I have something really special to share with you next week. It’s been a while since I did a Cinematic Chiasmus, and I’ve got a great one in store for you.
In the meantime, I have prepared a list of beautifully sad movie music themes in case you’d like to shed some tears.
1. Casper – One Last Wish
I love how the visuals and little snippets of dialogue in this video add to the emotional resonance of this already-perfect musical composition from 1995’s Casper.
2. Dragon: The Bruce Lee Story – Main Theme
This song starts softly and then kicks into its triumphant, moving stage at about the 1-minute mark. Fun bit of trivia: Randy Edelman, who composed Dragon’s beautiful score, also did the score for Gettysburg. You can hear little touches from that film’s score in this song.
3. Edward Scissorhands – The Grand Finale
I wish I loved Edward Scissorhands because there is a lot to love about it. Even though I think it’s a flawed film, there’s no denying that Danny Elfman’s score is flawless. Especially this bit of music from the film’s finale. It builds in a crescendo before coming to a devastatingly beautiful apex. That scene where Edward tells Kim he can’t hold her and then she climbs into his arms is the highlight of the film, in my opinion.
4. Krull – Colwyn And Lyssa
James Horner pops up again on this list to offer a quietly understated theme for the hero and heroine of Krull. I really like this movie. Sure, it has some oddities in its storytelling, but it more than makes up for its flaws with its earnest performances and fantastic music. Prepare to feel your heartstrings being tugged.
5. Kung Fu Panda 2 – Po Finds the Truth
I already wrote about what a triumph Kung Fu Panda 2 is. This sequel tops its already-great predecessor in every way and takes the audience on an astonishing emotional rollercoaster. Especially this scene. The music alone has me in tears, but the visuals just make it that much more heart-wrenching. I cannot watch this scene without crying tears of sorrow and profound joy.
6. The Land Before Time – Littlefoot’s Mother Dies
A few movies made an indelible impact on me as a child. The Land Before Time is one of them. I can’t believe how sad this movie is. Every scene makes me want to either cheer or cry. This scene is similar to the one in Kung Fu Panda 2, with the mother sacrificing herself for her son and being forced to leave him on his own.
7. The Rocketeer – Jenny
The Rocketeer is such an underrated film. I’m so glad director Joe Johnston got a chance to really shine with Captain America: The First Avenger. James Horner’s score is so fitting. It feels majestic and like it’s floating high in the air, as it should. He sells the film’s romance with this captivating theme.
8. Rudy – To Notre Dame
As I mentioned once before in a very personal article, Rudy inspired me to graduate from college. This part, in particular, stuck out to me. This music goes with the scenes of Rudy’s best friend dying, followed by his saying goodbye to his girlfriend at the funeral, and then talking with his dad. His dad tries to talk Rudy out of chasing his dream and going to Notre Dame, saying that Rudy can have a decent life, like his older brothers. But Rudy refuses to be like his brothers and bravely sets out on an adventure.
I felt the same way growing up. I wasn’t as confident or talented as my brothers when it came to drawing, public speaking, or engineering. I had a pretty bad stutter and I was very shy. I had a talent for writing, and I wanted to become a better speaker, so I was determined to go to college to develop my talents. Watching Rudy overcome every obstacle in his path gave me courage to overcome my own and become the good man I am today.
9. Somewhere in Time – Main Theme
I love Somewhere in Time. Everything about this movie is so melancholy and yearning for joy. Especially the music.
10. WarGames – Home Movie
I couldn’t find this track in isolation, so you’ll just have to click the link above to go check it out. It’s definitely worth it. It’s definitely the simplest composition on this list, but I think it is amazing. It has this sense of childlike longing wrapped up in a somber little package. It plays over the scene of the main characters talking about how a great scientist lost the will to live after his wife and son died in an accident. I love this song.
Tears of Joy
Are you in tears yet? I definitely shed a tear or two as I worked on this article. I love beautiful music that challenges and uplifts me. These music tracks all produce rich emotions in my heart and bring up melancholy memories from my childhood and beyond.
As I said before, I have a special treat planned for next week, and I can’t wait to share it with you.
This is the Deja Reviewer bidding you farewell until we meet again.
All video clips are the copyright of their respective owners.
Excellent list. May I add a few?
• Horner’s opening to An American Tail: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XF2wYyqWZJU
• Delerue’s original music for Platoon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJvTWV5pPeQ
• Mark Isham’s Death Warrant from Last Dance (can’t find a video)
• George Fenton’s Anna and the King: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_vnKw6LJDI
• Morricine’s Casualties of War: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1syYNwfRrn8
and Delerue’s The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne should be on top: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3h751fTI8L8
Superb list. These are some that made me cry, but you do have to watch the movie first to get to the core of the theme
Hans Zimmer’s Stay from Interstellar https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-x3zAMfmpAM
John Williams’ Schindler’s List from Schindler’s List https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y0oxE2Voq6I
Cinematic Orchestra’s The Arrival of the Birds from The Theory Of Everything https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MqoANESQ4cQ
Hans Zimmer’s Rain Man from Rain Man https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kHsQUGjC1NA
Hans Zimmer’s Rush from Rush https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5O9q0NB2HL0
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