Music can evoke emotion, conclude a scene without words or deliver the extra oomph that a moment was lacking otherwise. Below we have compiled some of our favorite scenes from movies where music did just that.
The incredible Chuck Palahniuk novel turned movie, Fight Club, starred Edward Norton and Brad Pitt in 1999. The story that follows both the narrator (Norton) and Tyler Durden (Pitt) comes complete with a soundtrack composed by the Dust Brothers, save for the final song that wraps up the entire story: “Where Is My Mind?” by Pixies. Considering the dramatic turn of events and a mind-bending ending that we don’t want to fully spoil for you, Fight Club couldn’t have ended on a better track.
From “Cat People (Putting Out Fire)” by David Bowie in Inglourious Basterds to “Stuck In The Middle With You” during a violently brilliant scene in Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino films use music to embellish emotion well. There isn’t a more iconic scene than Uma Thurman and John Travolta showcasing their dance moves in the 1995 Oscars Best Picture nominee Pulp Fiction. This scene continues to live on through pop culture references, including the popular Fall Out Boy song “Uma Thurman,” where frontman Patrick Stump sings “She wants to dance like Uma Thurman” in the chorus.
The 2017 hit Baby Driver owes a lot of its success to its insanely good soundtrack rather than words spoken by the main character, Baby. The opening scene gives the audience a taste of what’s in store by playing “Bellbottoms” by the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion overtop a bank robbery and ensuing car chase, which catches the viewer’s attention right off the bat. Baby Driver is packed with incredible music-filled scenes that any fan of film and music shouldn’t miss out on.
The Breakfast Club
This classic coming-of-age story follows five high schoolers in Illinois during a Saturday detention. Although the film is packed full of iconic moments, none were quite like the final scene where rebel John Bender (Judd Nelson) throws his fist in the air while the Simple Minds hit “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” plays. Nods to this classic film have appeared across TV and movies, such as in The Simpsons and One Tree Hill.
The 1992 classic film Wayne’s World was made even better thanks to the singalong car scene, where the duo and their friends sing the larger-than-life Queen hit “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This scene has been recreated by teens across the world (don’t even try to deny it). What’s even better is that Mike Myers and Dana Carvey took the stage at the 2019 Oscars to introduce the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody—and to recreate a small scene from their comedic genius film, reminding fans that Wayne’s World lives on, dude.
This Cameron Crowe romantic-comedy film that inspired the name of one of our favorite emo acts starred John Cusack and Ione Skye. The most iconic scene from the movie sees Cusack standing outside of Skye’s window holding a boombox over his head, blaring the Peter Gabriel hit “In Your Eyes.” This scene has been recreated multiple times in pop culture, including in the Menzingers’ music video for “I Don’t Wanna Be An Asshole Anymore.”
Another Crowe film, 2000’s Almost Famous focuses on William Miller (a young Crowe), the fictional Stillwater and Penny Lane while on tour throughout the United States has multiple iconic scenes. None are quite like the Elton John singalong that occurs while Stillwater guitarist Russell Hammond comes down from his most recent acid trip, though.
The 2000 film that was based on the Bret Easton Ellis novel of the same name starred Christian Bale as the main character, Patrick Bateman. In this scene, Bateman begins discussing the latest Huey Lewis And The News album with his house guest, portrayed by Jared Leto. While Bateman continues to talk about the album, he begins to get dressed in his kill attire before laying an ax on Leto while “Hip To Be Square” plays.
The Silence Of The Lambs
The Silence Of The Lambs was a 1991 hit film based on the Thomas Harris novel of the same name. The Hollywood adaptation won five of the seven Oscar categories that it was up for, including Best Picture. That could be thanks to the Tom Petty-backed scene that shows the last victim of Buffalo Bill (and the only one to survive the serial killer) jamming to “American Girl” before she’s kidnapped.
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is a masterpiece from the start, but Ferris Bueller’s best friend Cameron Frye makes it clear that the day of antics hadn’t shown him “anything good.” To improve Frye’s day, Bueller hijacks a float during a Chicago parade to perform the Wayne Newton hit “Danke Schoen.” If your best friend isn’t willing to take over a parade float and lip-sync publicly for you, are they really even your best friend?
What’s your favorite movie scene where music made it unforgettable? Let us know in the comments below!