10 Best Uses of Beatles Songs in Movies


From the iconic opening sequence to the well-known “Can’t Buy Me Love” scene as the boys frolic around a field, and even the many famous performances in To help!, Magical Mystery Tour, and yellow submarineit’s clear that Beatles music is a fun and nostalgic choice for any movie.

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Since the films of the Beatles in the 60s, their music has continued to have its place in the cinema. However, countless covers have also been used in movies over the past few decades, as original recordings don’t come cheap. No matter which artist is featured, the genius of The Beatles shines through and creates a solid foundation that elevates any scene.


Twist and Shout – ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ (1986)

Originally recorded in one take in 1963, the Beatles’ cover of “Twist and Shout” achieved huge commercial success. However, the song became popular again after being featured in the 1986 John Hughes classic Ferris Bueller’s day off, reaching 23rd place on the Billboard Hot 100 that year.

In the movie, Ferris (Matthew Broderick) jumps on a parade float and syncs to the song as the whole crowd joins in and dances. The sheer spontaneity of the song choice and the scene as a whole totally reinforces the wonderfully ridiculous nature of the film. In fact, most of the audience were passers-by who showed up on the day of filming, which goes to show just how infectious this Beatles cover is.

Here Comes the Sun – “The Parent Trap” (1998)

Written by george harrison in 1969, “Here Comes the Sun” is one of the most famous compositions of Harrison and the Beatles. It reached number three on the Billboard Hot Rock Songs that year and was the most streamed Beatles song on Spotify worldwide in 2021. Among the many cover versions of the song, Bob KhalilThe version of appears in the 1998 remake of The parent trap, featuring Lindsay Lohan.

The song plays as Hallie (Lohan) and her mother Elizabeth (Natasha Richardson) walk to Elizabeth’s shop in London. Along the way, they reproduce the famous album cover of Abbey Road, which features “Here Comes the Sun”. Over the past 20 years, the film has probably unwittingly introduced many young viewers to the work of The Beatles and the genius of Harrison. It also perfectly accompanies a sunny walk through London, adding a nice touch to the scene.

All You Need Is Love – ‘Love Actually’ (2003)

John Lennon wrote “All You Need Is Love” in 1967, becoming an anthem for the summer of love. The song was a huge hit, taking No. 1 on the US charts that year. “All You Need Is Love” has been featured in several films, including Richard Curtisthe 2003 Christmas classic, love in fact.

The song is used at the start of the film as a surprise performance to Juliette (Keira Knightley) and Peter’s (Chiwetel Ejiofor) wedding. As they walk down the aisle, a choir begins to sing the song as different wedding guests gradually stand up and play various instruments in a makeshift orchestra.

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I want to hold your hand (Komm, gib mir deine Hand) – ‘Jojo Rabbit’ (2019)

“I Want to Hold Your Hand”, written by Lennon and McCartney in 1963, became the Beatles’ first US number-one hit, their world’s best-selling single and the song that launched the British invasion. In 1964, the group recorded a German version of the song, “Komm, gib mir deine Hand”, which also reached number one in the German charts.

The German track is used cleverly in the first titles of Taika Waititisatire 2019 JoJo Rabbitlike scenes from Jojo (Roman Griffin Davis) running happily through his town are mixed with real-life footage of German citizens and Nazi soldiers saluting Hitler. The irony of ecstatic Nazis mirroring the same level of excitement felt by screaming fangirls at the height of Beatlemania is an interesting but chilling parallel.

Hey Jude – ‘The Royal Tenenbaums’ (2001)

In 1968, Paul McCartney wrote “Hey Jude” for Julian Lennonbut the song broke several records and remained number one on the Billboard Hot 100 for nine weeks. Since then, the song has become a huge anthem, mainly due to its four-minute “na na na” section.

In 2001, “Hey Jude” took on new life when it was featured in Wes Andersonthe film, The Royal Tenenbaums. However, the film uses a unique orchestral version by the Mutato Muzika Orchestra. This cover plays on the introduction to the Tenenbaum family film; it’s a nice, upbeat take on the iconic song that serves Wes Anderson’s infamous style well.

Come Together – “A Bronx Tale” (1993)

Written in 1969 by John Lennon, “Come Together” and its iconic riff opened Abbey Road and quickly became one of the Beatles’ most famous songs. The song only reached number four in the UK, but once again topped the US charts.

In robert denirohis debut as a director, A Bronx Tale, which inspired a Broadway musical of the same name, “Come Together” is featured in a bar fight scene between members of the mob and a motorcycle gang. The song is a great choice to complement the growing tension between the two bands, as it actually plays on the bar’s jukebox. The scene is a perfect example of how a song’s music is often more emotionally compelling than its lyrics.

Happiness is a Hot Gun – ‘Bowling for Columbine’ (2002)

Written for the 1968 white album, John Lennon’s “Happiness is a Warm Gun” is a rhythmically challenging commentary on guns and Lennon’s sexual desires. The song was critically acclaimed for its complexity but was banned by the BBC because of his suggestive lyrics.

Michael Moore2002 documentary Bowling for Columbine explores the potential causes of the Columbine school shooting and gun violence in America. Amid such dark and tense subject matter, Moore uses “Happiness is a hot gun” to highlight a montage of Americans using guns, emphasizing the idea that shooting a gun should bring joy. . However, the song plays after a man says, “There are madmen out there”, reinforcing the absurdity of such a concept.

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Baby You’re a Rich Man – ‘The Social Network’ (2010)

In 1967 McCartney and Lennon wrote “Baby You’re a Rich Man” to discuss non-material wealth, inspired primarily by the hippie movement. The song only reached No. 34 on the charts, but gained recognition after being featured at the end of The social network in 2010.

At the end of the film, “Baby You’re a Rich Man” stars as Zuckerberg (Jesse Eisenberg) is sitting alone, waiting for his ex-girlfriend to accept his Facebook friend request. The text on the screen says that Mark Zuckerberg is the world’s youngest billionaire, but the song underscores the reality that he’s still lonely and not rich in ways that really matter.

The Fool on the Hill – ‘Dinner for Schmucks’ (2010)

McCartney’s “The Fool on the Hill” stood out among the psychedelic sounds of Magical Mystery Tour and has since become one of the band’s best-known ballads. The song is about a wise man, isolated and misunderstood by society, who watches them lead insane lives.

The comedy of 2010 Dinner for the schmucks opens with the track playing to scenes of a man creating a diorama of stuffed mice on a date. At first glance, the song fits the oddly artistic yet slightly comedic nature of the scene. However, Steve Carellthe socially awkward character of later reveals that he creates the dioramas as a tribute to his wife who left him; essentially, he’s the fool on the hill.

Yesterday – ‘Yesterday’ (2019)

The 1965 song topped the singles charts in several countries, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and was named the greatest song of all time by various publications.

Yesterday uses a myriad of Beatles tracks to score the film, all lead actor Himesh Patel sings, but the scene where Jack (Patel) performs “Yesterday” for the first time is the most impactful. Its simplistic vocal and acoustic accompaniment showcases the sheer beauty of the song; the viewer is drawn in by the emotion of the moment, as are Jack’s friends. In the end, Jack sums up “Yesterday” perfectly: as “a great, great work of art.”

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