While watching a re-run of the movie “Ghost” with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, I was reminded of how a song can be kindled, or in this case, rekindled into pop culture. The Righteous Brothers had a huge hit that has been covered by many called “Unchained Melody.” But, one very seductive scene between the two leads elevated interest in both pottery making and this old classis from years before.
This got me thinking of other songs which were a key part of the movie. Note, I am not considering musicals which have several songs (“The Sound of Music” or “Saturday Night Fever,” eg) or movies that have marvelous soundtracks like “The Last of the Mohicans” or “Out of Africa.” The purpose is to note dramatic movies that include a key song.
In no particular order, here are ten songs and the movies that created them. This is not a Top Ten list, so please share ones I overlooked. I know I missed many.
“Ghost” and “Unchained Melody” by the Righteous Brothers – see above
“The Breakfast Club” and “Don’t you forget about me” by Simple Minds – in my view, this was the best of the Brat Pack movies, but the song became an anthem to rebellious youth.
“To Sir with Love” and “To Sir with Love” by Lulu – This is a brilliant movie with Sidney Poitier. Lulu accentuates the student’s feelings for their teacher with this marvelous song.
“The Graduate” and “Mrs. Robinson” by Simon and Garfunkel – Anne Bancroft, Katharine Ross and Dustin Hoffman star in this unusual film of seduction. An instrumental song is part of the movie soundtrack, until it is sung in full.
“Live and Let Die” and “Live and Let Die” by Paul McCartney and Wings – there are many James Bond songs to choose from, but this one was one of the more rock and roll ones.
“Billy Jack” and “One Tin Soldier” by Coven – Billy Jack was a cult hero in a cult movie as he took on big money as they unseated Native American rights. This is very powerful song of rebellion that has been used for protests.
“The Princess Bride” and “Storybook Love” by Mark Knopfler – Knopfler and his wonderful guitar and deep and raspy voice lend themselves to this charming and well done tale of adventure.
“Titanic” and “My Heart will go on” by Celine Dion – this is arguably one of Dion’s greatest songs, as it tells the story of love, love lost and living on after loss, the theme of the movie..
“Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid” and “Knock, knock, knocking on heaven’s door” by Bob Dylan – Dylan had a bit part in this movie with Kris Kristofferson and James Coburn.
“Top Gun” and “You’ve lost that lovin’ feeling” by the Righteous Brothers – I give this duo a second song because of the importance the song had in Tom Cruise’s character wooing Nicole Kidman’s.
Let me know what you think. Do you like these choices? Which ones did I miss? I would love to hear from you.