Instrumetal Breakdown
January 14, 2008 4:26 PM   Subscribe

What are the best cinematic movie soundtracks you've ever heard?

Specifically, cinematic soundscapes that are woven into the fiber of a film to capture the atmosphere, tension, and emotion of the scenes. Movies like Crash, Special, or 28 Weeks Later are prime examples of what I'm looking for.

Rushmore, Juno, Garden State, etc. is exactly what I'm NOT looking for here. Thanks.
posted by Christ, what an asshole to Media & Arts (116 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
I really like the soundtracks to Legends of the Fall, Princess Mononoke, and The Gladiator.
posted by MaryDellamorte at 4:28 PM on January 14, 2008


Many Almodovar film soundtracks including Hable con Ella.
posted by vacapinta at 4:30 PM on January 14, 2008


once upon a time in the west and the good, the bad, the ugly By Ennio Morricone
the fountain and Requiem for a Dream by Clint Mansell
the day the earth stood still by Bernard Hermann (maybe more classic than integral)
posted by Large Marge at 4:31 PM on January 14, 2008


I've always been partial to Gattaca for the music.
posted by saeculorum at 4:31 PM on January 14, 2008


Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
posted by typewriter at 4:33 PM on January 14, 2008


The Buddha of Suburbia has a great soundtrack, done by Bowie no less.
Peter Gabriel did an amazing job on The Last Temptation of Christ, though I prefer the 'sources' project he released, that documents the inspirations for his final product.
posted by nomisxid at 4:34 PM on January 14, 2008


It's funny, but I was watching Blade Runner over the weekend, and the Vangelis soundtrack really just works in that film. I am NOT a Vangelis fan.

Hermann's Taxi Driver score is great.

I am not an anime person, but the score to Akira is really great too--a lot of gamelan and weird choruses.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 4:35 PM on January 14, 2008


2001: A Space Odyssey

Walt Disney's Fantasia

Any Hitchcock film scored by Bernard Herrman
posted by Blacksun at 4:36 PM on January 14, 2008


North By Northwest

(props to Blacksun . . .)
posted by The World Famous at 4:37 PM on January 14, 2008


Hmm, let me narrow my query a bit further....

I'm looking for a soundtrack that almost ...channels the direction of a movie. Not necessarily something that makes for pleasant background fodder, but soundscapes that drive the intensity almost in lieu of dialog.

If anybody can make sense of that. :)
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 4:37 PM on January 14, 2008


I do, of course, mean Bernard Herrmann. Two n's.
posted by Blacksun at 4:38 PM on January 14, 2008


once upon a time in the west and the good, the bad, the ugly By Ennio Morricone

Yes, yes.
posted by oneirodynia at 4:39 PM on January 14, 2008


There Will Be Blood
posted by legotech at 4:39 PM on January 14, 2008


Fight Club
posted by drezdn at 4:40 PM on January 14, 2008


Last of the Mohicans, Dances with Wolves and Pirates of the Caribbean
posted by bondgirl53001 at 4:41 PM on January 14, 2008


All three of Peter Jackson's Lord of the Ring films.

The Last of the Mohicans.
posted by fuzzbean at 4:42 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Yeah, Last of the Mohicans for sure. That was an amazing score.
posted by dios at 4:42 PM on January 14, 2008


Damn you bondgirl!
posted by fuzzbean at 4:43 PM on January 14, 2008


Koyaanisqatsi comes to mind. Or the more conventional Philip Glass score, The Truman Show. Some might argue Garden State.
posted by rjacobs at 4:44 PM on January 14, 2008


The Firm--just listening to the soundtrack gets my heart racing.
posted by wallaby at 4:44 PM on January 14, 2008


I'd suggest the David Lean & Maurice Jarre combo in Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago. Both soundtracks were Oscar winners IIRC.
posted by BrotherFeldspar at 4:44 PM on January 14, 2008


