Every Top Ten list is subjective. It is a fact we know all too well but that still doesn’t stop us from arguing what are the greatest movies, songs, bands etc. of all-time. Which brings me to Spinner’s list of the 77 greatest movie songs. I agree with the majority of the songs featured on the list – not necessarily the order. I just don’t get what makes these songs “unforgettable.” (An EW.com blog post breaks down that very word here.)
My main complaint is that the earliest song selected is “Moon River” from 1961’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Apparently before 1961 there was no such thing as an “unforgettable movie song.”
My personal Top Ten list of “the greatest movie songs” first includes staples such as Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On” (Titanic 1995), Simple Minds’ “Don’t You Forget About Me” (The Breakfast Club, 1985), and Simon and Garfunkel’s “Mrs. Robinson” (The Graduate, 1967).
Then there are other favorites such as “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love Baby” from Bringing Up Baby:
“How Little We Know” from To Have and Have Not:
And easily my number one is “Que Sera Sera” from 1956 version of The Man Who Knew Too Much. More so than “I Can’t Give You Anything But Love Baby” or “How Little We Know,” this song is used brilliantly by Hitchcock during the film’s climactic sequence. Plus, it has a Doris Day performance and you can’t beat that. No wonder it won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1956.
For me, these three songs define “unforgettable movie song”, long before Celine ever even belted a note.
When the announcement was made several months ago that the Academy was upping the Best Picture nominees to 10 and removing the honorary and career awards from the telecast, I died a little on the inside. As a huge film nerd, I live for the lifetime achievement portion of any awards show, sometimes more than the actual awards themselves. Why? Because in a few years I won’t care what movie won Best Picture (unless it’s Crash; I’m still bitter about that) but I’ll always care about Blake Edwards, Robert Altman and Ennio Morricone – to name a few recent recipients – receiving an honorary statuette.
With the honorary awards bumped from the live telecast, the Governors Awards banquet has been created. Last night, Nov. 14, was the first such banquet. Lauren Bacall, Roger Corman, Gordon Willis and John Calley were honored.
But because there was no television coverage and limited press coverage, something remarkable has happened. These four honorees received a tribute equivalent (in time, at the very least) to the entire Academy Awards ceremony. (This NY Times blog post highlights the event much better than I can.)
Although these awards won’t been shown in full at the telecast, the honorees are finally receiving the respect they deserve from the industry in the form a semi-private affair. Finally the Academy is making something work out right.
Now about those 10 nominees for Best Picture…
Update: Cynical me has been proven wrong again. You can watch the acceptance speeches on the Oscars web site here.