Friday, June 10th, 2011

Best Movie Closing Songs, In Order

20. "The Promise," Napoleon Dynamite

19. "Wake Up," The Matrix

18. "Always Look On The Bright Side of Life," Life of Brian

17. "What A Feeling," Flashdance

16. "Queen Bitch," The Life Aquatic With Steve Zissou

15. "If You Were Here," Sixteen Candles

14. "Everybody's Gotta Learn Sometimes," Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

13. "Can't Help Falling In Love," Some Kind Of Wonderful

12. "Where Is My Mind," Fight Club

11. "Mickey Mouse Club Theme Song," Full Metal Jacket

10. "Dead Flowers," The Big Lebowski

9. "Ooh La La," Rushmore

8. "Jai Ho," Slumdog Millionaire

7. "God Moving Over The Face Of The Waters," Heat

6. "I Believe (When I Fall In Love It Will Be Forever)," High Fidelity

5. "Born Slippy," Trainspotting

4. "Adagio For Strings," Platoon

3. "You’re So Cool," True Romance

2. "Don't You Forget About Me," The Breakfast Club

1. "Just Like Honey," Lost In Translation

John Ore hopes his movie will close with "Yakety Sax."

102 Comments / Post A Comment

rj77 (#210)

"Livin' life" / Daniel Johnston (Kath McCarty) from Before Sunrise

david h. (#5,700)

@rj77 "Just in Time" (Nina Simone) from Before Sunset

liznieve (#7,691)

duuuude, my favorite online radio station (, ahem) literally just started playing "just like honey," which is incidentally also one of my favorite songs. SYNCHRONICITY.

KarenUhOh (#19)

Um. "We'll Meet Again," Dr. Strangelove.


BadUncle (#153)

@Choire Sicha Oh, shit. I didn't read this before I posted the same.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

@KarenUhOh There are just too many to mention/ consider. This is heavily skewed post 1980, actually 100% skewed post 1979. What about "Sound of Silence" at the end of The Graduate?

@KarenUhOh Or along those lines, "Singin in the Rain," in A Clockwork Orange

@Lockheed Ventura Oh, fellow old, <3.

ejcsanfran (#489)

@Lockheed Ventura: ++++ one million. Everything about the last five minutes of The Graduate is perfect.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

@Choire Sicha A fellow "Olde" to be sure, but also one who loves movies. Let's not forget that we have had The Talkies since 1927.

John Ore (#7,170)

Hey, I'm An Olde! Therefore, forgetful.

ogradybt (#3,914)

"In the Air Tonight," Miami Vice. Not even kidding. That song is the exact same shade as the movie.

@ogradybt OH OH but yes!!!!!

Carly SImon at the end Working Girl. Always melts my spine.

dado (#102)

"Afternoon Delight" Good Will Hunting. The car disappears from view just as the song ends, around the bend, as he goes to see about a girl. Got it Sport?

Astigmatism (#1,950)

@dado: I was going to add "Miss Misery"; can we have two closing songs from the same movie? Both should be on the list.

dado (#102)

@Astigmatism Yes. Yes we can.

Jared (#1,227)

I seem to recall "Adagio for Strings" playing on a continuous loop throughout Platoon, so I don't know how accurate it is to call it a "closing song."

@karenuhoh is entirely correct about Dr. Strangelove.

MichelleDean (#7,041)

No, "(I've Had) the Time of My Life," Dirty Dancing? Misogynist.

#jk #sortof

BadUncle (#153)

Everyone brings their personal prejudices to this sort of argument. But objectively, the number one song – which isn't even on the list, for chrissakes – should be "We'll Meet Again" from the mushroom cloud extravaganza at the end of Dr. Strangelove.

Tyrantanic (#13,751)

Chingon – Malaguena Salerosa (Kill Bill 2)? Maybe it's just me…

Double D (#10,624)

Not just you.

- "He Gives the World His Love" by Randy Newman, at the end of "Cold Turkey."
- Wild Thing by Sister Carol at the end of "Something Wild."
- Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's cover of "Somewhere Over the Rainbow," at the end of at least 16 different movies … at least, that what it seems like. I hear that song over the closing credits of a new movie at least once a year, it seems.

hockeymom (#143)

"If You Were Here"

Dave Bry (#422)

@hockeymom Yes! I would switch that one with "Breakfast Club." And also move "Rushmore" up into the top five or three. But this is a great and fun listicle.

Bittersweet (#765)

@hockeymom: 13-year-old me thanks you. Thompson Twins forevah.

Incidentally, finally saw Easy A on Netflix the other day and they played "If You Were Here" on the radio during a scene. Drinking game: watch that movie and drink at all the John Hughes references.

davetar (#1,114)

What, no Will Smith rap songs?

BirdNerd (#4,196)

"Build me up Buttercup"–There's Something about Mary

"Slow Ride"–Dazed and Confused

Not at the very end but "Let Go"–Garden State

The ending to "Heat" stills sends shivers down my spine.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

Come on! Clearly the ending of Caddyshack with the 1812 Overture (slighltly disco-fied) seamlessly flowing into Kenny Loggins "I'm Alright" with a dancing gopher is the best musical ending in cinematic history. Seriously, what the fuck is wrong with you people?