Gettysburg.
posted by null terminated at 4:45 PM on January 14, 2008


Flash Gordon
Dead Man
28 Days Later
Blade Runner
posted by item at 4:45 PM on January 14, 2008


Uh, Star Wars. Sorry.
I love Morricone's spaghetti western music as well.
Brazil
Team America
posted by Tixylix at 4:47 PM on January 14, 2008


Eraserhead! The film wouldn't be nearly as excruciating with any sort of normal soundtrack; the sound design is integral to the film.
posted by xil at 4:49 PM on January 14, 2008


Yes, some great suggestions so far, but I'm now seeing how I could have tailored the original question a little bit better, so bear with me. :)

The final scene of Last of the Mohicans is the ultimate example of what I'm looking for (extra points because the cliff-diving chick resembles my ex a whole lot).

Now, just that, except 90-120 minutes long. And the more underground, independent, or foreign, the better (as I've pretty much watched everything already mentioned).
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 4:50 PM on January 14, 2008


Anton Karas's score for The Third Man is pretty iconic as well.
posted by BrotherFeldspar at 4:51 PM on January 14, 2008


Almost anything Danny Elfman has composed, most notably Batman and Edward Scissorhands.
posted by sneakin at 4:58 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Triplets of Belleville
Rocky (the original)
Edward Scissorhands
The Natural
and seconding - Lawrence of Arabia & Once Upon a Time in the West
posted by clarkstonian at 4:58 PM on January 14, 2008 [1 favorite]


Nthing Koyaanisqatsi, The Fountain.

Adding The Hours, and most things done by Michael Nyman.
posted by dobbs at 5:00 PM on January 14, 2008


Question for the poster: are you looking for scores or soundtracks? Maybe I'm making a distinction that doesn't exist. But I've always understood a soundtrack as conventional songs that play at movies and over the credits, whereas a musical score is the basic background music of a scene that is just instrumental. So, for instance, the soundtrack to Garden State is filled with pop songs from Coldplay and the Shins. But that isn't what I would call a score. Some movies have both. Like, for example, the movie the Crow has both a score and a soundtrack. The score being the instrumental parts that play during dramatic scenes (what I take the OP to be looking for with the term "cinematic soundscapes") and the soundtrack being the heavy metal songs that play during scene transitions and the credits.
posted by dios at 5:00 PM on January 14, 2008


Conan the Barbarian. Epic! The soundtrack is at least three times better than the movie itself.

Heh, and yeah, Star Wars soundtracks are great and worked perfectly for those movies, even though it's already been said a million times.
posted by ignignokt at 5:01 PM on January 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I particularly liked Lalo Schifrin's soundtrack to Enter the Dragon.
posted by gnutron at 5:02 PM on January 14, 2008


Nick Cave's score for the brilliant, tense, creepy western The Proposition (which he also wrote) was great, and won a bunch of awards.
posted by mediareport at 5:03 PM on January 14, 2008


Seconding Triplets of Belleville, that's an amazing score - and hits the nail right on the head as far as the question concerned.
posted by Blacksun at 5:04 PM on January 14, 2008


Popul Vuh's score for Werner Herzog's AGUIRRE: THE WRATH OF GOD and several other Herzog films...


Also, Goblin's scores for Dario Argento's SUSPIRIA and George Romero's DAWN OF THE DEAD
posted by cinemafiend at 5:06 PM on January 14, 2008


To follow up on dios' question re: score vs. soundtrack, I'm wondering if you're confusing the score in 28 Days Later with the Godspeed You! Black Emperor tracks, and thinking they were specifically written for the movie?
posted by LionIndex at 5:07 PM on January 14, 2008


Crap. You said *Weeks* not Days. Never mind.
posted by LionIndex at 5:08 PM on January 14, 2008


One Hour Photo. I had no idea it was done by the Run Lola Run guys. The score for the final ten minutes or so in particular.
posted by infinitewindow at 5:08 PM on January 14, 2008


I second Fight Club, the music gave the movie a literal and figurative pulse that kept up a really great tension.

