When it comes to movies (and movie soundtracks), I would respectfully submit that “Holding Out for a Hero” is by far the most iconic hero music lent to film. It has become synonymous with the hero of the movie (bonus points if the hero is an underdog), prepping for the big climatic battle and ultimately saving the day.
My introduction to this classic was 1988’s Short Circuit 2 – Johnny 5 realizes he’s been betrayed, so he outfits himself in a punk rocker ensemble and goes after the antagonist of the film.
The next time I personally remember hearing it used in a film was during Shrek 2 (2004) – Fiona is being seduced by a prince who was pretending to be Shrek in human form – but the real Shrek (also in human form) is coming to save her.
It turned up again in 2022’s Bullet Train – this time in Japanese!
Tonight, I witnessed it again – this time in the 2023 Mario Brothers movie. (The clip below is a trailer; the song also makes an appearance during a key sequence).
There are many other movies not listed here that have also used this song. It originally appeared on the Footloose soundtrack, a classic that I will shamefully admit I have yet to see.
So what’s the point of this post? Nothing really, just something that I wanted to share. It’s also worth noting I’m not the first person to speak on this very topic; if this is a rabbit hole you feel like going down, enjoy.