Film Squeezeboxes

Silver Screen Notes (K-O)

Kastilianische Rhapsodie / / 1938

many girls in ballroom dresses with PAs in this accordion revue movie you know, the Goldwyn Follies,1930's type, but with loads of accordions.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Kid / Hal Hartley / 1984

Janine Erickson plays the accordion girl in this 33 minute short film.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Kids / Larry Clark / 1995

two of the kids stop and watch a man who is in the subway station singing and playing a PA. This is not a light and fluffy movie!


Koko Flanel / Stijn Coninx / Belgium / 1990

There is a Bavarian style band at a fashion show (with an accordion).

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Kornblumenblau / Leszek Wosiewicz / 1988

Based on a true story of a Polish musician who survived the concentration camp only because he could play on the accordion the title melody.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Kozimnin Karasy (The Biography of a Young Accordion Player) / Satybaldy Narymbetov /

Kazakh director. A journey into the past.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Ladies of the Chorus / Phil Karlson / 1949

With Adele Jergens and Marilyn Monroe. A burlesque queens daughter (MM) falls in love with a society man. At engagement party at end of movie the band features a piano accordion where it is revealed that (gasp) MM herself was a former burlesque performer. Alas, all ends well.

[Tom Sullivan]

Lady and the Tramp / Disney Production / 1955

A one-row (upside down) is played in the restaurant scene.

[Craig Hollingsworth]

The Last Emperor / Han Hsiang Li / 1985

In a scene near the end there is a huge parade of accordion players.

[Jared M Snyder]

A really beautiful cheng makes an appearance at the railroad scene ...Toward the end of the movie an accordion band plays in a parade.

[Craig Hollingsworth]

The Last Metro / Truffaut /

Starring Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu. It takes place in occupied France. There's a cafe scene with some gorgeous musette accordion music. It's a wonderful film.

[Wendy Morrison]

Last of the Mohicans / /

Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, you don't see it, but there is some accordion playing in it. It comes from the magic fingers of Phil Cunningham, who has worked with Silly Wizard, and done some solo work. He is a phenomenal accordonist, but rather subdued on this piece, and damned if I can remember the name of it!

I also love this movie, because there is some great fiddle work done by an old friend of mine, Scottish singer-songwriter Dougie MacLean. At the end of the movie when the girl jumps off the mountain after her lover has been killed, the fiddle tune is Dougie's. The soundtrack won some pretty prestigious awards.


The Last Waltz / Martin Scorsese / 1976

This is one of the best concert movies ever done. It is the last concert the group did together, and was shot Thanksgiving weekend of '76 at the Winterland in San Francisco. The tune you want to listen to is "Evangeline". It's toward the end of the movie, and they sing it with Emmylou Harris. Check out the beautiful old accordion that Garth Hudson plays with such style and grace.

That accordion shows up in a concert film that was done in 1990 or '91. It was Roger Waters doing a live version of Pink Floyd's "The Wall" in Berlin. Sinead O'Connor sings "Mother" and her backup band includes Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson. He plays the most beautiful accordion on that tune - so melodic, so flowing, so eloquent. It also shows up at the end when everyone is on stage singing the last song. You can see him in the background playing.


The Last Wave / Peter Weir /

a character stumbles or is chased into a bar where there's a small band (including button accordion of some sort of course) playing the Irish jig "Donnybrook Fair".

[Walker Anderson]

Latcho Drom / Tony Gatlif / 1993

about Gypsy music ...includes some accordions The translation of the title is apparently "Safe Journey".

Baz Cooper]

The Roumanian Rom group in Latch Drom are known as the Taraf de Haidouks, actually from the Valachian village of Clejani, south of Bucharest. They have two great CDs out on CramWorld Records (Belgium) which feature some truly amazing accordion gymnastics. Five stars. Check it out.

Mark Rubin]]

...the accordion highlight of the movie is the Romanian sequence.

[Chuck Borsos]

Laura / Otto Preminger / 1944

Accordionist Tony Galla-Rini plays on the soundtrack.

