Before contacting Associate Professor of Film Studies Lisa Dombrowski to write a Professor’s Playlist, I was informed that she has great taste.

Her carefully selected collection of film and television soundtrack highlights is certainly no evidence to the contrary.

“Often, at the beginning of a semester, I’ll have students introduce themselves by discussing a memorable scene from a recent film—not necessarily the “best” scene or their favorite scene, but a striking one,” Dombrowski wrote in an email to The Argus. “In that spirit, here is my play-list of ten memorable music moments in film and television.”

The Playlist

Leonard Cohen, “Winter Lady,” in “McCabe and Mrs. Miller.” He was warned from the start, but he still didn’t expect it to end this way. And neither, I bet, did you.

The Crystals, “He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss),” in “Mad Men,” season 5 episode 4, “Mystery Date.” Spot on. Look it up.

Faces, “Ooh La La,” in “Rushmore.” What the film is all about.

Instrumental, “Red River Valley,” in “They Were Expendable.” A cowboy tune about love, goodbyes, and remembering accompanies the sun setting on American sailors in the Philippines during WWII. You know what’s coming next, and it just about breaks your heart.

Peggy Lee, “Is That All There Is?,” in “After Hours.” No. There’s more. And it gets worse. Much worse.

Frank Patterson, “Danny Boy,” in “Miller’s Crossing.” Watch, listen, and learn.

The Pogues, “The Body of an American,” in “The Wire,” season 3 episode 3, “Dead Soldiers.” Ray Cole’s wake at Kavanagh’s Bar perfectly illustrates how one best experiences The Pogues: in communal song, drink in hand, mournful, triumphant.

Elvis Presley, “Blue Moon,” in “Mystery Train.” The thread that weaves the film together, paired with the late-night DJ patter of Tom Waits.

The Stranglers, “Peaches,” in “Being Human” UK, series 3 episode 2, “Adam’s Family.” Pathetically aching for a bite. Deliciously droll.

The Who, “The Seeker,” in “The Limey.” What a way to introduce a character! See also, several scenes later, “King Midas in Reverse,”   The Hollies.

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