Leon (#6,596)


djfreshie (#875)

@Leon Saint-Jean

I was golfing this weekend and one of the foursome behind me had a goddamn stereo on his bag, and when he pressed a button, all the clubs came flying out of the bag. For like, NO reason!! FML.

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

@Leon Saint-Jean Wait, do you mean watching the Youtube clip in question or blowing up a golf course while dancing in a gopher suit in your cubicle. It's kind of an important distinction.

If its the latter, I want your job.

Leon (#6,596)

@Lockheed Ventura Oh, I meant dancing in my cubicle watching the Youtube clip. Not in a gopher suit though – the only animal costume I have at the office is a chicken suit (see: my avatar) I was forced to wear for a full day at the office (I work on west 26th Street and also had to wear the full suit, holding the head in my hands, for smoke breaks on street level) after losing a bet with the sales team.

It's important to tell this story, as I have discovered some people think the picture means I'm a "furry" (not that there's anything wrong with that if you are? I don't judge i guess).

Shooter, "Nasty Letter" by Otis Taylor

sajrocks (#2,067)

"Midnight With The Stars And You" –The Shining. "The Land Of Might Have Been" –Gosford Park. Duh.

Leon (#6,596)

Do we mean best song at the end of a movie, or best use of a song at end of movie? Cuz if it's B, and it feels like it from the listicle/comments, what about "My Way" at the end of Goodfellas? The crappy rehashing of a Rat Pack classic is such a fitting commentary on the bullshit-ness of the mafia and how much it's a nostalgia/aesthetic thing. The whiny selfish sneer of a crappy singer is a perfect mirror to Henry Hill's personality, deflating the entire 'heroic' feeling of him built throughout the movie.

John Ore (#7,170)

@Leon Saint-Jean Nice try! I ain't falling into that trap again.

melis (#1,854)

"This Is The Day" – The The, Empire Records.

Pintonator (#2,236)

"It's the Same Old Song," Blood Simple. Best ever. Also, "Just Like Honey" was so inappropriate for that movie my assumption is that Sofia Coppola understood not one lyric.

"I Melt With You" -Valley Girl

riggssm (#760)

I enjoy Moby's "Extreme Ways" at the end of the Bourne movies.

But hands-down best for me will be Merman's "No Business Like Show Business" at the end of All That Jazz.

cruiskeen lawn (#1,794)

@riggssm Agreed re: Moby and the Bourne movies. One of the few closing songs of the last decade that really made an impression on me.

djfreshie (#875)

Love this LWC, but also: God Only Knows = Boogie Nights. Oh, what a lovely montage.

deepomega (#1,720)

@djfreshie: Great call. Also Brahm's Violin Concerto 3rd Movement at the end of There Will Be Blood.

djfreshie (#875)


PT just kills it for soundtracking movies. Or whoever his Music Director is. OH NOBODY EVEN MENTIONED Brion's Here We Go at the end of Punch Drunk Love. Yeah, confirmed – PT wins all the musicking awards.

Mr. B (#10,093)

If you stick around during the end credits of High Fidelity, "I Believe" fades into "Little Red Book," which I (and everyone else ought to!) heart pretty hard.

Andy Williams's "Happy Heart" at the end of "Shallow Grave," because I am a sucker for both pitch-black comedies and hilariously ironic use of inappropriate music.

deepomega (#1,720)

"Happy Together" in Adaptation. On about three levels, really.

ejcsanfran (#489)

I thought all of Ennio Moricone's music from The Untouchables was pretty amazing – but love the swelling orchestrations of the theme played over the end credits. It's hokey and Hollywood and gives me chills every time I hear it.

ejcsanfran (#489)

Oh, and I guess maybe it kinda doesn't count since a) it's from a musical and b) it's not technically playing over the ending credits – but if I didn't mention Barbra Streisand singing My Man at the end of Funny Girl (and me weeping every single time), I'd be drummed out of the SOQ (Stereotypical Old Queen) Society.

LDM (#10,599)

"Bittersweet Symphony" at the end of Cruel Intentions, it was the "Don't You Forget About Me" of the 90's.

frinkie (#13,793)

@LDM Ahh I get goosebumps whenever I hear that song. LOVE.

"Need you around," Clueless.

frinkie (#13,793)

@Krugmanic Depressive It was actually "Tenderness." Great song!

@Krugmanic Depressive Actually, it was "Need You Around" over the credits, after "Tenderness." They're both great, yes.

What ever happened to Judd Hirsch anyway?

GailPink (#9,712)

@Butterscotch Stalin – Do you mean Judd Nelson?

areaderwrites (#592)

"All Summer Long" playing out American Graffiti. Lovely and melancholy.

whizz_dumb (#10,650)

Van Morrison's "Everyone" for the outro of Royal Tenenbaums. Wes Anderson does indeed rock.

