The 30 Best Movie Songs of the Last 40 Years – Part II

20 Jul

17. Up Where We Belong, by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, from An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

Who could forget the scene in An Officer and a Gentleman where Marge turns up to Homer’s workplace Zack (Richard Gere) arrives at his girlfriend Paula’s (Debra Winger) workplace and carries her off the factory floor, all whilst Up Where We Belong is bellowed out? It is easily the most iconic scene of the film, but it almost didn’t happen.

Initially Gere did not want to do the scene, as the idea of an officer turning up to his girlfriend’s work in full navy attire and carrying her away seemed overly sentimental. He almost had director Taylor Hackleford convinced, until at the scene’s rehearsal extras began clapping spontaneously.   Even then, Don Simpson, the producer, attempted to have Up Where We Belong taken away from the scene as he didn’t think it was going to be a hit. Goes to show why Simpson is in the movie biz, and not the music scene, because the song was a huge hit and bagged a ton of awards. Even Joe Cocker sounds like he’s about to cry when he sings it.

Stats: Number 1 in the US and Australia, number 7 in the UK; Academy Award win; Golden Globe win.

Penalty Points: In fairness, that scene is extremely cheesy.

Bonus Points: Joe Cocker’s gravelly voice threatening to break into sobs; high spoof-ability.

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