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Sunday, June 23, 2024

And the Oscar classics go to… 

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The nominees for this year’s Academy Awards had just been announced with Oppenheimer, a movie about the atomic bomb crafted by Christopher Nolan, getting the most nods, including one for its score.

Barbie, the other half of the cultural phenomenon “Barbenheimer,” has two songs in the Best Original Song category: “I’m Just Ken” and “What Was I Made For,” with the latter, which won the Golden Globe and Hollywood Music in Media Awards, being the strongest contender to take home an Oscar statuette in March.

It’s one thing to win the Oscar for Best Original Song or Score, it’s quite another for these musical triumphs to seep into the consciousness of the listening, watching public.

Last year’s winning score for “All Quiet on the Western Front” deserved to win as that three-note hook on Volker Bertelmann’s “Remains” grippingly captured the senselessness of war, while some Beatles fans may not know that in the 1970 Oscars, the soundtrack for the documentary “Let It Be”, which contains most of the songs to be featured on the group’s subsequent final album release, was given the award.

Through the years, some Best Original Song winners became pop classics partly because they came from huge hit movies or the tracks simply possess unforgettable recall and unmistakably universal appeal.

‘I’m Just Ken’ performed by actor Ryan Gosling is one of the top contenders in this year’s Best Original Song category

Here are 30 of them, still a small chunk (around 35 percent of the pool) since the category was first awarded in the 1934 edition of the Oscars.

1.  “Over The Rainbow” (Harold Arlen, Yip Harburg) – The Wizard Of Oz (1939); musical fantasy film starring Judy Garland 

2.  “When You Wish Upon A Star” (Leigh Harline, Ned Washington) – Pinnochio (1940); Walt Disney musical 

3.  “White Christmas” (Irving Berlin) – Holiday Inn (1942); featuring Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire 

4.  “Love is a Many-Splendored Thing” (Sammy Fain, Paul Francis Webster) – Love is a Many-Splendored Thing (1955); American romance drama             

5.  “Que Sera, Sera” (Ray Evans, Jay Livingston) – The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956): Alfred Hitchcock-directed film with Doris Day singing   

6.  “Moon River” (Henry Mancini, Johnny Mercer) – Breakfast At Tiffany’s (1961): adapted from Truman Capote’s novella starring Audrey Hepburn

7.  “The Windmills of Your Mind” (Michel Legrand, Alan and Marilyn Bergman) – The Thomas Crown Affair (1968);   heist film starring Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway

8.  “Raindrops Keep Fallin’ On My Head” (Burt Bacharach, Hal David) – Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969);   western buddy movie starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford 

9.  “The Way We Were” (Marvin Hamlisch, Alan and Marilyn Bergman) –The Way We Were (1973); starring Barbra Streisand 

10. “Evergreen” (Barbra Streisand, Paul Williams) – A Star is Born (1976); featuring Streisand and Kris Kristofferson 

11. “You Light Up My Life” (Joseph Brooks) – You Light Up My Life (1977); romantic drama   

12. “Fame” (Michael Gore, Dean Pitchford) – Fame (1980); teen musical featuring singers Irene Cara and Paul McCrane (Is It Okay If I Call You Mine)

13. “Best That You Can Do” (Peter Allen, Burt Bacharach, Christopher Cross, Carole Bayer Sager) – Arthur (1981); lone movie directed by Steve Gordon who died at 44

14. “Up Where We Belong” (Jack Nitzsche, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Will Jennings) – An Officer and a Gentleman (1982); featuring Richard Gere and Louis Gossett, Jr.

15. “Flashdance … What a Feeling” (Giorgio Moroder, Irene Cara, Keith Forsey) – Flashdance (1983); directed by Adrian Lyne. Read full list on


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