Films Love Debussy


What do the following films have in common?

Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011)

Twilight (s) 2008,2011

Atonement (2007)

Ocean’s Thirteen (2007) & Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

Man on Fire (2004)

Dog Soldiers (2002)

The Usual Suspects (1995)

Seven Years in Tibet (1997)

The Game (1997)

Frankie and Johnny (1991)

The Right Stuff (1983)

Giant (1956)

They all contain Claude Debussy’s third movement of Suite bergamasque called “Clair de Lune” (1890), French, for the pale-green moon. No idea what I’m talking about? Well, if you have five minutes, watch this cut scene from Disney’s Fantasia (1940).


I wonder if there’s a more used tune in filmology?

I love this animated version where you can “see” the music. This is Debussy’s “First Arabesque” with a similar tone.

The diversity of films which contain “Clair de Lune” amazes me. In an ugly film like Dog Soldiers, do they need to insert beauty as a relief to balance out the scene? In films like Atonement, the haunting classical movement evokes longing and enhances the elegance of the film. Why else would so many genres employ Claude’s work?

DogSoldiers_1554 atonement

Do you agree?

Which song or classical movement have you heard countless times in films?

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