Hitting the High Notes: The Sequel!

Back in 2014, the Writer’s Bone crew compiled their favorite musical moments in film. After revisiting the post for our newsletter recently, we decided to stage a sequel. If you want to join the discussion, submit your favorite suggestions in the comments section, post them on our Facebook page, or tweet us @WritersBone.—Daniel Ford

“Dick Tracy”

Mike Nelson: Al Pacino’s finest performance (do not @ me) is laced with misogyny and misunderstanding, but not misguidance. The man knows a crappy dance routine when he sees one, and he exposes Madonna so much in this one scene that her next hit is “Ray of Light,” which, let’s be honest, is complete garbage with a nice brand name attached to it.

“The Commitments”

Daniel Ford: The Commitments give The Wonders a run for their money for best fictional rock band that flamed out too early.

“Top Gun”

Stephanie Schaefer: Pre-Scientology Tom Cruise at his finest. 


Caitlin Malcuit: The three-minute tracking sequence in "Goodfellas" is one of the film's most dazzling moments, but the extra touch comes from the use of The Crystal's "Then He Kissed Me." As Henry takes Karen for a night out at the Copacabana nightclub, introducing her, and us, to the perks of organized crime, the girl group's sweetness heightens the rush of a mesmerizing first date.

“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”

Lindsey Wojcik: After the huge success of the revival of "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" on Broadway, which I saw four times, I became a Hedhead and discovered this 2001 release—an adaptation of the stage book, written, directed and starring the original Hedwig, John Cameron Mitchell. The film has so many powerful and catchy songs, but "Origin of Love" is a gut-wrenching ditty based on a story from Plato's Symposium. It's songwriting at its finest—Stephen Trask is a master—and evokes all the feels about what it's like to love. 

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid”

Daniel: “What’re you doing?”

“Stealing your woman.”

“Take her.”

“TRON: Legacy”

Mike: Everyone has their motivation tactics at work. Coffee, going outside for some air, doing pushups at your desk (I have seen this happen, and I don’t think it’s that weird, and if you’ve ever seen my arms you know it’s not me), and probably the most common: music. The “TRON: Legacy” soundtrack is mine, and I then turn into Olivia Wilde during this Daft Punk cameo in the movie (meaning, I start absolutely dominating work, and then it fights back and permanently cripples me).

“The Wedding Singer”

Lindsey: "The Wedding Singer" and its soundtrack was the seed that sprouted my never-ending fascination with the culture of the 1980s, a decade in which I was only alive for nearly three years. "Grow Old With You" is one of two only original songs on the soundtrack and it's the sappiest. It perfectly encapsulates what most people are looking for in a partner—someone to share the milestones and monotonous parts of life with for the rest of days. The hilarity of the scene (I'm looking at you, Billy Idol!) does not take away from the sentiment, which is why I consider it of the most powerful musical moments in film.  

“Mulholland Drive”

Rob Masiello: Rumor has it that Rebekah Del Rio's thunderous performance of "Llorando" was recorded on the spot, without her knowledge and with virtually no editing before being worked into “Mulholland Drive.” How it fits into the film's larger narrative is worthy of a much longer analysis than appropriate for this feature. This Spanish cover of Roy Orbison's "Crying" will leave you shaking regardless of what language you speak.

“Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze”

Mike: School is a waste of time. I learned everything I needed to get through childhood right here.


Matt DiVenere: Check out the reintroduction of the 1964 Aston Martin DB5 in “Skyfall.” Seeing the car, hearing the trumpets...I immediately get goosebumps and smile. Such an iconic car and such an iconic moment.

“True Romance”

Dave Pezza: I've been holding on to this magical scene from a highly underrated Quentin Tarantino movie (he wrote the screenplay). It doesn't get much better than Tarantino dialogue in front of a Hans Zimmer score. So cool.

“Hudson Hawk”

Sean Tuohy: What a weird movie, but Bruce Willis can sing. Really, the man has a set of pipes. This scene is playful, fun, and weird, which sums up “Hudson Hawk.” Also, this captures Willis at his best: charming and a must-watch.

“Baby Driver”

Sean: “Baby Driver” is “La La Land” but with better characters and armed robbery. This clip sums up film perfectly.

“Back to the Future”

Hassel Velasco: Guys...Marvin Berry discovered his cousin's revolutionary sound back in 1955.

“Romeo & Juliet”

Lisa Carroll: I loved loved loved teaching Romeo And Juliet in freshman English, and after we finished reading the play we'd watch Baz's version and discuss the adaptation. The innocence and tension in this scene is so beautifully amplified by the sensuous nature of the song and her captivating voice. Totally swoon-worthy.


Lisa: Yes, I will take the Oscar, thank you.

“Ella Enchanted”

Lisa: My second favorite Queen song (after “Bohemian Rhapsody” in “Wayne's World”), and one of my favorite Cinderella adaptations.

“The Bodyguard”

Lisa: Whitney Houston’s “The Bodyguard” made Cosmopolitan's “50 Old Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch.”

It has the greatest soundtrack of all time and the worst acting of all time as proven in this clip.

“My Best Friend’s Wedding”

Daniel: If you’re a sappy romantic, you really can’t get better than this.

“La La Land”

Mike: “You know the most psychologically damaging event of your life? Let’s just run it back and see what life looks like if we skipped that part.” Everyone who had a hand in “La La Land” is a jerk and deserved to get bested by “Moonlight” for all the emotional damage you caused me. I’m sending you all of my future wife’s inevitable therapy bills.

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