A Happy New Year to all Picturenose readers! Following Colin’s splendid picks of his favourite music documentaries, and once again in association with MokumGroupie.com I thought it only fair to pitch in with my take on the top ‘toons’ to have graced the silver screen. There is no particular order, but you will not find Celine Dion’s My Heart Will Go On or Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes’s (I’ve Had) The Time of My Life *anywhere* on the list, I promise…
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
George Baker Selection: Little Green Bag
Monsieur Quentin Tarantino is set to do very well with my choices, and why should it be otherwise? Along with revolutionising cinema from his astounding signature dish Reservoir Dogs onwards, he also, for perhaps the first time since cinema’s silent era, reinforced the role that music should play in the movies. And this, an entirely catchy number that’s completely in keeping with …Dogs‘ K-Billy’s Super Sounds of the Seventies, the radio station that’s the listening choice of the doomed posse of jewellery thieves in the film, is just terrific, and it’s the first of two that I’m choosing from the movie. Click here.
Stealers Wheel: Stuck in the Middle With You
And yes, it’s that scene – there’s no doubt that, if you want to torture someone, this ‘Dylan-esque pop ditty’ is undoubtedly the best background music. Not unlike the on-screen action, this is downright cool and decidely nasty. Click here.
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Dusty Springfield: Son of a Preacher Man
And QT’s back – Pulp Fiction is a contender for best soundtrack of all time, and here’s a moment of quiet cool as hit-man Vincent Vega (John Travolta), brother of one Vic Vega, aka Mr. Blonde in Reservoir Dogs pours himself a good whisky while waiting for Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman), the wife of his boss Marcellus (Ving Rhames), to get ready so he can take her out for dinner. But it is definitely not a date, you hear? Click here.
The Bodyguard (1992)
Whitney Houston: I Will Always Love You
Now, I am probably going to get in a bit of trouble with this choice, but I can’t help it – like the film that it adorns, this song was seemingly enjoyed by nobody except audiences and, while Whitney Houston cannot match the brittle, heartbreaking Dolly Parton original, her version is nevertheless a rousing, hair-raising experience. There, I have said it and, by the way, I liked Mick Jackson’s film as well…Click here.
Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
Audrey Hepburn: Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer’s Moon River
…but, on the other hand, I actually didn’t like Blake Edwards’ overrated, insincere and kitsch mush-fest very much, despite its inexplicable elevation to all-time classic status. Having said that, Audrey Hepburn as New York socialite Holly Golightly is charm itself, and never more so than when crooning this song, which *is* a classic, no question. Click here.
The Way We Were (1973)
Barbara Streisand: The Way We Were
Another choice with which the film and music snobs may not concur – pooh-pooh to them. Granted, Sydney Pollack’s Streisand-Redford romance has not aged particularly well, and Streisand’s singing is not to everyone’s taste, but your reviewer simply adores the tear-jerking theme song, so there. I won’t give you a clip from the film – instead, check out the BBC’s seminal and tear-jerking snooker nostalgia trip, to which this was an unforgettable soundtrack. Click here.
Dooley Wilson: As Time Goes By
Surely, though, no-one can have any complaints with this choice, can they? Dooley Wilson sings Herman Hupfeld’s song not once, but twice to heartbreaking effect: ‘If she can stand it, I can! Play it!’ No further words needed. Click here.
On Her Majesty’s Secret Service (1969)
Louis Armstrong: We Have All the Time in the World
Again, a tune that’s used twice to heartbreaking effect – James Bond 007 (George Lazenby) is all set for happy married life with Teresa (Diana Rigg), but we all know what happens next, don’t we? It’s simple, really – Peter Hunt’s film is the best Bond with the best ending and the best song. Click here.
The Italian Job (1969)
Matt Munro: On Days Like These
And, to conclude, two more from just the one film, namely Peter Collinson’s sublime (and timeless) comedy caper, with Michael Caine (‘Hang on lads; I’ve got a great idea‘) as Charlie Croker, who is the mastermind behind the heist to end all heists and the traffic jam to end all traffic jams. I am handing you over to Colin for the film’s first toon, as he describes it far better than I could:
Even before we’re introduced to the cast, which at best could be called eclectic, or the back-story with its wide-boy charm and classic capers, we are treated to an opening-scene-cum-title-
Quincy Jones: Get a Bloomin’ Move On
They’re driving that lorry a little recklessly, dontcha think? One of the finest endings ever is preceded by Don Black’s marvellous number sung by Quincy Jones - ‘We’re in the Self-Preservation Society!’ Just magic. Click here.
So, these are my choices – do feel free to chip in with your own, won’t you?