5. A Clockwork Orange
“Oh bliss! Bliss and heaven! Oh it was gorgeousness and gorgeousity made flesh.” Such are the thoughts of Alex as he listens to Beethoven’s 9th – and it is hard not to share this opinion with him as the use of 18th century music perfectly captures the timeless genius of this Kubrick masterpiece.
“New York was his town, and it always would be.” Just as Woody Allen announces his ownership of the city to the backdrop of its various wonders, there is an eruption of classical jazz in the form of George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Rarely does a piece of music capture the essence of a scene so well.
“We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The gripping leitmotif that signifies the imminent arrival of the villainous great white shark (Jaws to his friends) has since become of the most famous musical scores in cinematic history. Hats off to John Williams.
2. The Godfather
“I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse.” This Nino Rota composition is the musical manifestation of mafia. It carries the Sicilian roots of Corleone into America with unquestionable sincerity and style.
1. Taxi Driver
“Thank God for the rain to wash the trash off the sidewalk.” And thank God for Bernard Herrmann to wash the sleaze out of 1970s New York. The remarkable beauty of the saxophone provides elegance in a vice-ridden city producing the ultimate effect of juxtaposition.