“No Country For Old Men” and 9 other films are free of soundtracks and contain no music

It is pretty much a given that most movies will contain music in some capacity. Frankly, background music — whether it’s a piece written for a movie or a collection of pre-existing songs — probably goes unnoticed a lot of the time. A lot of movies have some kind of music in almost every scene, because it’s a way to evoke emotion and visually add to what’s in front of the viewer.

Related: From ‘Nosferatu’ to ‘Häxan’: The Greatest Horrors of the Silent Era

Then there are movies that feature no or no music outside of their credit sequence. It can be very difficult to watch a movie without traditional recordings, seeing as even silent movies tend to have music playing in the background. However, the following 10 examples show that it is possible, and can even make a movie more powerful.

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“No Country for Old Men” (2007)


The movie that won Coen brothers oscar best movie, There is no country for old menis a dark and brutally realistic crime thriller about two men who engage in a cat-and-mouse game over a briefcase full of money. Adding to the sense of grit and realism is the lack of music, as its suspenseful scenes are played without traditional tunes.

It contrasts with many of the other well-known films the Coens have made, as their films tend to have great soundtracks, with Inside Llewyn DavisAnd the Brother, where are you?And the The Big Lebowski stand out in particular. Here, the film’s silence adds to the experience greatly, as viewers have to wait until the end credits to hear music from the Coens’ regular composer, Carter Burwell.

“Hidden” (2005)

Cache - 2005

Michael Haneke He is an iconic director on the international scene whose films are often distinguished by their deliberate steps, somber subject matter and sparse use of music. hidden A movie that has no music until 11, with this dark thriller about a French couple who are stalked and regularly given strange videotapes is remarkably quiet and devoid of conventional points.

Of course, this only makes things even stranger, allowing an already tense and nerve-wracking movie to become even more stomach upset. It’s not an easy movie to watch, like most of what Haneke makes, but the decision to keep things quiet only heightens and strengthens the suspense. hidden strength in the process.

“Alice” (1988)

Alice - 1988

even if Alice The kind of background music you’d expect in a fantasy movie, it’s still pretty unsettling. This takes on a story Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland It mixes live action with stop motion animation in a very weird way. while others take Alice in Wonderland It may have some nightmarish scenes, this movie adaptation is like a prolonged fever dream.

Related: Guillermo Del Toro’s “Pinocchio” and other dark fairy tales not aimed at children

And the fact that the title character’s journey into the famous dream world doesn’t contain music only adds to the eerie, otherworldly feel of it all. This is definitely not a movie that younger viewers should see, given how scary it is, but older viewers who would like a dark and disturbingly quiet story Alice in Wonderland You might get something out of it.

“Dog Starman” (1964)

Prelude_ Dog Star Man - 1962

Divided into five parts (one of which is on the list of “1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die”), Starman dog A strange movie as simple or complex as the viewer wants. At its core, it’s about a guy climbing a mountain with his dog, with plenty of weird visuals and inexplicable sequences that could be interpreted any number of ways.

It is technically a silent film in the most extreme sense, containing no dialogue, sound effects, or music. So it’s all about the visuals, with the bizarre journey viewers take likely to captivate some while filling in others, as many experimental films do.

“Sully” (2016)

Tom Cruise on a lifeboat after the plane crash in Sully.

A directorial effort that has been somewhat overlooked before Clint EastwoodAnd the Sully Tells the true story of Captain Chesley Sullenberger, a pilot who, in 2009, made an emergency landing while in control of a plane with more than 150 people on board. Everyone on board survived, with the fact that the landing occurred on the Hudson River making it all the more dramatic.

Much of the film covers the aftermath of the emergency landing and the investigation that followed the accident, which put pressure on Sullenberger for his heroic actions. It may take some liberties with truth – as historical films do – but the lack of a standard musical score helps give the film an air of realism, particularly in the harrowing scenes depicting an emergency landing.

“The Tribe” (2014)

The Tribe - 2014

tribe Ukrainian film about a school for the deaf with a dark belly. It’s been established that there is a criminal hierarchy of sorts within its walls, as the plot following the protagonist gets mixed up in a gang of organized criminals who effectively run the school, terrorizing those who don’t fall into line.

All of the main characters are deaf, and to reflect that, tribe It is a remarkably quiet movie. There are sound effects, in the sense that it is not a silent film, but the film lacks background music and dialogue, with conversations instead taking place in sign language… This also does not translate via subtitles, which means viewers who are not in the know when it comes to signing will have to try Keep up with the verbs, body language, and visual language of the film.

“Dog Day Afternoon” (1975)

Afternoon on the Dog - 1975

A tense, unnerving thriller about a seemingly simple bank robbery that goes catastrophically wrong. A very hot summer afternoon is one of the most iconic films from the ’70s, and it’s also a defining one Al Pacino At the peak of his powers as an actor.

Related: The Greatest Bank Heist Scenes in Cinema History

technically, A very hot summer afternoon It features a song in its opening sequence, which helps set the mood and setting of the movie. After that, though, it’s two hours of soundtrack-less cinema, which helps the viewer feel as if they’re actually in the bank where the attempted robbery is taking place, given that in the real-life story on which the film was based, there is clearly a There was no background music.

“Frankenstein” (1931)

Frankenstein 1931

1931 Frankenstein is a horror classic, and helped define what Frankenstein’s monster looked like in pop culture going forward. The story is of course a familiar one: there is a scientist who wants to create life, and so with the help of his assistant, he steals body parts from a nearby graveyard and combines them into a strange-looking humanoid creature, which actually comes to life, with disastrous results.

The music is kept to a surprisingly minimal level throughout this early horror flick, and besides the opening and end credits, there’s almost none of it. It contrasts with many films of the period, which often have sweeping, even bombastic music that is hard to ignore or not notice.

Panic in Needle Park (1971)

Panic in Needle Park - 1971

Panic in Needle Park is a fiercely realistic film about two young men who fall in love, one of whom is addicted to heroin, and who drags the other into a drug-dependent lifestyle. It is notable as one of the first leading performances for Al Pacino, who liked the role a year before the first Spiritual father Really made him a star.

Of course, no movie dealing with drug addiction will be an easy watch, but the silence reigns in Panic in Needle Park It makes her very painful and feel real. He chooses to use music, which means the focus is always on the characters and their struggles, with the quiet (and even dull) moments in the lives of those dealing with addiction just as hard as the outwardly dramatic moments.

“The Birds” (1963)

People are running away from killer birds

A few Alfred Hitchcock Famous movies like the birds. This 1963 horror film sees its characters deal with a mysterious series of attacks by flocks of killer birds, with the very existence of an entire city threatened by the unexplained phenomenon.

While many of Hitchcock’s films feature great soundtracks, the birds It was a film that was notably without traditional music. It makes for a more immersive horror movie than expected, with the lack of music in the film’s quiet final sequence ensuring that the birds It ends on an extra haunting and memorable note.

Next: The best silent movies are worth a look if you’ve never seen a silent movie

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