Recently I sat down to put in Watchmen and was pretty upset with the fact that they used Simon and Garfunkel’s 1965 song “The Sound of Silence.” The soundtrack to the film is loaded with 1960’s pop songs so I can see why they wanted to use one as prolific as this one, especially with the opening lyrics “Hello darkness my old friend/ I’ve come to talk with you again” miming the tone of the scene in which it was used, a funeral; however, I couldn’t help but feel that this song, in the realm of cinema, was somewhat owned by The Graduate.
The scene where Ben floats in the pool and “The Sound of Silence” is playing is just so classic that I can’t listen to “The Sound of Silence” without thinking of it. Then when I saw it in Watchmen it just seemed like a cheap imitation since the catharsis I associate with the music had already been placed in a different film.
So after seeing this I wanted to see what other songs you all felt work so well in a certain film that they shouldn’t be used in any other. Here is my list so far:
The Graduate: “The Sound of Silence” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rRKRwW09nek&feature=fvst
Blue Velvet: “In Dreams” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gmsrO8xpe-w
Pulp Fiction: “Stuck in the middle with you” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLTqecGbdCc
Fallen Angels: “Only You” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQN6Gkv4JRU
I loved Gene Pitney.
In the case of “Stuck in the Middle with You” do you not mean Reservoir Dogs?
These come to mind:
“Gassenhauer” in Badlands
“As Time Goes By” in Casablanca
There are some more I can think of, but none that stick to the films as much as these.
Que sera sera – The Man Who Knew Too Much
Born Slippy, Lust for Life – Trainspotting
Acrophobia (Penguin Villa) – Uncle Boonmee
Rhinestone Cowboy – The Electric Horseman
Fight the Power – Do the Right Thing
Moon River – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
AH! God that’s a mistake for sure, I did mean Reservoir Dogs.
That’s just shameful…but I’m glad you called me out on it. Thanks!
Calling You by Jevetta Steele: Bagdad Café (1987)
How about decent songs permanently ruined by their association with despicable films?
porque te vas in cría cuervos
i never get tired of posting this :P
Harry Nilsson’s covering Fred Neil’s “Everybody’s Talkin’” – Midnight Cowboy
*Fun fact- Bob Dylan was actually asked to write a song for the intro to Midnight Cowboy. The song he wrote for it was “Lay Lady Lay.” The producers heard it, changed their mind, and went with Nilsson’s cover instead.
Not saying it is the best movie (though I like it), or that they are “married” (The Band are too chameleon-like to be wed to anything in particular), but adding "When I Paint My Masterpiece to the opening credits of Observe and Report just adds a little bit of extra madness to Rogen’s character.
“Someday, everything is gonna be different,
When I paint that masterpiece”
Handel – Sarabande (B. Lyndon)
The Pixies – Where is my mind (Fight Club)
Linda Scott – I’ve Told Every Little Star (M. Drive)
Somebody listed “Chungking Express” up above, but I’m going to mention a different song from the same film: the Chinese version of The Cranberries’ “Dreams.”
“Cosmic Dancer” by T. Rex from “Billy Elliot”
“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John from “Almost Famous”
“Somebody to Love” by Jefferson Airplane from “A Serious Man”
“Llorando” in “Mulholland Drive” (originally “Crying” by Roy Orbison)
“Way Out There” by Pete Seeger in “Raising Arizona” (the yodeling)
and for pulp fiction you never can tell
and girl, you’ll be a woman soon :D
Twin Peaks, the entire album “Floating Into The Night” by Julee Cruise.
All the ones I think of turn out to already be mentioned by somebody.
“Ruby Tuesday” – Children Of Men
“Extreme Ways” – Bourne Trilogy
As if James Ingram’s Just Once could have any meaning at all in any other context.
Ditto R.E.O. Speedwagon Keep on Loving You. Downright tear jerking in context. But such an awful song otherwise.
Fish tank: Life’s a bitch and then you die – Nas
Buffalo 66 – Moonchild – Crimson King.
Deep End: I might die tonight – Cat Stevens
Breakfast club: Don’t you forget about me – Simple Minds
Mammoth: Destroy everything you touch – Ladytron (the only good thing about the film)
I can’s believe no one’s brought up Requiem For a Dream
“Sonic Reducer” in Carlos
save for the J. Browne tune….none of these songs were written FOR the film, but you can’t NOT think of these films when you hear these songs…
Fast Times…- SOMEBODY’S BABY
Silence of the Lambs – AMERICAN GIRL
Time Stands Still – YOU ARE MY DESTINY
GoodFellas – RAGS TO RICHES
Almost Famous – TINY DANCER
The Hunger – BELA LUGOSI’S DEAD
A Clockwork Orange – SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN (ok…a stretch, but I saw ACO b4 SITR)
Out of the Blue – HEY HEY MY MY
Pretty in Pink – PRETTY IN PINK
Groundhog Day – ‘I Got You, Babe’ by Sonny and Cher.
Ari, I have to take offense to you calling REO Speedwagon’s “Keep on Loving You” an awful song. How could someone say such a thing?!
Good call about Garden State, Ari… ugh.
Also, I think these apply only within the “film world”, as they are too well known otherwise:
“(We’re Gonna) Rock Around the Clock” in American Graffiti
“Louie Louie” in National Lampoon’s Animal House
“Be My Baby” in Mean Streets
“Stand by Me” in Stand by Me
“Across 110th Street” in _Jackie Brown
“Rhapsody in Blue” in Manhattan
My girl from the Tempations, unfortunately.
Lust for Life- Trainspotting
Amen- Lilies in the Field
Mad World- Donnie Darko
Born to Be Wild- Easy Rider
And the song choices in Watchmen marred the film a bit for me. I agree that playing “The Sound of Silence” at the funeral scene was a misstep. Not just because it’s iconic, but because the lyrics evoke ennui far more than sorrow.
don’t stop me now shaun of the dead