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Play the Album, Burn the Film: 20 Great Soundtracks From Bad Movies

From disco fevers to drive-in-movie homages, we sift through those musically blessed movies that were better heard than seen

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Fox Seachlight/courtesy Everett Collection; 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images; Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images; Universal/Getty Images

If one were to judge a movie based purely on its soundtrack, then Purple Rain — Prince's breakthrough film, which is celebrating its 30th anniversary  — would possibly trump Citizen Kane on just about every "best movie" list there is. "When Doves Cry," "Let's Go Crazy," "Darling Nikki," "I Would Die 4 U," "The Beautiful Ones," the title track: these songs are all on one album, people! Unfortunately for the artist formerly known as the Artist Formerly Known as Prince, great music can't hide, say, some less-than-stellar acting, shaky direction, and/or a shoddily written script. No offense, Prince fans, but even the purifying waters of Lake Minnetonka can't cure everything. 

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But Purple Rain is hardly the first "bad" movie to boast a killer soundtrack, nor will it be the last. In honor of the Purple One's film hitting the big 3-0, we're counting down 20 other bad movies with great soundtracks. Open your ears, cover your eyes, and read on. By Jennifer Wood

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‘Tron: Legacy’ (2010)

Entrusted with fashioning a long-awaited sequel to the original 1982 video-game-cinema landmark/cult classic, director Joseph Kosinski called upon EDM pioneers and Seventies-disco revivalists Daft Punk to help bring the cyber-updated Tron 2.0 into the new millennium. It worked: The mysterious French duo took a more orchestral road to creating the film's soundtrack, utilizing a 100-piece orchestra for many of the album's 22 tracks, and creating one of this lackluster movie's only bright spots. With any luck, its lasting legacy will be its man-machine, future-funk score.

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