While not a "score," I thought the music in Kill Bill: Vol. 1 was fantastically placed; it paid homage to its predecessors, and kept the plot speeding along when it could have so easily sagged. In particular, the song that plays during the animated segment is pitch-perfect.

Oh, and The Piano. I have mixed feelings about the actual movie, but the soundtrack captures the stormy emotions perfectly; it's especially apt because the main character is mute.
posted by sarahsynonymous at 5:09 PM on January 14, 2008


Needful Things. I know it sounds cheesy, but this is one of the best movie soundtracks I have ever bought (several times, in fact). Check out the rest of Patrick Doyle's work (Hamlet, etc) as you browse for soundtracks!
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:10 PM on January 14, 2008


There Will Be Blood
(nthing) Requiem for a Dream

Those two come to mind immediately as movies where the music was as important as anything else in the film.
posted by rooftop secrets at 5:10 PM on January 14, 2008


Waking Life by Tosca Tango Orchestra
posted by lalochezia at 5:13 PM on January 14, 2008


obviously not a movie, but the music in LOST is really good and can pretty much make you cry.
posted by muscat at 5:13 PM on January 14, 2008


8MM had a fantastic soundtrack.
posted by boo_radley at 5:14 PM on January 14, 2008


A Clockwork Orange
posted by dilettante at 5:14 PM on January 14, 2008


Popularly Appreciated:
The entire score (not the album version) to Superman the Movie (John Williams)
Robocop (Basil Poledouris)

Not so Popularly Appreciated:
The Witches of Eastwick (John Williams)
Hot Shots Part Deux (Basil Poledouris) <>
I would recommend almost anything by Poledouris:
Conan the Barbarian
Red Dawn
Hunt for Red October
Starship Troopers <- (ooh, definitely this one)
posted by sandra_s at 5:15 PM on January 14, 2008


Paris, Texas
Clean, Shaven
The Conversation
posted by rhizome at 5:18 PM on January 14, 2008


Question for the poster: are you looking for scores or soundtracks? Maybe I'm making a distinction that doesn't exist. But I've always understood a soundtrack as conventional songs that play at movies and over the credits, whereas a musical score is the basic background music of a scene that is just instrumental. So, for instance, the soundtrack to Garden State is filled with pop songs from Coldplay and the Shins. But that isn't what I would call a score. Some movies have both. Like, for example, the movie the Crow has both a score and a soundtrack. The score being the instrumental parts that play during dramatic scenes (what I take the OP to be looking for with the term "cinematic soundscapes") and the soundtrack being the heavy metal songs that play during scene transitions and the credits.

Ahh, yes, I hadn't made that distinction, using the two interchangeably. I'm looking for a great score so I can feel my heart race along watching the movie. I'm not much for independent soundtrack music-listening.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 5:23 PM on January 14, 2008


Since Battlestar Galactica: Razor, was billed as a movie, I'm going to cheat and recommend BSG. Seriously, I've rarely seen sound used better to enhance mood. You'd be hard pressed to find a better example of atmosphere, tension, and emotion than when the music kicks in that tells you Baltar is about to talk to the Six only he can see.

Not cheating: I always liked the Terminator 2 soundtrack.
posted by Cyrano at 5:25 PM on January 14, 2008


To follow up on dios' question re: score vs. soundtrack, I'm wondering if you're confusing the score in 28 Days Later with the Godspeed You! Black Emperor tracks, and thinking they were specifically written for the movie?

No, I bought my first Godspeed disc in '01. But yeah, that scene is another perfect example.
posted by Christ, what an asshole at 5:26 PM on January 14, 2008


Terrible Film, but the the soundtrack to The Mission is really beautiful, and seems to fit within your criteria.

I am also partial to the following soundtracks:
Control (Being that the film is an Ian Curtis biopic, I think the music is apropos to the emotional atmosphere of his life. However, I am a huge Joy Division fan, so YMMV.).

