1979 – Shlager
In the beginning of 1979, Ofra was approached by Avraham (Deshe) Pashanell to take a part in a new film directed by Assi Dayan - "Shlager".
The Pale Tracker Trio, which was a very famous Israeli entertainment threesome, was assembled as part of the cast, and Ofra immediately agreed. However, her entrance to the movie was not easy; Svika Pick, the composer of "The Bimbo Song" refused at first that Ofra will sing his song. When he made her an audition, he repeatedly asked her to sing higher and higher, but Ofra, very easily, did so.
Finally, he told Pashanell he doesn't think Ofra is the right Singer for this song. Pashanell answered: "I think she is the right one. If she won't suit us - she will not be in the movie, but I'm telling you she is the right person".
On Shlager Ofra played Dina, a discotheque girl from a traditional home, whose father is trying to pair with a boring accountant. In the meanwhile, she is courted by Ben-Gurion Shemesh, a garage worker who dreams of becoming a singer and a dancer.
"I really enjoyed my first experience with the cinema", says Ofra. "It was something great. It is great to work with The Pale Tracker Trio. It's the best thing that can happen. Assi Dayan gave me a feeling of a superstar - and a girl in her first movie needs nothing more".
Years later Ofra said that the movie made her want to take part in more movies.
In the movie Ofra sang "The Bimbo Song", which immediately became a huge hit, and placed Ofra on the top of the charts.
1979 – Suburban Girl
On the same year, and after her success as an actress, Ofra was assembled as part of the cast of 'Suburban Girl' from George Ovadia.
In the movie Ofra plays Vered, a young girl who became blind because of an accident when she was a child, and has a beautiful voice. Vered meets three friends who live together in a modest rented apartment. Her innocence and her sad life story capture their hearts, and they decide to steal money in order to help her pay for surgery that may save her eye sight. While Vered is in the hospital, two of the three friends are sent to prison for stealing. After recovering, Vered goes back to the house of the three friends but can't find them. An agent she ran into accidentally is impressed by her singing, and takes her under his wing. With his help Vered becomes a successful singer and her songs are played on radio. After the two friends are released from prison, the whole group reunites.
Ofra sings 4 songs in the soundtrack: "Tell Me Where My Friends Are", "Eyes", "Like a Bird" and "You Call Me". Most of them were later included in her first solo Album, which was released in 1980. Another song, "Temporary Song For the Rich", which Ofra sang with the rest of the cast, was included as a solo in her second solo album, "Let's Talk" in 1981 (in a different production than the version in the movie).
Ofra said she didn't enjoy the filming of the movie - "They always made us nervous, and I wasn't calm at all. If Shlager made me want to take part in other movies, Suburban Girl eliminated that wish".
1987 – colors
The soundtrack of this movie was the thing that made the sky the limit for Ofra worldwide. In 1987 the movie Colors starring Sean Penn and Robert Duvall was first screened. For the soundtrack of the movie, Eric B. and Rakim, two black rappers, edited the track Paid in Full.
during the track they sampled a recording of 'Im Nin'alu' by Ofra Haza.
The song which became a huge hit, made many people wonder who is the singer with the unusual voice in the background. Eric B. and Rakim said they didn't even know of Ofra Haza back then, but they loved the song, and this is why they sampled her voice.
Ofra and Bezalel prosecuted for violating copyrights, but they finally reached a settlement with the rappers. In the meanwhile, Ofra recorded a new version of 'Im Nin'alu', remixed by Izhar Ashdot, that was intended for the dance floor.
The song had a huge success worldwide, and opened the gates for Ofra to the world.
1990 – Wild Orchid
In the beginning of Ofra's international career, she was invited to sing and act in the movie of Zalman King - 'Wild Orchid', starring Mickey Rourke and Jacqueline Bisset.
Ofra was invited to Brazil, where the movie was shot, but after watching parts of the film that were already shot, she refused to participate in it: "only by reading the script it was hard to learn how erotic the movie actually was", she said, "but when I saw the parts of the movie that were already shot, I understood such a movie won't do any good to my image. I'm not a girl that sells sex, and it's not for me to take part in such a movie. I immediately canceled my participation. It was all in good spirit. Zalman King understood me".
Ofra agreed that 3 of her songs will be used on the soundtrack - 'Slave Dream', 'I Want To Fly and 'Love Song'; the songs had a special production for the soundtrack.
1990 - Dick Tracy
In 1990 Madonna was invited to take part in the soundtrack of 'Dick Tracy'. At the same time, the producer of the film was looking for another singer to take part in the soundtrack.
