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Our motto: "Critical thinking in the cheap seats." Unbiased, honest classical music and opera opinions, occasional obituaries and classical news reporting, since 2007. All written content © 2019 by Paul J. Pelkonen. For more about Superconductor, visit this link. For advertising rates, click this link. Follow us on Facebook.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Composers At The Movies

It's Oscar season. So today I decided to do something a little different. Here are five quotes from movies that involve composers. The kicker is, the movies themselves have NOTHING to do with classical music. One is a Bond film. One is Arnold Schwarzenegger. You get the idea.

"You don't like Beethoven. You don't know what you're missing. Overtures like that get my...juices flowing. But sometimes he can be a little f__king boring. That's why I STOPPED!"
Beethoven, ready for his closeup.
Gary Oldman (who played Beethoven in Immortal Beloved) bursts into an apartment, kills three members of a family with a shotgun, and then goes up to the shaking father and rhapsodizes about the composer. These events start the plot of Luc Besson's film Léon, known to American audiences by its other title, The Professional.

"The bubbles...they tickle my...TCHAIKOVSKY!"
Russian agent Pola Ivanova (Fiona Fullerton) reacts to romantic music (in this case, Swan Lake) while sharing a San Francisco hot tub with 007 (Roger Moore) in A View To a Kill.

"You know that if Giuseppe Verdi had been born an Englishman, his name would have been...Joe Green."
Socialite (and murder suspect) Patrick Redfern (played by Nicholas Clay) translates the name of the famous composer for Hercule Poirot (Peter Ustinov) in the all-star 1982 Agatha Christie murder mystery Evil Under the Sun.

"We'll come in low, out of the rising sun and about a mile out. We'll put on music...I use Wagner! Scares the hell out of the (Vietnamese)! My boys love it!"
Col. Kilgore (Robert Duvall) setting out his helicopter battle plan (in which he blasts "Ride of the Valkyries" while dropping napalm) in Francis Ford Coppola's Vietnam War epic, Apocalypse Now.

"Watch out, Jack. He killed Mozart!"
Danny Madigan (Austin O'Brien) warns Last Action Hero star Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger) that FBI agent John Practice may be more dangerous than he looks. Practice is played by F. Murray Abraham, who won an Oscar for his starring role in Amadeus.

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Critical Thinking in the Cheap Seats