Nostalgic Movies

Nostalgia and music are what help to keep us young. Anything that reminds us of ‘the good old days’ by stimulating our memory banks, in this case through music (and film) help us to re-live the positive experiences of our past. Below are reviews of my favorite half-a-dozen films, with phenomenal, banging soundtracks that are guaranteed to bring flashbacks that will gladden your heart and have you re-living the most exhilarating parts of your youth.

This is my favorite movie of all time. Even if I can’t identify 100% with everything that occurs throughout the adventure, the music and theme of attempting reach adulthood and the not very complex characters remind me of my youth, and lost innocence. The wall to wall music of its rock’n’roll soundtrack, which centres around a group of main characters, interweaves different storylines highlighting the traits of the main characters as they celebrate their their last night of their youth. The school prom features heavily in this movie, as does hot rod racing, pretending to be mature and worldly-wise, and looking ahead to the future. An extremely entertaining mixture of fact and fiction. This has to be the greatest coming of age movie of all time. You must have this on your DVD shelf.

Not too dissimilar to American Graffiti, this movie’s action takes place in a relatively small town in the UK as opposed to the US. It’s remarkable how alike the motivations are of the youth of the characters involved considering the distance of their geographic locations. That’ll Be The Day takes a look at a grittier, more realistic side of growing up,  whilst you jive to the famous Buddy Holly track, as well as many others. David Essex stars as the wayward teenager steering his way through minefield of approaching adulthood. Ringo Starr, Adam Faith and Keith Moon all have cameo roles in this movie adding to its appeal. Nostalgia and music – another winner.    

One of many classic movies to use the Vietnam war as its backdrop. Robin Williams is the lovable star of this tragic-comedy. The movie portrys Adrian Cronauer, a DJ who entertained the lonely troops who were far from home, and exasperated the US command in equal measure. With a comedic irreverence that has delighted all who have sat through 121 minutes of non-stop music and banter, you will hear the best mid to late 1960s music that was ever produced. Without wishing to spoil the ending, realism rears its ugly head to bring this great movie to a close. A must see.;

Another nostalgia and music movie mixing fact and fiction which has the Vietnam war as a backdrop is Apocalypse Now. Francis Ford Coppola, the director, successfully married the surreal, comedic  madness of war depiction of a disparate group of people out of control, which was loosely based a nineteenth century novel (Heat of Darkness). Chasing through the jungle on a classified mission, our main character is accompanied by several ‘grunts’ who encounter many strange situations and other characters. Set to an amazing soundtrack of contemporary music of the time, the perilous and hallucinatory journey unfolds. The movie includes unmissable performances from Harrison Ford, Marlon Brando, Dennis Hopper and Robert Duval acting in cameo roles. The undoubted stars though are Martin Sheen, Laurence Fishburn an d Sam Bottoms. This another must.   

Spawning a hit album for the Bee Gees – who wrote all the music for the movie – this is definitely a soundtrack to my youth. The lead character played by John Travolta leads a humdrum, boring existence lives for the weekend when he can show off his talents on the dance floor. The premise for the movie is fairly weak. A dance competition is to be held at Morello/Travolta’s local club. Our hero persuades the ultra talented, ultra beautiful love interest to be his partner. Needless to say they win. Amidst touching on themes such as poverty and the class system, there is some great music. You must see this.

The Commitments are a band from inner city Dublin. The 1991 movie stems from the pages of Roddy Doyle’s 1987 novel. A tragic-comedy surrounding the hopeless lives of a group of people with no future. The self-appointed leader of this group of unknowns Jimmy Rabbitte (Robert Arkins) determines to form a band and produce classic soul sounds of the past. Touching comedy and superb sounds, musicianship and  performances make this movie a classic. Dedication, rehearsal and perfection eventually lead to fame being just around the corner. When they’re nearly there, what can stop them from imploding. White people can play black music. You must watch this.