This odyssey started last summer when I was discussing the best movie themes with my close buddy, Hendrix. As I delved into it there was absolutely no way I was able to narrow down my choices to one Top 10 post. So, having covered Parts III, IV and V we have arrived at Part II!
The list kept expanding and it was a disservice to myself and the post itself to cut it off at just ten movie themes. So, I decided to not set any boundaries and see where it went. As you will see it was a mammoth project but a helluv alot of fun! The overall list will have showcased 50 movie theme songs in five parts over six weeks in descending order.
This was also my biggest research project to date to maintain as much as accuracy as possible. Even at that I may have made a couple mistakes and if so I would enjoy hearing of any corrections.
Thank you to You Tube, Wikipedia, Google Images and IMDB for their assistance and I included trivia for each, as always. So, get started and enjoy My Top 10 Favorite Movie Themes Part II!
Here are the links to Part III, Part IV and Part V. I didn’t offer any of my introspect to the songs here because to be honest I was flat out exhausted as I was real sick when I wrote this. But, the final ten will have my comments back to each.
20 The Wizard Of Oz (1939)
Follow The Yellow Brick Road/You’re Off To See The Wizard performed by Judy Garland/The Munchkins composed by Harold Arlen
Question – Why were many of the Wicked Witch of the West’s scenes either trimmed or deleted entirely?
My childhood favorite despite the terrifying tornado and frightening Wicked Witch. When I visiting Minnesota at 10 years old on a summer vacation the small town tornado siren sounded just down the road from the big farm we were staying on. All I could think of was Dorothy running with Toto to get back to the house in time. I never did see the twister.
Answer – Margaret Hamilton’s performance was thought too frightening for audiences. (amen to that!)
19 Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979)
Main Theme From Star Trek: The Motion Picture performed by the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra/Erich Kunze and composed by Jerry Goldsmith
Question – Who invented the Klingon words spoken by the ship’s captain?
Because of thow special the memory is to me this almost recieved a higher ranking. I was a wee tike with flaming red hair in the late 1960’s sitting next to my dad on the sticky, black leather couch. At 6 p.m. this song would ring in my ears as brand new episodes of the TV series Star Trek would fill our family room.
Answer – James Doohan. Later, linguist Marc Okrand devised grammar and syntax rules for the language, along with more vocabulary words in Star Trek III: The Search for Spock and wrote a Klingon dictionary. He based all of his work on those few Klingon lines in this movie, so that they even made sense retrospectively.
18 The Bodyguard (1992)
I Will Always Love You performed by Whitney Houston
Question – This film was originally proposed in the mid-’70s starring which actors?
This is my all time favorite song. Period. It rings a true ballad that makes my heart howl and swoon for the days, relationships and memories of yesteryear.
Answer – Diana Ross and Steve McQueen but it was rejected as “too controversial”. The film concept was to be attempted again in the late 1970s, with Ryan O’Neal and Diana Ross cast as the leads. The project fell through after only a few months because of irreconcilable differences between O’Neal and Ross, who had been dating.
17 Band Of Brothers (2001)
Band of Brothers Main Theme performed by Michael Kamen and London Metropolitan Orchestra
Question – In the episode “Day Of Days” when the company first attacks the German gun position at Brecourt, there appears to be some kind of what cinematic error?
I caught this series by accident on a recommendation of a girlfriend 12 years ago who knew of my studious infatuation of the European Theater of World War II. Each episode of the ten-part series leads with this magnificent introduction music promise a tribute to the men of Easy Company.
Answer – When it looks as though an American soldier throws a grenade and it explodes upon hitting a fleeing German soldier. Grenades don’t explode on contact; they have timed fuses. However, this actually happened: ‘Buck Compton’ had been an All-American catcher for UCLA and threw that grenade at the enemy with no arc and it exploded as soon as it struck.
16 Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
The Raiders March performed by The Boston Pops Orchestra and John Williams
Question – How did sound designer Ben Burtt achieve the sound of thousands of snakes slithering?
