Cold War, Ballet, Tap Dance, and more Phil Collins
May 10, 2019 9:51 PM   Subscribe

The 1985 film White Nights had the same director as Against All Odds. Not surprisingly it also had a stellar soundtrack album, including two songs nominated for the Academy Award for Best Song. Side A: Separate Lives (Love Theme From White Nights) [not the music video, music video] [Phil Collins and Marilyn Martin], Prove Me Wrong [David Pack], Far Post [Robert Plant], People On A String [Roberta Flack], This Is Your Day [Sandy Stewart and Nile Rodgers]

Side B: Snake Charmer [John Hiatt], The Other Side Of The World [Chaka Khan], My Love Is Chemical [Lou Reed], tapDANCE [David Foster], People Have Got To Move [Jenny Burton]

Not included on the soundtrack album was the song Say You Say Me (video) [Lionel Richie] which won the Oscar.

You didn't know that was a Cold War anthem, did you? You though it was about romance. Welcome to the surrealism of the Cold War.
posted by hippybear (18 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Mikhail Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines. Talk about your unlikely movie combos (well,they are/were both dancers...)
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:25 PM on May 10, 2019

Ah ha ha, the "you have no right" song was from White Nights. That is some apotheosis of that thing when the Love Theme lyrics have nothing to do with anything that's happening in the movie. Just your classic divorce ballad honing in on that special not-moving-on feeling. This would have been a big high school dance song at my school, maybe even a last-slow-dance song.

I liked this movie, I saw it in the theater, and it's very band buddy-friendly for a Cold War thriller. I did not remember that Say You Say Me is from this movie. The kind of song that builds large houses.

There's some fun stuff scattered around the soundtrack. The Chaka Khan is by-the-numbers, Roberta Flack's always awesome, and a nice little 80s Lou Reed track (I like 80s Lou Reed). The Robert Plant is good, too (I like this Robert Plant period).
posted by rhizome at 12:05 AM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

White Nights was the first movie I ever went to see all by myself! I go to movies alone all the time now, but back then I remember really having to convince myself that no one was going to care if I was sitting in the theater alone. (Narrator’s voice—no one cared or even noticed.)
1985–had no idea it had been that long!
posted by bookmammal at 6:20 AM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

I loved this movie and hadn't really known the whole soundtrack. Thanks for this! I will have to rewatch the movie but it was an interesting commentary on race and freedom.
posted by biggreenplant at 6:47 AM on May 11, 2019

Still trying to figure out how much I want to live in a world where the film Against All Odds has been on the front page twice in days. In 2019.
posted by nevercalm at 7:09 AM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

(Yeah yeah yeah insert joke about the odds of that I get it I get it)
posted by nevercalm at 7:10 AM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

posted by rhizome at 8:59 AM on May 11, 2019 [5 favorites]

I remember the glory days of the eighties, when Gregory Hines was second lead in a movie every year. Usually playing a guy named Ray.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 10:01 AM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

Gregory Hines' performance of "There's a Boat That's Leavin' Soon" at the top of this movie is a master class in how it's impossible to hide TALENT, because even though he's supposed to be playing someone who's kind of a second-rate guy, he is just freaking marvelous. The man was born to play Sportin' Life- did he ever, I wonder?
posted by I_Love_Bananas at 10:18 AM on May 11, 2019 [2 favorites]

I always liked him. One of my earliest SNL memories was an episode with he and a 90 year old Eubie Blake as the musical guest. It was probably the most sophisticated musical experience of my life up to that point and left a soft spot for both of them (and jazz).
posted by rhizome at 12:50 PM on May 11, 2019

This is now a Gregory Hines appreciation thread.
posted by rhizome at 12:50 PM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

Welcome to the surrealism of the Cold War.

The surrealism of the Cold War, a.k.a. "Why Generation X is Like That."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:52 PM on May 11, 2019 [4 favorites]

The Vladimir Vysotsky/Baryshnikov sequence, which seems to be overlooked ( understandably, I guess) on the soundtrack, is by far the most memorable to me. To the point that it was the only music I could remember from the movie, 30 or so years after I saw it. I suppose Baryshnikov's accompanying dance helped, too. Honestly, I wouldn't have remembered any of the other songs had been used in the movie if my life depended on it.
posted by 2N2222 at 4:07 PM on May 11, 2019 [3 favorites]

Lord, I haven’t even thought about this movie in years. So good.
posted by lhauser at 6:17 PM on May 11, 2019

I liked this movie when I saw it way back. I remember that strange Baryshnikov dance at the beginning, and some interesting acting and dialogue. I'd completely forgetten that there were some pop songs on the soundtrack.
posted by ovvl at 8:04 PM on May 11, 2019

I remember seeing this movie reviewed on Siskel & Ebert. And now Siskel, Ebert, and Gregory Hines are all dead, and I am depressed.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:21 PM on May 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

I want to know what the music in the trailer is. That is amazing.
posted by oflinkey at 7:18 AM on May 12, 2019

I saw White Nights four times in the theater when it came out and I'm still not sure why.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:07 PM on May 12, 2019 [1 favorite]

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