Dec 152013

The Beatles

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, here begins a five-part series of my top 10 favorite movie theme songs.

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 showcase 50 movie themes in five parts over six weeks in descending order.

This was also my biggest research project to date to maintain as much 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 V!

50  Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring (2001) 

Performed by Howard Shore with the London Philharmonic Symphony

Question – The screeches made by the Orcs in the mines are actually what?
LOTR is a wonderful opportunity to have a movie marathon on stormy, stay inside, weekend. The hopes of a young hobbit and the gallant gang the accompanies him on his journey. There are moments of darkness and brightness and the music carries us away on the trek.
Answer – The nocturnal screams of possums.
49  Oklahoma! (1955)

Performed by Gordon MacRae, Charlotte Greenwood, James Whitmore, Shirley Jones, Jay C. Flippen, and Chorus

Question – Because the real Oklahoma in 1955 was so heavily farmed where was the movie actually filmed?

It’s old school but this classic was a must include of one of the best original musicals. A time when things simpler and to dance with a feeling of a unbridled joy.

Answer – It was shot on location in and around Sonoita, Arizona.

48  The Magnificent Seven (1960) 

Performed by Elmer Bernstein

Question – Elmer Bernstein’s score for this movie is one of the best-known ever composed. What other movie did he write the score for?

It’s a manly-man theme that makes you want to charge off to battle and be part of something bigger than yourself.

Answer – Three Amigos!

47  Halloween (1978)

Performed by Argh Ost. Composed by John Carpenter

Question – The project was on a shoestring budget and had to use the cheapest mask they could find in the costume department. Which mask did they end up using?

This was the groundbreaking theme that played as backdrop to all of us being freaked and scared out of our wits in high school as we watched.

Answer – The spray painted white, teased the hair and changed the eye holes to a Star Trek William Shatner mask.

46  Love Story (1970)

Performed by Francis Lai and Carl Sigman. Composed by Henry Mancini

Question – In What’s Up Doc? Barbara Streisand tells Ryan O’Neal, “Love means never having to say you’re sorry” to which he said what?

My bio mom and grandma actually dragged my unbeknownst little boy butt to this movie. I always liked girls even at an early age believe it or not. But, I was not able to wrap my noggin’ around the intense romance and loss of this movie yet at that time. The music is a reminder of that lump that comes up in our throat of that deep love we have all had at one point or another.

Answer – “That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”

45  Philadelphia (1993) 

Streets of Philadelphia by Bruce Springsteen

Question – What three other actors were offered the role of Andrew Beckett?

My interpretation of the beautiful, but sad lyrics and tone left me aching in sympathy for Andrew Beckett. As well as hope for less bigotry in our society from those that throw stones in their own glass houses.

Answer – Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Keaton and Andy Garcia.

44  Legends Of The Fall (1994) 

The Ludlows by James Horner

Question – What is the irony that in Legends of the Fall, Brad Pitt and Julia Ormand play star-crossed lovers of about the same ages?

It will be difficult over the fifty movies to come up with different descriptors. This is one that fills your soul with the magic and undying love of a very tight family that comes together to protect at all costs. As family should be.

Answer – Because in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, Julia Ormond plays Brad Pitt’s daughter.

43  Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (1978) 

Performed by the Bee Gees and Paul Nicholas

Question – Which group was the original first choice to play the Future Villain Band but they turned it down becuase they thought it would hurt their image?

We all know the Beatles classic original but the Bee Gees did a spot on remake with it in this film that was so much fun to listen to.

Answer – Kiss

42  A Hard Days Night (1964)

Performed by The Beatles

Question – Ringo Starr is invited to “Le Cercle” gambling club which is also famous for what?

And speaking of The Beatles…enough said!

Answer – It’s the same club where James Bond makes his first appearance in Dr No.

41  Singin’ In The Rain (1952)

Performed by Gene Kelly

Question – How old was Debbie Reynolds when she filmed this?

Ahhhh, I’ve been there. Where you are giddy and hopeful in love that the rain is simply a cleansing reminder of what joy can lie ahead if you allow it to be.

Answer – She was only 19 years old and lived with her parents and commuted to the set. She had to wake up at 4:00 a.m. and ride three different buses to the studio; sometimes, to avoid the commute, she would just sleep on the set.

We have a long ways to go as we count ’em down so I hope one of your early favorites was mentioned here!

We wanted to send a hello and thank you to our friend, Lisa, down in Australia for all of her support. She, her husband and kids travel and explore as Lisa does an amazing job of home schooling her kids on the road. They learn history all along their route (and me too!) and it’s an absolutely blast to read each of her posts. So, go check out her blog New Life On The Road here! Thank you, Lisa!

