Because today is Threading the Needle Day, our Sunday Scribblings prompt for this week is Needle. If you decide to write a post based on this week’s prompt, be sure to go back here and share your link so everyone can see how you interpreted things! Here’s what I did with it…

Threading the needle… Sounds like today is meant to be devoted to some sort of sewing craft. But since the word itself is just needle, I’m gonna go a different way with it.

Are you familiar with the term needle drop? A needle drop happens in a movie when a song is played that’s intended to draw the audience further into what’s happening in the film. For example, at the beginning of the greatest movie ever made, Back to the Future, Marty is hanging out in Doc Brown’s lab before school. He’s just blown out the giant amp and the phone rings. It’s Doc, asking for his help with an experiment late that night. Then all the clocks that we saw during the opening credits begin to chime the hour. It’s 8:00. Doc is excited and reveals that they’re all exactly 25 minutes slow and Marty realizes he’s late for school. As soon as Marty hangs up the phone, “The Power of Love” by Huey Lewis and the News plays as Marty makes his way to Hill Valley High School by skateboard.

Still not sure what a needle drop is? Check out the following YouTube video from Patrick H. Willems, in which he explains in some detail what makes a good or bad needle drop in a movie. It kind of lengthy, as YouTube videos go, but it’s incredibly informative and I highly recommend it if you have the time.

I won’t be offended if you decided to skip Patrick’s video. He might be offended, but it doesn’t bother me.

What I really want to do with this post is share my five favorite needle drops in movies. Remember, these are just my favorites based on opinion, not necessarily whether I think the song really adds anything to the plot of the movie or not. Ready?

Oh, and some of these scenes may involve minor spoilers. So watch at your own discretion.

First up, I want to go with Derek and the Dominos’ “Layla” from Goodfellas. I don’t know what it is about that instrumental playing over the discovery of all those dead men. If you have a weak stomach or an aversion to the F-bomb, skip this clip. I promise, this is the only Scorsese movie I’m including.

My next pick is one that I’m not sure is technically considered a needle drop since it isn’t a song being played over a scene. The characters of Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy burst into “Afternoon Delight.” Odd because it’s not a musical. Hilarious because it’s unexpected and beautifully harmonized.

Up next is Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” from the start of Game Night. It’s a great tune that takes us through a montage of Jason Batman and Rachel McAdams’ whirlwind romance. I couldn’t find an actual clip on YouTube, but here’s the song because it’s awesome on its own.

I would be remiss if I did not mention something from either of the Guardians of the Galaxy movies. And there are a lot to choose from. But I’ve got to go with Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” from the end of the first movie. I mean who didn’t dance in their seat along with Baby Groot?

Finally, there are so many songs that take us through montages in movies. A lot of the big ones feature the training montages that take us through a character’s several months of preparation for the big fight or big game at the end of the movie. But my favorite has to be the montage that takes Daniel LaRusso from the beginning of the All-Valley Tournament to the semi-finals. Of course, I’m talking about Joe Esposito’s “You’re the Best Around” from The Karate Kid.

What are some of your favorite needle drops in the movies? Let me know down in the comments!

Thanks to everyone who participated this week and shared your links! Please visit their blogs, give them a follow, and take a look at how they interpreted the prompt.

  1. Catsandcoffee
  2. gigglingfattie

Be sure to come back on Wednesday for the next Sunday Scribblings prompt! Encourage other bloggers to challenge themselves with the prompt! Remember that there are no rules for what you write, other than responding to the prompt! You can write fiction, non-fiction, poetry, prose, biography, instruction… it’s all up to you!

Feature Photo by MITCH BOEHN on Unsplash


2 thoughts on “Needle

  1. Oooo when you said “needle drop” I thought you meant like a safe needle drop for drugs. Clearly my mind is all about the drugs today LOL

    I’ll have to pay more attention to this in movies as I watch. I saw a post on Instagram where a teacher asked her students to change the music playing to change the emotion in the movie. So one student used the scene from Titanic where the boat is rising up and people are falling down the length of the deck. But they put some high school musical song over top of it? Hahahaha soooooo perfect!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Movies are uniquely and satisfyingly visual. A needle drop can only enhance or detract from the visual spectacle unfolding. A better use of the needle drop would be a multimedia art show, one which relies upon sound as much as sight. In that forum, an observer could be more surrounded by effects than he would be in a common movie theater.

    — Catxman

    Liked by 1 person

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