Since we dropped our epic Best Opening Songs and Best Closing Songs in Film lists, we've had some very enthusiastic input from our readers, many beginning with a vigorous "How could you forget about ..." and punctuated with several exclamation marks. We're still sticking to our one-director-per-countdown rule, but we just couldn't resist rounding up the most popular opening and closing song picks from Spinner commenters. Pardon the spoilers, and let's get to it!
'Blue Velvet,' Bobby Vinton
MORE OPENING SONGS: David Lynch's 1986 film 'Blue Velvet' is your standard mystery -- that gets stranger, more twisted and perverted by the scene. Before college student Kyle MacLachlan (aka Agent Cooper of 'Twin Peaks') returns to his hometown and is instantly thrust into its secret, seedy world of psychotic criminals with violent fetishes, his father has a stroke to the happy, all-is-well 1963 pop hit by Bobby Vinton. The signature Lynch-ian distortion kicks in to the extreme close-up of a well-kept lawn, revealing sinister, swarming insects underneath. Voila! The tone is set.
Harry Nillson's 1966 tune has a real wanderin' feel to it, fittingly, because Joe Buck is on his way to New York City! Eventually. Watch this scene before this robust, naive Texan makes it to the Big Apple, parties with Warhol "superstars" and becomes a certain sort of an escort -- earning 'Midnight Cowboy' the only Best Picture Oscar awarded to an X-rated film.
The opening to Oliver Stone's 1994 take on a Quentin Tarantino screenplay seems to go through as many ass-kicking songs as Juliette Lewis's gleeful murderess and her manic man go through discourteous truck stop cafe patrons in one memorably violent scene. The intro also features some of the most erotic grind-dancing to ever accompany a Leonard Cohen song (on film, anyway).
Debbie Harry stepped in when Fleetwood Mac's Stevie Nicks rejected the offer to compose a song for Paul Schrader's 1980 flick of mystery, murder and male prostitution. It's one of Blondie's most memorable tracks and oh so fitting for speeding down a highway in a convertible whilst fashionably dressed. If you've never sung along to this tune in a moving vehicle, we don't know what's wrong with you.
Directed by Dennis Hopper in 1969, 'Easy Rider' is one of America's first, true independent films, and it brims with '60s countercultural Americana. Before this 1968 Steppenwolf classic got killed via overuse in commercials for things that have little to do with motorcycles, wild hippies and epic road trips, it was a true rebel anthem.
'Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles'
MORE CLOSING SONGS: Neil Jordan's 1994 adaptation of Anne Rice's cult-classic book ends with a scary twist -- a freaking 200-year-old vampire hiding in the back seat of the journalist's car! Cue Guns N' Roses cover of the Rolling Stones track, appropriately influenced by another lit hit: Mikhail Bulgakov's 'Master and Margarita.'
Hal Ashby's early-May-late-December romance film from 1971 features dozens of dramatic, feigned suicides from young protagonist Harold. Spoiler alert: When his wrinkly beloved deliberately dies, off he speeds cinematically to Cat Stevens' softly self-destructive ditty 'Trouble' -- and the car heads right off a cliff. Just when you think that's it, the end, cue the sweeping shot up the bluffs and some twangy banjo. Damn it, Harold! You did it again!
It's Paul Greengrass' third installment in the saga of the former CIA assassin/amnesiac on the run! Matt Damon drops into the East River. Is he dead? Can it be? No sequel? There's nothing as comforting as a "happy" ending to the most sampled drum break from Melvin Bliss, this time reproduced by Moby.
Roger Kumble's 1999 adaptation of the saucy 18th-century French novel 'Dangerous Liaisons' turns seductive, manipulative, upper-class socialites into seductive, manipulative, upper-class high-school students in New York City. Fatboy Slim, Placebo and Blur scored the flick, and very '90s drama ensues. In the end, the victorious heroine takes off in her deceased flame's Jaguar while the Verve's smash hit plays.
Here it is: James Cameron's 1997 hype-tastic cry-along, featuring Celine Dion's 1997 cry-tastic hype-hit. Because you asked for it. Over and over. And over and over again. So there! Break out the tissues.