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Your Favorite Film Score?


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In addition to adoring the scores to DRESSED TO KILL (Pino Donaggio) and NORTH BY NORTHWEST (Bernard Herrmann), my other favorite film score is Elmer Bernstein's HAWAII.  Oddly, my overall favorite film composer is Jerry Goldsmith.  I like more of his scores, than any other composer.  I also find him the most versatile of all composers.  The theme to THE WALTONS sounds nothing like the theme to THE OMEN, for example.

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I have so many but, if you will my top four... Star Trek: The Motion Picture by Jerry Goldsmith (the best american film composer of the 20th century imo), Jaws by John Williams, Blue Thunder by Arthur B. Rubenstein and a really overlooked kickass score, Executive Decision by Jerry Goldsmith. Honorable mention: The Road Warrior by Brian May.

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   Elmer Bernstein's score to "The Magnificent Seven" seems to be a favorite - I know that it's mine.

I'm not talking about just the widely known Main Theme, but the whole score. The segment titled "After the Brawl" occurs when Brynner and McQueen turn the hearse away from Boot Hill in triumph after facing down the town bigots. As Lawrence Kasdan said, that music lifts you off your seat. The variations of the main theme during "The Journey" is inspired. The theme for Calvera's banditos as they ride toward the village to meet the seven is riveting. Eli Wallach said that if he had heard that music while filming he would have rode his horse better.

   Best of all though is Bernstein's scoring of the final gunfight. It balances the Seven's theme with that of the Calvera motif as one side or the other seems to be winning.

   Despite being nominated for Best Music Score, there was no soundtrack released until 1966 when Bernstein recycled the music for the tepid sequel. It was only about 30 minutes long and lacked some major cues. Eventually in 1998 a longer version was released but was only "enhanced" and not stereo and still lacked several cues.

   Bernstein's original notes indicate that he scored a reprise after the end title. Director Sturges had added a list of the actors/characters as he later did in "The Great Escape" but the studio cut it before the release.

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Yep, and the Phillip Morris Co. evidently liked it too, as it helped make a particular brand of their product the best selling in the world! ;)

 

Me?! Well, give me Jerome Moross' "The Big Country" theme, though Elmer's "Magnificent Seven" theme DOES come in a good close second in this..ahem..horse race.

 

(...and, I still say all western movie score composers owe a slight debt of gratitude to Anton Dvorak and to parts of his "New World Symphony", as I've always felt these symphonic motifs began there at the turn of the 20th Century)

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Yep, and the Phillip Morris Co. evidently liked it too, as it helped make a particular brand of their product the best selling in the world! ;)

 

Me?! Well, give me Jerome Moross' "The Big Country" theme, though Elmer's "Magnificent Seven" theme DOES come in a good close second in this..ahem..horse race.

 

(...and, I still say all western movie score composers owe a slight debt of gratitude to Anton Dvorak and to parts of his "New World Symphony", as I've always felt these symphonic motifs began there at the turn of the 20th Century)

Jerome Moross' theme to the short-lived 1968 western TV series Lancer ain't too shabby either. 

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Far to many to single out.  But for what it's worth, I'll throw in Body Heat.  The music just adds so much to the movie.  It's the only soundtrack downloaded into my car's hard drive.

The soundtrack for The Big Steal is another one.  It just fits the movie perfectly and from the start sets the mood and atmosphere.

Others: Silver Streak (Gene Wilder version), Driving Miss Daisy.

The soundtrack for the TV series Route 66 was much better than if they had used the song Route 66.  The music they used fit so much better.

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 A film that I recently brought up on another thread was Blake Edward's EXPERIMENT IN TERROR.   Henry Mancini's music really compliments the film.

 

OH yeah, Mr.R. Mancini was at the top of his game during the era of this film's production. His theme for TV's "Peter Gunn" still resonates. In fact, a few years back I even downloaded that theme as my cellphone ring for a while.

 

(...not that I thought I was Craig Stevens or anything, you understand)

 

Btw, speakin' o' which...listen to the "cool jazz" Mancini-esque score in this Flintstones parody of that TV series here and I think one can see(or I guess listen to) how Mancini would become a driving force in scoring jazz into Noir type films and make it almost synonymous with that genre...

 

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