[Steve Navoyosky]

The Lavender Hill Mob / Charles Crichton / 1952

An Ealing Studios comedy. There's a piano accordion in the band that plays in the restaurant in the tropics where we find Alec Guinness after a successful job.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

The Leader of the Band / Nessa Hyams / 1987

Steve Landesburg as the director of a high school marching band. Where it gets a little quirky is that he has a bagpiper and an accordionist trying out for the band, and they make it! I found that movie on the shelf of a video rental place in Wawa, Ontario, and I think Comedy Central played it once a few years ago. Hard movie to find, but kinda cute.


Lisbon Story / Wim Wenders /

Madredeus with Gabriel Gomes on accordion play in this film. I haven't seen it, but I believe their presence in it is quite prominent.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Local Hero / Bill Forsyth / 1983

Wonderful British comedy starring Burt Lancaster & Peter Reigert.Check out the ceilidh. Not only is there one, but there's two fellows playing accordion


Loch Ness / /

stars Ted Danson and Jolie Richardson. There are two scenes with an accordionist: one in a pub and the other wearing a kilt at a dance. I'm the accordionist!

[Jean-marie Carroll]

Love in the Afternoon / /

starring Gary Cooper as the unlikely aging playboy who falls in love with Audrey Hepburn, a French cellist, father Maurice Chevalier, and at various moments a four-piece gypsy band appears to play the background theme. 1957 b&w.

[Cliff Gaddis (President) - Houston Accordion Association]

Love Me or Leave Me / Charles Vidor / 1955

starring Doris Day and the title is also theme music by the same name. It occurs about the 1920's...flapper days.....and I 'think' it has to do with someone's life story. Gad! It's been Soooooo long since I've seen that show. Anyhow, Dominic Frontiere is the accordionist and accompanys Doris Day 'onstage'. The unique part of this is that Dominic uses a 1950 Excelsior Symphony Grand.....for the 1920 scenario. Anyhow, take this'll love the show.

[Steve Navoyosky]

L' Uomo delle stelle (The Star Maker/The Star Man)/ Giuseppe Tornatore / 1995

Italy. I saw a glimpse of a piano accordion in the trailer!

[Jeroen Nijhof]

The Magic Box / John Boulting / 1951

features a Concertina and stars Glynis Johns, Richard Attenborough, Sir John Gielgud. Herbert Greene played the concertina in the Crystal Palace Fairground sequence ("Knees up Mother Brown").It was based on the life of Movie Inventor, William Friese-Green.

[Gary Blair]

Magical Mystery Tour / The Beatles / 1967

Shirly Evans plays some accordion in this Beatle's film. But ``Shirley's Wild Accordion'' (Lennon--McCartney), that was recorded for the film on 12 October 1967 by Shirley Evans, Reg Wale, Paul and Ringo, wasn't used.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

The Magnificent Obsession / Douglas Sirk / 1954

A tearjerker starring Jane Wyman and Rock Hudson. During a romantic scene Rock is dancing with Jane who plays a blind woman. An accordionist is playing the music in aa small restaurant/club. Later there is more accordion music in the soundtrack. The action takes place somewhere in Germany/Austria/Switzerland.


Maennerpension / Detlev Buck / 1995

The main characters are played by: Til Schweiger, Detlev Buck, Heike Makatsch and Marie Baeumer who plays the accordion as she does in real life too, which was the reason to introduce this scene into the film.

[Bernhard Sieben]

The Man Who Shot Eichmann / /

Jim Boggio is the accordionist on the soundtrack.

[Jeroen Nijhof &Wendy Morrison]

Map of the Human Heart / Vincent Ward / 1992

Inuits with squeezeboxes.

[Rich Holmes]

Miramax. Wonderful accordion music in the beginning, but stay tuned, as in a little while, an old Eskimo lady plays the stuffing out of a little button-box. Good movie.

[Neal Robinson]

Marc and Ann / Les Blank / 1991

A portrait of Marc and Ann Allen Savoy; proponents of Cajun music and traditions. They discuss their love for the music and the activities this has involved them in. Ann tells a story of how Marc flirted with her when they first met by saying something like, "your face is so beautiful, you have more freckles than a turkey egg." She apparently was greatly impressed. Marc talks about lying awake at night wondering what he could use around the house to make his first accordions...plate-holder springs and toilet levers..! It's really quite an enjoyable film. Flower Films, El Cerrito, Calif. 28 minutes long.

