Ten Goosebump-Inducing Movie Score and Soundtrack Moments Not From John Williams
Hey, it's almost Oscar season! Well, kind of.
This much is sure: The summer's about to crest and the shitty movies will finally wash ashore like a dead, bloated whale. Then, the good films will come!
You know the Hollywood drill -- and, often, it involves Hollywood's grandpappy soundtrack writer John Williams. Don't get us wrong -- we love John Williams. Who the hell didn't get goosebumps in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, when young Indiana Jones transitions to Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones in the opening scene?
Problem is, there's been so many bad movies this year. The few films that have really stuck out have riveting music behind that one moment. So, for the purpose of this list, we'd like to present our favorite goosebump-inducing moments from movies that have nothing to do with Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones, Star Wars or Saving Private Ryan.
Much respect, Mr. Williams, but these moments blew our socks off without you. (Also, there's nothing from the Kronos Quartet.)
10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. It's devastating. Jim Carrey's character "Joel" is erasing the memory of his girlfriend that broke his heart, but he realizes he doesn't want to lose her (Jesus, we're already crying). In his memory, he takes her to his old house when he was a kid to "hide" -- and Jon Brion's music plays as the characters sing "row, row, row your boat." Sniff.
9. Hedwig and The Angry Inch. Somewhere between David Bowie and Queen, this song lives. It's huge. It's liquid inspiration. We dare you not to sing along -- y'know, after you learn the really-fast-end-part.
8. Master and Commander. This is one of the films that should be on more lists. Peter Weir's masterpiece on the subject of naval warfare (adapted from Patrick O'Brian's novel series) is flecked with beautiful pieces of classical music. This piece, which signals the end of the film, is presented over footage of the ship's call to arms. It's just damn fine filmmaking.
7. Blue Velvet. Haunting. Shit.
6. Say Anything. A default pick for a Cameron Crowe might be the Almost Famous "Tiny Dancer" scene, which we've tried to recreate in city buses and man, it really doesn't work. But Say Anything 's the big one anyway, because there's no one on Earth who doesn't think, "OMG I'M GOING TO DO THAT WITH MY FAVORITE SONG," upon seeing it. No, seriously.
5. The Royal Tenenbaums. Just after Alec Baldwin's spot-on voiceover, the green line pulls up, revealing Margot. Wes Anderson's signature slow-mo and badass shot composure makes the scene completely beautiful.
4. O Brother, Where Art Thou. No. We're not picking the "constant sorrow" song. Why? Because, ince it's debut, we simply cannot stop whistling, humming, singing along with this perfect track from folk greats Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris and Allison Krauss. Just as the characters are in the film, we're transfixed.
3. Sunshine. John Murphy's soundtrack has been ripped off many times over since it's debut (see: The Walking Dead ), which is too bad because it's never more impactful then it is in this scene where Kaneda, the ship's captain, gets eaten alive by the roaring waves of the sun.
2. Rushmore. There's obviously a great music moment in every Wes Anderson film (uh, see above), but this is the most wonderful. If you haven't seen it, watch this whole scene anyway.
1. The Shawshank Redemption. The best "break free" movie of all time? Yes. One of the best scenes of all time, period, actually. And it's only made better by the music choice: Mozart's "The Marriage of Figaro."
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.