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Posts Tagged ‘Jerry Goldsmith’

CHINATOWN – Jerry Goldsmith

March 26, 2018 2 comments

chinatownMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer Robert Evans of Paramount Studio was determined to bring F. Scott Fitzgerald’s literary classic, The Great Gatsby (1925) to the big screen. He hired trusted screenplay writer Robert Towne for $175,000 to write the script. Towne however had a different ambition and managed to convince Evans to take on his own 1930’s detective mystery thriller titled “Water and Power” for $25,000. Well, Evans liked the script saw opportunity, and so moved forward with production. He greatly enjoyed his collaboration with Roman Polanski with Rosemary’s Baby (1968), and so brought him in to direct. They assembled a fine cast, which included Jack Nicholson as detective J.J. “Jake” Gittes, Faye Dunaway as Evelyn Cross Mulwray, John Huston as Noah Cross, John Hillerman as Russ Yelburton, Perry Lopez as Lieutenant Lou Escobar, and Darrell Zwerling as Hollis Mulwray. Read more…

PATTON – Jerry Goldsmith

March 12, 2018 Leave a comment

patton100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

A Patton biopic film was first conceived by Frank McCarthy, a retired general working as a producer for 20th Century Fox in the 1950s. After selling the concept to Studio Executive Richard Zanuck, a screenplay was commissioned that resulted in two incarnations, one by Francis Ford Coppola and another by Edmund H. North. Over time these two screenplays were eventually merged into a single version. Both efforts drew inspiration from two books, Patton: Ordeal And Triumph, a biography by Ladislas Farago and A Soldier’s Story, the memoir of General Omar Bradley. After many years of ‘fine-tuning’, a final script was born and the search for a director and lead actor proceeded in earnest, eventually settling upon Franklin J. Schaffner and George C. Scott respectively. The film from the start was a one-man show, a biopic of a giant among men. Patton can best be described as charismatic, complicated and contradictory; he was deeply religious and yet both vulgar and profane, he was an insufferable narcissist and yet a supreme patriotic, and lastly he was a military tactical genius and yet a poor post war administrator. The film covered Patton’s rise to prominence in World War II during his military campaigns in Tunisia, Sicily, France and the occupation of Germany. It suffices to say that Scott’s performance was a tour de force that transcended the film and earned him a best actor Oscar award that he ungraciously declined to accept. The film went on to win seven Oscars including best picture and remains a popular film to this day. Read more…

PLANET OF THE APES – Jerry Goldsmith

February 26, 2018 2 comments

100 GREATEST SCORES OF ALL TIME

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Producer Arthur P. Jacobs sold 20th Century Fox on a bold new effort to reinvigorate the science fiction genre, which had languished since the start of the decade. The vehicle for the genre resurrection would be Pierre Boulle’s 1963 novel La Planète des Singes (Planet of the Apes). After securing the film rights Rod Serling and Michael Wilson were tasked with writing the screenplay. The technical challenges of the required prosthetic make-up delayed the film for quite some time. Fox Studios finally gave the green light to film when make-up designer John Chambers developed prosthetics flexible enough for the actors to express facial emotions. Jacobs had always seen Charlton Heston playing the lead role of John Taylor and on his request, Franklin Schaffner was hired to direct. A fine cast was assembled, which included Roddy McDowell as Cornelius, Kim Hunter as Zira, Maurice Evans as Dr. Zaius, James Daly as Honorius, Lou Wagner as Lucius, and Linda Harrison as Nova. Read more…