There was no Internet and only brief tv trailers to give us even a remote clue of this epic adventure. Who would have thought that a trilogy over a nine year period would forever etch this movie theme song into our memories. Indiana Jones will forever be our favorite swashbuckling hero.
Answer – He stuck his fingers into a cheese casserole then it was augmented by applying wet sponges to the rubber on a skateboard.
15 Jurassic Park (1993)
Journey To The Island performed by John Williams
Question – The T-rex occasionally malfunctioned, due to the rain producer Kathleen Kennedy recalled. What happened?
The perfect music for an epic moment of prehistoric proportions. A curious question had been answered by scientists and our jaws dropped in our theater seats that the impossible had become reality.
Answer – He continued, “The T- rex went into the heebie-jeebies sometimes. Scared the crap out of us. We’d be, like, eating lunch, and all of a sudden a T-rex would come alive. At first we didn’t know what was happening, and then we realized it was the rain. You’d hear people start screaming.”
14 The Graduate (1967)
The Sound Of Silence performed by Simon and Garfunkle
Question – In Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft’s first encounter in the hotel room, Bancroft did not know what was going to happen?
A classic coming of age movie forever etched in American film history. Yet, it was the movie’s theme song that will forever be mine to remember. It had escorted my father and I across the greatest Western United States for road trip after road trip.
Answer – That Hoffman was going to grab her breast. Hoffman decided offscreen to do it, because it reminded him of schoolboys trying to nonchalantly grab girls’ breasts in the hall by pretending to put their jackets on. When Hoffman did it onscreen, director Mike Nichols began laughing loudly offscreen. Hoffman began to laugh as well, so rather than stop the scene, he turned away from the camera and walked to the wall. Hoffman banged his head on the wall, trying to stop laughing, and Nichols thought it was so funny, he left it in.
13 Robin Hood Prince Of Thieves (1991)
I Do It For You (Everything I Do) performed by Bryan Adams
Question – One of my favorite scenes in the movie is ad-libbed by Christian Slater and was kept. Which scene is it?
Though I am admittedly biased, Kevin Costner nailed his role as Robin Hood perfectly my liking. This song literally marries us all to the screen romance of Robin and Marian.
Answer – Will Scarlett’s line of “Fuck me, he cleared it!”, after Robin and Azeem are catapulted over the castle wall. Director Kevin Reynolds kept it in the film because it was funny, despite the historical inaccuracy.
12 Batman (1989)
The Batman Theme performed by Danny Elfman
Question – In order to combat negative rumors about the production Warner Brothers did what?
It’s majestic, noble and regal in such a dark, Gotham way. What other music could epitomize none other than. Batman.
Answer – A theatrical trailer was hastily assembled to be distributed to theaters. To test its effectiveness, Warner Brothers executives showed it at a theater in Westwood, California to an unsuspecting audience. The ninety-second trailer received a standing ovation. Later, it would become a popular bootleg at comic book conventions, and theater owners would report patrons paying full price for movie tickets just to have an opportunity to see the trailer, and leaving before the feature began.
11 Rocky (1976)
Gonna Fly Now performed by Bill Conti
Question – Besides hearing the ribs break what else happened from the scenes in the meat-locker where Sylvester Stallone punches the slabs of beef?
There isn’t any of us who whether secretly or openly didn’t get a rush of adrenaline hearing this music. We want to run for health to better ourselves physically and spirtually. And we want to be cheered while we’re doing it.
Answer – He punched the meat so hard for so long that he flattened out his knuckles. To this day, when he makes a fist, his knuckles are completely level.
We’ve made it right to the crest of the countdown with the final ten awaiting! The final installment will likely be delayed for a week or so due to a blog surprise that Phoenix and I have planned.
A shout out this times goes to our friend, Jess! She lives in New York City and is the Editor-In-Chief and columnist for a travel publication, Used York City. She is a seasoned traveler and arrived in the Big Apple with, in her words, “nothing more than a suitcase and a dream.” She published her first children’s book available at Amazon, Park Avenue Pound Puppy about her love for NYC and her cute little chihuahua! She’s wonderfully friendly and engaging so click on over to UsedYorkCity and check it out! Thank you for all of your support to us, Jess!