How Many of These 20 Classic Movie Songs Do You Remember?

Few experiences can match the enchantment of a great movie—a captivating story, mesmerizing performances, and soul-stirring melodies. In this post, we’ll explore 21 movie songs that have transcended time and continue to captivate audiences today.

Let It Go – Frozen (2013)

Photo Credit: Walt Disney Pictures.

Although relatively recent, Let It Go deserves its place on this list. Idina Menzel’s rendition in the 2013 animated musical Frozen became an instant classic, soaring to global fame as it captivated audiences worldwide. With its catchy melody and powerful message, the song was the perfect soundtrack to Elsa’s emotional turning point in the movie.

Don’t You (Forget About Me) – The Breakfast Club (1985)

The Breakfast Club Universal Studios
Photo Credit: Universal Studios.

Multiple artists rejected the opportunity to record this song before it found a home with the Scottish rock band Simple Minds. Their performance perfectly complements John Hughes’ vision for the poignant closing scene of The Breakfast Club.

I Will Always Love You – The Bodyguard (1992)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

While not everyone may have seen The Bodyguard, Whitney Houston’s powerhouse vocals in this iconic rendition of Dolly Parton’s ballad are universally recognized. The song, which topped the Billboard Hot 100, left a strong mark on romantic cinema.

Stayin’ Alive – Saturday Night Fever (1977)

Saturday Night Fever (1977) - Robert Stigwood Organization
Photo Credit: Robert Stigwood Organization.

The Bee Gees created a disco anthem with Stayin’ Alive, synonymous with the pulsating energy of the 1970s. Whenever this tune plays, it evokes memories of John Travolta’s rhythmic dance moves in Saturday Night Fever’s opening credits.

Over the Rainbow – The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Photo Credit: Warner Home Video.

Judy Garland’s rendition of this timeless ballad conveys a universal longing for a better world, capturing hearts and transporting listeners to dreamlike realms. Remarkably, this classic song, almost cut from the movie, won the 1940 Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Singin’ in the Rain – Singin’ in the Rain (1952)

Photo Credit: MGM.

Singin’ in the Rain is a personal favorite musical, largely due to this iconic song. Surprisingly, it was penned in 1929, 23 years before the movie’s release, but Gene Kelly’s infectious 1952 performance turned it into a timeless classic.

Moon River – Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)

Photo Credit: Jurow-Shepherd Spinel Entertainment.

Audrey Hepburn’s ethereal voice harmonizes with the romantic essence of Henry Mancini’s masterpiece, crafting an enduring serenade. Hepburn, as Holly Golightly, performed this masterpiece with a guitar on her apartment’s fire escape, breathing life into the song.

My Favorite Things – The Sound of Music (1965)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

Though Rodgers & Hammerstein’s musical offered numerous memorable tunes, The Sound of Music shines brightly. It perfectly fits the film, with Julia Andrews as Maria singing it while running over the hills, radiating the joy of music’s magic and discovery.

My Heart Will Go On – Titanic (1997)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Celine Dion’s power ballad has become inseparable from the beautiful yet tragic love story of Jack and Rose in Titanic. This masterpiece, one of the biggest-selling singles of all time, complements the movie’s emotional depth.

As Time Goes By – Casablanca (1942)

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Set against war-torn Casablanca, this hauntingly beautiful melody encapsulates eternal love’s essence. Originally intended for a different purpose, As Time Goes By found new life in 1942, thanks to a memorable Casablanca scene where Ilsa Lund implores Sam, played by Dooley Wilson, to play the song once more.

When You Wish Upon a Star – Pinocchio (1940)

Pinocchio (1940) - Walt Disney
Photo Credit: Walt Disney.

In Pinocchio, this song, performed by Cliff Edwards and composed by Leigh Harline and Ned Washington, remains timeless. It transcends generations, becoming a jazz classic despite its origin in a Disney classic.

Raindrops Keep Fallin’ on My Head – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969)

Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

B.J. Thomas’ carefree tune perfectly mirrors the spirit of adventure in this classic Western film. The soundtrack won an Oscar for Best Original Song and was later inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2014.

Mrs. Robinson – The Graduate (1967)

Photo Credit: MGM Studios.

Simon & Garfunkel’s iconic song, Mrs. Robinson, adds a touch of rebellion and uncertainty to The Graduate. Its enigmatic lyrics reflect the film’s protagonist’s complex relationship with the older and controversial Mrs. Robinson. While not originally written for the movie, its masterful inclusion in the soundtrack forever links it to The Graduate.

Que Sera, Sera – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

In the 1956 thriller The Man Who Knew Too Much, Doris Day voiced this classic, unaware of its future prominence. Ironically, she initially disliked the song, once calling it a “kiddie’s song,” yet it became the biggest hit of her career.

A Whole New World – Aladdin (1992)

Aladdin (1992) - Walt Disney
Photo Credit: Walt Disney.

Each time A Whole New World plays, it transports listeners to the soaring carpet ride of adventure and romance in Aladdin. The magical duet by Peabo Bryson and Regina embodies newfound love’s wonder and boundless possibilities, continuing to captivate hearts globally.

The Way We Were – The Way We Were (1973)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Barbra Streisand’s heartfelt rendition of this poignant song echoes the bittersweet journey of love and memory. The sweeping ballad won the Best Original Score at the 1974 Oscars, securing its place among the greatest movie songs. It also played a pivotal role in reviving Streisand’s career.

White Christmas – Holiday Inn (1942)

Holiday Inn (1942) - Paramount Pictures
Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

White Christmas is a timeless song destined for generations of seasonal playlists. Bing Cosby’s rendition in the 1942 film Holiday Inn invokes nostalgia for simpler times and cherished memories. The song’s lyrics deeply resonated with American troops serving far from home during World War II.

Can’t Help Falling in Love – Blue Hawaii (1961)

Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

Initially, Elvis Presley was the sole advocate for Can’t Help Falling in Love, as others advised against it. Yet, he chose it as the theme song for this movie. His choice paid off as Presley’s rendition worked perfectly in Blue Hawaii, with his emotional delivery and lyrics capturing the spirit of romance.

Don’t Rain on My Parade – Funny Girl (1968)

Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures.

Barbra Streisand’s show-stopping performance of Don’t Rain on My Parade in Funny Girl exudes an infectious spirit of resilience. Written by Bob Merrill and Jule Styne, the song, amplified by Streisand’s unwavering vocals, quickly became a favorite. This iconic Broadway classic remains a timeless anthem of triumph in the face of adversity.

New York, New York – New York, New York (1977)

Photo Credit: United Artists.

Frank Sinatra’s spirited rendition of New York, New York celebrates the city’s vibrancy and allure. This iconic anthem, synonymous with the Big Apple, encapsulates the energy of urban life, leaving a lasting mark on pop culture.

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Photo Credit: Paramount Pictures.

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Photo Credit: StudioCanal.

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Waterworld Universal Pictures
Photo Credit: Universal Pictures.

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Star Wars – Anakin _ Padme Lucasfilm Productions
Photo Credit: Lucasfilm Productions.

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Photo Credit: 20th Century Fox.

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