Can a great soundtrack save a rotten movie?

Now everyone can think of a metric assload of good movies with great soundtracks (Reservoir Dogs, SLC Punk, Trees Lounge, Desperado just to name a few). But are there any cases where a really great soundtrack made a crap film enjoyable? Would Crossroads have been watchable if Brittney were quoting and singing Nick Cave? Would anyone have actually liked Empire Records if the soundtrack didn’t suck like a Thai hooker on Shore Leave day? I can’t come up with any examples where a crap movie was saved by good music, but then again my brain is still a bit muddled since the Sydney boozefest.

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The only movie that is made tolerable by its soundtrack is Xanadu. Just don’t watch any of the bits in between the musical numbers.

Hey…put those rocks down…stop laughing…

I agree with RealityChuck. The soundtrack can make a movie slightly better or slightly worse but it can’t cause a 180 degree turn of opinion. The bonus features of the Jaws DVD said that the early screenings didn’t have John Williams’ music and everyone still thought it was a good movie. Once the music soundtrack was complete with that heartbeat-like theme the movie was considered great. So the score can bump the movie up or down a notch, but can’t be the Glade™ of Hollywood’s crap.

Well, a bad movie can have an excellent soundtrack that is a work of art, in and of itself. The Last of the Moheicans was a mediocre movie (based on a truly execrable book), but it had one of the best soundtracks ever recorded. However, I wouldn’t watch the movie just to hear the soundtrack; I’d just listen to the soundtrack.

There is also the converse of this: a really good movie can have a terrible soundtrack, but it will still be a good movie. Example: Ladyhawke, a medieval sword and sorcery flick with a soundtrack done entirely with cheest '80’s style synthesizers. But the movie itself is quite good. Still, I can’t help wondering how much better it might have been if the soundtrack had been done by, say, Basil Poulidoris, who scored Conan.

Blues Brothers 2000. The music was the only reason to watch it.

A great soundtrack can make you say, “Wow, I’m glad I bought this great soundtrack.”

Not being a “2001: A Space Odyssey” fan, the movie would have been intolerable without the soundtrack. The soundtrack, by itself was very listenable.

I can’t think of any examples either.

I like to watch the Insider because it has many scenes where the combination of the soundtrack and the visuals are really appealing to me, but as a movie it’s not normally something I’d go nuts over and my friends who are film buffs tell me it sucks.


Well, it didn’t save Heavy Metal 2000.

No. I can prove this. I was in a music store not too long ago and heard a kick-ass tune playing. So I go ask the guy behind the counter what it is. He hands me The Queen of the Damned soundtrack and points out which track it is. Do you think that I wanted to go see the movie after that? Not on your life!

A bad movie with a good soundtrack just makes you wish you’d spent the money on the CD instead of the tickets, so no.

These words shall never be mentioned in this manner again.