Helen Slater is Invincible in the Legend of Billie Jean
It was mid-afternoon on Sunday and my wife and I started talking about the idea of the best songs in movies – the songs that capture a moment beautifully in ways that dialogue or cinematography simply cannot. In other words, the perfect song for the perfect scene.
She mentioned a movie that I had never heard of, which is strange because I have seen far too many movies in my life and most of them stick at least a little in the brain. This one did not: The Legend of Billie Jean.
So I went straight to Netflix to add it to the list, but it wasn’t there. I checked Amazon for the DVD, but evidently it’s only on VHS. (The
Moviezzz Blog has a good write-up of the forgotten film and the search for a copy of it.) Never to fear, I found it on YouTube – in 9 parts. So I hooked my computer up to my TV, routed the audio through my stereo, and watched the movie in 10 minute chunks.
Helen Slater (of Secret of My Success and Super Girl fame) stars as Billie Jean along with Christian Slater who plays her brother in his movie debut. Despite sharing the same last name, I am told (by the almighty IMDB) they are not actually related in real life.
But that’s neither here nor there – it’s all about the music. And the music is good. There are 10 songs in the movie, including “Rebel Yell” by Billy Idol, a couple of songs from the Divinyls and a few from Bruce Witkin and the Kids. But all these songs are just filler for the great opus that is Pat Benatar’s “Invincible.” The song is basically used as the score to the movie, with bars of it being played in every major scene in the film.
But the perfect song, perfect scene moment isn’t until the end when(Spoiler Alert) Billie Jean finally faces down Hubie’s dad and exacts her “fair is fair” revenge. Money flies, merchandise burns, towering idols fall. It’s all super melodrama at its 80s best. All the while, Invincible blares in the background sounding Billie Jean’s barbaric yawp against the injustices of the world.
Here’s the video for Invincible:
And here’s the last 10 minutes of the movie, including the climactic perfect song, perfect scene, which starts 6 minutes and 30 seconds into the clip.
And here are the videos and downloads for the songs from the movie – on ReelSoundtrack.com.