point of Jon's Joe visiting New York was to please "lonely ladies" even if he wasn't too successful. Rico was the only one who ever cared about him and looked after him.

Alas... Joe always has bad luck with older women. (One was real nasty earlier in the movie when she insists on keeping a bus light on so Joe can't sleep.) In the below closing scene, there is even an elderly lady applying her makeup (like Cass earlier) and ignoring him as other riders gawk. Her behavior also "mirrors" a bit of Joe himself in the above opening credits video clip, checking his hat before "showtime". It is all about The Performance, y'know.


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  • 3 months later...
On 7/22/2017 at 11:08 AM, darkblue said:

From Walter Hill's 'The Warriors' (1979), here's the end credits with Joe Walsh's 'In the City' played over them. If you haven't seen the movie, watching these credits would qualify as a spoiler perhaps - so discretion is advised.





Love Joe Walsh, and he adds to a great movie!

Connie Francis does her thing, with the "Where the Boys Are" song at the beginning of, well of course "Where the Boys Are" but surprisingly the song doesn't start in the credits till I think when her name appears on the screen. I remember watching the opening once and I kept waiting and waiting for her to sing. It begins with some vocal narration about the summer ritual of spring break type activities.

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On 7/26/2017 at 6:12 PM, laffite said:

I abhor pop songs during end credits but am fortunate that by that time the movie is over (usually over, I might say) and I can safely turn the damn thing off.

It doesn't particularly bother me hearing vocals over the opening credits, but I'm in complete agreement w/ you on vocals over the end credits. 

After I've just seen a film, depending on its emotional or psychological impact on me, I'm digesting it at that point. Basically, I'm still "in the moment" when those end credits start to roll,  and I totally loathe being jarred from that moment by annoying vocalizations.  Sometimes I don't even want to speak with anyone who may be watching the movie w/me.

Having said that, however, there's nothing that can enhance that moment more than a moving, instrumental end credit soundtrack.

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The movie 'Cat People' (1982) has the David Bowie song play over the very last freeze-frame image of the black panther (that Nastassja Kinki is) and all the way through the closing credits. 

Unfortunately, I can't find a video of the closing credits to post here. Wish I could because that song over those credits is a marvelous example of this thread topic. So, instead, here's the song played over lots of images from the movie.

I've said elsewhere that it's generally pointless to remake classics, but this is an exception to that generalism. The 1982 'Cat People' is a fine movie in its own right.

Hope you enjoy the video.


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  • 7 months later...

I happened to see SHREK today and fondly remembered the clever lyrics to the song which was being played during the opening credits, "All Star" by Smash Mouth. Too bad they didn't include the last verse:

Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas, I need to get myself away from this place.

I said, "Yep, what a concept, I could use a little fuel myself and we could all use a little change."



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