Madonna, who had already said by then that she loved Ofra's voice, immediately recommended her.
Ofra was invited to take part in the soundtrack, and immediately agreed: "it all happened so fast", she said. "We got an invitation from Madonna. I have long heard she loved 'Shaday'. They asked me if I wanted to record the song. Because I had two spare days, I said I could do it the day after. I learned the song in the morning, and recorded it by evening".
In the soundtrack Ofra Sang 'Herida de Miel' in Spanish with the band Duncan Dhu.
The film has two soundtracks CDs: the first one contains only songs sang by Madonna, and the other one, which also includes Ofra's song, contains tracks from other artists.
1994 – Queen Margot
In 1994 Ofra was invited to sing in the soundtrack of 'Queen Margot' from producer Patrice Ch?reau. The movie is a reconstruction of the terrible massacre and conflict between Catholics and Protestants in the 16th century. The main actress in the movie was Isabelle Adjani.
In the end of the movie Ofra sings 'My God' in Hebrew with a Spanish choir which sings Canto Nero.
The production of the song was arranged by the acclaimed Croatian musician Goran Bregovi?, who courted Ofra (only professionally) for a long time, but due to busy schedule of them both, further joint work was not possible.
Eventually, the song was recorded in Israel on Passover night, while Ofra came for a short visit to her parents' house. Bregovi? came to Israel by Ofra's request, and this is how she managed to record the song and at the same time be be with her family for the holiday.
1998 – Primal Justice
In 1998 Ofra was invited to to play in the movie Primal Justice of Arnon Zadok. In the movie Ofra played a young investigator - Roni Sharon, who finds out she was kidnapped as a child from her Yemenite family, and seeks to find her family.
Ofra was supposed to sing a few songs for the soundtrack, but after the premiere Ofra found out that despite the promises she was given, her part in the movie was much shorter then it was meant to be. Due to that, Ofra decided not to take part in the soundtrack and demanded that her picture and her name be deleted from all the posters of the movie.
"The character of Ofra starts nice", says Bezalel, "but it fades as the movie goes on, and the story focuses on Arnon Zadok as an investigator and his wandering in the gay community in Tel-Aviv. We were also disappointed by the treatment the whole issue of the kidnapping of the Yemenite babies, which was supposed to be the heart of the movie, because of this sad and important subject we agreed to take part in the movie, for the first time after 19 years since Ofra's last movie".
Eventually, they agreed Ofra's picture would not appear on the posters, and that she would not sing on the soundtrack.
1998 – Prince of Egypt
This movie is one the main highlights of Ofra's soundtrack work through the years.
After hearing her voice on Queen Margot, the producers of 'Prince of Egypt' decided to invite Ofra to participate in their new movie, which was the first animated movie of Dreamworks and Steven Spielberg.
Ofra was thrilled: "I had tears in my eyes in some of the scenes", she said after watching the pre-premiere.
Ofra recorded the song 'Deliver Us' in 17 different languages: English, Hebrew, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Hungarian, Polish, Finnish, Norwegian, Portugese, Greek, Russian, Lithuanian, Sweedish, Dutch and Czech. She also made vocal contributions throughout the whole movie.
And if all that is not enough - the producers of the movie also liked Ofra's look, and based the image of Yocheved (Moses' mother) on Ofra.
1998 – The King and I
Also in 1998, Ofra was invited to sing in the Hebrew soundtrack of the movie 'The King and I'. The story of the movie is about Anna, a British teacher, which is hired in 1863 to teach the children of the King of Siam.
The King of Siam finds much interest in the western culture that Anna brings with her. However, many times he fails to combine the western modern ways he finds interest in with the traditional customs.
Ofra sings 5 songs in the movie: I Whistle a Happy Tune, Hello Young Lovers, Getting to Know You, I Have Dreamed and Shall We Dance.
Ofra only sings the songs of Anna. Rama Messinger contributed her voice to the speaking Anna.
1998 – The Governess
In 1998 Ofra was invited to sing 7 songs for the soundtrack of the British movie 'The Governess'.
The movie, starring Minnie Driver, tells the story of Rosina de Silva, a beautiful young curious girl of the Jewish-Sepharadic community in East-End of London in 1840. When her father is murdered for Anti Semitic reasons and her family is burdened with large debts and no hope, she decides to find a job to support her family. She disguises her Jewishness, changes her name and finds a job as a governess in the house of a wealthy Christian family.
In the movie Ofra sings 7 songs in Ladino (Judaeo-Spanish).