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Our 35 Favorite Music Moments in Film

Matching the right song with a scene is an art — especially when you consider that filmmakers have to deal with things like budgets and rights issues. After the jump we’ve rounded up 35 of our all-time favorite movie music moments; scenes made instantly memorable thanks to a talented DJ. By no means are we going to pretend this list is definitive, it’s just meant to be a jumping off point. (In fact, we could have done 35 moments from Wes Anderson’s films alone.) Do us a solid and add your personal faves in the comments.

1. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) – Johnny Mercer and Henry Mancini, “Moon River”

2. The Graduate (1967) – Simon & Garfunkel, “The Sound of Silence”

3. Harold and Maude (1971) – Cat Stevens, “Trouble”

4. Animal House (1974) – Otis Day & the Knights, “Shout”

5. Apocalypse Now (1979) – The Doors, “The End”

6. The Muppet Movie (1979) – Kermit the Frog, “The Rainbow Connection”

7. Rocky 3 (1982) – Survivor, “Eye of the Tiger”

8. The Big Chill (1983) – The Rolling Stones, “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”

9. Risky Business (1983) – Bob Seger and The Silver Bullet Band, “Old Time Rock and Roll”

10. Sixteen Candles (1984) – The Thompson Twins, “If You Were Here”

11. Pee-wee’s Big Adventure (1985) – The Champs, “Tequila”

12. Top Gun (1986) – Berlin, “Take My Breath Away”

13. Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986) – The Beatles, “Twist & Shout”

14. Pretty in Pink (1986) – Otis Redding, “Try a Little Tenderness”

15. Dirty Dancing (1987) – Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes, “(I’ve Had) The Time of My Life”

16. Beetlejuice (1988) – Harry Belafonte, “The Banana Boat Song (Day-O)”

17. She’s Having a Baby (1988) – Kate Bush, “This Woman’s Work”

18. Say Anything (1989) – Peter Gabriel, “In Your Eyes”

19. Ghost (1990) – The Righteous Brothers, “Unchained Melody”

20. Goodfellas (1990) – Cream, “Sunshine of Your Love”

21. Wayne’s World (1992) – Queen, “Bohemian Rhapsody”

22. Dazed and Confused (1993) – Aerosmith, “Sweet Emotion”

23. Pulp Fiction (1994) – Urge Overkill, “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon”

24. Reality Bites (1994) – The Knack, “My Sharona”

25. Dangerous Minds (1995) – Coolio, “Gangsta’s Paradise”

26. Empire Records (1995) – Coyote Shivers, “Sugarhigh”

27. Rushmore (1998) – The Rolling Stones, “I Am Waiting”

28. Velvet Goldmine (1998) – Placebo, “20th Century Boy”

29. Fight Club (1999) – The Pixies, “Where Is My Mind?”

30. Office Space, 1999 – The Geto Boys, “Damn It Feels Good to Be a Gangsta”

31. Almost Famous (2000) – Elton John, “Tiny Dancer”

32. American Psycho (2000) – Huey Lewis & the News, “Hip to Be Square”

33. The Royal Tenebaums (2001) – Nico, “These Days”

34. Garden State (2004) – Simon and Garfunkel, “The Only Living Boy in New York”

35. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004) – Sigur Ros, “Staralfur”