As a teen, I considered myself a movie buff. I think it all began when we got cable television. Before American Movie Classics became AMC, the home of Mad Men, Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead, the channel was all about the movies. I loved listening to Bob Dorian introduce the movies, picking up bits of trivia about the actors or director, and learning tidbits about the making of these old movies. This inspired me to play closer attention to the Saturday evening episodes of Siskel & Ebert. Instead of ignoring the reviews of independent and foreign films, I began making lists of movies to borrow from the library or rent from the video store. I stayed up to late to watch the Oscars and tried to make sure I eventually watched the nominees and winners. Soon, second-run “dollar theaters” became my favorite haunts. I was all about movies.
These days, I have no idea what is showing in theaters let alone which films are up for awards. The movies I borrow from the library or get in the mail from Netflix are all mysteries. I don’t mean the films are in that genre. I mean I have no idea what happens in them. I rarely get to sit through a movie from start to finish now that I have Philip demanding my attention. I end up bringing home the same movies over and over from the library because I don’t remember watching them. I can’t recall the last movie I actually saw in a theater, either.
When I saw that this week’s Tuesday Twisted MixTape theme was soundtracks, I decided to dig through my memory to come up with five songs that I fell in love with because I heard them in a movie. This is my first time linking up with co-hosts Jen Kehl of My Skewed View and Kristi of Finding Ninee plus the other Twisted MixTape regulars, so I hope they enjoy my contribution.
“Everybody’s Talkin'” performed by Harry Nilsson in Midnight Cowboy
Everybody’s talking at me
I don’t hear a word they’re sayin’
Only the echoes of my mind
As a budding movie aficionado, I just had to watch the only X-rated film to win the Oscar for Best Picture. While the clip below shows how the song was used in the title sequence, I’ll always associate the song with the end of the film as Jon Voigt and Dustin Hoffman take a bus south to Miami:
I’m going where the sun keeps shining
Thru’ the pouring rain
Going where the weather suits my clothes
“The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore” as performed by Alan Rickman and Juliet Stevenson in Truly, Madly, Deeply
When Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert reviewed Truly, Madly, Deeply, they played the following clip:
I immediately fell in love with the song and couldn’t wait to watch the movie. When I finally did see it, the movie just couldn’t live up to my expectations. For me, that scene using that song was everything: romantic, musical and funny. The rest of the film just paled in comparison.
“Extreme Ways” by Moby as heard in The Bourne Identity and the rest of the film series
As much as I love many of the Bond film title songs, I would be hard pressed to remember the plot of the movie each one goes with. My enjoyment of “Live and Let Die,” “Nobody Does It Better,” and “A View to a Kill,” is independent of the movies that inspired them.
Now Moby’s “Extreme Ways” is the kind of song that makes me want to sit through the closing credits. When I hear that techno intro, I am reminded that I should never p*** off Matt Damon. The song puts me on edge, but in a “I’ve-had-too-much-caffeine-and-can-now-do-anything” kind of way. It makes me want to leave the theater and go kick some a**.
“Sgt. MacKenzie” by Joseph Kilna MacKenzie in We Were Soldiers
In contrast to the “I can rule the world!” feel that Moby’s song inspires, “Sgt. MacKenzie” strips me bare.
Lay me down in the cold, cold ground
Where before many more have gone
When they come I will stand my ground
Stand my ground I’ll not be afraid
Thoughts of home take away my fear
Sweat and blood hide my veil of tears
Once a year say a prayer for me
Close your eyes and remember me
We Were Soldiers is my favorite film about the Vietnam War. I know many others are more acclaimed or are considered to have more iconic soundtracks, but We Were Soldiers is the one Vietnam War-based movie that I will watch again and again. The powerful song that plays during the final battle sequence is just one of the features that brings me back.
“Baby Mine” sung by Betty Noyes in Dumbo
While this is the oldest film in my list, my appreciation for it is new. I really hated Dumbo when I was a kid. I thought it was boring until the part where Dumbo got drunk and hallucinated pink elephants. Then I found the movie disturbing.
Even though I may not be able to watch current films from start to finish, I have ample opportunity to see children’s movies all the way through. Again and again. And then some more. As I’ve repeatedly viewed Dumbo with Philip, I’ve grown to love the movie. Of course, what mother can’t identify with Mrs. Jumbo, locked away as a mad elephant because she is trying to protect her child? And no matter how many times I watch the scene, when I hear the unconditional love expressed in “Baby Mine,” tears come to my eyes.