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Top Five Film Scenes Set to Music

Sometimes, music makes the scene. Here are the top five scenes in movies set to music. Chris Pratt stars as Peter Quill, Zoe Saldana stars as Gamora, and Vin Diesel as Baby Groot in "Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2."

Without a doubt, there are scenes within movies that stand out among the rest. These moments are often the most memorable as the action, events, and characters are at their peaks at this time in the film. However, like any other scene, many aspects go into what makes a scene captivating. These aspects may adhere to the actors’ performances, camera angles, set design, CGI, script, action, and music. 

Music is perhaps one of the most important elements in creating a scene since it can either make or break the experience. Sometimes, some of the best scenes wouldn’t have been nearly as interesting if it weren’t for the music chosen. With that being said, here are the top five film scenes set to music. 

5. Mario and Luigi vs Bowser

The Super Mario Bros. Movie is a great time all around. Veteran fans who have grown up with the games since the 1980s and all other fans can easily enjoy this experience together without actually having to play any of the games. Part of the charm of this film is several of the references to all the Mario games across the entire franchise. The best part is that some of these references are cleverly tied into the plot, like Luigi’s Mansion and Mario Kart. But perhaps the best part of this film is the music accompanying these scenes, which also spans all the games. The entire score is loaded with great tracks, so any fan would agree that it’s really difficult to choose just one to name as their favorite. Some great renditions include the underground-level theme from the original Super Mario Bros. game when Mario and Luigi are in the sewers and the Mario Kart 8 Deluxe theme when Mario, Peach, Toad, and Donkey Kong design their karts. 

However, most would agree that the single best moment with music would have to be the fight between Mario, Luigi, and Bowser. At the height of the film, there is a showdown between the three of them in the streets of New York City, where Mario and Luigi take the Super Star from Bowser and take turns beating Bowser to a pulp. While this happens, an orchestrated version of the famous Super Star theme plays, making for a rather exhilarating experience. Not only is this an entertaining scene, but the music also adds a lot of anticipation and emphasizes the Mario Brothers’ significant growth in power compared to Bowser.

Sometimes, music makes the scene. Here are the top five scenes in movies set to music. "Super Mario Bros" (1993) the movie stars Mario and Luigi.
Image courtesy of Hollywood Pictures.

4. Godzilla’s Final Stand in Godzilla Minus One

Godzilla Minus One is certainly not like any typical Godzilla film. While it does have a lower budget, it is arguably much more emotionally impactful since it does not rely so much on CGI. However, despite its lower budget, this film essentially flips the script on Godzilla films, as it emphasizes the true terror of the gargantuan beast through its characters and music. There are a few scenes in the movie that do an excellent job of showing just how fearsome this creature is with its music. First is when Kōichi Shikishima and a boat crew seek out Godzilla to stall for time while they wait for decommissioned Japanese battle cruisers to arrive and defeat Godzilla. During this sequence, Godzilla emerges from the ocean and pursues the small boat crew. Here, the music plays a slow and deep tune as the boat crew struggles to escape. This music adds another layer of fear and tension. It captures how they are on the brink of death and how their small ship is barely fast enough to keep their distance from Godzilla’s massive jaws. 

The second scene would be the final action scene where humanity prepares to drown Godzilla. As they approach the titan, uncertain of their success, the classic Godzilla theme begins to play. While the theme plays, scenes of Japanese warships get loaded with weaponry, and they make haste to sail toward Godzilla. These scenes, paired with the classic Godzilla theme, work to emphasize the climax of the film, where themes of bravery and hope in the midst of imminent danger are most prevalent. Not only that, but it mixes aspects of the original King Kong vs. Godzilla (1961) and Mothra (1961) soundtracks, which is a callback for veteran fans who remember Godzilla as a true menace to humanity. With this track, the scene successfully reminds viewers of the true terror that is Godzilla, which is often easy to forget from the depictions of him in Legendary’s films. 

Sometimes, music makes the scene. Here are the top five scenes in movies set to music. Godzilla in "Godzilla Minus One."
Image courtesy of Robot Communications and Toho Company.

3. Miles Morales’ Leap of Faith

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse completely revolutionized the film industry, not only for new and veteran Spider-Man fans alike but also for animation as a whole. It was the first time anyone had seen a superhero film depicted with a comic book-like art style. The film presents a wealth of bright colors, mixes different art styles, and even implements unique special effects, like giving Miles Morales a lower frame rate than other Spidey characters. All of these elements helped emphasize Miles’ journey to becoming Spider-Man and his struggle to accept the risks it takes to be a superhero fully. But there is one scene in particular that encapsulates these themes in an exciting way through its use of music. 

Towards the film’s end, Miles finally breaks free from the web of his fears of fighting back. Shown through a short montage, Miles faces his fear of heights, consults Aunt May for a new suit, and sits at the edge of a building on the brink of staying behind and overcoming his fear. While this is happening, the song “What’s Up Danger” by Blackway and Black Caviar eases in, illustrating Miles’ internal struggle to step outside his comfort zone.  At last, Miles pushes off the building as the song crescendos, expressing the bravery it takes to face danger even when there is little guarantee of survival. Here, Miles webs through the city with a renewed sense of confidence in himself, sealing his understanding of what it takes to become the new Spider-Man. 

