The Film Professor is also an avid listener of music, especially Classical and Jazz and Opera.  I would add to that list, for me, Blues and Folk and 70’s Rock.  But I digress.  As regards movies, music, or better put sound (think Raging Bull), at times has a greater impact on the film experience then do the images we are watching.  In this section, we will therefore highlight great music scores as well as films that, in our opinion, make particularly important use of sound.

La Bamba

Story of Ritchie Valens, 1950’s star.  Lou Diamond Phillips is really good and the music will make you move!

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Oliver! 

I am going to combine my love of the music in this film with our approaching holidays…and then sprinkle in the fact that, apparently, because I looked just like the lead in the film, the movie made my Aunt Rose cry every time she saw it.  Oliver!, made in 1968, is the tale of a boy who runs away from an orphanage only to take up running with a group of boys trained to be pickpockets by an elderly mentor.

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Good Morning Vietnam

My favorite Robin Williams movie.  One of my favorite soundtracks.  A story that remarkably resonates today on a number of important levels and topics. 

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Pulp Fiction 

Ok, let’s be honest here:  this was one of those films that, because of the way I was raised, I forced myself to watch several time before I came to really like the movie.

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Dreamgirls

Admittedly a bit formulaic (three young African American women with talent form a group for fun only to be taken over by a manager who eventually comes to dominate them and put their dreams at risk), Dreamgirls has (1) a terrific cast and (2) incredible music.  If you are not moving to…

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West Side Story

This recommendation is for my brother, who is a lover of musicals: West Side Story. One of the great soundtracks ever, and it has held up remarkably well. Try not snapping your fingers and humming a song or two from the movie when you are finished. Click on the play…

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Sound City

Outstanding documentary, coupled with an equally terrific soundtrack.   Sound City takes viewers back to perhaps the greatest, and certainly the least heard of, recording studio; a studio that housed what came to be viewed as the most unique, and remarkable, sound console in the world.  Turn this one up! Click…

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Searching for Sugarman

Besides an incredible soundtrack, if the true story of what this musician overcame does not give you goose bumps, you have issues! Click the play button for a sample:

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The Last Waltz

Could be, overall, my favorite musical documentary. The movie, directed by Martin Scorsese, captures the final concert of The Band, and the surreal cast of musicians who joined them on stage that night. If the closing scene/song does not give you chills, you have issues. Click the play button for…

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Muscle Shoals

Pitched as a documentary about one of the most famous music studies of all time, located in, wait for it, Muscle Shoals Alabama, what I took away ultimately from the film is that if everyone who got along in that building at that time could get along, then so can…

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