Six Sad Film Scores

Some music can be so potency that it can carry a film’s dramatic climax on its melodies alone. It can turn small tragedies into powerfully unsettling scenes or overstate joyful events until they become unbearably joyful.

Schindler’s List theme stands as an excellent example. This striking melody conveys all of Holocaust tragedy within it.

Schindler’s List – Theme by John Williams

John Williams, one of cinema history’s premier composers, is revered as one of its premier film composers for creating scores that stir profound emotions in audiences across generations. From Star Wars’ epic themes to Schindler’s List’s melancholy melodies – his music has brought joyous listening experiences for millions across time zones.

Schindler’s List’s theme music is an iconic and emotionally stirring composition, conjuring images of hope and resilience against overwhelming darkness. Accompanied by an orchestral arrangement that perfectly captures its dramatic and emotive aspects, its theme has become beloved classic among fans of the movie and continues to resonate today.

Itzhak Perlman plays the heartbreaking melody on violin while clarinet virtuoso Giora Feidman provides stunning clarinet accompaniment. Together they create this Oscar-winning masterpiece of film music composition from one of cinema’s great composers.

This jazz-infused piece boasts an emotionally stirring melody and somber arrangement, providing the ideal example of music’s power to elicit emotion in listeners. Additionally, this song serves as a poignant reminder of World War II events; we should never forget its significance!

Dumbo – Baby Mine

One of Disney’s iconic films and arguably their first tearjerker. While its plot may be simplistic, what sets this film apart are its visuals – for 1941 this animation is incredible! And its songs, particularly Baby Mine (an emotional lullaby that plays over Dumbo’s mother cradling him until they part ways), really show how far Disney had come as a film studio by this point.

As in Bambi and Snow White before it, Dumbo used animation itself to convey emotion. This was before Disney had perfected their use of music to communicate these feelings – thusly conveying everything through physicality instead. Dumbo’s mother does not speak throughout his story so everything had to be conveyed visually instead. Dumbo remains one of Disney’s finest works using visual poetry for storytelling.

Tim Burton and Danny Elfman’s remake of Dumbo is an enjoyable film but I feel that its predecessor surpasses it. I found its soundtrack too upbeat for my taste and don’t care for how they reused parts of its circus theme in some songs; additionally they could have used Baby Mine more effectively yet it remains an enjoyable soundtrack overall.

Mary Poppins – Feed The Birds

First time audiences encounter this song is in a beautiful scene showing Mary Poppins flying through London streets on her magical boat, followed by an emotional scene depicting a beggar woman feeding birds at Trafalgar Square; an eye-opening reminder to give back to those in need.

Mary Poppins sings this song again during an emotional scene in which she sings it to the children as a lullaby before cutting to an unforgettable image of St Paul’s Cathedral and shows its splendor as an illustration of our city’s beauty and our need for kindness towards one another. This scene captures both sides of Mary Poppins, showing both how beautiful our city is as well as reminding us how important kindness can be in relationships between people.

Last time, you hear this song is during an essential scene in the film: when Mr. Banks receives an unexpected phone call from senior partners of his bank and realizes he may lose his job. As he walks, this touching scene plays, which illustrates that sometimes problems cannot be solved through magic nannies or even magical genies alone; therefore it is essential that we remember this lesson of reality.

The Dark Knight Rises – Batman Theme

This album by Junkie XL and Hans Zimmer contains both new and older material. Many critics found the result somewhat mixed; new themes seemed disjointed compared to prior soundtracks; some old favorites, like Batman’s two-note theme were present nonetheless.

This track opens with the bat’s “wing flaps” heard in Batman Begins. It plays during scenes highlighting Batman’s struggle, such as when he escapes prison or attempts to save Lucius Fox; these pieces represent important milestones in Batman’s journey and may signal that it may soon come to an end.

This theme played when Harvey Dent transformed into Two-Face and held Gordon and his family at gunpoint, as well as following his death and the climax of the film. This piece features fast-paced action with orchestral parts; there is also a more somber tone when Bane’s second motif plays during a crucial battle against Talia and her allies.

The Dark Knight – Theme by John Williams

This ambitious score for Batman Begins marks Zimmer and Howard as much more ambitious in their explorations of dark, moody terrain than Batman Begins ever intended to go. Utilizing long synth lines with unusual instrumentation and tempos to create an oppressive soundscape which produces real feelings of dread and weightiness in this music.

This track plays over a scene where one of Bane’s men holds a gun to Detective Blake’s head; just as his fate seems inevitable, Batman rushes down and single-handedly beats each of Bane’s men – an act which highlights both its gravity and Gotham residents’ helplessness in dealing with it. This track serves to emphasize both these realities of their situation.

This theme appears frequently throughout The Dark Knight Rises, most frequently when someone leaves a building. Its mournful tones and elegiac violin melodies perfectly capture the emotion of these scenes while its string accompaniments and tempo changes add an orchestral quality. Furthermore, its music includes elements from prior Batman movies – flapping wings from Batman Begins are used in “Nothing Out There”, while parts of “The Joker’s minor third rising melody are featured prominently during its “Risen From Darkness” section of song.

State Like Sleep – Walkin’ On Sunshine

Walking On Sunshine may not be especially original or cleverly constructed, but that does not stop it being an enjoyable summer film. Set against a Mediterranean setting and featuring 80s pop songs like Leona Lewis’ covers in its soundtrack, Walking On Sunshine makes an enjoyable spectacle that delivers laughs and heartwarming character moments – perhaps not quite up there with Mamma Mia! but worth seeing nonetheless.

Katherine (Katherine Waterston) is shocked when she learns that her actor husband Stefan (Michiel Huisman) has committed suicide. Desperate to uncover his secret, Katherine travels to Belgium in order to investigate further. She meets Edward (Michael Shannon), an old acquaintance from Stefan’s days as a movie star, at a hotel room where they both reside. Edward suggests he knows something about what happened, yet declines to share any specifics of their knowledge with her. Meredith Danluck’s script provides several “clues,” such as Stefan’s exit wound being on the opposite hand than his dominant hand; but these go unanswered in a film with such a slow, dispassionate pace; Waterston and Shannon make for engaging performances which redeem it.

American Psycho – Walkin’ On Sunshine

One of the iconic moments from American Psycho is when Patrick Bateman listens to Walkin’ On Sunshine by Katrina and the Waves – this eighties classic perfectly portrays someone preoccupied with appearance, expensive suits and coke-fuelled parties.

Mary Harron made brilliant use of music in this scene to showcase the delusional personality of her film’s protagonist, depicted by juxtaposing cheerful ’80s pop songs with murder or pornographic content that added absurdity and absurdity to the tale.

American Psycho is an iconic movie from the eighties depicting corporate greed and toxic masculinity of yuppie culture. Christian Bale’s electrifying performance makes this an eye-opening satire of corporate greed and toxic masculinity within this subculture. American Psycho is an explosive film with powerful performances all around – Christian Bale is particularly noteworthy here!

The movie provided an insightful critique of materialism while simultaneously becoming a cultural classic. Patrick Bateman has become an idol to followers of the ‘Sigma Male’ trend and should serve as a warning that this type of behavior should not be emulated.