Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Soundtrack Retrospective: "I've been a soldier, 'til I ran out of wars."

This month’s film is Walter Hill’s ‘Streets of Fire’ (1984). It'll delight Pavlov's Cat, for sure ;)

It is, to be fair, safe to say it’s not the best acted film in movie history. It stars Michael Pare, for heaven’s sake! Most of the time, he looks like he's struggling to stay awake long enough to remember his lines...

Set in an unnamed US city lacking in distinctive features or geographical references, and with an odd retro-1950s look to the cars and the police uniforms, it was a commercial flop on first release, but has since become something of a classic for one thing only. The soundtrack. And with Jim Steinman and Ry Cooder, how could it fail to be anything else?

The trailer gives you a flavour of just what the film’s about:

Daryl Hall had a minor success a few years ago with his cover version of this one:

Here’s the closing number:


Private Widdle said...

Great film. Don't forget the nightclub scene with the amazing Blasters doing Lieber & Stoller's "One Bad Stud" and their own "Blue Shadow" (Link here, shame the dialogue's dubbed in Spanish: Was Willem Dafoe doing a Mapplethorpe impersonation? How queer.

Mac the Knife said...

Some nice cinematography and location work too.

The sequence where Paré is bunking off on his bike after shooting up the Battery leaps to mind...

Pavlov's Cat said...

Great choice

Not to mention in my mind one of the most unintentionally hilarious mano a mano duels in movie history

Fists? - as if

Knives? - to effete

Guns? - too easy

I know, sledgehammers!!!

Pavlov's Cat said...

The tragedy of it is, it was supposed to be a trilogy called "The Adventures of Tom Cody" with Hill tentatively titling the two sequels, The Far City and Cody's Return

What cinematic greatness did we miss, by the fickleness of the box office.

We shall never know

Longrider said...

I loved this film and still do - but then, I'm a die hard Steinman fan...

English Viking said...

Sorry to be a killjoy, and no, I really am old enough to remember it first time around, but what a big pile of elasticated pants.

Real films; The hunt for Red October, Man on fire, The last Samurai, Heat, Collateral, Fargo, The outlaw Josey Wales, Dial 'M' for murder, South by Southwest, Mutiny on the Bounty (Charles Laughton), The Count of Monte Christo, The yearling, African Queen, The Maltese falcon, etc,etc.

JuliaM said...

"Great film. Don't forget the nightclub scene with the amazing Blasters..."

Oh, indeed! It's one of my favourite soundtracks for the mix of music genres in it.

"Some nice cinematography and location work too."

Yes, it's definietly got a style all of it's own. Pity they never made the other planned films.

"I know, sledgehammers!!!"


"...but then, I'm a die hard Steinman fan..."

Me too!

"Sorry to be a killjoy, and no, I really am old enough to remember it first time around, but what a big pile of elasticated pants."

Well, no-one likes everything! Some of the films on your list are favouriters on mine, though not with very memorable soundtracks.

Haven't yet got around to seeing 'Man On Fire' though, despite picking up the DVD. Must watch that this weekend.

English Viking said...


Man on fire is simply astonishing, not just for the plot, but the cinematography is outstanding. Did you get the DVD with the alternative ending as an option in 'features'? IMHO the alternative ending is better.

A six pack, pizza and the volume on full, what more could you want?

PS I bet you cry!

JuliaM said...

"PS I bet you cry!"

Are there animals involved? That always does it. Can't watch the end of 'Breakfast At Tiffany's' without a hankie.

And don't mention 'Born Free'!