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Pop songs that made classic movie scenes

Pop songs that made classic movie scenes

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By now, you expect it: The Scene, that exhilarating moment when the action on screen fuses perfectly with a pop song on the soundtrack. Such scenes have become so integral to the commercial and critical impact of a movie that it’s hard to imagine cinema without them. Consider The Full Monty, in which Robert Carlyle desperately tried to shake his booty to Hot Chocolate’s ”You Sexy Thing.” Or Boogie Nights, which turned Night Ranger’s campy ”Sister Christian” into an aria of spine-tingling terror. These scenes have a noble pedigree—one that leads from the groundbreaking use of ”Blue Velvet” in Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising in 1963 to the seamless rock-shock fusion of Quentin Tarantino. (Just try to envision Pulp Fiction without the Urge Overkill track.) To wit, a brief history of the marriage of celluloid and hot wax.

THE GRADUATE 1967 DIRECTOR: Mike Nichols SONG: Simon & Garfunkel’s ”Sound of Silence” SCENE: Dustin Hoffman floats through an airport in a haze, the picture of postcollegiate anomie.

MEAN STREETS 1973 DIRECTOR: Martin Scorsese SONG: The Rolling Stones’ ”Jumpin’ Jack Flash” SCENE: Robert De Niro pads through a saloon like a panther, leering and grinning in slo-mo.

SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER 1977 DIRECTOR: John Badham SONG: The Bee Gees’ ”Stayin’ Alive” SCENE: John Travolta. A Brooklyn street. A can of paint. Unforgettable.

APOCALYPSE NOW 1979 DIRECTOR: Francis Ford Coppola SONG: The Doors’ ”The End” SCENE: The slaughtering of cattle—and of Marlon Brando. Martin Sheen totally loses his marbles. So do you.

THE BREAKFAST CLUB 1985 DIRECTOR: John Hughes SONG: Simple Minds’ ”Don’t You Forget About Me” SCENE: The apotheosis of new-wave puppy love as star-crossed Brat Packers bid each other adieu.

LOST IN AMERICA 1985 DIRECTOR: Albert Brooks SONG: Steppenwolf’s ”Born to Be Wild” SCENE: Yuppies hit the hot American highway in an homage to Easy Rider—via motor home.

SAY ANYTHING 1989 DIRECTOR: Cameron Crowe SONG: Peter Gabriel’s ”In Your Eyes” SCENE: True romance—John Cusack serenades Ione Skye with a boom box.

DO THE RIGHT THING 1989 DIRECTOR: Spike Lee SONG: Public Enemy’s ”Fight the Power” SCENE: The Power surrenders to the sight of Rosie Perez’s immaculate booty shaking.

GHOST 1990 DIRECTOR: Jerry Zucker SONG: The Righteous Brothers’ ”Unchained Melody” SCENE: Demi Moore. Wet clay. Now you remember.

RESERVOIR DOGS 1992 DIRECTOR: Quentin Tarantino SONG: Stealer Wheel’s ”Stuck in the Middle With You” SCENE: If this ear-slicing scene is sadistic, how come it’s so groovy?

WAYNE’S WORLD 1992 DIRECTOR: Penelope Spheeris SONG: Queen’s ”Bohemian Rhapsody” SCENE: Wayne and Garth bang their heads in a majestic dashboard overture.

TRAINSPOTTING 1996 DIRECTOR: Danny Boyle SONG: Lou Reed’s ”Perfect Day” SCENE: Ewan McGregor turns blue and sinks into the floor in an overdose so pretty it’s scary.