During The Beatles’ Help! Paul McCartney is miniaturised to the strains of Wagner, while in a dank Chiswick pub cellar, the singing of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy saves Ringo from an escaped tiger. In Hal Ashby’s black comedy Harold & Maude, Harold is obsessed by death, and likes to stage elaborate fake suicides to get the attention of his distracted mother, including an attempted drowning to Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. During The Godfather, the baptism sequence, interspersed with scenes of the brutal assassinations of the heads of the five families opposing the Corleones is underscored by the intensity of Bach’s organ work Passacaglia in C Minor. On a lighter, note, Michael Caine’s Harry Palmer during the Ipcress File chooses Mozart to cook by, a musical enthusiasm shared by Jean Seberg, immortalised by Godard in Breathless. These are but a few of the indelible scenes complemented by the classical music featured in this presentation.
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