Producers knew the importance of music to a motion picture even before there were talkies. Music sets the mood and creates drama – excitement, sadness, humor, and fear are all themes and emotions that can be brought to life and punctuated with a timely tune. How many times have you been moved by a particular scene without consciously realizing the music that was playing? It’s no accident that so many films add a little of (okay, a lot of) “The Voice” to their scores. Here are three such movies that have stood out for me.
It’s a couple minutes before midnight on New Year’s Eve and you realize you won’t be with the one you love to kiss them when the clock strikes, so you run to be with her and tell her your feelings – this is the climax to the iconic romantic comedy “When Harry Met Sally…,” and the song they chose was Frank’s “It had to be You,” as Billy Crystal sprinted to be with Meg Ryan to proclaim his love.
When you’re choosing the music for what would turn out to be one of the top teen angst movies of all time you need to be smart. For “Sixteen Candles” they needed cutting edge, current, and cool and they achieved that with songs from artists such as David Bowie, Billy Idol, AC/DC, Wham!, Stray Cats, and Frank Sinatra, who provided “Theme from New York, New York.”
Creating the soundtrack for the intense blockbuster Academy Award Best Picture nominated “American Hustle” requires fantastic, hip music. The score included the likes of David Bowie, The Bee Gees, Santana, Elton John, and, of course, Frank Sinatra singing his “The Coffee Song (They've Got An Awful Lot of Coffee in Brazil).”
Movies need to make money and the soundtracks have become a part of that economic venture and when push come to shove you want your best horse in the race – is there any better thoroughbred than the “Chairman of the Board?”