Where in the movie rule book does it say that a film must be a musical for it to contain some marvellous musical moments?
Look at the Pitch Perfect series, for example. It’s jammed full of awesome A Capella performances all wrapped up in a hilarious comedy.
And we cannot wait to see more of this comedy/musical mash-up when Pitch Perfect 3 arrives in Cineworld on 22nd December, once again starring Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson.
Pitch Perfect isn’t the only non-musical that’s brought us some unforgettable musical moments, however. Just take a look at these five toe-tapping moments from movies that weren’t musicals.
Young Frankenstein – Puttin' on the Ritz (1974)
This iconic Mel Brooks and Gene Wilder comedy is truly timeless. It sees Wilder as Dr Fredric Frankenstein (that’s “Fronkensteen”), the grandson of classic horror icon Victor Frankenstein, travel to Transylvania to prove that he isn’t the same man as his deranged grandfather.
However, after he discovers his grandfather’s life-creating process, Fredric cannot resist re-creating the experiment for himself. To show the world that his creation (played by Peter Boyle) isn’t a savage monster, Fredric and The Monster literally put on a toe-tapping performance of 'Puttin’ on the Ritz'.
Wilder and Boyle are the perfect double act here; Wilder’s smooth vocals function as a stark contrast to Boyle’s comically over-the-top monstrous wails, which will give you just as many stitches as The Monster himself.
With a stylish dance routine and impeccable comic timing, 'Puttin’ on the Ritz' is a snazzy musical moment that’ll have you simultaneously tapping along and howling with laughter.
Wayne's World – Bohemian Rhapsody (1992)
We all know that feeling when you’re in a car full of friends and someone decides to play your all-time favourite song. Nowhere has this social phenomenon been depicted onscreen better than in the opening sequence of the 1992 cult comedy Wayne’s World.
After Wayne (Mike Myers) puts on a cassette tape (remember those?) of Queen classic 'Bohemian Rhapsody', the entire car bursts out in a frenzy of air-guitar, off-key vocals, and synchronised head-banging – because who doesn’t do the same whenever Rhapsody’s iconic opening vocal harmonies are heard? Don’t lie, we know you do.
This scene has become legendary in its own right and for good reason; it’s a group of friends rocking out to one of the greatest songs ever written and we get to join in on the fun. Like Garth (Dana Carvey) says, Bohemian Rhapsody is always a good call.
School of Rock – final performance (2003)
This modern classic is arguably the film that introduced a younger generation to classic rock, as well as featuring the school that every child wanted to attend (second to Hogwarts).
When washed-up musician Dewey Finn (Jack Black) poses as a substitute teacher to earn some money to pay his rent, he soon discovers that his class have a natural musical talent. He then decides to enter them into a battle of the bands competition under the guise that it’s a secret school project.
After weeks of rehearsal and risking everything to get to the venue, the band are ready to give their performance and it was one that nobody would forget.
With catchy guitar riffs, virtuosic solos, powerhouse vocals and heart-pounding drums, the finale of School of Rock isn’t just a great climax. It embodies the spirit and passion of all aspects of rock and will have you rocking along no matter what. We’d definitely give this musical moment an A grade.
500 Days of Summer – You Make My Dreams (2009)
Starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zoey Deschanel, this quirky rom-com wasn’t afraid to get creative with how it explored characters’ emotions.
This can be seen in the sequence following Tom (Gordon-Levitt) spending his first night with Summer (Deschanel). Whilst any other rom-com would’ve had the male lead monologue about how madly in love they are with their new girlfriend, 500 Days goes that step further by literally making a huge song and dance about it – to the tune of Hall & Oates' classic toe-tapper, 'You Make My Dreams Come True.'
What we love most about this scene is how it gradually snowballs from passers-by smiling at Tom to a full blown dance number complete with marching band and cartoon songbird. Just try and watch this without smiling.
Whiplash – Caravan (2014)
Although Damien Chazelle did give us a full-blown Oscar-winning musical with La La Land, his first feature film wasn’t so much a musical as a drama about a determined musician’s (Miles Teller) unquenchable passion for music.
Whiplash sees Teller as Andrew, an aspiring jazz drummer who will do whatever it takes to achieve greatness when he’s placed in a prestigious band conducted by the fearsome Fletcher (J.K. Simmons).
After tensions hit an all-time high between Andrew and Fletcher, the latter is fired and Andrew’s expelled and gives up on his dreams. Until, that is, Fletcher offers him one last chance at the big-time but ultimately dupes and humiliates him.
Andrew doesn’t give up without a fight, however, and returns to hijack the ensemble to lead them in a performance of 'Caravan'.
With wild drums, screeching trumpets, and an effortlessly cool trombone solo, this was the perfect note for Whiplash to go out on.
It’s a showcase of Chazelle’s love of jazz and it’s a love letter to the power of music that’ll keep your foot tapping throughout. If this performance is good enough for Fletcher, then it’s certainly good enough for us.
Pitch Perfect 3 is released on 22nd December.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.