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Accompany Man

Empire magazine asked--who else?--Cameron Crowe to come up with his ten favorite musical moments in film, and he managed to limit himself to 30 or so. Hal Ashby's use of Cat Stevens's "Don't Be Shy" to open Harold and Maude gets the top spot on his list, which is nice: That film and The Graduate may be the two I find most difficult to imagine without the musical accompaniment of a single pop artist. (Though Crowe mentions The Graduate at one point, surprisingly it's not represented on his list.)

"Falling Slowly" from the wonderful Once makes the list (though personally I might've opted for the bunny-slipper-and-discman accompanied "If You Want Me" jaunt across nighttime Dublin) and Harry Nilsson has two spots in the top ten (for "Jump Into the Fire" in Goodfellas and "Everybody's Talking" in Midnight Cowboy). Among honorable mentions, I was pleased to see Aimee Mann's "Wise Up" from Magnolia (though here again, I might have instead chosen her rendition of "One" from the magnificent, half-dozen-character-introducing, opening montage), and Jonathan Richman's quirky troubadourism in There's Something About Mary

Crowe is modest enough not to cite any of his own work, so I'll nominate one obvious choice ("In Your Eyes" from Say Anything) and one slightly more obscure one ("Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters" from Almost Famous). I can hardly imagine the amount of decision-making, unmaking, and re-making that would go into putting together my own list, but a few top-of-the-head candidates would be Jonathan Demme's sly use of "American Girl" in Silence of the Lambs, Quentin Tarantino's shocking appropriation of "Stuck in the Middle with You" in Reservoir Dogs, and pretty much every musical note in The Third Man and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg. Readers are invited to suggest their own favorites.

--Christopher Orr