Music Maketh Movie | The Royal Tenenbaums

Is there anything better than hearing a song you love in a movie? Especially, when the scene encapsulates or even elevates the meaning of the song… 

 

I remember being ecstatic when watching The Royal Tenenbaums. Not only is it a movie by one of my favourite directors (Wes Anderson) but it had some of my favourite songs slotted in it. I mean, you know it is going to be a good-en when the movie kicks off with a track from The Beatles. 

 

Here are just a few of the tunes in the film: 

 

  • Hey Jude (instrumentals) by The Beatles

  • These Days by Nico 

  • Ruby Tuesday by The Rolling Stones 

  • Police and Thieves by The Clash 

  • Rock the Casbah by The Clash

  • Wigwam by Bob Dylan (not a favourite, but it’d be a crime not to acknowledge Dylan when possible) 

  • Stephanie Says by The Velvet Underground 

  • Everyone by Van Morrison

 

And the list continues…

 

I have already spoken about my love for ‘These Days’ by Nico here. But, how could I not talk about it in context on The Royal Tenenbaums. The scene in which it plays is arguably the most iconic and memorable moment. It is played during the reunion of characters Margot and Richie, after years of longing. The melancholic, hypnotic melody does everything it needs to do in the moment – allowing the audience to physically feel the pain and drama of being in love. 

Another scene elevated by music is the tragic scene of Richie’s attempted suicide, with ‘Needle in Hay’ by Elliott Smith. The instrumentals are simple yet gloomy, and paired with dialogue “I’m going to kill myself tomorrow”, creating a memorable scene.

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Hi, I'm a copywriter from Liverpool. I have always been obsessed with words. From being a bookworm as a child to a lyric-loving teenager to a full-time writer adult!