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Favorite Movies with a Great Soundtrack

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I'd like to take a poll to see what movies everyone lists as their favorites because of the soundtrack, as if it were another member of the cast or part of the story plot. Great examples (to me) would be "Jaws", The Sergione Leone/Clint Eastwood western trilogy (Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly), the first Star Wars Trilogy, and even "Top Hat" and "Swing Time." I have a ton more, but I'll save them for later.


Now it's your turn.

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Obviously assuming you mean the music , I'd have to say John Carpenter's *Halloween* ....even Carpenter himself has said how, in the first test screenings of the movie, it simply wasn't working....until he added the score, which changed everything and scared the heck outta people.


Bernard Herrmann's score to *Psycho* ....it's so much a part of the movie (not that Hitchcock didn't do great things visually), but try watching the shower murder with the sound turned off, and you'll see what I mean. It's just not the same.


....and I agree with you on *Jaws* . The music/main motif and the shark are practically one and the same.


As far as musicals....the songs are so much a part of *The Wizard of Oz* , the movie simply wouldn't be the same without the songs.


Two of my Universal horror faves are *The Bride of Frankenstein* (great Franz Waxman score) and *The Black Cat* .(brilliant use of many classical pieces).


Two Max Steiner greats: *King Kong* and *Gone With The Wind* .....Steiner's music for Kong goes hand-in- ...um,.... paw with the big ape. His music for GWTW is as legendary and grand as the Old South itself.

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*Road to Peredition* wonderful, evocative score by Thomas Newman


*Streets of Fire* great rock and roll soundtrack supports the story of Queen of the Prom, kidnapped by Leader of the Pack and rescued by Soldier Boy with solid Doo-**** back up.


*The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance*. Seen by many as your typical western oater starring Wayne and Stewart. Start pulling back the layers of the story and the music will break your heart.


*Stagecoach* great jaunty music for the ride but then the atmosphere and the music changes as it becomes the grand-daddy of the imperiled/disaster genre.


*Gunga Din* great theme.


*The Untouchables* Ennio, hell, anything by Ennio.


*Cutter's Way* wonderful, haunting score by Jack Nitsche

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Now, do you mean the soundtrack score played in the film, or the soundtrack 'album' if anybody uses that term anymore? (The two kind of became synonymous sometime in the 1970's).


I can say the best example of music used in a film that I have seen is "Goodfellas". Scorsesee took the time to put period music to the correct timeline of the film. Music (next to smell) brings back memories the fastest to one's brain. I would imagine hearing "Beyond the Sea" brings back that moment in time to someone who was around in 1960 or so.


The official 'soundtrack' CD to "Goodfellas" was only a fraction of songs used in that film. Scorsesee used 2 CD's to accomodate the music from "Casino", which utilizes music in the same way as "Goodfellas".


As for soundtrack score, I'm going to have to get back to you on that one!



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The Red House (1947). Spooky Mikl?s R?zsa score...sets the mood of this movie just right.

The Killing Fields (1984). Mike Oldfield's score is unusual and remains stuck in my brain.

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947) Bernard Herrmann's best score. The music Herrmann wrote for "Lucy Muir sees the house for the first time" scene is...ahem, genius.



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For sound movies, my top 10 are


Star Wars, A New Hope

Smokey and the Bandit

The Swarm

Harper Valley PTA (my LP is *green!* )



Skatetown USA

Purple Rain


Beverly Hills Cop


For silent movies, referring to the music score


The Ragman

Captain January

Nosferatu (the version TCM *has not* showned in the past 3 years)

The Jazz Singer



There is a couple of others I can't think off the bat.

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There are too many favorites for me to narrow it down, so I will pick a few composers who sometimes fall under the radar:


1. Frank Skinner for Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein

2. Roy Webb for Mighty Joe Young

3. Laurence Rosenthal for Becket


Now if you want truly horrible scores, consider Hoyt Curtin for Mesa of Lost Women, Burt Bacharach for Butch Cassidy and The Sundance Kid, and David Chudnow for anything.

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