Are these the top 10 songs in movies?


Another list? Darn tooting!

This time it’s about two great things that go great together: movies

and music. CNN’s Screening Room has named its Top Ten Songs in

. Not

soundtracks, not scores, but singles used during a particular scene.

As expected, the list is heavy on the male-dominated scenes and, somewhat

less expectedly, fairly violent.

Their Top 10:


Trainspotting, “Lust for Life” by Iggy Pop (opening scene)


Dr Strangelove, “We’ll Meet Again” by Vera Lynn (atomic



The Royal Tenenbaums, “Needle in the Hay” by Elliot Smith

(Richie’s suicide attempt)


Say Anything, “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel (Lloyd’s

boom box serenade)


Almost Famous, “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John (bus sing-along)


Muriel’s Wedding, “Waterloo” by ABBA (talent show triumph)


Apocalypse Now, “The End” by The Doors (awaiting orders in



Goodfellas, “Layla” by Eric Clapton (Jimmy’’s murder



Reservoir Dogs, “Stuck in the Middle With You” by Stealers

Wheel (ear slicing)


Easy Rider, “Born to Be Wild” by Steppenwolf (opening scene)

Now, I love Nos. 7–5. I had

a poster of Lloyd’s grand romantic gesture from Say Anything

on my dorm room wall. And I dare you not to feel unbridled joy

as Muriel and Rhonda come out in their white ABBA outfits in Muriel’s Wedding. This movie

made me forever love Toni Collette

and Rachel Griffiths. Heck, let’s watch it again, just because

we can.

As for the other selections

on CNN’s list, I would have picked a scene from Wes Anderson’s

film Rushmore instead of Tenenbaums. And I would have

gone for the “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon” Uma scene from Quentin

Pulp Fiction

instead of the unfortunate Van Goghing of a victim’s ear in Reservoir

. Also, no mention of The Graduate

anywhere on this list? Didn’t that film practically pioneer the use

of popular music in movies?

To balance out the bloody and

the manly, I thought I’d add some gay, girly and (whenever possible)

gay girly selections to the list. Since CNN’s list makers seemed impressed

by showy outer death and destruction, how about some quiet inner

devastation? In Love Actually, Emma Thompson

realizing her husband is being unfaithful — set to Joni Mitchell’s “Both

Sides Now” — will break your heart, guaranteed.

To unbreak your heart (without

the help of Toni Braxton), try the sheer joy of the moment in Harold

& Maude
when Maude takes to the piano for Cat Stevens

“If You Want to Sing Out, Sing Out.” When she gets up from the piano

to dance and it keeps playing, my heart definitely sings out.

For more joy tinged with absurdity

(and again featuring the unstoppable Ms. Collette), how about Olive’s

dance in Little Miss Sunshine

to Rick James‘ “Superfreak.” Oh, heavens, the giggling.

And, since I promised you a

gay girly one, too, how about more quiet devastation? When Claude (Alison

) puts on Patti Smith’s “Pissing in a River,” things

get intense. You also get to see cute pink-haired punk Leisha Hailey.

(Note: some NSFW language, so beware.)

Are there others? Certainly.

The love scene between Paulie and Tori in Lost and Delirious

to Meshell Ndegeocello’s “Beautiful” is, well, beautiful.

Bill Murray
karaoke-ing to Roxy Music’s “More Than This” in

Lost in Translation
was a sublime snapshot of connection set to

some really bad singing. And then there are my favorite ending credits

ever, the last scene in When Night Is Falling,

set to a jubilant choir singing Leonard Cohen’s

“Hallelujah.” I cannot tell you how happy I was to see that the

little dog lived.

So, what are your favorite

songs in movies? Do you agree with CNN? Do you disagree with me? Discuss

or, better yet, sing it.

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