5 films inspired by classic songs


The list of films that inspired songs is endless. The scope of a two hour film means they form the perfect fodder to refine messages and narratives prepared for lyricless melodies to pair. However, given that the average song struggles to reach four minutes, inversion is a rare affair as it proves difficult to turn a few hundred words of lyrics into full functionality.

Some songs, however, create enough visceral imagery to make them seem cinematic in their own right. While some have simply edited a script, others have been so faithfully transposed that the connection is as direct as a high-speed train. Fortunately, for would-be filmmakers, there’s still a slew that comes to mind as they wait for their day on the big screen.

Below, we’ve picked out five epic songs that spawned movies. From Arctic Monkeys to The Doors, each of the songs shares a unique ability to bring out atmosphere and imagery, and as such, it hardly comes as a surprise that they’ve been incorporated into movies.

Five films inspired by classic songs:

Indian runner – Inspired by “Highway Patrolman” by Bruce Springsteen

There has always been something very cinematic about writing Bruce Springsteen songs. His words are eternally filled with images and stories. In fact, his album Nebraska, almost unfolds like a dark movie itself, which is perhaps why Sean Penn chose to step behind the camera to transpose “Highway Patrolman” into the gloomy epic Indian runner.

For the feature film, Viggo Mortensen starred as Frank Roberts, while Patricia Arquette, Dennis Hopper, Charles Bronson, Sandy Dennis and Benicio del Toro all join him in the cast. The film follows the story of a struggling Vietnamese vet who returns to his small town where his brother (David Morse), the local sheriff, reigns like a feudal lord.

The legend of Tom Dooley – Inspired by “Tom Dooley” by Kingston Trio

The murderous ballads are a musical force prepared for film adaptations. In fact, most of the stories have been carefully refined by audiences over the years. While the original writer of ‘Tom Dooley’ is unknown, the 1958 version of the Kingston Trio surely caught the attention of producers who later turned it into The legend of Tom Dooley.

With all of the tropes and tragedies of a TV series already in place, the Ted Post-directed film plays the classic tale with moving fidelity. In the process, Michael Landon’s career was born, as he played a soldier on the run after accidentally killing an enemy without knowing the war was over.

The coupler – inspired by ‘Riders on the Storm’ by The Doors

Morrison’s last act with The Doors, before dying at the tragically young age of 27, was, at least chronologically, “Riders on the Storm,” and he embodied both Morrison’s iconoclastic mantra and rock mysticism. unique from The Doors. With the evocative image of a road weary traveler, the group designed an atmospheric masterpiece that housed more images than the Museum of Modern Art.

Screenwriter Eric Red acknowledged the song’s cinematic overture and used it as inspiration for his own project starring Rutger Hauer as a man you certainly don’t want to meet on the open roads. Red tells DVD active that song was the main influence on the 1986 film The coupler: “I thought the elements of the song – a road killer in a storm plus the cinematic feel of the music – would make a great opening for a movie. I started with this scene and went from there.

The filthy man – inspired by “When the sun goes down” by Arctic Monkeys

The Stephen Graham star has now reached the top by sharing major screen time with Robert De Niro, Al Pacino and Joe Pesci in Irish, but for years he was already an acclaimed star in the British underground. In the short film The filthy man, he plays a nice contemptible scraper, worthy of the title of the film.

In their debut album, Arctic Monkeys captured the weekend life of the British working class with such fidelity that the visceral imagery in Turner’s first trademark tirades of snarling licks to a loose jaw was not just the kind you could easily absorb and throw into a mind movie, it was more prose matter for a writer’s director to tell the very story of the life you led. It certainly wasn’t boring realism either; it contained all the power of a punch and all the drama that the fateful crossroads of coming of age turns out to be.

Across the universe – inspired by “Across the Universe” by The Beatles

The music of the Beatles and the Vietnam War form the backdrop for this completely original interpretation of a love story between a high society girl and a working class boy, Across the universe. The songs take a weird and surreal turn as actor Joe Anderson is thrown into a bizarre Kafkaesque choreography. This is the sort of weird and wonderful thing the “Fab Four” could have imagined after a particularly colorful journey at their peak and which ensures a captive audience.

However, the centerpiece of the film is John Lennon at his best introspective with “Across the Universe”. Although apparently not a protest anthem against the Vietnam War, the song, much like the film, tries to find universality in suffering and how to overcome it. The song’s message which seeks answers in the cosmos is innovatively woven into the making of a film for a touching affair.

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