10 Songs Inspired by Movies

The seventh art having an impact on the fourth art.

Ultimate Guitar

When it comes to music, anything can inspire an artist to create a classic piece, even other forms of art. In the realms of rock and metal, many artists were into films, which turned out to be the key factor for them to bring us epic tales in the form of guitar-fueled music. 10 notable examples await below.

Metallica - "Creeping Death" - "The Ten Commandments"

From the very early stages of their career, Metallica were inspired by movies. Their 1984 classic "Creeping Death" was inspired by 1956 movie "The Ten Commandments," which is based on the Bible story about the plagues bestowed upon the Egyptians.

While watching a scene in which one of the plagues kills every Egyptian first-born child, late bassist Cliff Burton said, "Whoa - it's like creeping death." And the rest is history.

Other notable 'Tallica tunes based on movies include "One" (based on "Johnny Got His Gun"), "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" (based on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest"), and "Of Wolf and Man" (based on "The Wolfen").

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Rush - "Cinderella Man" - "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town"

Coming off classic Rush effort "Farewell to Kings," "Cinderella Man" was inspired by "Mr. Deeds Goes to Town," a 1936 movie starring Gary Cooper. The film tells a story about a man from a small town who inherits a massive load of money and decides to move to the big city.

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Iron Maiden - "Out of the Silent Planet" - "Forbidden Planet"

Iron Maiden are another band who often got inspired by movies, but this time around we opted to single out "Out of the Silent Planet." The tune was inspired by 1956 sci-fi movie called "Forbidden Planet."

The movie marks the first sci-fi film in which humans are depicted traveling in a starship of their own creation, as well as the first science fiction film set entirely on another world in interstellar space, far away from planet Earth. It was introduced into the Library of Congress' National Film Registry in 2013 for its cultural and historical significance.

Other notable Maiden tunes based on movies include "The Wicker Man" based on the movie of the same title starring late great Christopher Lee, as well as "The Clansman" (based on "Braveheart"), "Man on the Edge," "When Two Worlds Collide," and more.

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Avenged Sevenfold - "Bat Country" - "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas"

Avenged Sevenfold's 2005 track "Bat Country" was inspired by novel and movie "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas."

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Megadeth - "Symphony of Destruction" - "The Manchurian Candidate"

Magadeth mastermind Dave Mustaine was inspired to write the band's staple song "Symphony of Destruction" while watching "The Manchurian Candidate," a 1962 Cold War thriller starring Frank Sinatra.

The movie tells a story about a son of a prominent right-wing political family who has been brainwashed into a cold-blooded assassin for an international Communist conspiracy.

Other notable Megadeth songs inspired by films include "Chosen Ones" (inspired by "Monty Python and the Holy Grail"), "This Day We Fight" (inspired by the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy) and more.

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Death - "Zombie Ritual" - "Zombie"

During the creative process of their 1987 debut album "Scream Bloody Gore," Death were heavily influenced by movies. Specifically, they were heavily influenced by Italian director Lucio Fulci, as three tracks from the record were inspired by his movies - "Regurgitated Guts" was influenced by "City of the Living Dead," "Beyond the Unholy Grave" was influenced by "The Beyond," and "Zombie Ritual" was inspired by "Zombie."

Add the "Evil Dead" track to the mix and it's movies galore.

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Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Bad Moon Rising" - "The Devil and Daniel Webster"

Classic CCR song "Bad Moon Rising" clearly focuses on an impending disaster, and it was inspired by a scene from 1941 movie "The Devil and Daniel Webster" in which a hurricane wipes out an entire town.

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Gojira - "L'Enfant Sauvage" - "L'Enfant Sauvage (The Wild Child)"

The title track of Gojira's "L'Enfant Sauvage" was inspired by a 1970 French movie of the same title. The film is based on the true story of Victor of Aveyron, a late 18th century child who spent the first 11 or 12 years of his life alone in the woods with little or no human contact.

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Rory Gallagher - "Last of the Independents" - "Charley Varrick"

This is what late great Rory Gallagher noted about the tune: "No, [the song is not autobiographical,] but some people have said that to me. They thought that I was the last of a particular group of people, or I was independent or something. Maybe I am a bit, but I doubt that. The song actually came about when I had the title and then wrote the song. Half way through it I realized that I had read the review of the picture 'Charlie Varrick.'"

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Aerosmith - "Walk This Way" - "Young Frankenstein"

The lyrics of classic Aerosmith tune "Walk This Way" came to be as the band was taking a break from recording of their 1975 record "Toys in the Attic" and went to see Mel Brooks' "Young Frankenstein." On their way back, the boys were laughing about Marty Feldman telling Gene Wilder to follow him in the movie, saying "walk this way." And the rest is history.

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Got more to share? Do it in the comments, please!

30 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Black Sabbath's "Iron Man" is a take-off of the "lost" 1915 film, "The Golem" The Golem was a living clay statue that worked for the shopkeeper who found him, but when the Golem fell in love with a girl and was rejected, it went on a killing spree.
    What about Pixies - Debaser based on the surrealist film "Un Chien Andalou" by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dalí?
    Bat Country's solo is damn good
    I was talking to someone about how good Gates is, despite the criticism a7x get, and I said I loved his solos, and they said "yeah a lot of them are good but I ****ing hate Bat Country." I was astonished
    Iron Maiden's The Prisoner is based on British TV show with the same name and it contains the sampled dialogues from show in its intro.
    Breaking Benjamin's song "Home" off the album "Saturate is fueled by "The Wizard of OZ".
    Solid list, didn't know most of this. My personal would have been Raped In Hatred By Vines Of Thorn by Black Dahlia Murder (based on Evil Dead), but I'm a little late to cast a vote.
    I always thought "Out of the Silent Planet" was based on the novel by the same name. I guess that explains why the lyrics don't really make sense in relation to the book.
    "Other notable 'Tallica tunes based on movies include "One" (based on "Johnny Got His Gun"), "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" (based on "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest")" Er...What? Both One and Welcome Home were based on their respective books, not the movie. The movie version of Johnny Got His Gun is MUCH different to the book
    What????, no Deliverance by Opeth..... WTF?????
    Yes, isn't it strange how UG didn't include every damn song we would all individually pitch in with? How dare they ask us to share our own knowledge in the comments, as though they wouldn't know every single song inspired by a movie ever.
    link no1
    Hey, you're right, there is no Deliverance by Opeth in this list. Good spot, man! You should be like, a detective or something.
    Forbidden Planet was such a good movie. Leslie Neilsen in his prime, doing something other that screwball comedy and a great plot about humans battling with their own id on an alien planet.
    von gelb
    The title track of Death - Scream Bloody Gore is also based on a movie: Re-Animator
    Less notable but Baby Come On by +44 was inspired by Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
    Nero Galon
    The Battle of Evermore by Led Zeppelin was based off The Lord of the Rings (books, but film came later so could still apply?)
    They included a lot of LOTR references here and there. Ramble On is one that comes to mind. "Twas in the darkest depths of Mordor, I met a girl so fair. But Golem and the Evil One crept up and slipped away with her" I'm not really familiar with LOTR but I don't think its that accurate to what happened though.
    Not a movie but still, that iconic bass line in Pink Floyd's One of These Days was inspired by the classic Doctor Who theme.