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Chuck Berry in the movies: unforgettable scenes from Back to the Future to Pulp Fiction
By
Jennifer Van Evra

Published

March 22, 2017

Father of rock 'n' roll Chuck Berry died on Saturday, and ever since, tributes have been pouring in.

Berry's legacy will not only live on in rock music, but also in the movies. In fact, his songs have played key roles in films for over four decades. So which cinematic scenes have been backed by the music of Berry? Here are some of the most memorable.


Movie: Pulp Fiction
Song: "You Never Can Tell"

"I do believe Marsellus, my husband, your boss, told you to take me out and do whatever I wanted," says Uma Thurman in the legendary scene from Quentin Tarantino's landmark film Pulp Fiction. "Now I want to dance, I want to win. I want that trophy, so dance good."


Movie: Back to the Future
Song: "Johnny B. Goode"

Marty McFly travels back to Nov. 12, 1955, to perform this rock 'n' roll classic with the Starlighters at the Enchantment Under the Sea dance. Marty introduces the song as "an oldie," but it's a style the crowd has never heard before — and Marvin Berry calls his cousin, Chuck, so he can hear the new sound. Marty goes a little too far out on his guitar solo, and concludes that the audience was not quite ready for it — "but their kids will be."


Movie: Home Alone
Song: "Run Rudolph Run"

Actually, this rockin' holiday track has appeared in so many Christmas movies that they're hard to count, but Home Alone, Jingle All the Way, The Santa Clause 2, Stealing Christmas and Deck the Halls are just a few of many. In Home Alone, Catherine O'Hara and her clan — down one, of course — rush to catch a holiday flight.


Movie: Things Are Tough All Over
Song: "Johnny B. Goode"

Not only does the Chuck Berry classic open the film with a bang, but Stoner legends Cheech & Chong discuss Berry's legacy — or at least one of them does. "A lot of people think Elvis was the king of rock 'n' roll, but I say it's Chuck Berry," argues Chong as Cheech snoozes. "Chuck Berry will always be the king in my books."


Movie: American Graffiti
Song: "Johnny B. Goode"

A water balloon thrown into a classic car comes with serious consequences in this famous scene from American Graffiti, a film lined front to back with classic songs.


Movie: Alice in the Cities
Song: "Memphis, Tennessee"

Not only does Berry appear in this 1974 Wim Wenders movie, about an aspiring journalist sent to cover the United States for a German magazine, but footage of Berry performing is also featured.


Movie: Class Reunion
Song: "It Wasn't Me"

Berry also performs in the National Lampoon classic Class Reunion, where he watches on as reunion-goers show off some interesting dance moves.


Movie: Rock 'n' Roll High School
Song: "Hail, Hail Rock 'n' Roll"

Determined to get a song she wrote to the Ramones, a young high school student skips school, gets decked out in a superhero outfit and sets up camp outside the venue they're playing to land tickets. Song starts at 28:23.

More to explore

In his own words: Chuck Berry on life, fame and rock 'n' roll

The time Chuck Berry played the opening of a car dealership in Ladner, B.C.

'He was a true pioneer': Canadians react to the death of Chuck Berry