10 Great Musical Moments in Film


Now when I say musical moments I must clarify I don’t mean actual musicals because generally and with some exception I absolutely hate musicals.

So this will be a celebration of my favourite musical moments within normal movies – a mix up of scores and songs. Enjoy!

No.1 ‘Kaneda’s Death Pt 2’ /Adagio in D Minor – Sunshine (2007)

Adagio in D Minor is my favourite film score EVER. I really love it, like loads and loads. Kaneda’s Death Pt 2 is pretty much the standard Adagio in D Minor (the Sunshine theme) but it does sound slightly more urgent. When Captain Kaneda dies, it’s an intense part of the film and it’s the first time we really hear the Adagio in D Minor in its entirety. It made Sunshine an unforgettable experience for me.

“Tell me…..what do you see?”

No.2 Sean Pertwee singing ‘Fireball XL5’ – Love, Honour & Obey (2000)

Love, Honour & Obey is a very fun little movie. It’s a little known British effort, kind of a tongue-in-cheek gangster movie. The soundtrack is especially awesome because each cast member sings a song. Ray Winstone, Jonny Lee Miller, Kathy Burke, Jude Law…. they all do karaoke at some point, but it’s Sean Pertwee singing Fireball XL5 that is undoubtedly my favourite! #megutscoop

No.3 Vince & Jules leave the coffee shop to ‘Surf Rider’ – Pulp Fiction (1994)

This has always been my favourite song from the Pulp Fiction soundtrack. I always thought it was such brilliant music to use at the end of the film. I know it’s not really the end and shock fucking horror Travolta’s dead! But Vince and Jules walking out together in their nifty t-shirts after a showdown with Pumpkin and the bad motherfucker wallet – well it just sounds too perfect.

No.4 ‘Blue Moon’ on a full moon – An American Werewolf in London (1981)

The song Blue Moon is used in this film not less than three times. Bobby Vinton sings one version (the slowest version) and The Marcels sing the well known doo wop version. But the version (how many times can I say version? Is there another word for version?) I chose today is by Sam Cooke and plays during the famous transformation scene. And who do I love apart from John Landis and werewolves and stuff? Yep, Sam Cooke.

No.5 Frankenstein’s Monster – X-Men First Class (2011)

I really like Henry Jackson’s soundtrack for this film and it was Magneto’s theme that made me sit up and notice it in the first place. There’s not a scene in the entire movie that’s cooler than this one and apart from the wonderful Fassbender I think it’s got a lot to do with the music.

“Blut und Ehre

No.6 A lap dance ‘Down in Mexico’ – Death Proof (2007)

Death Proof is one of my favourite Tarantino movies and its soundtrack is truly rocking! I’m cheating a tiny wee bit because I’m pretty sure this scene wasn’t included in the theatrical cut but oh well. The Coasters Down in Mexico is so cool and Arlene’s dance is sexy as hell. I think it beats Rose McGowan in Planet Terror if I’m honest.

No.7 ‘Fuckin in the Bushes’ with Mickey – Snatch (2000)

Just LOVE this, always have. The song (by Oasis) is brilliant and Brad Pitt looks fit as anything. It’s a brilliant final fight and that’s all I have to say.

No.8 Gingerbread Man ‘Holding Out for a Hero’ – Shrek 2 (2004)

I’ve always really enjoyed this scene! I may even be guilty of watching it on youtube from time to time… It’s an exciting scene for a kids movie and a lot of that has to do with the Fairy Godmother singing Holding Out for a Hero, which is perfect as Shrek and his motely crew fight their way through the town.

No.9 ‘Gimme Shelter’ in – The Departed (2006)

I think I love this song as much as Martin Scorsese does. I love it! It’s such a cool fucking song and I always knew I’d choose The Departed for this slot over Goodfellas or Casino. Apart from the fact I’ve never seen Casino, that opening scene is a corker and I can hear Jack Nicholson saying “environment” in a Boston accent as I type this.

10. ‘The Man with a Harmonica’ Showdown – Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) 

Ahhhhh I love this. I love this, love this! And I love my grandad who first showed it to me and opened up my eyes and ears considerably. One of my favourite ever showdowns, this scene between Harmonica and Frank is so great. Some people say the music is a little creepy which I guess is fair, but it’s perfect for avenging that’s for sure.

