This is part one of a two part issue of Kickin' it. Both will have to do with scenes from 80s movies. Part one will countdown my favorite scenes from 80s movies where the characters are singing. Part two will be my favorite scenes where the characters are dancing. These are two lists I have been holding for a while and thought this would be a good time to publish them.
So, we will start with "singing" scenes from 80s movies. First, I decided to rule out scenes involving real singers performing. This took Prince, The Blues Brothers, and Madonna (and others) out of the running. The scenes I considered could involve the characters actually singing and/or lip synching. Some of these songs could be included on both the singing and dancing lists, but I made the call on which list I would put them on. You really need to look at both lists together, so that is why I decided to call this a two part issue. Here is a link directly to part two which is the best "dancing" scenes from 80s movies (but read the singing list first).
Before I get to what I consider my best of the best, I thought I would give you a couple of the best of the worst. There are a couple singing scenes that are pretty bad, but I have always found funny. One is from Coming to America (1988) when "Randy Watson" played by Eddie Murphy sings "Greatest Love of All" accompanied by his band Sexual Chocolate. Here is a link to watch that scene. The other is from The Naked Gun (1988) when Leslie Nielsen's character, "Frank Drebin" pretends to be "Enrico Pallazzo" singing (butchering) our National Anthem prior to a baseball game. Here is a link to watch that scene. I thought both of those were worth mentioning though I just could not bring myself to include them on my list.
Now, here is OLD SCHOOL'S TOP 10 SINGING SCENES FROM 80's MOVIES (+Bonus 7):
Honorable Mention. 48 Hrs (1982) - The first scene introducing Eddie Murphy's character "Reggie Hammond" shows him sitting in a jail cell listening to his walkman (you know it's the 80s when someone is listening to a walkman). He is obviously listening to the song "Roxanne" by The Police because he is singing along at the top of his lungs. Here is a link to watch this scene.
17. Cocktail (1988) - Tom Cruise plays "Brian Flanagan" who is a bartender in New York City while going to school for his business degree. There is a scene where he has the entire bar singing along to Robert Palmer's classic "Addicted to Love." Here is a link to watch this scene.
16. Platoon (1986) - There is a scene when members of the platoon, including Charlie Sheen's character "Chris Taylor," are relaxing a little and listening to some music. They begin singing "Tracks of My Tears" by Smokey Robinson & The Miracles. It was always one of my favorite scenes in this film which won the Oscar for Best Picture. Sorry, but I could not find a link to this specific scene.
15. Streets of Fire (1984) - This film features a young Diane Lane playing the role of lead singer of Ellen Aim & the Attackers. She performs two songs really by the band Fire Inc with lead vocals by Holly Sherwood. The first is "Tonight Is What It Means to Be Young" and the other is "Nowhere Fast." Here is a link to watch "Nowhere Fast." It is interesting to see Diane Lane in that role after all these years. Then there is also a group in the movie called the Sorels which is made up of actors Stoney Jackson, Grand L. Bush, Mykelti Williamson and Robert Townsend. They sing Dan Hartman's hit song "I Can Dream About You" which is actually sung by Winston Ford for the film and lip-synched by Jackson. Here is a link to watch them sing that song in the film. This is a great song which would end up going to #6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and had much more success than Streets of Fire ever did.
14. Eddie and the Cruisers (1983) - Michael Paré stars as "Eddie Wilson" in this film based on the novel by P.F. Kluge. The song "On the Dark Side" is sung by John Caferty and the Beaver Brown Band, but performed by the fictitious band in the film. Here is a link to watch the video for that song. Nine months after the film was released in theaters, "On the Dark Side" would reach #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Another song that ended up being more successful than the film it came from.
13. The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989) - This is a fantastic movie starring Jeff and Beau Bridges as the piano playing Baker brothers. The real star of the movie, though, is Michelle Pfeiffer as singer "Susie Diamond" (for which she received an Oscar nomination for Best Actress). Pfeiffer amazingly sings herself in this movie and does it very well. I almost did not include this performance on this list because it was so professionally done (and that is probably why I have it ranked a little lower on the list). Great movie which I recommend and her is a link to watch the sexy scene featuring the song "Makin' Whoopee."
12. Stripes (1981) - There is a scene at the beginning of Basic Training when the group is learning to march. Bill Murray's character "John Winger" begins singing the Manfred Mann song "Do Wah Diddy Diddy" with Harold Ramis' character "Russell Zisky" joining in for the second verse. Here is a link to watch this scene.
11. Top Secret! (1984) - This film created by Zucker, Abrahams & Zucker is a parody of both the World War II and Elvis films. In his first feature film role, it stars Val Kilmer as "Nick Rivers" as an American pop singer who gets mixed up with a resistance movement while in East Germany. Typical gags and humor of other films like Airplane! and The Naked Gun. Val Kilmer actually sings the songs in the movie which all sound like Elvis, Little Richard or The Beach Boys. Here is a link to watch a scene where Kilmer performs a couple of these songs.