GailPink (#9,712)

Best. List. Ever.

Debussy Fields (#9,962)

The Big Lebowski doesn't close w/ Dead Flowers but it plays toward the end. Here's a funny story about that:
The Coen Brothers had to get the rights for the song from reviled former manager Allen Klein. So they showed him the movie and when it got to the part where the cabbie throw's the Dude out of the cab for raggin' on the Eagles, Klein laughed so hard he gave them a good deal on using the song.
Anyway, "My Way" at the end of Goodfellas is much stronger than most of the scheit on this list.

John Ore (#7,170)

@Debussy Fields Wait, how does Lebowski not close with "Dead Flowers"?

Br. Seamus (#217)

Finally, a listicle by which I'm not thoroughly enraged. Though, "We'll Meet Again" and "Extreme Ways," mentioned above, deserve consideration.

GailPink (#9,712)

@Gef the Talking Mongoose – Oh yeah, that was a good one.

laurel (#4,035)

Does that "Mad World" cover come at the end of Donnie Darko? 'Cause I liked that.

whoneedslight (#758)

Coconut/Reservoir Dogs

Flaneur (#998)

John Hughes got his props, but the omission of "If You Leave" at the end of "Pretty in Pink" is inexplicable. Those guys did orchestral manoeuvres! In the dark!

Also good: "Jump in the Line" in "Beetlejuice."

Totally agreed on "My Way" in "Goodfellas."

"Where Is My Mind" was also the closing song on the last episode of the TV show "The 4400," which instantly made the rest of that iffy series significantly cooler.

"The Sound of Silence" in The Graduate. Doesn't it start playing when you see them on the bus at the end?

Miles Klee (#3,657)

I'm sorry, the answer we were looking for was John Williams's "Theme From Jurassic Park."

John Ore (#7,170)

@Miles Klee Oh, YOU.

zidaane (#373)

John Barry/Midnight Cowboy

PK™@twitter (#13,798)

Amanda Seyfried singing "Thank You For the Music" at the end of Mamma Mia. No joke: the highlight for the whole movie.

Ledrew (#654)

Um, kind of a fan of the "Age of Aquarius" send-up at the close of 40-Year-Old Virgin.

Not listicle related, but brings to mind how well The Sopranos handled this over time.

Tully Mills (#6,486)

Digital Versicolor by Glass Candy at the end of Bronson. Or am I the only one who has watched this movie?

zidaane (#373)

@TullyMMills +1 Glass Candy

LDM (#10,599)

@TullyMMills Oh you are absolutely right, what a great soundtrack.

SeaBassTian (#281)

"All These Things That I've Done" from The Matador, but I'm sure I'm alone on this one…

Ariadne27 (#13,654)

"Coconut" Reservoir Dogs

keisertroll (#1,117)

"Once I Was" by Tim Buckley, Coming Home.

"A Hard Day's Night" – A Hard Day's Night

Senor_Wences (#2,234)

Rita Pavone's "Il Ballo del Mattone" at the end of "Nine Queens". That's up there in my top three, and yours, whether you realize it yet or not.

Willy Martin (#13,808)

Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" at the end of "The Chocolate War" is PRECISE.

Natzzzzzz (#7,318)

Um, i can only assume you unintentionally omitted Let the Sunshine In at the end of "40 Year Old Virgin"?

Oooh. That is a really good call. I too forgot about that somehow!

John Ore (#7,170)

@Natzzzzzz Nope, intentional.

Ledrew (#654)

@Natzzzzzz Right. That's the song I meant.

Lyle Lovett's version of "Stand by Your Man" at the end of "The Crying Game".

"Season of the Witch" at the end of To Die For, with Illeana Douglas ice skating on the lake where Nicole Kidman's body has been dumped!

jobbotch (#3,528)

I logged in specifically to write about To Die For! Well done, Sir.

I'll also admit that the first time I heard Moby's "Extreme Ways" kick in at the end of The Bourne Identity I got shivers. This is definitely a case of the movie elevating the song, but still.

Not a movie, but "Don't Stop Believing" at the end of the finale of the Sopranos.

Lee Meade@twitter (#13,845)

Van Morrison's "Have I Told You Lately" from 'Hotel de Love'. Back when Saffron Burrows actually looked good.

picniclightning (#11,472)

How about Lou Reed's "Street Hassle" when the kid flees the hospital and runs uptown at the end of The Squid and the Whale? Hard to imagine a better match for the audience's emotions at that point.

TrilbyLane (#1,318)

I like this list and I also like: 'She's a Lady' at the end of Bound; 'Stop!' at the end of The Rules of Attraction; Cantonese version of 'Dreams' at the end of Chungking Express' 'Young American' at the end of Dogville; 'Paint it Black' at the end of Full Metal Jacket.

cinetrix (#47)

SO late to the party, but the correct answer is the O'Jays' "Love Train" at the end of The Last Days of Disco. All other answers are pale pretenders to its sheer jouissance.

Shelly (#192,533)

LOVE this list! Might have to download them on the iPod!

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