Mystery Train24. 'Mystery Train' (1989)

Highlights: 'Mystery Train' by Elvis Presley, 'Memphis Train' by Rufus Thomas, 'Mystery Train' by Junior Parker

Why It's a Hit: Together with its soundtrack, Jim Jarmusch's 'Mystery Train' captures the uniquely American landscape of Memphis, a place where black and white cultures combined to create an obscure musical genre known as "rock 'n' roll."

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

23. 'The Blues Brothers' (1980)

Highlights: 'Shake a Tail Feather' by Ray Charles, 'Think' by Aretha Franklin

Why It's a Hit: This soundtrack is populated with the undisputed royalty of the R&B world -- Ray Charles' nickname isn't "the Genius" for nothing. As for the rest of the tracks, even with a white guy singing lead, you can't deny the legacy of guitarist Steve Cropper and bassist Donald "Duck" Dunn, who had a hand in nearly every hit produced by Memphis' legendary Stax Records label.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

22. 'Pretty in Pink' (1986)

Highlights: 'If You Leave' by OMD, 'Pretty in Pink' by the Psychedelic Furs

Why It's a Hit: Based on a song of the same name, the film boasted OMD hit 'If You Leave,' and songs from '80s staples New Order ('Shellshock') and INXS ('Do Wot You Do'). Even though 'Try a Little Tenderness' never made it on the official soundtrack, Ducky's endearing lip-sync performance made some of us wish Andie ended up with him and not Blane.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

21. '8 Mile' (2002)

Highlights:
'Lose Yourself' by Eminem, 'Wanksta' by 50 Cent

Why It's a Hit:
While the film itself used nostalgic mid-'90s hip-hop, the soundtrack united icons of 21st-century rap: Eminem, Jay-Z, 50 Cent and Nas. The epic single 'Lose Yourself' is pure pulsating gold. Even Jodie Foster digs it.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

Dirty Dancing20. 'Dirty Dancing' (1987)

Highlights: 'Hey Baby' by Bruce Channel, 'Love Is Strange' by Mickey & Sylvia, '(I've Had) the Time of My Life' by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes

Why It's a Hit: It may have been the era of synth-pop and power ballads, but 1987 was the summer we went to Kellerman's ... and fell in love with '60s pop all over again. (C'mere, lover boy!) Even with the, um, charitable inclusion of Patrick Swayze's foray into music, for a few glorious months, this album was the one thing we couldn't get enough of.

Buy the soundtrack
| Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

19. 'The Harder They Come' (1972)

Highlights: 'Pressure Drop' by the Maytals, 'Many Rivers to Cross' by Jimmy Cliff, 'Draw Your Breaks' by Scotty, 'Shanty Town' by Desmond Dekker

Why It's a Hit: Though the UK was already enjoying an influx of Jamaican culture at the time, this soundtrack and film were one of the first introductions of reggae to the U.S., and as such it's still a beloved favorite amongst fans and tourists of the genre. It might be the most enjoyable end-to-end listen on this list.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

18. 'Grosse Point Blank' (1997)

Highlights: 'Blister in the Sun' by the Violent Femmes, 'Absolute Beginners' by the Jam, 'Live & Let Die' by Guns N' Roses

Why It's a Hit: With Clash rocker Joe Strummer as composer, you know you're in for a quality listen. The first album was so popular (reaching no. 31 on the Billboard 200), that a second disc was released, including songs from alt rockers Siouxsie & the Banshees and Echo & the Bunnymen, with '99 Luftballoons' and a-ha's classic 'Take on Me' thrown in for irony.

Buy the soundtrack
| Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

17. 'The Big Chill' (1983)

Highlights: 'What's Goin' On' by Marvin Gaye, 'My Girl' by Smokey Robinson, 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' by Procol Harum

Why It's a Hit: The definitive collection of Motown musts, this album rocks everything from the Temptations to the Rascals to Three Dog Night and Aretha Franklin -- and it hit No. 17 on the 1983 Billboard 200 as a result. If ever we gather with old college buddies in a posh winter house after a funeral, this is the soundtrack we're bringing.

Buy the soundtrack | Rent the DVD | Buy the DVD

PREVIOUS NEXT