The musical genre is perhaps the most underrated (how can you not love Busby Berkeley?) in cinema, but delightful, moving, beautiful, surreal, unexpected musical – whether dancing or singing or both – moments often occur in non-musical films, sometimes in quite bad films (and not exactly great songs), as the following list demonstrates. But the mix of sound and image somehow works to create something sublime.
1. Mauvais Sang (1986) – Modern Love David Bowie
This extraordinary clip of Denis Lavant running, coughing, stumbling, dancing, cartwheeling and punching himself to the tune of David Bowie's Modern Love is one my favourite film sequences – it's certainly the reason Modern Love is my favourite David Bowie song.
2. Big (1988) – Heart and Soul / Chopsticks
3. Rush hour (1988) – War Edwin Starr
Best bit of the film.
4. Ten things I hate about you (1999) – Can’t take my eyes off you Frankie Vallie
Someone singing to a loved one in public is the ultimate romantic
gesture, fraught as it with complete embarrassment and humiliation.
Naturally, it always comes off okay in the movies.
5. 13 going on 30 (2004) – Thriller Michael Jackson
The song was also used to great effect by the inmates of a Filipino prison.
6. Pretty in Pink (1986) – Try a Little Tenderness Otis Redding
7. Almost Famous (2000) – Tiny Dancer Elton John
8. A Clockwork Orange (1971) – Singing in the Rain Gene Kelly
9. A Bigger Splash (2015) – Emotional Rescue Rolling Stones
Ralph Fiennes does Jagger.
10. Train wreck (2015) – Uptown Girl Billy Joel
Though this sequence is to woo back her boyfriend, it comes just after alcoholic/nymphomaniac Amy Schemer has got drunk and tried to rape a 16-year-old boy. I personally wouldn’t go anywhere near her.
Previously on Barnflakes:
Top ten film musicals