[Karen Dereszynski]

Mary Poppins / Disney Production / 1964

Bert "plays" an anglo concertina (heard as an accordion) as part of his one-man-band in the opening.

[Craig Hollingsworth]

Max / Freddy Coppens / 1994

Belgium. A comedy about an aspiring tango dancer, so the soundtrack is filled with bandoneons.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Maximum Risk / Ringo Lam / 1996

a Jean-Claude Van Damme movie which has a scene of an accordionist wandering around playing his PA in a Turkish bath.

[Dennis Souter]

M. Butterfly / / 1993

Cadman Chui plays the accordion player.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

The Meaning of Life / Monty Python / 1983

UK. There is an accordion in the soundtrack, in the accompagniment for the song 'Every Sperm is Sacred' (either that, or the song just before that -- 'O Lord Please Don't Burn Us'

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Men Don't Leave / Paul Brickman / 1989

Jessica Lange stars as a recently-widowed young women struggling to raise her kids alone. To cheer her up, her musician boyfriend (Arliss Howard) invites her to a polka dance where he joins in on PA with the house band.

[Dennis Souter]

Accordionist Frank Marocco plays on the soundtrack.

[Steve Navoyosky]

Midnight Run / Martin Brest / 1988

Accordionist Frank Marocco plays on the soundtrack.

[Steve Navoyosky]

A Midsummer's Night Dream / / 1999

W. Shakespere. Ricardo Tesi of Italy plays melodeon with a small ensemble in a Tuscan wedding scene.

[Cliff Furnald]

Mi Familia / Gregory Nava / 1995

squeeze in soundtrack.


The Milagro Beanfield War / Robert Redford / 1988

Features, prominently, a little old man (who is actually an angel), dancing around the town (he is invisible except to one of Milagro's old-timers) playing his beat-up Anglo concertina. He is faking it. The soundtrack is possibly of an accordion. Ruben Blades plays the Sheriff.

[Wendy Morrison]

The "accordion" was really a keyboard synthesizer played by Dave Grusin who composed the music.

[Steve Navoyosky]

Moby Dick / John Houston / 1957

Alf Edwards was shown playing English Concertina. It was not a common sailor instrument, though the (very cheap) Anglo was more common, and the mis-apprehension comes from this movie.

[Don Nichols]

A Month by the Lake / John Irvin / 1995

I saw a brief scene in the trailer wherein strolling musicians were playing for the main characters as they walked lakeside. One of the instruments was an accordion.


Moskva Slezam Ne Verit (Moscow Doesn't Believe in Tears) / Vladimir Menskov / 1979

accordions and English concertina.

[Craig Hollingsworth]

Moving Out / Michael Pattinson / 1983

Jon Papaleo plays the Accordionist.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Much Ado About Nothing / Kenneth Branagh / 1993

I'm not sure what era Branagh set this version in, though it was certainly post-Shakespeare. I'd guess late 18th-early 19th century... which is why I cringed when the piano accordion appeared!

[Rich Holmes]

My Darling Clementine / / 1946

Danny Borzage is the accordionist.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

My Life So Far / Hugh Hudson / 1999

An older fellow plays a button box at the Halloween dance for the children. He plays a tune for a traditional dance form.


Nadine / /

Besides accordion this film has, if I remember right, Kim Basinger and Jeff Bridges in it.


Night at the Opera /Marx Bros. /

One of the best movies the Marx Brothers did. Check out the scenes on the lower decks of the ship with all the people.


Night on Earth / Jim Jarmusch / 1991

Another film soundtrack that is accordion-heavy. The Tom Waits soundtrack features a lot of accordion playing (an educated guess is that the accordionist is David Hidalgo of Los Lobos fame, who plays the piano accordion on several Tom Waits albums).

[Ezra Ball]

The Accordionist on Jim Jarmusch' Night On Earth is Josef Brinckmann, see

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Nightmare before Christmas / Tim Burton /

A cute little stuffed Christmas Bear seated under a Christmas tree plays a (if you can call it one) Concertina in one of the scenes of this film. The Concertina is toy bear sized and basically only a bellows with two hexagonal ends.