10. ¡Three Amigos! (1986) - I had previously announced this as ranked #100 on my Favorite 80's Movie list in my special 100th issue. There are several humorous songs written by Randy Newman in this movie, so I will give you links to two of them. First, here is a link to the amigos singing "Blue Shadows" and here is a link to the amigos performing "My Little Buttercup."
9. Revenge of the Nerds (1984) - This is one of my favorite 80's movies and it has a great scene towards the end when the Tri Lambs win the big Homecoming Talent Show with a special musical performance. It does not feature a lot of singing, but does include a rap by "Lamar." Here is a link to watch this scene.
8. Adventures in Babysitting (1987) - This movie stars Elisabeth Shue as "Chris Parker" and features a scene later in the movie where they perform the "Babysitter Blues," but that is not the scene that puts this movie on my list. It is the very first scene during the opening credits where Shue's character is singing along to "Then He Kissed Me" by The Crystals. I always had a crush on her, so I loved this scene and here is a link to watch it yourself.
7. Risky Business (1983) - This is the second of three appearances by Tom Cruise on this list. This movie includes the iconic scene of Cruise's character "Joel Goodson" dancing around in his underwear singing Bob Seger's "Old Time Rock and Roll." Here is a link to watch this scene. Could have been on Best Dancing Scenes list, but chose to put here instead.
6. Three Men and a Baby (1987) - The best part of this movie is a scene when the three guys played by Ted Danson, Tom Selleck and Steve Guttenberg, are trying to get the little baby to go to sleep. The sing the song "Goodnight, Sweetheart, Goodnight" by The Spaniels which I remember also as the ending song on the television show Sha Na Na. I'm not a huge fan of this movie, but this scene is pretty great and here is a link to watch it.
5. Back To the Future (1985) - This is an obvious choice. The scene when Michael J. Fox's character "Marty McFly" joins the band to sing the Chuck Berry classic "Johnny B. Goode" is a classic itself. Here is a link to watch this scene.
4. Top Gun (1986) - There are two scenes from this movie involving singing which I particularly enjoy. The first one is obvious when Cruise's "Maverick" along with Anthony Edwards' "Goose" spot a woman who happens to have lost that loving feeling. Here is a link to watch that scene. The other is a scene when the two couples are having fun at a bar and then break out into a version of "Great Balls of Fire" by Jerry Lee Lewis. My favorite quote in this scene is when Meg Ryan's character yells "Take me to bed or lose me forever." Here is a link to watch this short scene.
3. Beetlejuice (1988) - This was a tough one to decide whether I would put it on the singing or dancing list, but obviously I decided to put it here. Alec Baldwin and Geena Davis' characters are ghosts trying to frighten a family out of their house. They decide to possess a dinner party making them sing and dance to "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" by Harry Belafonte. Here is a link to watch this hilarious scene.
2. Pretty in Pink (1986) - In a fantastic scene, "Duckie" played by Jon Cryer storms into the record store singing and dancing along to the Otis Redding version of "Try a Little Tenderness" trying to impress "Andie" played by Molly Ringwald, his one true love. It doesn't seem to work, but what is there is one of the very best singing scenes from an 80s movie. Here is a link to watch this scene.
1. Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) - During a parade in downtown Chicago, "Ferris" played by Matthew Broderick somehow takes over a float and lip synchs to the song "Danke Schoen" followed by The Beatles version of "Twist and Shout." This memorable scene quickly became iconic and here is a link to watch the part where he does "Twist and Shout." This clearly deserved the top spot on my list and could've very well been on my Best Dancing Scenes list, too.
There's my list. I hope you enjoyed it as well as the links to watch most of these entertaining and memorable scenes. Let me know if you have any favorites that I happened to miss. Remember, for the sake of this list, I did not include performances by real singers. Here is a link to part 2 of this issue which will include my favorite "dancing" scenes from 80's movies.
So that will wrap up this portion of this issue of Kickin' it Old School. Thanks for reading. If you are interested in reading more of my 80's related issues, please click there for a summary. If you are interested in reading more of my Top 10 lists, please click there for a summary of those. You can also click on the Archives in the upper left hand column or use the Search Box in the right hand column to find any other issues you may have missed. Peace and much love.
Check this out: I have not given you any optical illusions in a little while, so here is one from justcool that I like. Just so you know, nothing is actually moving in this picture. It is just your eyes and brain making it look like it is.
Quote of the day: "If you don't have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?" -John Wooden
Download this: I am going to go with one of the songs performed on the list above... "Try a Little Tenderness" by Otis Redding