Quentin Tarantino’s most genius musical moments
Music is such an integral part of the world of Quentin Tarantino, it’s difficult to think about your favorite scenes from one of his films without hearing a ’70s soul classic or a track from some obscure spaghetti Western score. Tarantino’s eclectic approach to creating movie soundtracks has led to some intense, surreal and hilarious big screen moments. Here are 10 of Tarantino’s best musical moments.
10. Jackie Brown Runs Through the Airport, Jackie Brown
Tarantino kicks off his third film in great style, with Pam Grier’s flight attendant/smuggler racing to make her flight to the tune of Bobby Womack’s soul classic “Across 110th St.”
9. Abernathy, Kim, and Zoe Take Down Stuntman Mike, Death Proof
April March’s bouncy throwback tune “Chick Habit” is the perfect come down from the beat down the girls give Mike following their high-speed chase.
8. Shoshanna Prepares for the Movie Premiere, Inglourious Basterds
Tarantino has no qualms about ditching period-specific music in favor of a contemporary tune that perfectly fits the mood of scene. David Bowie’s “(Cat People) Putting Out Fire,” the theme song to the 1982 horror flick Cat People, provides a suitably epic accompaniment to Shoshanna’s fiery plan for the Nazis.
7. Django’s Arrives at Candyland, Django Unchained
The Django Unchained soundtrack is a typically Tarantino-esque mix of cult movie themes and contemporary hip hop tracks. Rick Ross’ “100 Black Coffins” serves as a moody introduction to Calvin Candie’s Candyland plantation.
6. Elle Driver (Daryl Hannah) Whistles in the Hospital, Kill Bill
That eerie tune Elle whistles on her way to kill The Bride is the theme song to the 1968 British psychological thriller Twisted Nerve. The man responsible for the music, Bernard Herrmann, penned many classic Hitchcock scores. (No wonder it sends chills down our spine.)
5. The Gang Leaves the Diner, Reservoir Dogs
When the color-themed gangsters of Reservoir Dogs walked in slow motion to the tune of “Little Green Bag” by The George Baker Selection, Tarantino officially announced himself as a major filmmaker with a knack for picking the perfect music for an opening scene.
4. “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon,” Pulp Fiction
Pulp Fiction is filled with memorable music moments. (We have a hard time hearing “Flowers on the Wall” without thinking of Bruce Willis running over Ving Rhames.) But we’ll never forget the sight of Uma Thurman dancing across the room to Urge Overkill’s cover of the Neil Diamond classic.
3. The Ear Scene, Reservoir Dogs
Before Tarantino’s breakthrough film, “Stuck in the Middle With You” was a catchy ’70s AM radio tune. Now we can’t hear it without thinking of Michael Madsen going to town on a poor cop’s ear with a razor blade.
2. The Bride’s Revenge Theme, Kill Bill
Tarantino has a knack for pulling sonic gems from his disparate musical influences. So it probably won’t surprise you to learn that the high-pitched siren cue that happens every time The Bride spots one of her enemies comes from the theme song to the classic TV series Ironside.
1. Vince and Mia Dancing at Jack Rabbit Slims, Pulp Fiction
Vincent Vega and Mia Wallace doing the twist to Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell” isn’t just one of the most iconic dance scenes in movie history. It’s the moment we all remembered that John Travolta — who experienced a career resurgence thanks to Tarantino — can really boogie.