11 Music Moments That Made Good Movies Great


Remember the montage in Up? It was the part of the film where everybody around you cried and that sad waltz played. Music can define films, burn moments into our heads, and turn average scenes into something special. Here are some classic music-movie pairings you won't find on any other lists.

1. 'Pennies From Heaven' and 'Let's Misbehave'

This scene involves an old-timey Christopher Walken strip-tap-dancing on a bar. Therefore, it would be good regardless of the music, but "Let's Misbehave" makes it truly great. It's just one of many highlights in a vastly underrated film starring Steve Martin and Bernadette Peters.

2. 'Superbad' and 'These Eyes'

This scene is the epitome of awkward, and a great example of how anyone would sing to a room full of people they desperately want to escape.

3. 'Spring Breakers' and 'Everytime'

Harmony Korine and Britney Spears are an unlikely pairing, but work so well together. James Franco should be up for an Oscar in this movie for his performance as Alien, rapper and drug dealer.

4. 'Magnolia' and 'Wise Up'

A bold and heartbreaking sequence where all the characters start singing along to the same song on the radio. Whether it's serendipity or some kind of sign is left up to the viewer.

5. 'Summer of Sam' and 'Baba O'Riley'

Spike Lee creates a frenetic montage of a neighborhood turning against itself amidst the blackout and killings in the Bronx circa 1977. The scene is soundtracked by the Who's incongruously epic "Baba O'Riley," often known as "Teenage Wasteland."

6. 'Holy Motors' and 'Let My Baby Ride'

This is more of a musical interlude in an incredibly inventive film. Denis Lavant is a talented man and Holy Motors showcases his many skills. It hearkens back to his ecstatic dance to David Bowie's "Modern Love" in Leos Carax's Bad Blood.

7. 'Hudsucker Proxy' and 'Sabre Dance'

There is something delightfully absurd about a bunch of kids running away from a young boy spinning a hula hoop around his neck.

8. 'Almost Famous' and 'Tiny Dancer'

This is perhaps the most touching moment in Cameron Crowe's semi-autobiographical, entirely great movie about a young music journalist covering a rock band on the cusp of fame. The poor group singing does nothing to diminish the song's effect.

9. 'Irreversible' and 'Symphony VII, Movement II'

A beautiful end to an ugly film. Gaspar Noé's camerawork is also incredibly inventive and out-there. If you can make it through this film, you'll find this scene takes on an almost despairing quality.

10. 'Some Like it Hot' and 'I'm Through With Love'

One of the more tender moments in a classic slapstick comedy. Tony Curtis in drag makes the scene even better.

11. 'Step Brothers' and 'Sweet Child O'Mine'

This scene perfectly establishes how terrible this family is from the get-go. 

There are tons more worth mentioning, but here are some standouts: After Hours and "Is That All There Is?"; Buffalo 66 and "Heart of the Sunrise"; Zoolander and "Wake Me Up Before You Go Go"; Office Space and "Damn it Feels Good to be a Gangsta"; Batman and "Party Man"; Jungle Fever and "Living For the City"; Y Tu Mama Tambien and "Si No Te Hubieras Ido"; and all of Prince's Purple Rain.