20 Great Songs in Movies Part I

In no particular order, here are 20 movie moments featuring great use of music. Warning, spoilers ahead!

Somewhere Over the Rainbow / Harry Nilsson in You've Got Mail

I avoided this movie for the longest time, assuming it was just another sappy rom-com, starring the same ol' stars. And the plot did draw me in but I wasn't really a fan, until the ending. When Harry Nilsson starts singing and we see the big reveal. Well, they got me!

Sister Christian / Night Ranger & Jessie's Girl / Rick Springfield in Boogie Nights

Probably the most memorable scene from this movie (except for maybe the ending). In what has to be one of the funniest drug setups gone wrong, the tension is palpable as Alfred Molina puts on one of his favorite mixtapes as his lover throws firecrackers intermittently, keeping his guests appropriately on edge.

Navajo Joe / Ennio Morricone in Election

The strange, horror-like sounds from this intro is featured in the movie Election in very short scenes to showcase the tension and fury that is Tracy Flick.

Hot Stuff / Donna Summer in The Full Monty

So simple. Donna Summer. Some guys standing in line, idling waiting to be scene. The mood strikes. Dancing happens. Sweet!

Bittersweet Symphony / The Verve in  Cruel Intentions

Ahh when Kathryn gets her public comeuppance to the tune of the Verve, just a classic '90s movie moment.

People Are Strange /  Echo & the Bunnymen in The Lost Boys

A perfect and quirky song choice for the opening montage and intro the the Santa Carla California town and its eccentric inhabitants.

Smack My Bitch Up / The Prodigy in Charlie's Angels

The electronic beat comes in just as the Angels get to chasing and fighting off the Creepy Thin man in a high-octane scene that can only be described as a sizzling mix of The Matrix, a dose of extreme girl power, kung fu, couture fashion and oh yeah Crispin Glover.

This Woman's Work / Kate Bush in She's Having a Baby

Way, way before Maxwell's cover, Kate Bush wrote this beautiful and emotional song for the movie featuring a scary and unexpected c-section, while you watch Kevin Bacon worry and wonder about the fate of his wife and unborn child. Chilling and very effective.

Bustin' Out / Rick James in Superbad

Totally unexpected. Who would pair two somewhat geeky but lovable, suburban white kids with some funky Rick James jams? Producer Evan Goldberg and it pretty much sets the tone of this cheeky teen comedy.

Auld Lang Syne / Dave Francis in Sex in the City

Watching Carrie Bradshaw climb out of bed on a freezing cold and snowy New Years Eve to board the subway and be by her friend's side so she she wouldn't feel alone, to a beautiful, acoustic rendition of this classic song was just perfect.

The Kids Are Back / Twisted Sister in Jackass 3D

Kicking off the third installment of the Jackass movie franchise, the guys were all back and for a pretty kick ass and totally appropriate intro. RIP Ryan Dunn.

Say A Little Prayer for You / Dionne Warwick in My Best Friend's Wedding

Who can resist a completely impromptu and silly family group song in a public restaurant? This little number was unexpected fun.

Unchained Melody / The Righteous Brothers in Ghost 

After this, women everywhere wanted to take up pottery. In fact, I'm sure many did!

Sympathy for the Devil /  Guns-n-Roses in Interview with a Vampire

Its the very last scene but as Lestat sneaks into and takes over Christian Slater's car and the lyrics come in introducing "a man of wealth and taste", its the crowning jewel on an interesting ride of a movie.

Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta / Geto Boys in Office Space

Ahhh, gangsta rap embedded in a movie about white collar office jobs. What more is there to say besides the fact that this little drop of hip hop created one of the more memorable scenes from the sleeper hit.

Bohemian Rhapsody / Queen in Wayne's World

Pure genius. For a newer generation, this was their introduction to the ingenuity that is Queen.

Day-O / Harry Belafonte in Beetlejuice 

Totally unexpected and just plan funny. When Beetlejuice possessed the Deetz family and their guest during a dinner party, he not only made it fun to be possessed but created movie magic!

Cry Baby / Janie Joplin in Look Who's Talking

The '80s was big on movie musical montages and this one had several but the pairing of Janis Joplin wailing on the mic to a shot of a screaming infant Mikey plus the added shots of Kirstie Alley dealing with new motherhood are ones any parent can relate to.

Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season) / The Byrds  in Forrest Gump

This one was a tough one because Forrest Gump contains so many great songs and moments but if narrowed down to one (for now), this one stands out. It the epitome of the '60s era when Forrest days goobye, again, to his beloved Jenny.

Staying Alive / Bee Gees in  Saturday Night Fever 

Yes, this is a classic and may be THE best use of a song in the movie but I'd be remiss to exclude it. But John Travolta's strut down a Brooklyn street to the thumping Bee Gee's beat is probably what kicked the disco era off officially and internationally. Its very likely one of the best and most iconic musical intros into a movie. It was also the start of one of the best movie soundtracks of all time.

What did we miss? Which ones would you add?

Lady Dulayne

Music junkie, Baltimore chick, Jedi mom, karaoke queen,'80s kid, hair and makeup fanatic, currently keeping up with a daily Greek yogurt habit.


  1. Great list I've seen a lot of these movies and remember the scenes with these songs!

  2. Love this! Found you from the Buzzer Beater Blog hook up. I will definitely be following!

    1. Oh cool! That means its working! Thanks!