Best Movies of All Time + Wizard of Oz


I've been meaning to do this post for a while now, and I finally sat down and compiled the list. Basically, I'm running down my twenty-five favorite songs from movies from all of cinematic history - but I'm only using songs that were written specifically for a particular movie (or stage musical adapted to film). If I went with any song ever used in a movie, I'd overwhelm myself - I mean, that list would definitely include The Animals's "House of the Rising Sun" as seen in 1995's Casino. But I digress... This list will not include any songs from animated Disney films as I've already done a separate blog just specifically for my favorite Disney songs. I only picked one song from any particular movie, and that proved to be quite a struggle. Many of these songs come from musical films with amazing soundtracks, so picking just one song was rather difficult. Also, some of the songs do have strong language, so just know that going in. But that being said, here's my list. I hope you like it!

25. "Will You Be There"
Performed by: Michael Jackson
Free Willy (1993)

This song just brings back so many nostalgic memories of one of my favorite childhood films. And you knew I wasn't going to leave MJ off this list.

24. "Mist and Shadow"
Performed by: Billy Boyd
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King (2003)

You'd be hard-pressed to find this song hidden on the film's soundtrack, but it's one of the strongest scenes in an already great movie.

23. "Kickapoo"
Performed by: Tenacious D feat. Meat Loaf & Ronnie James Dio
Tenacious D in: The Pick of Destiny (2006)

"Kickapoo" is the opening number from Tenacious D's film, and it opens up with fantastic vocal cameos. It almost has that rock opera feel to it as well.

22. "Men in Tights"
Performed by: Ensemble
Robin Hood: Men in Tights (1993)

Who doesn't burst into laughter whenever this song starts playing? There's some good songs in this movie, but "Men in Tights" takes the cake.

21. "Stu's Song"
Performed by: Ed Helms
The Hangover (2009)

What DO tigers dream of when they take a little tiger snooze?

20. "Pure Imagination"
Performed by: Gene Wilder
Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory (1970)

Willy Wonka's song early in the film sets the stage for the wonder we're about to experience. It really is "pure imagination."

19. "Snakes on a Plane (Bring It)"
Performed by: Cobra Starship
Snakes on a Plane (2006)

Yes, this song is ridiculous, and some may call it downright terrible. But it was incredibly catchy at the time of the film's release, and it has stuck with me since.

18. "Fever Dog"
Performed by: Stillwater
Almost Famous (2000)

How can I keep the fictional rock band Stillwater off this list, especially when they've got a song as good as "Fever Dog"?

17. "La Resistance Medley"
Performed by: Ensemble
South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999)

Because I couldn't really decide which song I liked most from the South Park movie, I went with the one that brings them all together in medley form.

16. "(I've Had) The Time of My Life"
Performed by: Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes
Dirty Dancing (1987)

Yes, this is a very good song - Oscar winning, in fact - and it definitely belongs on anyone's list of favorite movie songs. This one's for you, Dréa!

15. "Hail, Holy Queen"
Performed by: Ensemble
Sister Act (1992)

I probably like this song a lot more than I should, but when my church's choir sings it every once in a while, I've grown to love it more and more.

14. "Chim Chim Cher-ee"
Performed by: Dick Van Dyke & Julie Andrews
Mary Poppins (1964)

There's a ton of fantastic music in this Disney venture, but our chimney sweep song is just too good to pass, terrible accent and all.

13. "Professional Pirate"
Performed by: Tim Curry & Ensemble
Muppet Treasure Island (1996)

Those of you who know me know that I have a tiny obsession with Tim Curry, so when he pops up in a very good Muppet film with a stirring solo, I'm not going to pass it by.

12. "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow"
Performed by: The Soggy Bottom Boys
O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

The only way this song could possibly be better is if George Clooney were actually providing the lead vocals. Doesn't take away from its amazing-ness, though.

11. "Blazing Saddles"
Performed by: Frankie Laine
Blazing Saddles (1974)

This is one of the most stirring and memorable theme songs I've ever heard, and I just love it. Kudos, Frankie Laine.

10. "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing"
Performed by: Aerosmith
Armageddon (1998)

Yes, Aerosmith wrote this song just for the film Armageddon, as evidenced by its Golden Globe nomination. It was one the biggest hits as I entered adolescence.

9. "Summer Nights"
Performed by: John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John & Ensemble
Grease (1978)

I really wanted to go with "Greased Lightning" here, but "Summer Nights" was too strong to ignore. It chronicles Danny and Sandy's love affair and leads them towards each other again. Too good!

8. "Hot Patootie/Bless My Soul"
Performed by: Meat Loaf & Ensemble
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

This was probably the toughest movie from which to pick a single song. I could've easily gone with "The Time Warp" or "Rose Tint My World," but Meat Loaf's lone number has to take the cake as my favorite in the film. Oh, and check out John Stamos's fantastic rendition from "Glee."

7. "Lose Yourself"
Performed by: Eminem
8 Mile (2002)

Eminem scored an Oscar for this song. If the Academy liked it enough to give HIM an award, then there must be something rather great about it.

6. "Leave"
Performed by: Glen Hansard
Once (2007)

I still maintain that this is one of the most emotionally-charged songs I've ever heard, from a movie or not. Seeing it in the movie is almost unbearable (for me).

5. "The Weary Kind"
Performed by: Ryan Bingham & T-Bone Burnett
Crazy Heart (2009)

It took me a little while to come around to this song, but I heard it one day, and it just struck a chord. The vocals are different, and the song's really simple, but the statement is brutally poignant.

4. "So Close"
Performed by: Jon McLaughlin
Enchanted (2007)

I know that this song made my other music list, but it's definitely good enough to reach across the aisle and make a splash here.

3. "Come What May"
Performed by: Ewan McGregor & Nicole Kidman
Moulin Rouge! (2001)

The best love song I've heard to date from a movie, bar only Aladdin's "A Whole New World."

2. "Singin' in the Rain"
Performed by: Gene Kelly
Singin' in the Rain (1952)

A Clockwork Orange may have tainted this song for me a little bit, but there's no denying that the titular song from Gene Kelly's 1952 vehicle is one of the most iconic in film history.

1. "Over the Rainbow"
Performed by: Judy Garland
The Wizard of Oz (1939)

If you're a lover of film, then there's no reason why you shouldn't absolutely love "Over the Rainbow." This is far and away my favorite movie song; nothing else even comes close. When those schoolkids performed it at the Academy Awards a month ago, it brought a tear to my eye. It's the quintessential movie song, and it's lasted over eighty years. That kind of staying power simply cannot be beat. So simple, and yet so brilliant.

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Relevant to: The Best: SONGS FROM FILM + Wizard of Oz