• The Apocalypse Now soundtrack. Incidentally, this is also my favorite film, so again, I may be biased. The majority of the tracks used are composed "soundscapes," instead of pre-recorded songs (i.e. Wagner's Flight of the Bumblebee, or The Doors' "This is the End").

• The Blade Runner soundtrack also achieves that which you've stipulated.

• The Life is Beautiful soundtrack does this beautifully (pun unintentional).
posted by numinous at 5:28 PM on January 14, 2008


Who Framed Roger Rabbit
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:30 PM on January 14, 2008


The scores to Run Lola Run, Sneakers, Les Triplettes De Belleville, Adaptation, The Fifth Element, and Pee Wee's Big Adventure.
posted by jamaro at 5:33 PM on January 14, 2008


Seconding The Mission and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
posted by findango at 5:34 PM on January 14, 2008


I'm extremely partial to Lalo Shrifrin, and his haunting soundtrack to THX-1138 underscores the film in just the way you describe.

In more recent film, I'm a big fan of the subtle yet effective soundtrack work of Cliff Martinez, especially his work on Steven Soderbergh films like Traffic, Solaris, and The Limey. In my opinion, Martinez has the enviable talent of creating soundtracks that you only really notice if you're paying attention, but the film would totally lack something without them. Martinez also played drums with Lydia Lunch, Captain Beefheart, and The Red Hot Clili Peppers (among others) so his path into moody and quiet soundtracks is a fascinating one.
posted by General Zubon at 5:35 PM on January 14, 2008


Amelie
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:38 PM on January 14, 2008 [2 favorites]


I am so very partial to Craig Armstrong his work is cinematic, even when not associated with a movie. His movie credits include Romeo + Juliet, Moulin Rouge, The Quiet American, Ray, Love Actually, Plunkett & Macleane and World Trade Center.

I'm also a big fan of Ennio Morricone, mentioned a few times already above.

Finally, you should also look into the work of one of the Davids in David+David (remember "Welcome to the Boomtown"?) look up David Baerwald here, there's surprisingly little about him on the internet. Again, an enigmatic, cinematic artist - who incidentally also has a track on Moulin Rouge.
posted by seawallrunner at 5:39 PM on January 14, 2008


Schindler's List
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 5:39 PM on January 14, 2008


Midnight Express...(Movie) I still love listening to it.
posted by JujuB at 5:42 PM on January 14, 2008


Donnie Darko
posted by landedjentry at 5:54 PM on January 14, 2008


The Last Temptation of Christ. Soundtrack's by Peter Gabriel.
posted by trigger at 5:58 PM on January 14, 2008


i love the scores for jeunet's amelie and darabont's the shawshank redemption.
posted by twistofrhyme at 5:59 PM on January 14, 2008


The score to The Age of Innocence (Youtube link) was fantastic.
posted by Maxwell_Smart at 5:59 PM on January 14, 2008


oh, i just saw your clarification above about seeking films where the score propels the movie. i think that the scores in all three of the paul thomas anderson films i've seen (magnolia, punch drunk love, and there will be blood), are reeeally prominent, and push the stories into more intense territory. in all three cases, some really mundane scenes suddenly seem insanely portentious because of the music.
posted by twistofrhyme at 6:07 PM on January 14, 2008


Seconding Cliff Martinez's scores, especially Solaris.

Also like Gattaca, which I believe was mentioned up there.


Some scores that I have liked:

The Constant Gardener
The Door In The Floor
Casino Royale
Brick
The Illusionist
Notes on a Scandal
Hero
Meet Joe Black
Master and Commander
posted by roomwithaview at 6:08 PM on January 14, 2008


The Fountain
posted by gaiamark at 6:15 PM on January 14, 2008


Interested in some rather tasty Jazz soundtracks?

Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (vocals and instumentals are a quick romantic wind to blow though your heart) Sets a great tone for a dinner party.

