Anachronistic music, gotta love it

Music and film can be the most wonderful of pairs. Sometimes it may not make sense chronologically, but damn if there aren’t some films where the mismatched eras combine into something awesome. Here are some of my favorites.

5. Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid

C’mon, how could you not love Burt Bacharach’s deliciously 1960s musical accompaniment to one of the coolest westerns ever made? Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head may be what comes to mind for most, but it’s the South American getaway music that gets my cool sensors tingling.

4. The Sting

Yea yea, another George Roy Hill film. This time around he uses Scott Joplin’s turn of the century ragtime music to evoke the 1930s gangster era, and it does so gloriously.

3. Moulin Rouge!

It feels a little weird to include a musical on a list like this, because it’s just the nature of the genre to have anachronistic music. But screw it, I love Moulin Rouge. The whole film is just spectacular, but the first time we’re introduced to the Moulin Rouge still stands as one of the most engrossing film moments I’ve ever experienced.

2. Baby It’s You

The third film from indy marvel John Sayles may be a tad uneven and melodramatic, but damn if it doesn’t have one hell of a character introduction. The Sheik’s entrance to the beat of Bruce Springsteen’s It’s Hard to Be a Saint in the City just oozes cool and speaks to the timeless voice of the boss himself. We couldn’t find a video clip online, so here’s a rockin’ live version from 1975.

1. Inglorious Basterds

I’m not sure there’s anyone else out there with the ability to combine such randomly awesome music with brilliant images the way Tarantino does. The first time I saw this scene I almost couldn’t believe my eyes and ears..David Bowie..Nazis..pure genius.

Western #11: For a Few Dollars More (1965)

screenshot.118

I think this might be my favorite of the trilogy. Lee Van Cleef is pure awesome as ‘The Man in Black’ , it has the most compelling story, and El Indio is a fantastic villain. It’s funny how The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly gets all of the notoriety, it’s still one of the greatest westerns ever — but it For a Few Dollars More is the only film that comes close to the level of Once Upon a Time in the West. It’s an operatic, awesome, beautiful film and it’s definitely a must see.

Grade: A+

Western #10: Joe Kidd (1972)

joe kidd

I’m sort of indifferent towards this film. It has Clint Eastwood and Robert Duvall in it, and it should be awesome — but it isn’t. Meh. It’s also directed by John Sturges and written by Elmore Leonard, which makes it even more disappointing. There’s cool shootouts, I guess. Yay?

Grade: C

Western #9: A Fistful of Dollars (1964)

fistful of dollars

As far as Spaghetti Western remakes of Yojimbo, I think I slightly prefer Sergio Corbucci’s Django over this film. It’s just got that little bit of ridiculousness that pushes it into “oh my god this is awesome” territory. Fistful of Dollars is still pretty great, even though it is the lesser of the trilogy. What’s funny is most of what I knew about this film before I saw it came from Back to the Future III, so I can’t help but think of Marty McFly during certain scenes — or the whole thing. Regardless, it’s still a fun time. Clint Eastwood is badass.