The best movies incorporate popular songs into their soundtrack to enhance a scene, but few can completely change the meaning of a track by juxtaposing it with the action. When it comes to iconic movie soundtracks, what usually comes to mind are sweeping orchestral themes lovingly written by names like Danny Elfman, Hans Zimmer or John Williams. Copyrighted or pre-existing songs can have an even greater impact because audiences have a pre-established familiarity with them, which helps them link the emotions of the music with those of the action.
However, in rare cases, a film can use its action to warp the pop cultural perception of a song, forever associating it with the scene. This usually happens when clever editors and directors take the opportunity to choose a less obvious track that somehow works better for their purposes, despite being far from the original artist’s intention. It is clear that movies have become a powerful force in changing the general perspective of music in the public zeitgeist.
10 You make my dreams (come true) By Daryl Hall and John Oates
500 days of summer
Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s chemistry in 500 days of summer propelled the film into the race for best romantic comedy of all time. The film does an incredible job of infecting the viewer with the romantic whirlwind of Tom’s literal summer fling, thanks in large part to Hall & Oates’ upbeat anthem “You Make My Dreams (Come True).” The song’s lyrics are a powerful testament to the transformative power of love, but the film uses the song to transform Tom’s world into an elaborate flash-mob dance number, complete with a cartoon bird, simply because he was happy to have sex.
9 I have 5 in it By Luniz
Jordan Peele’s second horror film was loaded with visual metaphors, but the soundtrack also contributed to the madness with the inclusion of “I Got 5 On It” by rap duo Luniz. Beyond becoming a creepy remix used in the film’s climax, the film recontextualizes the lyrics of the upbeat hip-hop track to allude to Us‘ topics. The song describes the act of contributing five dollars to half-purchase a ten-dollar bag of marijuana, reflecting the film’s motif of two halves forming a whole, with each member of the Wilson family dealing with a double. gloomy.
8 Sea of Love By power of the cat
Juno is a bittersweet coming-of-age story that addresses the topic of teen pregnancy in an emotionally vulnerable but humbly funny way, setting a reflective tone enhanced by the use of Cat Power’s “Sea Of Love.” The original lyrics describe a singer willing to do anything to be with his loved one, throwing himself into the sea in the hope that his love will keep them safe. This only makes the tragedy of Juno’s conflicted love for her newborn all the more painful, as She hands her son over to what she knows will be a loving and stable mother instead of trying to hope for the best.Throwing caution to the wind as a teen mom.
7 Orinoco Flow By Enya
The girl with the dragon tattoo
David Fincher’s dark mystery thriller wasn’t afraid to shy away from depictions of depraved torture, sexual violence, and criminal corruption, but it knew when to inject dark moments of levity that could only work on a David Fincher. As the sadistic Martin Wennerström prepares to torture Daniel Craig’s character to death in an isolated basement, he plays none other than Enya’s “Orinoco Flow.” The original song’s carefree message about sailing down the Orinoco River in the spirit of discovery is lost echoing through the brutalist walls of Wennerström’s torture chamber, turning the carefree pop song into a dark omen.
6 Ride of the Valkyries By Richard Wagner
Francis Ford Coppola’s tale of Vietnam War madness was one of the defining films of the era and was released just four years after the end of the war. One of his most famous scenes forever changed the context of Richard Wagner’s epic orchestral piece, Ride of the Valkyries. The noble horns and triumphant strings are transformed into an ugly war cry by the deranged Colonel Kilgore, reveling in the horror of his actions. Since its use in Apocalypse nowThe helicopter attack scene from “Ride Of The Valkyries” has become synonymous with air superiority in pop culture.
5 Singing in the rain Made by Gene Kelly
A Clockwork Orange
Not content to simply ruin a popular, upbeat song for an entire generation, Stanley Kubrik went further with his perversion of a classic Broadway number popular enough to have spawned a film of the same name. Popularized by Gene Kelly’s rendition of the title song in 1952. Singing in the rainthe violent testament of sin that is A Clockwork Orange They forever tarnished the audience’s warm memories of the song by having psychopath Alex sing it while attacking his hapless victims. The chilling scene was made even more disturbing by Alex’s upbeat version of the Broadway hit.
4 Bohemian Rhapsody for the queen
Rock sensation Queen needed no movie favors to cement her legacy as one of the biggest musical acts of all time. However, their rock opera anthem “Bohemian Rhapsody” was given new life nearly 20 years after its original release with its wildly hilarious inclusion on Wayne’s World. Beneath the bombastic instrumentation and strange lyrics, “Bohemian Rhapsody” was always Freddie Mercury’s confessional, reaffirming his sexual identity to himself. But Wayne’s World repopularized the song simply as a fun song to play in the car and sing along with friends towithout paying attention to the deeper meaning.
3 Goodbye horses By Q Lázaro
Silence of inocents
The dulcet tones of artist Q Lazzarus were short-lived, as the talented singer had a tragically limited music career. Still, the use of their single “Goodbye Horses” in an unexpected scene in The silence of the lambs cemented her pop song history as a one-hit wonder. The lyrics are difficult to analyze, as theories about cocaine use, death, and real horses have been presented as the theme of the song. Whatever the case, Buffalo Bill’s disturbed psyche is unlikely to fit the original vision, forever popularizing the song by linking it to the serial killer’s distant sense of self.
2 It’s fashionable to be square By Huey Lewis and the news
Patrick Bateman has long been in the running for the best role of Christian Bale; The character of the psychotic business executive gains depth thanks to his obsession with unexpected music, which includes Huey Lewis and the news. Interestingly, Bateman himself is aware of the song’s real message, regarding the importance of following trends. The film itself uses this dance tune to highlight Bateman’s obsession with conformity in the face of his atrocities., playing the song diegetically from Bateman’s speakers as he brutally murders Paul Allen. Far from Huey’s intention, “It’s Hip To Be Square” has been forever changed by its use in the bloody drama-thriller.
1 Smile By Jimmy Durante
A modern version of movies like Taxi driver and The king of comedy From behind the eyes of a classic supervillain, jesterThe analysis of mental health and the lack of resources provided by a cold and indifferent society becomes even more poignant with “Smile” by Jimmy Durante. The old classic is as simple as it gets: Durante’s warm, husky voice tells the listener to smile and advocates hope in the face of adversity. jester He twists this message, using the song to emphasize the character’s acceptance of laughter in the face of tragedy at the cost of his empathy and humanity.