Sideways. Watch the movie first to get the tone that the composer (Rolfe Kent) aimed for. Then listen use it anytime you want to recreate that feeling in your life. I listen to it when I need to get some serious work done.
posted by boots77 at 6:16 PM on January 14, 2008


You'd have to include Oh Brother, Where Art Thou in this list. It's structured around the music. And Magnolia was inspired by Aimee Mann's music, who returned the favor by doing the score.
posted by adamrice at 6:21 PM on January 14, 2008


nthing:
The Piano
The Mission
The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly
Triplets of Beleville

+

Jaws
posted by Rumple at 6:22 PM on January 14, 2008


Conan the Barbarian is a really good suggestion. I might add Morricone's score for The Untouchables, as well. (Did you know Morricone did the music for John Carpenter's The Thing? How did I not know that?)
posted by steef at 6:31 PM on January 14, 2008


'Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence.'
Riuchi Sakamoto
posted by artdrectr at 6:53 PM on January 14, 2008


5 movie soundtracks that don't suck
posted by jcruelty at 7:15 PM on January 14, 2008


Exodus has my favorite movie score written by Ernest Gold.
posted by bjgeiger at 7:20 PM on January 14, 2008


I'm shocked no one has mentioned Badlands yet. Some of the music (the stuff from Carl Orff) was re-used to much lesser effect in True Romance, but it is so powerful and moving in Badlands, and not in a showy way.
posted by rottytooth at 7:38 PM on January 14, 2008


Nthing Amelie.
posted by QueSeraSera at 7:43 PM on January 14, 2008


The About a Boy soundtrack by Badly Drawn Boy. It would have been a very different movie without Gough's talents. Best example here at 5:50.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 7:46 PM on January 14, 2008


The score from "Blackhawk Down" is incredible. Mixing rock/African sounds.

Nthing "The Mission"
posted by Jahaza at 8:02 PM on January 14, 2008


The Red Violin and Immortal Beloved
posted by maggieb at 8:04 PM on January 14, 2008


Empire of the Sun
posted by Durin's Bane at 8:15 PM on January 14, 2008


Memphis Belle (George Fenton)

Pretty inspired, imho.

Oh and no, it doesn't have the version of Danny Boy that Harry Connick Jr. does in the film, sadly the version on the cd is awful. But the rest of it, good stuff.
posted by NoraCharles at 8:18 PM on January 14, 2008


Prince's soundtrack to Purple Rain. I'd also say his soundtrack for Batman but Prince's music was minimally used in the film and pretty much overshadowed by Danny Elfman's music. However, if you listen to the soundtrack it pretty much follows the story of the movie and still holds up nearly 20 years later.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:19 PM on January 14, 2008


the jimmy cliff music in the harder they come.
posted by bruce at 8:19 PM on January 14, 2008


Miles Davis wrote the score to 'Ascenseur pour l'echafaud'. I, er, haven't actually seen the movie but the score is haunting enough on its own. Slow, brooding, dangerous jazz for dark streets and cigarettes.
posted by twirlypen at 8:23 PM on January 14, 2008


Kingpin. Seriously. Contrast Roy's Rise... with his Fall (Bald, drunk, hitting an alarm clock with his hook, with It's A Beautiful Morning playing). Couldn't find a clip for that last one, but all those scenes are driven by those songs.
posted by ALongDecember at 8:25 PM on January 14, 2008


My personal favorite: Blues brothers...i was raised on it and love to speed with it in the car

I'd argue most musicals would fit, just because the music is integral to the story

The piano also has a great soundtrack which is important to the story without telling it directly. I also just saw Juno and thought the soundtrack was fantastic
posted by NGnerd at 8:41 PM on January 14, 2008


88 comments in and no-one's mentioned the mighty Angelo Badalamenti purveyor of fine soundtracks to most of David Lynch's films and of course Twin Peaks? Bad Mefites!
posted by merocet at 8:58 PM on January 14, 2008


