Have you ever been driving down the road, listening to the radio, when all of a sudden a song pops on that immediately reminds you of a movie? Without even a second hesitation, your first recollection is of a particular scene or character, and you immediately find yourself with a nagging desire to watch said film. Music in film does a lot more than many give it credit for, and just as the images dancing across the screen get embedded into your consciousness, so does the accompanying score and soundtrack. Without further ado, here are six songs that immediately remind you of a movie. Please keep in mind, these are not songs originally written for the film, as that would include dozens of Disney films, but instead, existing songs used at just the right time.
Note: There are spoilers littered throughout this post.
“Where is My Mind” by The Pixies- Fight Club
The song that inspired this list on my way home the other day, Where is My Mind is the perfect finale to the wild ride that is David Fincher’s Fight Club. Not only is the song a wonderfully eerie accompaniment to an entire skyline exploding in front of our eyes, but it encapsulates the entire story of a film about a man, indeed, losing his mind.
“Twist and Shout” by The Beatles- Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
Perhaps the greatest form of lip syncing to ever grace the silver screen, Ferris Bueller’s parade stealing performance of “Twist and Shout” is one of the highlights of one of the best films to come out of the 80s. As old as the song was at the time and as iconic as The Beatles may be, whenever Twist and Shout comes on the radio, Ferris is usually the first to come to mind. It’s fun, it’s carefree, and it’s the cherry on top of a day where playing hooky meant anything could happen.
“Stuck In The Middle With You” by Stealers Wheel- Reservoir Dogs
We could really make this list a bunch of songs featured in Quentin Tarantino movies, but when it comes to the end of the day, there is no question that this scene from Reservoir Dogs, the director’s first film, showcases his twisted sense of humor and style better than anything else. Featuring a sadistic yet wonderful performance from Tarantino regular Michael Madsen, the “bubble gum favorite of 1974” takes an entirely new life of its own. And it’s brilliant.
“New Slang” by The Shins- Garden State
Garden State is a film whose soundtrack elevated the movie much further than any other on this list. Without its incredible compilation of music hand picked by director/writer/star Zach Braff, the film would be nowhere as effective as it is and choosing just one song proved very difficult. However, this particular scene stands out as its the moment that Andrew (Braff) meets the beautiful Sam (Natalie Portman). Not only do we immediately fall in love with Sam, but the incredible soundtrack becomes a part of the plot, which gives an added level of personality to the film.
“Tiny Dancer” by Elton John- Almost Famous
Cameron Crowe is another filmmaker who heightens all of his films with great soundtracks, with Almost Famous being the cream of his crop as it is all about rock and roll. It’s no surprise then that the film features one of rock and roll’s greatest legends and (arguably) his most famous song, with Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer”. Facing a rather hard time on the road, the band Stillwater come together on their tour bus in song, in one of the film’s best scenes.
“Hip to be Square” by Huey Lewis and the News- American Psycho
There’s not a lot more you can say about the song that Christian Bale did not already state in the clip. It’s a wild, goofy, song that has its own underlying meanings just as Bale’s Patrick Bateman has his own underlying secrets and psychoses. Capped off with Bale’s twisted, genius performance, the film, which features a handful of its own memorable scenes, stands out the most as Mr. Lewis himself blasts on the radio.
“Day-O” by Harry Belafonte- Beetlejuice
“In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel- Say Anything
“For What Its Worth” by Buffalo Springfield- Apocalypse Now
“Mad World” by Gary Jules- Donnie Darko
“My Sharona” by The Knack- Reality Bites
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen- Wayne’s World
“Tequilla” by The Champs- Pee Wee’s Big Adventure
What are some songs you hear that immediately remind you of movies? Let us know below!