As my first entry of 2016 in my Sound & Motion Pictures series I decided to revisit great combination of music with duel/fighting scenes. Sometimes it is the music itself that make all the difference and changes a rather normal fight in something more, other times it just underline the tension of the images or the combination of the two is so perfect that you cannot really tell what makes the scene special. Here’s my list of favorites, hope you enjoy it as much as I do!
1) Colonel Mortimer vs. Indio – La Resa Dei Conti, Ennio Morricone (1965)
There are many great duels in Sergio Leone’s oeuvre but this is my all time favorite. The chime is so haunting and from a device of hideous sport becomes a means of retribution. Ennio Morricone strikes again!
2) The Bride vs. O-ren Ishii – Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood, Santa Esmeralda (1977)
This is Tarantino’s version of a Leone’s duel with oriental flavour, on the notes of a very up-beat cover of Please Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood with a flamenco component… just perfect!
3) Neo vs. Morpheus – Leave You Far Behind, Lunatic Calm (1998)
Techno music as soundtrack for a kung fu showdown (even an amicable one) is a radical choice. The Wachowski siblings have changed the way we view things a lot with The Matrix.
4) Sherlock vs. hulking guy – Rocky Road To Dublin, The Dubliners (2006)
Guy Ritchie comes up with a lot of inspired ideas in his movies and this fight is a great example: slow-motion and regular speed to show a bare-knuckle boxing match with an Irish traditional song to keep the blood pumping!
5) Obi Wan & Qui Gon Ginn vs Darth Maul – Duel of the Fates, John Williams (1999)
Although The Phantom Menace is my least favorite movie of the Star Wars saga, this duel is pretty awesome mostly because of Darth Maul, a pretty cool but very underutilised villain. John Williams’s score is effective and stirring.