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What is your favorite film score from a western movie


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Max Steiner's score for "The Seachers" is one of the most haunting and magnificent he ever created. Yes, probably his greatest is for "Gone with the Wind", but this is a moving, compassionate and monumental piece of work.It's one that still gives me the chills when I hear it.....

 

Another of his fine pieces is for "They Died with Their Boots On", the Errol Flynn epic, one of the most under rated films ever......

 

Edited by: fredbaetz on Mar 25, 2011 5:23 PM

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Dimitri Tiomkin for Gunfight at the OK Corral with Max Steiner second for Dodge Ciy. and Elmer Bernstein for The Magnificent Seven. third. Most of my favorite scores come from Westerns. I guess the sweep of the genre makes it easy to compose stirring music. Rats, I left out Jerome Marross for The Big Country. See what I mean?

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The new *True Grit* score is currently my favorite (like all my favorites, save *Mockingbird*, it's a moving target) and while I love *The Wild Bunch*, *Magnificent Seven*, *Dances with Wolves* and *Silverado*, forty some years after hearing it, I still remember Neal Hefti's *Duel at Diablo*, a jazz infused western score. Gotta love it.

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*With no hesitancy...Shane...The Best Western Ever Made...Movies like the Wild Bunch ...are garbage compared to Shane...*

 

Jake,

 

I'm not sure if you realize but we are discussing favorite western film scores not favorite westerns. You may not like *The Wild Bunch* as a film but Jerry Fielding's score is quite good and quite moving in many places.

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> *With no hesitancy...Shane...The Best Western Ever Made...Movies like the Wild Bunch ...are garbage compared to Shane...*

>

> Jake,

>

> I'm not sure if you realize but we are discussing favorite western film scores not favorite westerns. You may not like *The Wild Bunch* as a film but Jerry Fielding's score is quite good and quite moving in many places.

 

I know exactly what you are discussing and I stand by everything I just said lady...

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*I know exactly what you are discussing and I stand by everything I just said lady..*

 

My apologies. You don't have to worry, you and won't be discussing the subject any further.

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> {quote:title=lzcutter wrote:}{quote}

> *I know exactly what you are discussing and I stand by everything I just said lady..*

>

> My apologies. You don't have to worry, you and won't be discussing the subject any further.

 

Wonderful...any subject as far as I am concerned...

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Well, to get back on topic (and one of the things I like about these boards is that there's usually more mutual respect and less "flaming" than one sees on other boards)...

 

I agree completely with Fred (Baetz, not Dobbs in this case) about "The Searchers." Very lovely use of Civil War songs. After the theme song -- which was probably written by someone else but works well as a 50's Western theme song -- we hear the haunting "Lorena" and then "The Bonnie Blue Flag," as John Wayne rides up. Immediately we know the time and even which side he served on, even before we see his uniform coat. Steiner keeps using "Lorena" throughout the film, sometimes varying it into minor, doing a lot of interesting things with it.

 

Agree totally with LZ about the new "True Grit" score, especially the way it starts out simply with "Leaning on the Everlasting Arms" (with all its move associations...) and builds it up.

 

For completely original scores (i.e., not drawing on folk or close-to-folk sources), I agree with whoever mentioned "The Big Country." That's my idea of an opening number that makes you feel like you're out in endless open spaces.

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I'm the one who mentioned the score of The Big Country. I only saw the film 5 years ago but realized from the first notes I'd been hearing it for years. The opening has been used to open a lot of rodeo broadcasts and other shows about the West, the melody from the waylaid carriage ride is also heard on similar themed programs and the main theme was in the only commercial John Wayne did, for one of the pain medicines. I always thought it came from one of his films. I watched because of the music and it's now one of my Top 10 favorites. 30 lashes with the wet noodle for leaving out Victor Young's Shane score, not only the theme but the melody from where they dig up the stump. I'm right, more of the good ones come from the Old West.

 

Jerome Marross also scored The Jayhawkers in 1959 with Fess Parker and Jeff Chandler. Fans of the 1950's Randolph Scott films will like it as the story has a lot in common with them but with an interesting relationship between hero and villain. A certain TV series started using the theme in its third season and kept it for the remaining five. You'll know which one when you hear it.

