The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series, Song to Song
As heard in the movies
By Kimberley Jones, Fri., May 19, 2017
Singular SoundtracksMatch the lyric with the song with the artist with the movie.
We're coming to the edge/ Running on the water/ Coming through the fog/ Your sons and daughters
We'd like to know a little bit about you for our files/ We'd like to help you learn to help yourself
You know love is better than a song
Well, you can tell by the way I use my walk/ I'm a woman's man: no time to talk
Tell me, doctor, where are we going this time?/ Is this the Fifties, or 1999?
"Don't Be Shy"
"Back in Time"
"Let the River Run"
Simon & Garfunkel
Huey Lewis & the News
Harold & Maude
Back to the Future
Saturday Night Fever
Famous Composer Count
Wishing & Wanting
It's as regular as dead moms and wiseacre sidekicks in the Disney film canon – the so-called "I Wish" song, in which the protagonist expresses a deep yearning for something just out of reach, which will drive the narrative forward, as in when a certain flame-haired mermaid warbles "wish I could be part of that world." Disney didn't invent the trope, which has long been a staple of musicals and is alternately known as the "I Want" song – just ask Eliza Doolittle: "All I want is a room somewhere/ Far away from the cold night air." Here are a few of our favorite wishing and wanting songs on deck this summer at the Paramount.
I wish I had, I wish I had/ The secret of good, and the secret of bad
– "I Wish, I Wish" from Harold & Maude
My heart wants to beat like the wings of the birds/ That rise from the lake to the trees/My heart wants to sigh like a chime that flies/ From a church on a breeze
– "The Hills Are Alive" from The Sound of Music
I could while away the hours, conferrin' with the flowers/ Consultin' with the rain/ And my head I'd be scratchin' while my thoughts were busy hatchin'/ If I only had a brain
– "If I Only Had a Brain" from The Wizard of Oz
Just because I'm presumin' that I could be kind of human/ If I only had a heart/ I'd be tender, I'd be gentle and awful sentimental/ Regarding love and art
– "If I Only Had a Heart" from The Wizard of Oz
But I could show my prowess, be a lion not a mowess/ If I only had the nerve
– "If I Only Had the Nerve" from The Wizard of Oz
I want the world/ I want the whole world/ I want to lock it all up in my pocket/ It's my bar of chocolate/ Give it to me now!
– "I Want It Now" from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory
Shoot the Moon
Old dream maker, you heartbreaker/ Wherever you're goin', I'm goin' your way
– "Moon River" from Breakfast at Tiffany's
Audrey Hepburn had been burned before. She'd had her vocals in My Fair Lady replaced with Marni Nixon's. According to Sam Wasson's Breakfast at Tiffany's book, Fifth Avenue, 5 A.M., there was talk of tapping Nixon again to sing the film's now-iconic ballad "Moon River." But Hepburn's tender, vulnerable delivery won everyone over – everyone except Paramount head Marty Rackin, who declared, "I love the picture, fellas, but the fucking song has to go." Accounts vary on what happened next, but I prefer composer Henry Mancini's version: "Audrey shot right up out of her chair and said, 'Over my dead body!'"
Lyle Lovett, The Player
Dolly Parton, 9 to 5
Rudy Vallée, The Palm Beach Story
Dorothy Comingore, Citizen Kane
Irene Dunne, The Awful Truth
Andy Griffith, A Face in the Crowd
Deborah Kerr, An Affair to Remember
Sissy Spacek, Coal Miner's Daughter
ACTOR-SINGERS ACTING AND SINGING
Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music
Jennifer Lopez, Selena
Elvis Presley, Jailhouse Rock
Two Astaire and Rogers musicals, two No. 1 hit songs written by two great American songsmiths – and written especially for Fred Astaire. Written in one day, in the case of Irving Berlin's "Cheek to Cheek," a lilting ballad as silky as Astaire's footwork. For its Top Hat number, Ginger Rogers wore a white dress bedecked in ostrich feathers that shed all over the dance floor, driving Astaire so batty he made up parody lyrics for the tune "with apologies to Mr. B" – Feathers, I hate feathers/ And I hate them so that I can hardly speak. Cole Porter's "Night and Day," written for the original stage production of Gay Divorce and brought to screen in 1934's The Gay Divorcee, was another pitch-woo song, but decidedly more sexy and thrumming, "like the beat beat beat of the tom-tom, when the jungle shadows fall." Berlin was a fan: In a 1933 letter to his friend Porter, he wrote, "I am mad about 'Night and Day,' and I think it is your high spot."
Exit Music (for a Film)
"Livin' Thing" by ELO, Boogie Nights
"Dead Flowers" performed by Townes Van Zandt, The Big Lebowski
"Tenderness" by General Public, Clueless
"Cheek to Cheek" performed by Fred Astaire, The Purple Rose of Cairo
"The Faithful Hussar," Paths of Glory
Also Sprach Zarathustra by Richard Strauss, 2001: A Space Odyssey
"Mickey Mouse March," Full Metal Jacket
The Paramount Summer Classic Film Series runs May 25-Sept. 2 at the Paramount Theatre and Stateside at the Paramount. For complete series lineup, see the Paramount website.