Movies about Music

Thursday, May 12, 2011 at 6:29 am

Music is an important part of our lives, and certain songs will always be associated with specific moments (both good and bad). And thanks to these good movies about music, you can enjoy some of your favorite tunes while learning a little about the men and women behind them. For even more options, be sure to check out such films as Tender Mercies, 8 Mile, and The Five Heartbeats.

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Crossroads (1986) – Ralph Macchio stars as a music student who busts a blues legend (Joe Seneca) out of a hospital and heads to Mississippi in search of Robert Johnson’s missing song. Along the way, he encounters romance (courtesy of Jami Gertz) and engages in a climactic guitar duel for his soul (against famed guitarist Steve Vai).

That Thing You Do! (1996) – Featuring an infectiously catchy title track, this film directed by Tom Hanks follows the rise and eventual implosion of The Wonders, a one-hit wonder rock band from 1960’s Pennsylvania. Starring Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Tom Hanks, Steve Zahn, and Johnathon Schaech.

Sid and Nancy (1986) – Gary Oldman makes an early movie appearance as Sid Vicious, the bassist for The Sex Pistols. While the rise and fall of the band is shown, the film instead focuses on Sid’s rather unhealthy and ultimately doomed relationship with girlfriend Nancy Spungen (Chloe Webb). Courtney Love has a small role, and keep your eyes peeled for the members of Guns N’ Roses as extras.

A Mighty Wind (2003) – The first of two movies with Christopher Guest to make this list, A Might Wind was written and directed by the British comic and tells the story of several folk bands who reunite for a tribute concert. Starring Guest, Harry Shearer, Michael McKean, Jane Lynch, Catherine O’Hara, Fred Willard, and Eugene Levy.

The Last Waltz (1978) – One of the most highly regarded movies about music, The Last Waltz presents what was supposed to be the last concert ever for rock group The Band. Directed by Martin Scorsese, The Band is joined onstage by Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Emmylou Harris, and many more.

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This Is Spinal Tap (1984) – Director Rob Reiner helped popularize the mockumentary with this comedic look at a heavy metal band trying for a comeback while dealing with numerous setbacks. The hilarious soundtrack contains songs like “Sex Farm” and “Big Bottoms,” and the cast includes comic geniuses such as Christopher Guest, Michael McKean, and Harry Shearer.

Dreamgirls (2006) – The history of the R&B scene is followed through the ‘60s and ‘70s, and the experiences of girl group The Dreamettes is heavily drawn from that of The Supremes. Adapted from the 1981 Broadway musical, the Oscar-winning film stars Jamie Foxx, Beyonce Knowles, Eddie Murphy, and Jennifer Hudson.

Sweet Dreams (1985) – Jessica Lange plays Patsy Cline, and this biographical film follows her rise from playing smoky bars to being one of the most popular female country singers who ever lived. Ed Harris co-stars as her abusive husband.

Walk the Line (2005) – Joaquin Phoenix stars as country music legend Johnny Cash in this story of his early career. Nominated for five Academy Awards, including a Best Actress win for Reese Witherspoon as Cash’s wife, June Carter.

Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story (2007) – Parodying the music industry in general and films such as The Doors and Walk the Line, Walk Hard follows the lengthy career of Dewey Cox (John C. Reilly), a performer who rubs elbows with the likes of The Beatles and Elvis Presley (played by Jack White of The White Stripes). Co-starring Jenna Fischer and Tim Meadows. Co-written and co-produced by Judd Apatow.

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That concludes our look at some of the best movies about music. While this list is far from complete, it should serve as a good starting point for those wanting an entertainment option that’s pleasing to the ears as well as the eyes.

This entry was posted on Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 6:29 am and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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