Thursday, September 2, 2021

Thursday Movie Picks #373: Best Score and Best Original Song (Oscar edition)

This being Thursday, it's time for another edition of Thursday Movie Picks, the blogathon run by Wandering Through the Shelves. This being the first Thursday of the month, we get another Oscar-themed edition of the blogathon. This time out, the categories are Best Original Score and Best Original Song. I decided to mix and match between the two categories so that I could have a theme within a theme, and picked one score and two songs. Other people are going to stick to one category, or pick three winners from each of the categories. And this time, I've also included the awards clips that the Academy has put up on Youtube:

Midnight Express (1978). Based on a true story, the movie stars Brad Davis as Billy Hayes, an American sentenced to prison in Turkey for drug possession, finding out that Turkish prisons are extremely brutal. The movie won two Oscars, one for Oliver Stone's screenplay and the other for Giorgio Moroder's original score.

Flashdance (1983). Jennifer Beals plays a young woman who works at a steel mill by day but has dremes of becoming a ballerina despite having no training. She works by night as a dancer in one of those night spots where they definitely don't do ballet. The movie won an Oscar for the Best Original Song, "Flashdance... What a Feeling", co-written by Irene Cara (her first Oscar; she sang the Oscar-winning song "Fame" but the Oscar goes to the songwriters) and Giorgio Moroder.

Top Gun (1986). Tom Cruise, Val Kilmer, and others play naval aviators at the TOPGUN school for would-be elite fighter pilots. Cruise and instructor Kelly McGillis start a romantic relationship which is highly frowned upon. The movie won an Oscar for the Best Original Song, "Take My Breath Away", co-written by Tom Whitlock and Giorgio Moroder.


joel65913 said...

Midnight Express is such a gripping film but it's been years since I've seen it, the intensity of the story isn't something that lends itself to frequent viewing, and have only vague memories of the score.

Yikes Flashdance!! Such a silly movie but it was ridiculously successful for a time and the music was everywhere.

I don't think I've seen Top Gun since it came out, at least front to back it was everywhere on TV in the 90's so you could but help to see snippets, but like Flashdance Take My Breath Away was ubiquitous on the radio for what seemed like decades! A decent song though it soon grew old.

I did a theme within the theme as well choosing three title tunes that won (the third is a stretch) and also found success on the music charts.

The Way We Were (1973)-Fiery, opinionated Katie Morosky (Barbra Streisand) meets handsome goyish guy Hubbell Gardiner (Robert Redford) in college during the 30’s. While he admires her moxie and she his writing talent they move in different circles. As WWII is winding down, they meet again and despite their vast differences they fall in love and marry but those very differences eventually tear their relationship asunder. Both the film and the title tune by Marvin Hamlisch, Alan & Marilyn Bergman were gigantic hits, the Streisand’s recording of the song going to # 1 on Billboard as well as winning the Grammy as Record of the Year.

The Days of Wine and Roses (1962)-Gut wrenching chronicle of young couple Joe & Kirsten Clay’s (Jack Lemmon & Lee Remick-both Oscar nominated) descent into blackout alcoholism. Fittingly for something so dark the title song by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer has a mournful quality but a soulful lilting beauty. Recorded by many artists it reached # 9 on the Billboard charts.

The Joker is Wild aka All the Way (1957)-Joe E. Lewis (played by Frank Sinatra) was a rising singer on the Chicago nightclub scene of the Roaring Twenties until he angered a mob boss by switching clubs. In retaliation the mobster has Lewis’s throat cut, slashing his vocal cords and therefore his career. He slowly worked his way back as a comic over the next decade. Sinatra’s recording of All the Way written by Jimmy Van Heusen and Sammy Cahn was so popular (# 2 on the Billboard charts) the film was retitled to match it upon re-release.

Ted S. (Just a Cineast) said...

The Flashdance craze also brought us the frightening knockoff It's Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown.

Brittani Burnham said...

Take My Breath Away is a great song. I never saw Flashdance but I'm familiar with the music.

Sara said...

I've never seen Flashdance but What a Feeling is an iconic song! Love Take My Breath Away as well.

Cinematic Delights said...

Interesting picks, Ted. I've watched Midnight Express but must admit I don't remember much of the score. Classic Eighties with your other two.

ThePunkTheory said...

I almost picked Flashdance myself! :-D

Birgit said...

Great choices and I liked seeing Johnny Carson and Dean Martin. The Welch outfit was very different but I liked it because it speaks of the times. Midnight Express is a gripping film but haven’t seen it in eons. I never could watch Flashdance but what an iconic movie for the music and The outfits. I never watched Top Gun either but love that song.