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Mike Vogler

I have been told (many times) that I really need to write a book about my life. The past 50+ years have been an exciting ride, and these days I find myself with a great many passions. However, I feel that this website is a much more personal way with which to share my musings, stories and commentary.

  23 Responses to “My Top 10 Favorite Movie Theme Songs Part V”

  1. Love, love, love “Streets of Philadelphia”. I have it on my iPod. Great roundup here!

    • Thank you so much, Dana, and that is awesome that you have the somber, yet powerful Bruce song on your iPad! Such a good movie and that tune really hit the right note 🙂

  2. Wow, so far I love these choices! I have all three LOTR soundtracks on my I-pod as well as all three extended editions of the films. I own all the Magnificent Seven films and I agree that the music makes me feel pumped up every time I hear it. I like the Streets of Philadelphia by The Boss. I love watching Singin’ in the Rain and it always makes me want to dance like Gene Kelly…and no I can’t…in the least…at all. And I’m a Beatlephile, so nothing more need be said about those two theme songs. I admit to never having seen any of the other films, but the music familiar and I like it. I’ m looking forward to the next four posts and I can almost guarantee what some of the theme songs will be since you and I seem to have similar tastes in music.

    • Thank you so much for the compliments, Ed! There will be so more of the wish list filled in coming up and of course, always those one’s that I missed, Which is one of the most enjoyable parts about doing the Top 10’s. Hearing from commenters and their favorites! 🙂

  3. Mine is LOTR and Star Wars. Ahhhh I can’t believe it’s not included here! haha And yeah, Breakfast at Tifanny’s and Casablanca too!

    • There are still four more posts to come to fill out a lot of the hoped-for shout outs, Aleah! Hopefully, I will catch some of your’s along the way, our friend! 🙂

  4. Definitely love the Legends of the Fall song, plus it’s an awesome novella as well. My vote for favorite theme music would go to The Last of the Mohicans.

    • Ah, very good call on The Last of the Mohicans, Jeri. There are still 40 more to come! Legends of the Fall was just on the other day (I own it also) and it made me smile to hear the music 🙂

  5. Interesting choices Mike!

    I would not have thought of any of them!

    I’d ad Goldfinger and Dr. Zivago, but I can’t really think of any others:(

  6. I’m totally in love with Singing In The Rain, great pick! Some of the rest of these it’s a first time hearing, thanks for your insightful movie wisdom share!:-)

    • Oh thank you for that, Jess, and yes what an awesome classic Singing in the Rain is, huh? Hopefully you like more of the upcoming choices I selected out of my favorites list 🙂

  7. The Last of the Mohicans – the sound track is beautiful!

    • I’ve got to go back and check that soundtrack out now, Patti! Thank you to yourself and Jeri for the reminder ! 🙂

  8. I like a few on your list. Can’t wait to see what the rest of the 5 weeks has in store for music. I have a few popping into my head right now I am hoping to see! Gets me thinking about movie music. I have many favourites!! Music is a big part to a movie for me. I have a few favourite composers too!

    • That is great that I have your interest in following the rest to come, Jenn! We are on the exact same page with music to movies…or is it the other way around? 🙂 And great call on composers too! Hmm…methinks I will make a note for a future Top 10 along those lines! Thank you 🙂

  9. Love the Halloween theme song. So many people put that as their ringtone near Halloween. Got to love it. It’s one of those sounds that as soon as you hear it you know exactly what it is.

    • I’m a huge fan of that music related to Halloween also, Krystle! It’s so unmistakable and gives folks that eerie, creepy reminder 🙂

  10. Gosh, I remember Love Story but I don’t remember seeing it at the movies. I thought it was Ali MacGraw in that one, not Streisand. It was a tear jerker, for sure but now I have Hard Day’s Night stuck in my head.

    Oh, re Cuba. Here’s a link that’s pretty helpful –

    • Hi Marcia and it was Ali McGraw! The trivia question “In What’s Up Doc?” referenced back to Love Story from Barbara Streisand 🙂 Thank you for the NY Times link too! 🙂

  11. Ok, wasnt going to comment on the songs until the entire list was done. But decided to go ahead and chose one from every post to find out which I liked best!

    Sgt Peppers wins here with me! I remember being a little kid and having the album. Oh, to have that one now! Might be worth some bucks! Still can remember parts of the song. Brings back some memories. Love it.

    • Great choice and oh heck yes that would be worth some money if it was in decent condition, Tony! I almost liked the Bee Gees version in the movie of the same name a little better. Ouch! Phoenix just donkey kicked me in the shin saying, “Never eff with a classic.” Ok, ok, ok…sheesh 🙂

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