Movie references in music

Chambalis-Upcoming-OST2.jpgMovies and music sometimes go together like a troll and a bridge. And so, every once in a while, I’ll listen to a song on my Ipod and squeal like a fangirl when a movie reference comes up. So, I’ve decided to do a list of my favorite movie references in some of my favorite pop songs. Get ready to have some awesome tunes stuck in your head!

Highschool Confidential by Rough Trade – ‘Anita Ekberg and Mamie Van Doren’ Killer combo. Rough Trade are MASSIVELY underrated, by the way. Check them out if you get the chance.

Celluloid Heroes by The Kinks – The whole song is a heartfelt love letter to old Hollywood. Ray Davies is my spirit animal, I tells ya.

Vienna by Ultravox – The whole song and music video were strongly influenced by The Third Man (1949) and film noir in general.

Key Largo by Bertie Higgins – This is one of the cheesiest songs ever, but I can kind of tolerate it, simply because of the line ‘We had it all, just like Bogie and Bacall’. Ahh, how lovely.

Notorious by Duran Duran – Named after the Hitchcock film. Also, there’s another song on the album called Vertigo, so we can safely say they’re Hitch fans

China Girl by David Bowie – ‘I feel a-tragic like I’m Marlon Brando’. I hope they’re both having a wonderful time together in Heaven

Wake me up before you go-go by Wham! – ‘You make the sun shine brighter than Doris Day’

What would Katharine Hepburn say? by Sparks – Sparks were a pretty cool band and I have a particular affection for this song

This Joke Isn’t Funny Anymore by The Smiths – The lyric ‘I’ve seen this happen in other people’s lives and now it’s happening in ours’ is a line from Alice Adams (1935)

And my all-time favorite movie reference:

Vogue by Madonna – If it wasn’t for that song, I wouldn’t have become a classic movie junkie. I’ve always been a huge Madonna fan and when I heard that song, I used to think ‘Who are those people she’s talking about?’. So I googled them, and the rest as they say…

So there you have it! There’s loads more but these are just some of my favorites. Hope you enjoyed the list and feel free to share some more in the comments.


21 thoughts on “Movie references in music

  1. Mike

    nice mixture of films and music which are 2 of your loves 🙂 – might be stretching it but can include ” that book by Nabakov” from “don’t stand so close so me” as “Lolita” was also a film ..

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Movie references in music, part II – The Old Hollywood Garden

  3. Pingback: Movies references in music, part 3 – The Old Hollywood Garden

  4. Pingback: Classic movie references in classic movies part 1 – The Old Hollywood Garden

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