[Don Larson]

Night Passage / James Neilson / 1957

A western movie featuring Jimmy Stewart as an accordion-playing trouble- shooter for the railroad in frontier Colorado.

[Dennis Souter]

According to "James Stewart, a biography" Jimmy played his accordion despite being wrongfully accused of stealing the railroad payroll. Later, a professional musician dubbed "most" of his playing. The original director, Mann, bailed out of this project in early preproduction.

[Craig Hollingsworth]

Night to Remember / Roy Ward Baker / 1958

B/W. One scene showed the steerage passengers dancing to a concertina. It was a nice 56 key metal ended Aeola and the person holding it was actually playing it. As it was not a duet I don't think it was Alf Edwards.

[Colin Mallett]

North to Alaska / Henry Hathaway / 1960

John Wayne stars as a gold prospector charged with escorting Capuchin to Alaska to meet her intended husband. Fabian, the husband-to-be's brother, attempts to woo the woman by playing his concertina and singing to her while she bathes. Earlier in the film, John Wayne throws him and his 'tina off a boat into the drink. All rather soggy from a squeezebox perspective!

[Dennis Souter]

No Time for Sergeants / Mervyn LeRoy / 1958

Andy Griffith's drill sergeant had a twelve bass PA hung on the wall of his barracks room. A fight occurred in the dormitory outside that shook the instrument off the wall and sent it squalling to the floor. It was based on a book by Mac Hyman. Andy Griffith also starred in the Broadway show that preceded the film (but I don't know if they used a squeezebox in NY). AMC shows the film on a regular basis.

[Lou Dunham]

Le Notti de Cabiria (The Nights of Cabiria) / Fellini / 1957

Italy/France co-production. The basis of Bob Fosse's "Sweet Charity," although you can barely tell it. Follows Cabiria, an innocent soul who happens to work as a streetwalker in Rome as she is victimized by various sleezy males. A young accordionist seranades her as she joins a hopeful parade of youths at the end of the movie.

[Rachel Hinshaw]

Office Killer / Cindy Sherman /

I play accordion on this film. The score is by Evan Lurie.

[Guy Klucevsek]

Oliver / Carol Reed / 1968

Peter Honri played the MacCann duet and a miniature anglo. There's couple of good photos of it in his book "Working the Halls", which is incidentally a treasure trove of photos and information about his father, Percy Honri, the noted duet player and music hall performer.

[Gary Blair]

McCann duet in one scene in the film (which is an adaptation of the Charles Dickens novel "Oliver Twist").

[Steve Simpson]

Once Around / Lasse Hallstroum / 1991

A comedy about Holly Hunter falling in love with older salesman, Richard Dreyfuss, which leads to trouble with her family. Dreyfuss sings a Lithuanian song, accompanied by three members of the Mandala Orchestra, among which there is a piano accordionist.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

Oy, vy Gusi (Farewell Geese) / Lidija Bobrava / 1991 Russia

A rather bleak film about three sons of an accordionist, of which at least two play the accordion. I didn't watch it, because it is a bit too bleak for my taste (drinking problems, invalids, one son just leaving the prison...), but I did keep zapping to it for accordion content. I _think_ I saw a bayan and a garmoshka.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

On Top of Old Smokey / / 1953

Gene Autrey film which features Cass County Boys : Fred Martin, Jerry Scroggins and Bert Dodson,who invaded Hollywood in 1945 armed with accordion,guitar and bass. Accordionist Fred Martin started off on the Dallas,Texas, airwaves but was soon joined by his two partners. After the war they were contracted by Autrey who included them in his radio show and his films.

[Gary Blair & Joyce Ashcroft]

In nearly all of Gene's movies as the credits appear at the beginning, Gene's sidekick, Smiley Burnett appears playing a piano accordion. He usually plays something during the movie too. In one case, he plays PA in the conventional manner and a kind of Glockenspiel with his feet.

[Craig Hollingsworth]

Our Man Flint / Daniel Mann / 1966

A James Bond spoof. Accordion on the soundtrack provides French and Italian couleur locale.

[Jeroen Nijhof]

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Squeezeboxes onthe Silver Screen

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