Sometimes, films just stick with you. A lot of the time it’s a specific plot, or a cast member, or even a killer scene that is simply mesmerising.
This feature is inspired by those majestic scenes, but with more of a focus on soundtrack that gives the movie its finishing touch. This is the second episode in this music feature, and there’s another focus on a particular genre…
Episode two in this feature is all about those killer musical movies. We will look all the way back to 1978 for one movie and the other two will be just a couple of years ago. Now may we add, with this trio, we are not by any means saying these are the best three songs from any musical film ever – it is merely us saying these songs really make the scenes boom. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Another Day of Sun (Justin Hurwitz) – La La Land (2016)
For an opening musical sequence, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land in 2016 starring Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling is up there with the best. It was so ambitious to film it all in one take and ensure everyone involved knew their roles. A little behind-the-scenes nugget of information for you, there was only approximately 30 dancers and the rest were CGI-ed in!
Anyway, Justin Hurwitz’s Another Day of Sun is a toe-tapping number and one that will live long in the memory. It provides the perfect opening sequence for La La Land, letting the viewers know exactly what to expect over the next two hours. The whole song doesn’t even include any of the protagonists, but just a talented ensemble ensuring we get off to an all-singing and all-dancing start. Watch the scene in its entirety below.
Saturday Night’s Alright (Elton John & Bernie Taupin) – Rocketman (2019)
This is actually very similar to the La La Land opener. This Rocketman sequence is around 4 minutes long and includes a huge ensemble too as we see Taron Egerton for the first time portraying the flamboyant superstar, Elton John. The Saturday Night’s Alright scene is one of the strongest in the whole movie, only beaten by the titular track sequence later on in the film.
Elton John & Bernie Taupin’s classic is brought to life in such an interesting way. It’s captivating with the different musicality it offers as the song progresses. We see it begin on a piano with a young Elton, then we see it progress into the street with a bit more oomph and then we see choreographed manoeuvres left, right and centre around a fairground. This bit of cinema is a marvel, and well worth 300 seconds of your life.
Summer Nights (Jim Jacobs, Warren Casey) – Grease (1978)
Where do we start with this one? What a classic of epic proportions. This was a hit back then, and still a hit 40 years on. You cannot go to a wedding without an Uncle requesting this bad boy on the dance floor. Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey knew exactly what they were doing when penning this definitive tune.
With the Summer Nights scene in Grease, it’s a choreographed masterpiece. The cast move and groove in time perfectly throughout, making the most of the toe-tapping beat and the angelic harmonies. The whole movie is a joy to be honest, and certainly a favourite of ours – but there is just something about this timeless scene. We can all relate to it in a weird way when growing up, and the song really elevates the whole sequence. You cannot watch that section without a smile on your face. Go on, try it below.