Turntable moments in movies can be memorable. They can even be critical to character development and plot twists. To help you remember or go see the best of the best, here's the top 10 list of memorable turntable moments in movies, so pop some popcorn, grab a beer and get ready to be spun away!
10. Iron Man 3 – Jarvis, drop my needle
None other than Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) can take a record player, his version of Alexa, called “Jarvis” and the Bombay Dub Orchestra Remix of Joe Williams’ Jingle Bells, and turn it into a memorable superhero scene while testing out Iron Man suits in his workshop. I think we all need a Jarvis.
9. The Royal Tenenbaums – Tent scene
In this pivotal scene from The Royal Tenenbaums, brother Richie (Luke Wilson) and his adopted sister Margot (Gwyneth Paltrow) converse intimately while listening to the 1967 Rolling Stones album, Between the Buttons and the song She Smiled Sweetly as they reveal their love for each other.
8. Good Morning Vietnam – It’s alright
In this 1987 anti-war film, a profane and wise-cracking DJ for the Armed Forces Radio Service (Robin Williams) spins Adam Faith’s single, It’s Alright while tossing records around the control room in the midst of a nervous breakdown.
7. Pirate Radio – Carl’s emergence from the chamber of love
Via a live radio broadcast while on a pirate ship, Carl (Tom Sturridge) emerges from the chamber of love to his fellow shipmates who immediately interrogate him about losing his virginity while Martha and the Vandellas’ 1964 classic, Dancing in the Street, spins on the turntable. The scene is funny and loveable and one of many that make this movie great.
6. Requiem for a Dream – Dyn-o-mite!
From a cinematography standpoint, this scene may be #1. Rapid, intense video clips are seamlessly woven together to create one of my favorite movie scenes of all time where Harry (Jared Leto) and Tyrone (Marlon Wayans) get down after getting super high before shit everywhere around them starts to unravel. Also, don’t pretend like you’ve never tried to replicate Tyrone’s perfect timing as he drops into Kronos Quartet’s synthesized theme song from this original soundtrack, which is a masterpiece.
5. Mars Attacks – Indian Love Call
In this hilarious scene and situation, Grandma Florence Norris’ (Sylvia Sidney) turntable is the saving grace for the human race and the only thing stopping aliens from taking over the earth. Featuring the 1952 country hit by Slim Whitman, Indian Love Call, Grandma Norris sits in a wheelchair and pleasantly listens to the song through her headphones; however, right when the Martians are about to blast her into smithereens, her headphones conveniently become unplugged, triggering each alien’s head to explode inside their spacesuits. Thanks to Indian Love Call spinning on her record player, the human race is saved!
4. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Medicine time
In this 1975 adaptation of Ken Kesey’s classic novel, McMurphy (Jack Nicholson), a new patient at the Oregon state mental hospital, finds the classical music the nurses are playing while giving out medication to be insufferable, so he decides to take matters into his own hands. A confrontation with the one and only Nurse Ratched (Louise Fletcher) ensues when McMurphy asks her to turn the volume down. The patronizing exchange hints at the battle of wills that’s about to unfold.
3. Almost Famous – One day you’ll be cool
In a quintessential coming of age scene where William’s (Patrick Fugit) older sister, Anita (Zooey Deschanel) moves out to head to San Francisco, she passes along sage words of advice and more importantly her vinyl record collection, including The Who’s iconic concept album, Tommy. As the record player spins, and Sparks fly, William is set free as he catapults into a future filled with rock and roll and yes, finally being cool.
2. Saving Private Ryan – A serenade by the Little Sparrow
While sitting in a destroyed French city during World War II, U.S. troops get serenaded by Edith Piaf’s Tu Es Partout as the classic 1941 song blasts out of a gramophone. The ebbs and flows of emotions in this movie are epitomized by this scene by wedging warmth between war and death as the guys talk about the music and lyrics they’re listening too, including an inspirational story about Mrs. Rachel Troubowitz.
1. Shawshank Redemption – Not just another day in the yard
Riding a wave of newfound trust and responsibilities granted by the warden, Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins), a New England banker wrongly accused and incarcerated for killing his wife and her lover, seeks revenge after he’s finally provided new supplies for the prison’s library after years of writing daily letters to the state of Maine. In the box, he finds a bunch of books and vinyl, and to his delight, Mozart’s Duettino-Sull’aria, which he impulsively decides to broadcast over the prison’s PA system. His fellow inmates, while getting their outdoor time in the yard, stop to enjoy the beautiful surprise in a moment of shared hope and freedom.