Seconding "Dead Man." Niel Young's soundtrack to that movie is so amazing that I ran out and bought it after having seen the flick, but... it absolutely doesn't work without the visual. I think I've listened to it once since then. It's very simple guitar reverby stuff, but 100% integral to the movie (IMHO, YMMV).
posted by AwkwardPause at 9:23 PM on January 14, 2008


It was said earlier in this thread, but

Solaris, by Cliff Martinez
Bladerunner, by Vangelis

are great

Mishima, by Philip Glass

is super awesome (This American Life uses it all the time)
posted by KokuRyu at 9:23 PM on January 14, 2008


The first Sopranos 'soundtrack' also has some neat songs on it
posted by KokuRyu at 9:24 PM on January 14, 2008


Andrew Dickson's soundtrack for Naked (directed by Mike Leigh) comes to mind.
posted by hototogisu at 9:45 PM on January 14, 2008


The Mission.
posted by neuron at 9:51 PM on January 14, 2008


Ry Cooder's score for 'Paris, Texas,'

Jack Nitzche's singing saw in 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest,'
his assembly-line beat beneath Captain Beefheart's growl in the opening of 'Blue Collar,'
his work with Randy Newman, The Last Poets, Buffy St. Marie, Mick Jagger, and, well, Ry Cooder in 'Performance."

Philip Glass's 'Koyaanisqutsi'
posted by doncoyote at 10:29 PM on January 14, 2008


nth'ing Koyaanisqatsi.

Also, I can't believe no one has mentioned Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (done by Jon Brion). I think it matches your criteria (although it's not as action-oriented as you may be looking for).
posted by spiderskull at 11:13 PM on January 14, 2008


Fourthing Cliff Martinez. I listen to the soundtrack from Solaris relatively frequently and was suprised to hear a chunk of it used in the new Lebron James commercial.
posted by turbodog at 11:45 PM on January 14, 2008


Ghost in the Shell?
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 12:11 AM on January 15, 2008


harold and maude?
posted by thesiameseffect at 12:14 AM on January 15, 2008


Wow, almost 100 comments and no one's mentioned The Rocketeer? Shit, man. Disney's recycled the theme song in a million different places after the movie fell short at the box office.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:22 AM on January 15, 2008


A soundtrack I particularly enjoyed (more so than the movie itself) was Wojciech Kilar's score to Polanski's The Ninth Gate.
posted by misteraitch at 12:29 AM on January 15, 2008


Seeing as you kind of allowed the last ten minutes of "last of the mohicans"...

as someone else said, but especially, the last ten minutes of the last episode of season 3 battlestar galactica. The music is very much a part of the plot, which i can't say more about without ruining it for people, but if you've seen it, you'll agree. sorry its only a ten minute part. It's completely what you're looking for though.
posted by galactain at 1:30 AM on January 15, 2008


Get Carter and The IPCRESS File provide a great score.
posted by quarsan at 2:33 AM on January 15, 2008


99 answers and no one has mentioned Amadeus?
posted by pjern at 2:41 AM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


You might like the work of Emir Kusturika.

All of his films are heavily influenced by Balkan music and gypsy culture and permeate much of the film. Not all of the action is moved by the music but a fair amount of it is.

I liked Underground and Black Cat, White Cat a lot.

These do not have the traditional soaring music score you might be looking for. Instead, you have a movie in which the soundtrack is more attuned for dancing or marching or festivals and as a result his films tend to have a carnival feel about them. His characters don't move through the scene, they dance through it.

The advantage being, unlike Star Wars, you probably haven't seen these.

If you watched and enjoyed Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and haven't seen Iron Monkey I highly recommend it. I can't remember if the score for that was any good but it definitely had a nice energy to it.

