There’s no shortage of famous on-screen moments featuring classic Rolling Stones songs, but these scenes have one thing in common: People dying. (Warning: spoilers to follow.)
Pain & Gain: “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking”
Based on a true story, Pain & Gain stars Mark Wahlberg as the ringleader of a hapless trio of juiced-up Miami gym rats who try their hand at the kidnap-and-extortion game. In this scene, set to the Stones’ 1971 hit, “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking,” Wahlberg and his cohorts frantically try to dispose of some bodies after their latest criminal undertaking goes terribly awry. If only more of Michael Bay's movies sounded like this.
The Departed: “Gimme Shelter”
Scorsese really likes to use “Gimme Shelter” in his movies (three times, so far), but it wasn't until The Departed, his 2006 picture about Boston's violent Irish crime syndicate, that Marty used one as a score for a killing. Scroll to the 3:45 mark to see Jack Nicholson execute two people on a New England beach like it’s the most ordinary thing in the world.
The Big Chill: "You Can't Always Get What You Want"
There is perhaps no more poignant tune for driving to your best friend's funeral than "You Can't Always Get What You Want," a hit off the Stones' 1969 masterpiece, Let it Bleed. And if you can listen to that song while in a car with a bespectacled Jeff Goldblum circa 1983, so much the better.
The Sopranos: “Moonlight Mile”
You don’t often encounter a TV show scored with the music of a high-caliber band like the Stones, and that’s because it’s expensive, and TV networks are stingy. But luckily for The Sopranos, it’s not TV – it’s HBO. This episode from the show's final season both opened and closed with this lesser-known Rolling Stones track, which was the perfect complement to the final scene, in which one of Tony's underlings removes a human head from a freezer and dropkicks it off a bridge and into the river. New Jersey mobsters: Subtle as ever!
Gimme Shelter: Altamont Free Concert
Back in 1969, 18-year-old Meredith Hunter was famously killed at the Altamont Speedway Free Festival in Northern California, a concert that had been billed as "Woodstock West," with performances by the likes of Jefferson Airplane, Santana, and the Rolling Stones. The crowd had been unruly and violent throughout (Mick Jagger was even punched in the face by a fan while walking to his trailer), but it was during the Stones' headlining set that things escalated. During "Under my Thumb," Hunter (along with others) tried to force his way onto the stage, and was ultimately killed by members of the Hells Angels biker gang, which had been hired to provide security by the crack team that was organizing the festival. It was all documented in the 1970 film Gimme Shelter, making it the most dramatic example of an on-screen death set to the music of the Rolling Stones.
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