The 50 Greatest Music Movie Moments: 33 - 29

33.) Inglourious Basterds - Cat People
Written & Performed by David Bowie

The scene: Four years ago, Shosanna (Mélanie Laurent) saw her family brutally murdered by Nazi officers. But after years of patience, she is presented with the perfect opportunity for revenge. Not just on the officers who killed her family, but on the whole of Nazi Germany.

The song: When I talked about Pulp Fiction a few posts ago, I made mention that the selected song was anachronistic with the setting. While I maintain that decision was most likely an oversight, here we see the same situation from an entirely different angle. This is truly an anachronistic soundtrack, and a beautifully done one, to boot. It's truly the anthem of a scarred, angry, and determined young woman bent on revenge. It's like Rosie the Riveter meets Sarah Conner in audio form.

32.) The Big Lebowski - Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In)
Written by Mickey Newbury
Performed by The First Edition

The scene: Unwillingly submersed in a complex conspiracy of kidnapping, embezzlement and blackmail, Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) is drugged after getting too close to the truth. In his hallucinogenic, unconscious state, The Dude dreams of bowling, the Gulf War and pornographic delights.

The song: Just Dropped In was written as a warning song discouraging LSD use. And now, it's linked inexorably with one of the trippiest scenes in film history. The world's funny like that. Also funny, The First Edition have been almost completely forgotten save for this song, which was wildly different from the rest of their catalog (they were mostly a country/western/folk band primarily known for launching the career of Kenny Rogers). Still, psychedelia is as psychedelia does.

31.) Top Gun - Danger Zone
Performed by Kenny Loggins

The scene: As an amber sun rises over the Indian Ocean, we see the crew of the USS Enterprise (the aircraft carrier, not the spaceship). But these are no ordinary Navy men, they represent the elite aeronautical fighting force. The dogfighters. The Interceptors. The F-14 Tomcats. The Mavericks... and the Gooses.

The song: Equal parts new wave and hard rock, Danger Zone is a classic anthem of bravado and show-stopping awesomeness. People don't like Top Gun. They like Danger Zone. Watch the movie some time and try to prove me otherwise.

30.) Clerks II - ABC
Performed by The Jackson 5

The scene: Nervously anticipating his rapidly approaching wedding, reluctant Dante (Brian O'Halloran) asks his manager, friend, confidante and paramour Becky (Rosario Dawson) for advice and perhaps a quick dance lesson. Becky has little to offer on the former, but quite an abundance of the latter. So much so, everyone within a two mile radius seems compelled to join in.

The song: The films of Kevin Smith take place on the border of the real world; a place where absurd ideas are blanketed in reality. That's what makes the ABC dance sequence so endearing; it comes right out of nowhere, disappears just as quick, is completely out of tune with the rest of the film, but at the same time feels absolutely indispensable.

29.) Wall-E - Put on Your Sunday Clothes
Written by Jerry Herman
Performed by the cast of the 1969 film Hello, Dolly

The scene: After years of isolation and solitude, alone amongst the ruins of planet Earth, the lonely robot Wall-E meets the enigmatic Eve. Eager to impress the mysterious stranger, Wall-E shows off his treasure trove of scavenged relics, trinkets and prized possessions. Chief amongst them, a derelict VHS tape of a musical, cued to his favorite scene.

The song: I'll be honest, I know nothing of Hello Dolly, and I'll most likely go my entire life without seeing any production of it. But to see the genuine love and admiration through another's eyes is something magical. The way a robot can be so curious and envious of humanity, filtered entirely through a romanticized period piece is endearing. It's his only real connection with human society and music, and his affection is as real as his love of the musical.

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