Movies you liked, but now don't like because of the soundtrack

There are two movies I have become unable to watch because of the use of dinky cassio keyboards in the musical score.

The Princess Bride, and Ghost.

I last saw thes movies when I was still basically a kid. I never noticed there was anything wrong or (now) cheap-sounding about the music. But now, in both cases, I can’t watch any more than fifteen minutes or so before I groan and switch the TV off. The MIDI is just… awful.

It probably sounded fine back in the day–it was probably pretty state of the art and everybody thought it was perfectly realistic.

But now its (for me anyway) truly cringeworthy.

I think it would be great if someone were to rescore these movies using substantially the same music, just with real (or up to date electronic) instruments.

Anyway, any other stories that fit the description given in the title? It can be about dinky MIDI, or about any other aspects of musical scoring/soundtracking at all.


I still think Carol Reed’s The Third Man (a film I’ve seen dozens of times) is an amazing film, but I can only watch it in short bursts now because Anton Karas’ zither music has finally gotten to me, and it now drives me crazy. Not all the time necessarily (his slow pieces when Holly’s talking to Anna are still quite lovely), but the propulsive jangity-jangity-jangity-jang just give me a headache now.

I am just sick to death of the music from Zorba the Greek. I used to like this music, but too many repeats have turned it into teeth-gritting agony. Recently I was tempted to watch the movie again, but then I remembered the godawful insistent jangling music, and I decided not to watch.

Some movies I think I enjoy more because of the dated synth. Scarface and The Terminator, for example.

Hm… I’ll have to put on The Princess Bride again and listen to what you’re talking about. Most of what I remember from the score are strings and some nice accoustic guitar.

I sincerely hope that it will not turn out that I have ruined the movie for you. :slight_smile:


Just to make sure I wasn’t hearing incorrectly, I did some checking on the internet. There weren’t that many useful pages that turned up, but I did find, among a few others, this paragraph:


So at least I know (or have good reason to believe) I’m not crazy. :slight_smile:


Funny, I came in here to specifically mention Scarface. It was like the director hired some guy’s nephew to put together the soundtrack a little Yamaha keyboard. I envision this nephew accepting cookies as payment.

John Carpenter’s synth soundtrack still goes perfectly with his films.

I recall seeing that Rutger Hauer film Ravenhawk a few months back and the synthesizer and dark ages setting did not work for me.

Vangelis’ soundtarack for Chariot’s of Fire seems terribly out of place. Not necessarily the iconic bit with the running on the beach, but the rest of it.

The Robert Redford Great Gatsby. When they use 1920s period music, it can be lovely and haunting (such as the opening montage) or satirical (such as “Aint We Got Fun” over the closing credits), but the rest of the music in this movie is this overblown, overloud melodramatic stuff out of a bad soap opera that makes whole scenes unwatchable with the sound on.

Ladyhawke. And I came in here to basically mention that film. I don’t necessarily mind an anachronistic soundtrack, but the ST was too eighties.

The Princess Bride’s soundtrack wasn’t too bad, except the credits. It starts with that ridiculous “My love is a like a storybook story” song, which would still be redundant even if it was a good song.

When he first started doing musical scores for films I though Danny Elfman did some music I liked; Batman, The Simpsons, PeeWee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice. It was whimsical and fit the movies for their era.
But since then his music just grates on me. Tim Burton or Sam Rami can’t seem to make a movie without him. Now when I see his name pop up in opening credits I just groan. It’s the same style over and over.

“Fletch”, one of my alltime faves, is another one of those.

Not necessarily the entire soundtrack, but when they include the entire version of a song that was clearly intended to be a hit, but wasn’t.

I love watching Goldie Hawn drive Highway 1 near Sausalito at the beginning of Foul Play. Too bad I have to mute it or risk hearing one note of some godawful Barry Manilow song.

Also near the beginning of Wargames they play this reaaalllllly bad Kim Wilde-sounding techno song that grinds the movie to a halt.

Of course, sometimes the song really does become a hit, but it doesn’t help. I’m thinking specifically here of “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” which pops up during a tough-to-sit-through romantic montage in Play Misty For Me. The whole song. Clint hadn’t found an editor yet, apparently.

“Black Like Me” is a very interesting film…ruined by the most insulting soundtrack ever.

I always thought the synthesizer theme from Fletch was supposed to sound like Harold Faltermeyer’s “Axel F Theme” from Beverly Hills Cop.

George Romero’s Dawn of the Dead has an awful synthesizer soundtrack that gets on my nerves. Of course, it’s a zombie horror flick, so it’s to be expected.

Still doesn’t stop me from watching it about once a month or so. :slight_smile:

I own the CD to Princess Bride, and I don’t think it’s bad at all. Some rather sweet guitar & string pieces, and one really nice festival type one.

I came in to mention Ladyhawke…but I could never dislike that movie. It moves my heart every time still. But oh dear god the music does suck.

I’ve noticed in older movies that the music sometimes sounds really inappropriate. I can only think of one, since it was on AMC the other day – Jaws. Of course the main theme that we all know is great, but the music that plays during many of the other scenes just sounds wrong! Like, a tense scene where they’re bringing the boat around and Jaws is lurking somewhere beneath is layered with this happy, perky music, when it seems like it should be something infused with dread.

Oh! Another example – Strangers on a Train*. I don’t recall specifically the music, but I do remember thinking it was too loud and upbeat and called attention to itself. It would have been creepier if they’d just shut off the damn music and let the creepiness of the psycho-guy work on us unadorned.

  • I had the pleasure of watching this movie for the very first time a couple months ago! What a treat–a movie I’ve heard so much about for years, and it had really never been spoiled for me. I enjoyed it a lot (except for the music of course :wink: )