6 thoughts on “The High-Fiver: Soundtracks Essential To Their Film

  1. Totally agree with you on the first three, Jeremy. Pulp Fiction and O Brother drew so much of their personality from their music. The Graduate, I’m convinced, would have been a forgotten movie without Simon & Garfunkel; that soundtrack was so revolutionary that it changed moviemaking in general. As for Goodfellas, Scorsese always makes good use of classic rock — The Departed could have made your list too — but I’d offer a few other options for discussion:

    -American Graffiti
    -Swingers
    -Star Wars
    -The Crow
    -2001: A Space Odyssey
    -Easy Rider
    -The Sting
    -Singles
    -Friday
    -Good Will Hunting

    • Where to start?

      American Graffiti has a great soundtrack and definitely belongs in the conversation but is simply too nostalgic. The music is great and is representative of the era; however, for that reason it lacks depth.

      The Swingers soundtrack makes for a good listen, but there are portions of the soundtrack that are simply superfluous.

      Star Wars…okay this is iconic and I cannot argue it, but this is considered a score not a soundtrack.
      The Crow – Please.
      2001: A Space Odyssey – see Star Wars
      Easy Rider – see American Graffiti (this one is hard because I love this soundtrack)

      The Sting – This one is tricky. It is essential to the overall mood of the film. The question becomes “Is it a score or a soundtrack”? For it’s time it would have been considered Pop Music. Too much of a grey area…must be left off.

      Singles – This one almost made my list. I believe I still own this CD…but see American Graffiti and Easy Rider.

      Friday – I would include Juice instead.
      Good Will Hunting – This is a close one. I would put this in the conversation for #5 or perhaps #4.

      • You actually make a good case on pretty much each and every one of these. I can respect the “score” vs. “soundtrack” distinction — just fun to explore the question more broadly too, for comparison’s sake.

        My only points of disagreement: Swingers and American Graffiti. I don’t see where the low points of the soundtrack for Swingers are, and no movie was more intimately tied to its music — you literally could not have made that movie without that soundtrack. It was like another character in the movie. Meanwhile, American Graffiti — sure, it’s nostalgic. But the movie is ABOUT nostalgia.

        So I think my own top 5 would be:
        1. Pulp Fiction
        2. The Graduate
        3. Swingers
        4. O Brother, Where Art Thou?
        5. American Graffiti

        Obviously with such a broad category, some deserving ones are going to be left out, so I can’t disagree with your arguments for a lot of these other ones. Hated leaving Good Will Hunting off myself, given my love for Elliott Smith….

  2. Look to see if Rushmore is on here, check, OK I can respect this list now. Anything by Wes Anderson, or Tarentino has to be represented here and I understand they can’t monopolize the list but Reservoir Dog sand Jackie Brown and Royal Tenembaums, Life Aquatic(Bowie in Portugese) and Moonrise Kingdom are pretty kick ass too. I’m guessing musicals weren’t considered and is Once considered as such? No documentaries either? The Show, Buena Vista Social Club. Is Guy Ritchie too much of a Tarantino clone because Snatch was a great soundtrack. Just a few more off the top of my head Reality Bites, Trainspotting, 500 days of Summer (my love for the smiths not the movie), Juno, Garden State, Secret Life of Walter Mitty, High Fidelity and Above the Rim ( I think Juice was better but there was no Tupac on it for a Tupac movie). Top Five:
    1. Rushmore
    2. Pulp Fiction
    3. Trainspotting
    4. Once
    5. Juice
    * Walter Mitty is moving up fast.

    • You added some good ones to the list, Biff. Can’t believe we didn’t think of Garden State yet. This isn’t my list, so I can’t speak for Jeremy, but I’d think that musicals are outside the scope of what this one’s aiming for; otherwise, it would probably be ALL musicals.

      • Garden State is where this entire conversation started. Spencer and I were talking about his list of best movies about music. That was the impetus for creating this list.

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