Honourable mentions:

The Guest and The Little Mermaid both have great soundtracks and the only reason I didn’t include either of them was simply because I couldn’t decide on one defining musical moment. The Guest in particular I wanted to include but I struggled on deciding which scene and song.

There’s a few others, I can’t be bothered to list them all. Who am I kidding, I can’t be bothered to think let alone write them up.

Anyone got any?

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About emmakwall

Films, books, soundtracks, good humour
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72 Responses to 10 Great Musical Moments in Film

  1. My personal favorite is “Pomp and Circumstance,” during the head explosion scene in Kingsman. I almost died of laughter the first time I saw that. 😂

  2. Emma…..you are a CLASSIC!
    Love that opening scene in Planet Terror! Rose McGowan was born to play that role. Terribly underrated film and her role in it!
    “I’m going to be a stand-up comedienne!”
    “But you’re not funny!”
    My favourite music piece……..difficult question………how about when “Shane” rides into town for that final showdown! That music sends shivers up and down my spine……….dramatic as hell!!!!

    • emmakwall says:

      “Shane! Come back Shane!” ha ha 🙂 great choice!!

      Thanks for the kind words 🙂

      Yeah that is a great scene, I do love that song as well, it’s so dark and sexy. I loved her in the film too and her character was great! “Useless talent number 42” (or whatever the number was!)

      • Yeah……….Rose (Cherry) and her “Useless Talents”! All her idea apparently, those “Useless Talents”! She suggested it to the Director and he agreed. And why wouldn’t he……….weren’t they having an affair? Who could blame him?

        • emmakwall says:

          Well…he was married so maybe his wife could blame him :p

          I like Rose though, none of my business!

          I like it when El Ray says “but you’re not funny” and she says “everyone seems to think I’m fucking hilarious” all pissed off lol

          • Yeah, they are a scream together. Terribly overlooked/underrated film and I love Deqth Proof as well…………Kurt Russell is great! Another great soundtrack! Tarantino has a habit of great soundtracks! The opening scene of Inglorious Basterds…….Nazis driving up to French Refugee house and Tarantino has Spaghetti Western music playing! Brilliant!

  3. movierob says:

    great post ems!

    off the top of my head…

    stuck in the middle in Reservoir Dogs
    imperial march in Empire Strikes Back (obviously)
    Cherry Bomb in Guardians of the Galaxy
    ET theme when they are trying to escape on the bikes
    Time of My Life in Dirty Dancing

  4. Drew says:

    Nice list, Emma. I almost didn’t make it down here to the comments after that last gif. What about Vic Vega’s ear cutting scene in Reservoir Dogs?

    • emmakwall says:

      Haha, glad you liked it Drew 😉

      That could indeed be an honourable mention! I could go crazy with the scenes in Tarantino movies though, every one has a great music scene or three…or four!

      I do love Stuck in the Middle of You 😀

  5. WOW. I loved the movie Sunshine the first time I saw it last year….and I could never put into words why I emotionally connected to it until this post. Thank you 🙂

    • emmakwall says:

      This makes me so happy!!! (it really does!) I know that my connection with the film and my love for it really comes because of the music and I’m so ecstatic you feel the same!!!!! 😀 I really smiled reading your comment 🙂 thanks!!!!!!!!

  6. Jay says:

    Great post, always nice to put a little sauce on my sundae 😉

  7. beetleypete says:

    NEVER SEEN CASINO! (Can’t get any bigger caps…)
    I took a while to recover from that. Had to lie down in a darkened room, with a wet flannel on my head.

    Great to see the inclusion of one of cinema’s greatest moments. No, not ‘Sunshine’, ‘Fireball XL5’ from ‘Love, Honour, & Obey’. Pertwee takes the crown! x

    Now watch ‘Casino’. Immediately.

    • emmakwall says:

      Haha, I knew someone would say that 🙂 definitely one day. I have too much to watch!!! Haha, you know what? I completely agree! All Hail Sean Pertwee’s singing!!!! x

  8. newguy87 says:

    Nice list, haven’t seen a few though lol

  9. vinnieh says:

    Woo Hoo, what a rocking post Emma. Down In Mexico is a sexy song and that scene that goes with it is hot. Love the Rose McGowan gif.

  10. alexraphael says:

    What an awesome post. So many great suggestions. All mine seem quite obvious now. I can offer you this though https://alexraphael.wordpress.com/2014/08/02/film-quizzes-non-musicals-dance-films/

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