Guide to Buying the Best Movies with the Best Soundtracks
The List of Best Movies and Best Soundtracks identifies not only some of the best movies but to gain entry to the list these movies must also have had a great accompanying soundtrack. Debating with friends which movies have the best story lines and the best music scores makes for lively debate so it’s no wonder that Anthony Pierpont, a vocal contributor, weighs in with his intelligent perspective. Some other fun movie-related topics to debate with friends include: voting on the best actor of all time, the saddest movie to watch when you need a good cry and the funniest movie when you’re having a bad day.
A vintage movie on DVD is often the best place to find a classic movie soundtrack that resonates; many old movies originated from popular Broadway musicals. Learn more about the history behind the classic movie soundtracks and the introduction of music into film.
Best Movies with the Best Soundtracks by Anthony Pierpont
When you leave the theater humming, that’s always a good sign. Anthony Pierpont of St. Paul, Minnesota tells us that he judged a movie’s soundtrack by how well it resonated hours and days after he saw the film. If they resonated, he collected the movies for posterity. “After a great movie with a great soundtrack, I’m still thinking about the characters and the plotline- the music transports me right back to the theater. These are the movies that make my list of best movie scores!”
Anthony Pierpont walks us through some of his favorite movie soundtracks. Check out his list of favorite movies below, and then read highlights from the corresponding best movie soundtracks.
- Carlito’s Way is on the list of favorite movies, best movie soundtracks because this suspense film rocks; Sean Penn is unrecognizable in his bloated, self absorbed dirty lawyer suit; Pacino is more than memorable as a (sort of) reformed bad guy from the barrio who just wants to live his life, Tao-style.Carlito’s Way Soundtrack: The music brings you right back to the 70’s with disco, funk and soulful renderings of the decade’s best songs, The soundtrack includes Santana, The Hues Corporation, Patty LaBelle and Billy Preston.
- Purple Rain makes it into the list of best movies with the best movie scores because of Prince. Tortured, troubled and talented Kid just trying to make it to the big time, while getting through life, all while staying true to himself.When Prince isn’t laying down the music on the Purple Rain Soundtrack, Morris Day also steps up with his wacky one-liners and hooky songs. Prince’s Take Me With U, When Doves Cry and of course, the title track, makes this one of the best movie scores and required listening.
- Boogie Nights shows the ugly side of the porn industry thrills with its faced paced action and stand-out performances by Burt Reynolds and Mark Wahlberg. John C. Reilly is funny and William H. Macy is frustrated. A beautiful combination set to even more beautiful music from the late 70s and early 80’s.The Boogie Nights Soundtrack was so good they also released a second soundtrack. The first soundtrack includes ELO, Marvin Gaye, Night Ranger and The Beach Boys. The second soundtrack features Three Dog Night, Rick Springfield, Elvin Bishop and Hot Chocolate.
- The Sound of Music vintage DVD repeatedly shows up on lists for best movies and for good reason- it’s a sweet story, with Julie Andrews as a lovelorn governess, Christopher Plummer as a hardboiled widower, and all of those darling children. The music thrills on one of the best movie soundtracks ever, scored by Rodgers and Hammerstein.The Sound of Music Movie Score includes greats like Edelweiss, Maria and My Favorite Things. Julie Andrews’ tremendous voice is alternately soothing, wistful and exalted.
- Gentlemen Prefer Blondes with Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell has elaborate costuming, mix-ups and genuine heart- all the things you want from an entrant on the list of best movies. The classic movie soundtrack is charming and beautifully done in the grand style of old Hollywood musicals.The classic Gentleman Prefer Blondes Soundtrack has Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell belting out sultry hits like Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend, A Little Girl From Little Rock and Bye Bye Baby.