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> {quote:title=wouldbestar wrote:}{quote}

> I'm the one who mentioned the score of The Big Country. I only saw the film 5 years ago but realized from the first notes I'd been hearing it for years. The opening has been used to open a lot of rodeo broadcasts and other shows about the West, the melody from the waylaid carriage ride is also heard on similar themed programs and the main theme was in the only commercial John Wayne did, for one of the pain medicines. I always thought it came from one of his films. I watched because of the music and it's now one of my Top 10 favorites. 30 lashes with the wet noodle for leaving out Victor Young's Shane score, not only the theme but the melody from where they dig up the stump. I'm right, more of the good ones come from the Old West.

>

> Jerome Marross also scored The Jayhawkers in 1959 with Fess Parker and Jeff Chandler. Fans of the 1950's Randolph Scott films will like it as the story has a lot in common with them but with an interesting relationship between hero and villain. A certain TV series started using the theme in its third season and kept it for the remaining five. You'll know which one when you hear it.

 

*30 lashes with the wet noodle for leaving out Victor Young's Shane score, not only the theme but the melody from where they dig up the stump. I'm right, more of the good ones come from the Old West*.

 

Nah, no lashes but you do know a good score when you hear one. Shane, the best Western ever made...

 

By the way, Victor Young had a very prodigious career as a conductor and composer. He's not mentioned as many others but a cursory look at his works confirms he was a heavy weight.

 

Jake

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Although mentioned already for "The Big Country", Dimitri Tiomkin scored many other classic westerns. Among them:

"Red River"

"Duel in the Sun"

"Friendly Persuasion"

"Giant" {maybe the last two are not considered westerns in the true tradition, but for me close enough"

"High Noon" First composer to win two Oscars for same film {Score and song "Do Not Forsake Me"]He co-wrote the song with Ned Washington

 

Iz, you were 100% correct regarding Jerry Fieldings score for "The Wild Bunch", one of his most moving pieces of work.......

 

Edited by: fredbaetz on Mar 31, 2011 3:57 AM

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"High Noon" and "The Searchers".

 

I already had several 78 rpm Tex Ritter phonograph records when I saw "High Noon" in 1952.

 

He was sort of the precursor to the original Hank Williams. Hank copied Tex's plaintive mournful style. I had some of his records because he recorded a few songs for kids, and I liked his voice.

 

Click on arrow to play sample:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QDU76O/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk7

 

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004QDSDBU/ref=dm_mu_dp_trk3

 

This was a big radio and bar room juke box hit in the late '40s. :)

http://www.amazon.com/Pistol-Packin-Mama/dp/B004AUEFD4/ref=dm_att_trk5

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Jake:

With no hesitancy...Shane...The Best Western Ever Made...Movies like the Wild Bunch ...are garbage compared to Shane...

 

lzcutter:

I'm not sure if you realize but we are discussing favorite western film scores not favorite westerns. You may not like The Wild Bunch as a film but Jerry Fielding's score is quite good and quite moving in many places.

 

Jake:

I know exactly what you are discussing and I stand by everything I just said lady...

 

lzcutter:

My apologies. You don't have to worry, you and won't be discussing the subject any further.

 

Jake:

Wonderful...any subject as far as I am concerned...

 

This negative banter back and forth never fails to amaze me. Jake, really that was not called for. Lynn is one of the nicer people around here and she did not deserve that kind of reaction from you. All she did was point out to you that this thread was about favorite scores from westerns.

 

You sir are the one that decided to give your opinion of a western from 1969. When you make such a blanket statement that says *"Movies like the Wild Bunch ...are garbage compared to Shane..."* that sort of takes the thread in a totally different direction. I am not surprised that this happened. Because, quite frankly it happens too often around here. It is called, *"let's hijack the current thread and start talking about something else".*

 

That kind of statement does not even remotely belong on this thread. You should know better. Makes me wonder if you and many others around here like to do this only to stir up trouble for everyone else?

 

I can just see your reply to me now.......

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FredC, speaking of Hank Williams and Tex Ritter, both wonderful. Have you ever seen the great "Hank Williams, The Show He Never Gave" starring Sneezy Waters as Williams. It's a fantasy that takes place New Years eve of 1952 with Williams sitting in the back of his powder blue Caddy and dreaming about stopping at one of the many bars they are passing and putting on a surprise show for the patrons. Of course this never happened. Williams died of a heart attack at age 29 that night, sitting in the Caddy. But it a beautiful "What If" film based on a stage play. Waters gives a soulful performance as Hank Williams. Ever though he alters some of Williams songs it is a true labor of love to a country giant who left us way to soon.

This was nominated for the "Tex Ritter Award" at the Country Music Awards in 1983..

 

Edited by: fredbaetz on Mar 31, 2011 11:24 PM

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