Classic movies in music videos: Boots by The Killers

This is December’s edition of Comet Over Hollywood’s classic film references in music videos.

The song's single cover channels "Citizen Kane"

Right on the heels of watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946) in Mount Airy, I want to share a reference of the film in The Killer’s 2010 Christmas single “Boots.”  It was the fifth Christmas single the band wrote to help raise money for AIDS.

The video starts off with George Bailey (Jimmy Stewart) praying for help in “It’s a Wonderful Life” right after the $8,000 is lost and he thinks he is going to jail. The song also mentions the movie title in the chorus.

The cover of the single also references “Citizen Kane.” The snow globe with the boots inside is similar to the snow globe Charles Foster Kane is holding when he dies.

“Boots” was directed by “Napoleon Dynamite” director Jared Hess and the homeless man in the video is street performer Brad “Super Bad Brad” Prowley- I had no idea he was anyone well-known until a today.

Most of the band’s Christmas songs are silly and fun, such as “Don’t Shoot Me Santa Claus”, “Great Big Sleigh” and “The Cowboy Christmas Ball.” However, this video is about home, memories and is a bit more serious and sentimental. I believe this might be, because Flowers’ mother passed away in February 2010 and he was dedicating it to her and childhood memories, though this is just an assumption.

As most of you know The Killers are my favorite band. In past classic film in music video posts I have shared their videos “All the Things I Have Done” and “Bones.”  From what I have heard in interviews and read in articles, I feel like lead singer Brandon Flowers appreciates the old times and classic film. He was raised in Las Vegas and tries to channels the Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin and Elvis days of 1960s Las Vegas in his performances and music.

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Classic Movies in Music Videos: “Bones” by The Killers

Here we have another installment of music videos that feature either classic movie stars, movies or reference classic movies.

This month’s music video is “Bones” by The Killers from their album “Sam’s Town.”

The video is of a guy and a girl in a drive in movie and we see several classic films on-screen as well as being acted out by the couple.

Some movie references are:
•”Jason and the Argonauts” (Very first shot, the fact that the band members are skeletons
•”From Here to Eternity” (1953)- :30 seconds, 1:00, 1:30
•”Easy to Love” (1953)-  2:12
•”Lolita” (1962)- 2:39
•”Creature from the Black Lagoon” (1954)- 3:16

Enjoy and let me know if I missed any!

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Classic movies in music videos: “All These Things That I’ve Done”-The Killers

I’m starting yet another new feature on “Comet” about actors and actresses, or anything classic film related, in music videos. The last video I posted featured Cyd Charisse in the Blue Mercedes video “I Want to Be Your Property.”

The video featured today is The Killer’s 2004 song “All These Things I Have Done” from their first album “Hot Fuss.”  The song has two videos; the other is the band playing a concert and walking down the street hugging people-not as interesting as this one. This video was made in 2005 and seems to have a more “Sam’s Town” album feel.

Dangerous go-go dancers in “Faster Pussycat Kill Kill”

The video doesn’t have a classic actor in it, but references the movie “Faster Pussycat… Kill! Kill!” (1965). Complete with desert setting and deadly, buxom women.  The Asian character in the music video with the braids, seems to be channeling the late Tura Santana’s character, Vula.

The music video story is out of order, but you can understand the sequence by paying attention to the numbers each girl holds up.

Side Note: I recently saw the cult film “Faster Pussycat… Kill! Kill!” and have to admit, it was hard to find anything to like about it.  I wasn’t really sure why they killed the girl’s boyfriend and and her bogus karate move that supposedly killed him more than likely would have just dislocated his shoulder.

This isn’t the only time the Killer’s reference class film in lyrics or videos. The lead singer of The Killer’s, Brandon Flowers, is mormon and has very traditional values. Lyrics like “red white and blue upon a birthday cake,” “Some kind of slick, chrome American prince” and “A southern drawl, a world unseen” give a feeling of Americana.  In other songs Flowers sings about old actors like Marlon Brandon, James Dean and Greta Garbo as I discussed in a post back in June.

Here is the amusing and fun video for “All These Things That I Have Done” (I apologize that you will have to open it in a new window):

This won’t be the last time you hear about The Killer’s on here. They are my favorite band, but they have more classic movie references. Check back for the next classic movies and actors in music videos!

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Even Gaga likes the classics

Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers, lead singer of the Killers

I am always listening for classic movie information, facts or references. Imagine my surprise while listening to my two favorite musical artists, Lady Gaga and The Killers, when I ran across some classic film references.

I’m not talking about the old worn out “Bette Davis Eyes” where the whole song is dedicated to one actor, but these are subtle lyrics mentioning favorite actors.

It gives me joy that Lady Gaga and Brandon Flowers must have some respect for classic Hollywood. It seems so many of the people in Hollywood don’t care about the past or are unaware. Without the James Cagneys and Bette Davises, the actors in Hollywood wouldn’t have the freedom they exercise now.

“The Ballad of Michael Valentine” by The Killers from the Sawdust album:
“But I’ve got a buzz like Marlon Brando straight faced with misery tonight”
“But I’ve got a buzz like Greta Garbo walking fowards in the sun”

“Romeo and Juliet” covered by the Killers on the Sawdust album:
“There’s a place for us, you know the movie song”
-talking about “West Side Story

•”A Dustland Fairytale” by the Killers on the Day & Age album:
“‘Moon River’ what you do to me, but I don’t believe you…”
-Mentions the theme from “Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The video seems to be modeled after “Rebel Without a Cause” or “West Side Story” with the switch blade gang fighting.

• “Speechless” by Lady Gaga from The Fame Monster album:
“With your James Dean glossy eyes In your tight jeans with your long hair”
“I can’t believe how you looked at me with your Johnnie Walker eyes”
-I actually had to look up who Johnnie Walker was. He was an actor in the 1920’s and 1930s
and he died in 1949.

• “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga from The Fame Monster album:
“I want your psycho, Your vertigo stick, Want you in my rear window, Baby you’re sick”
-Huge Hitchcock reference talking about “Psycho,” “Vertigo” and “Rear Window.” I
heard in an interview that she was sighting imperfect film romances and saying that she
would take your imperfections and still love you anyways.

• “Dance in the Dark” by Lady Gaga from The Fame Monster album:
“Marilyn, Judy, Sylvia, Tellem’ how you feel girls!”
-Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland and I’m assuming Sylvia Plath
“Work your blonde (Jean) Benet Ramsey, We’ll haunt like Liberace, find your freedom in the music find your Jesus, find your Kubrick”
-Pianist Liberace and director Stanley Kubrick

Kim Novak, the Lavender Blonde

• “So Happy I Could Die” by Lady Gaga from The Fame Monster album:
“I love that lavender blonde, the way she moves, the way she walks….”
-In her early days of acting, Kim Novak was publicized as the Lavender Blonde or the Lavender
Girl at Columbia studios. They tinted her blonde hair with lavender highlights, frequently
dressed her in shades of purple and forced her to decorate her apartment in the color, according to the book “Leading Ladies: The 50 Most Unforgettable Actresses of the Studio Era.”

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