- This Is Spinal Tap is one of the best movies and best movie scores because of its humor, and spot-on imitation of rock stars. A number of people I know were young when they first watched Spinal Tap and thought that Michael McKean, Christopher Guest and the rest of hilarious crew were real.This Is Spinal Tap’s Soundtrack has wonder hits including America, Cups and Cakes and of course, Stonehenge. Squint at the album cover and you could be listening to an 80’s pop-metal band.
- Saturday Night Fever makes the list of favorite movies, best movie soundtracks because of the heart and soul given in the acting performance of one young man, John Travolta, who just wanted to dance. Disco Dance.The Saturday Night Fever Soundtrack highlights the stars of the disco era, the Bee Gees. Tavares’ beautiful More Than A Woman is also a stand-out.
- One of the best movies with the best music is Grease. Olivia Newton John and that early 80’s mainstay, John Travolta fall in love, fall out of love and then… well, watch the movie. Plenty of nostalgia since the movie’s backdrop is the bobbysoxer 50’s.The Grease Soundtrack includes You’re The One That I Want, Born to Hand Jive and the haunting There Are Worse Things I Could Do. The music has lots of charm and plenty of nostalgia for fans of the 50’s era movie.
- The Wizard of Oz is a must-see vintage DVD on the list of best movies with the best music. Judy Garland in her prime, surrounded by Technicolor poppies, her little dog too, and her friends in her search for wisdom- and the way home. Has the quintessential classic movie soundtrack, a must-have for your collection.The Wizard of Oz Soundtrack is loaded with songs, including We Thank You Very Sweetly, Ding Dong! The Witch is Dead and Over the Rainbow. Singing along to the music score while driving to work is not required, but it is immensely pleasurable!
- The movie The King and I transports itself onto our list of favorite movies primarily due to actor Yul Brynner. Romance blossoms between a crusty King and a spunky governess (Deborah Kerr) on this vintage DVD. How can you go wrong? The sweeping classic music soundtrack scored by Rodgers and Hammerstein is one you’ll listen to again and again.The Rodgers and Hammerstein hit movie score for The King and I includes Getting to Know You and Shall We Dance? The tension between the main characters during “Dance” makes this a shoo-in for our upcoming list of best movies for lovers.
We also love Trainspotting, the Pink Panther movies, Vertigo, Phantom of the Opera, O Brother Where Art Thou? and Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, with Burl Ives.
From Impromptu Music Scores to Lip-synching: A Brief History of Music in Movies
The history of music in film had less than auspicious beginnings. In the early 20th century, movie theaters hired organists or pianists to accompany silent films. At first, the musicians played music that seemed to fit the film, without benefit of direction from the movie studios. Eventually, the movie studios provided theaters with sheet music so the accompanists could play music that synchronized with the action happening on screen. By the 1920’s, the talkies, or talking pictures, were introduced, using technology that allowed the addition of music and speech into films.
Over the next few decades, color was added to films, perfecting the process by the mid-century mark. Films were battling television for viewers, but TV shows were still in black and white in the 1960’s, giving movies and movie theaters an edge in the entertainment wars. The 50’s and 60’s in particular were a splashy, spectacular time for sweeping movie musicals. Rodgers and Hammerstein, who have two entries on Anthony Pierpont’s list of best movies and best soundtracks, were two of the most popular songwriters to define mid-century music in film. Like other songwriters of the era, the dynamic duo started by scoring Broadway musicals in the early 1940’s, but the plays were soon scooped up by Hollywood and made into larger than life movies and television spectaculars. Some of their famous works include the classic movie soundtracks for Oklahoma!, Carousel, South Pacific, The King and I, and The Sound of Music.
List of Favorite Movies Fun Fact: In some of the movies scored by Rodgers and Hammerstein, including South Pacific, the glamorous actors selected to portray the movie’s characters couldn’t sing. Lip-synching, where an actor’s “singing” is dubbed by professional singers, was used to marry the classic movie soundtrack with the film.
We thank our contributors:
- Anthony Pierpont St. Paul, Minnesota