Sometimes, music makes the scene. Here are the top five scenes in movies set to music. Jake Johnson voices Peter Parker and Shameik Moore as Miles Morales in "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse."
Image courtesy of Columbia Pictures and Marvel Entertainment.

2. Pedro Pascal and Nicolas Cage’s Drugged Joyride 

Sometimes, the best scenes in movies are those with a quick and simple joke that doesn’t require the actors to speak a single word. A perfect example is from the film The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, starring Nicolas Cage and Pedro Pascal. The premise of the film is that Nicolas Cage, who is playing a fictionalized version of himself, is struggling to remain relevant in Hollywood. Soon, he receives a call from naive screenplay writer Javi (played by Pascal), who asks Nick to review and star in his first screenplay. 

At one point in the film, Nick and Javi are so invested in their friendship that Javi trusts Nick enough to share a dose of LSD. As one would expect, the two begin to go off the rails. They make an absurd assumption that strangers have been watching them, try to run away from said strangers and try and fail to climb over a wall. But hands down, the most popular scene would have to be when they are in a car driving around town. While driving, the song “Make Your Own Kind of Music” by Cass Elliot begins to play as Nick turns to Javi, who shoots back the goofiest grin on his face. This song in this scene emphasizes the intense high the drug gives them and, as a whole, the comedic tone of the film despite the dangerous situation that both characters are placed in. Not only that, but it has earned the title of one of the most popular memes in modern cinema. 

Top five music scenes - Sometimes, music makes the scene. Here are the top five scenes in movies set to music. Nicholas Cage and Pedro Pascal star in "The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent."
Image courtesy of Lionsgate Films.

1. Rocket, Yondu, and Groot vs the Ravagers

Last but certainly not least, one of the best movie scenes involving music would have to be Rocket, Yondu, and Baby Groot’s final stand against the Ravagers. In The Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, the trio finds themselves locked up in Yondu’s ravager ship. Taserface has overthrown Yondu, but Kraglin hasn’t given up on Yondu and hatches a plan with the three of them to set them free. What follows next is unbridled, unrelenting chaos. The scene begins with a Ravager shaving off his facial hair when he hears a speaker turning on. The song “Come a Little Bit Closer” by Jay and the Americans starts to play, and two guards stationed nearby investigate where the music is playing from. 

To their surprise, they find Rocket adjusting a new fin on top of Yondu’s head, with Groot standing idly by. Without hesitation, the Ravagers aim their guns at them, but before they can get a shot, Yondu commands his arrow to kill them. From this moment forward, Jay Traynor, the lead singer, begins to sing the lyrics as Yondu picks at his teeth. Despite the cheerful tune of the song, it ironically signifies Yondu’s anger and wrath to those who decide to cross him. In other words, whenever the characters hear Peter Quill’s music, they know they are in for a heap of trouble. The rest of the scene follows the three of them going on a murder rampage as Yondu sends his arrow flying from one room to the next, killing dozens upon dozens of grunts. The grunts rain down in slow motion as the song continues to play its jaunty tune, making for a rather hilarious scene. In the final shot of their chaos, Rocket and Yondu enter a room full of cameras that they use to their advantage to identify multiple Ravagers heading their way. Here, the music crescendos, and a beautiful shot follows with Yondu’s arrow zipping around and Rocket shooting as many grunts as he can. 

Sometimes, music makes the scene. Here are the top five scenes in movies set to music. Chris Pratt stars as Peter Quill and Dave Bautista stars as Drax in "Guardians of the Galaxy: Volume 2."
Image courtesy of Marvel Studios.

Music is Everything in Films

Overall, these scenes illustrate how music has a significant impact on the way they are perceived in movies. Choosing the right type of music can go a long way in expressing how a moment is meant to be felt. Scenes with dramatic and upbeat melodies signify that there is an intense action scene that is about to happen. It could also mean that the main characters have overcome their challenges and have reached a new level of power or understanding about the world. Meanwhile, slow and lower-pitched melodies signify danger and how there is little hope for survival. This type of music adds another layer of tension to the scene, and if done right, it can easily make a scene unnerving. Without these songs, it can be difficult to say whether or not these films would have been as successful as they are now. 

The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent | Official Lionsgate Trailer

Source: Dead Talk Live

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Marc Agbayani's favorite genres to write are fantasy, science fiction, horror, action,n and mystery. His inspiration for writing stems from his love of various forms of pop culture, such as the film series Star Wars by George Lucas and the video game series The Legend of Zelda by Shigeru Miyamoto. In his free time, he enjoys writing, reading, listening to music, going to the gym, and hosting game nights with friends

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My name is Reya Krishna, and I’m currently a Journalism student at the University of North Texas. Writing is one of my biggest passions, and working in entertainment as an editorial writer is my dream. Be sure to check out my Instagram (@shreyakrii_) to be updated with other pursuits of mine!