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Blinded by the Light: 5 great Bruce Springsteen movie moments


Blinded by the Light is the new British drama from Bend It Like Beckham director Gurinder Chadha. It's on release now in Cineworld and features an infectiously uplifting Bruce Springsteen soundtrack.

The movie is inspired by the true story of Guardian journalist Sarfraz Mansoor. It focuses on British-Pakistani teen Javed (terrific newcomer Viveik Kalra) who defies his traditional father's instructions in pursuit of his writing ambitions. And Javed is helped along the way by the music of The Boss himself, who offers an inspiring escape from dreary 1980s Luton.

The presence of Springsteen got us thinking: what films have used his music to unforgettable effect? We've picked just five of them.

1. Philadelphia (1993)

Springsteen won an Oscar for his stirring title track to this 1993 drama. Philadelphia is historic as the first mainstream Hollywood movie to tackle the AIDS crisis head-on, in which Tom Hanks' AIDS-diagnosed character sues his former employer for unfair dismissal.

Denzel Washington is the initially homophobic lawyer who experiences a change of heart, and Springsteen's anthem 'Streets of Philadelphia' coats everything with a sense of melancholy. It's a sombre about-face from the usually effusive performer, and perfectly encapsulates the emotional weight of the film.

2. Jerry Maguire (1996)

You can always rely on writer-director Cameron Crowe to deploy classic rock music to winning effect – after all, Crowe was formerly a writer on Rolling Stone magazine.

Springsteen's 1995 song 'Secret Garden' got a boost from its appearance in Crowe's movie Jerry Maguire, in which Tom Cruise plays a sports agent who develops a heart.

3. The Wrestler (2008)

Here's another Springsteen number penned specifically for a movie, and it's one of his most heartbreaking. Renowned for his ability to capture American blue collar life, the singer-songwriter was the ideal choice for Mickey Rourke's comeback movie, the story of a downtrodden wrestler on his last legs desperately seeking redemption.

If, upon the emergence of Springsteen's title track during the end credits, you don't shed a tear, seriously have a word with yourself. It beautifully captures the pain and tortured nobility of Rourke's searing central performance. Reportedly, Springsteen wrote the song at the direct request of old friend Rourke and director Darren Aronofsky – when they liked it, he charged no fee for his services.

4. The Place Beyond the Pines (2013)

Blue Valentine director Derek Cianfrance helmed this multi-generational crime story, exploring the decades-long fall-out from the exploits of stunt biker-turned-bank robber Ryan Gosling.

In the context of the movie, Springsteen's music strikes the perfect melancholic chord. The narrative occupies the dishevelled, small American towns about which the singer writes so eloquently, embodied in this instance by immortal classic 'Dancing in the Dark'.

5. Ready Player One (2018)

Steven Spielberg's adaptation of Ernest Cline's novel is a nostalgic smorgasbord, serving up a host of fan-pleasing references from movies to video games and, yes, music.

The score is composed by Alan Silvestri, a doyen of the eighties adventure score who composed the Back to the Future trilogy (which itself plays an important role in the Ready Player One storyline). Even so, let's give an acknowledgement to The Boss himself, in particular the use of his 1985 hit 'Stand On It'.

Click here to book your tickets for Blinded by the Light and tweet us your favourite Bruce Springsteen movie moments @Cineworld.