I believe the first film Danny Elfman ever scored was Pee Wee's Big Adventure. I thought it was pretty good (Breakfast Machine is a personal favorite of mine).
posted by Deathalicious at 2:57 AM on January 15, 2008


"Amadeus" ... obviously great stand-alone music, but it's insidiously woven into the film; providing more than a few inside jokes and striking the exact right chord (as it were) for many sequences.
posted by RavinDave at 4:12 AM on January 15, 2008


The score for Planet of the Apes (the Heston version, of course) is eerie and a perfect fit for it.
posted by Scoo at 7:04 AM on January 15, 2008


Can I add No Country for Old Men? NO music in it at all. I think this fits the OP criteria....
posted by Scoo at 7:05 AM on January 15, 2008


Baraka sounds like exactly what you are looking for - it's an amazing film that contains only a montage of expertly shot scenes from around the world woven together with a stunning sound track. It contains no script, no voice overs just a glimpse into contrasting environments across the earth. It's non-vocal aspect means that the driving force of the emotion behind each scene comes directly from the music.

You have to be in the right mood to watch it, but it remains one of the most profound films I have ever watched.
posted by paulfreeman at 7:14 AM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


I always thought the music of Firefly was particularly good at setting the mood. Serenity, not so much, but I still listen to the Firefly soundtrack.

Also, I think "Hush" (episode 4.10 of Buffy) has to be mentioned. 28 minutes (over half the episode) of no dialog, so of course the sound track has extra...oomph.

As for the reverse, "The Body" (5.16) has no music other than the theme song, a wind chime, and quiet Christmas music in a flashback.
posted by natabat at 8:26 AM on January 15, 2008 [1 favorite]


Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi, Naqoyqatsi. All three of these have incredible soundtracks, and there really is no movie without the soundtracks. While I agree wholeheartedly with all the previous mentions of Koyaanisqatsi, it is a disservice to ignore the other two movies in the series. While some may object that Naqoyqatsi is a weaker movie overall than the other two, and I wouldn't disagree with that, it's not because of the soundtrack. In fact, I go back and forth as to which of the three soundtracks is my favorite. On long road trips I sometimes listen to all three, back-to-back and in order, and they seem to make almost a single unified work, with Powaqqatsi being the lighter scherzo movement bookended by the darker Koyaanisqatsi and Naqoyqatsi pieces.

Also:
Edward Scissorhands
The Cook, The Thief, His Wife, and Her Lover (first mention in this thread? really?)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:14 AM on January 15, 2008


A Bronx Tale was the first movie that made me say "wow" at the soundtrack. I was blown away, and still get chills when I hear "The Ten Commandments of Love" because of the way it was used in the film. When I first saw the movie, each and every time a song played I had to express amazement at the perfect songchoice for that point of the movie. I know there have been 2 other movies like that, but can't think of them off the top of my head...
posted by Iamtherealme at 11:12 AM on January 15, 2008


I'm looking for a soundtrack that almost ...channels the direction of a movie.

Nthing Once Upon a Time in the West. Morricone's score was written and recorded before filming began and apparently Leone filmed scenes with the score playing on the set.
posted by Dr.Pill at 11:19 AM on January 15, 2008


The Taking of Pelham One, Two, Three - my favorite soundtrack of all time, I think.
posted by sluggo at 4:09 PM on January 15, 2008


Braveheart. (right up there with Last of the Mohicans for a fitting score)
Escaflowne series (even though its anime, it's an excellent soundtrack that fits the series)
Never Ending Story.
'nthing Koyanqatsi, and Poyanaqatsi (sp?)
American Beauty
Shawshank Redemption (the escape scene still gives me chills along with the soundtrack)
Meet Joe Black (slower paced movie...but great score to go with the scenes)

I just noticed that the last three were Thomas Newman scores..hrmm, might as well throw Road to Perdition in the mix...although I've never seen the movie

2nding Apocalypse Now
posted by samsara at 4:43 PM on January 16, 2008


Oh and Awakenings
posted by samsara at 4:44 PM on January 16, 2008


Lost Highway and Twin Peaks. Without a doubt.

Same goes for The Proposition.
posted by slimepuppy at 9:34 AM on January 17, 2008


Stargate (the movie) actually has a pretty good soundtrack. I never saw the TV show.
posted by stopgap at 3:20 PM on January 19, 2008


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