LIONHEART – Jerry Goldsmith

October 26, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Lionheart is a perfect example of how a film studio can utterly ruin a film’s commercial success with poor distribution. A rousing historical action-adventure, the film is loosely based on the story of the Children’s Crusade of the year 1212, in which children from all over Europe adopted the cause of King Richard the Lionheart to protect Christianity from Muslim invaders. This story concentrates specifically on a young knight named Robert (Eric Stoltz), who finds himself becoming the protector of a group of children who are being threatened by the evil ‘Black Prince’ (Gabriel Byrne), a former crusader who became disillusioned with his cause and is now selling children into slavery. The film was an epic and lavish production – it was directed by the great Franklin Schaffner, was written by Menno Meyjes, and executive produced by Francis Ford Coppola – but it was hamstrung by its own production company, Orion Pictures, who delayed and delayed the film and eventually only released it in cinemas in Canada in the late summer of 1987 (it didn’t play in the United States at all). As a result, the film is virtually unknown these days, and is likely best remembered for Jerry Goldsmith’s rousing, epic score. Read more…

INNERSPACE – Jerry Goldsmith

July 20, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Innerspace is a fun sci-fi adventure comedy, written by Jeffrey Boam and Chip Proser, and directed by Joe Dante. Dennis Quaid stars as Lt. Tuck Pendleton, an air force test pilot who is part of a top secret science experiment involving a brand new miniaturization technology. Pendleton and his submersible pod are shrunk down to minuscule size, and are supposed to be injected into a laboratory rabbit, but the lab is attacked by industrial saboteurs who want the technology for themselves, and Tuck is instead accidentally injected into the body of hypochondriac Jack Putter (Martin Short). Once Jack has overcome his initial skepticism and terror, he teams up with Tuck’s on-again off-again girlfriend, spunky reporter Lydia Maxwell (Meg Ryan), to find a way to get Tuck out of his body before his air supply runs out – but the saboteurs, led by Victor Scrimshaw (Kevin McCarthy) and Dr. Margaret Canker (Fiona Lewis), still want the miniaturization technology for themselves, and have sent their ruthless henchman Mr. Igoe (Vernon Wells) to get it, at any cost. Read more…

EXTREME PREJUDICE – Jerry Goldsmith

May 4, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Extreme Prejudice is a western-flavored action thriller directed by Walter Hill, starring Nick Nolte as Jack Benteen, a grizzled Texas Ranger who teams up with a platoon of elite US Army commandos led by Major Hackett (Michael Ironside). Their mission is to take down a major trafficker running shipments of narcotics across the border from northern Mexico into El Paso; the only stumbling block, for Benteen at least, is the fact that the trafficker is Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe), Benteen’s childhood best friend. As the soldiers close in on Bailey’s compound, Benteen finds his loyalties tested, especially when a beautiful woman named Sarita (Maria Conchita Alonso) – both men’s ex-girlfriend – enters the fray. The film is a gritty, sweat-soaked, uncompromising thriller, and an homage to the great western The Wild Bunch, which received decent reviews when it opened in cinemas in May 1987. Read more…

HOOSIERS – Jerry Goldsmith

November 17, 2016 Leave a comment

hoosiersTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Hoosiers is generally considered one of the best sports films ever made. Directed by David Anspaugh and written by Angelo Pizzo (who would later collaborate again on Rudy in 1993), the film stars Gene Hackman as Norman Dale, a former elite basketball coach who, after suffering a personal humiliation, is forced to take a job as a teacher and basketball coach at a tiny high school in Indiana in 1951. Despite overwhelming odds – including a small student population to select a team from, opposition from parents, opposition from faculty members such as English teacher Myra Fleener (Barbara Hershey), and a hopelessly drunk assistant coach (Dennis Hopper) – Dale leads his team to the state championship game. Looking back on the film today, Hoosiers seems to be very clichéd, but the truth of the matter is that this film is the one that invented, or at least popularized, many of the sports movie clichés we take for granted today: the gruff coach with a heart of gold, the group of misfits who come together to form a winning team, the old-fashioned old-timers who don’t understand what the newcomer is doing, the last-second winning shot to clinch the championship. Hoosiers was a massively popular and successful film, and received two Oscar nominations: one for Hopper as Best Supporting Actor, and one for Jerry Goldsmith’s score. Read more…

LINK – Jerry Goldsmith

September 22, 2016 Leave a comment

linkTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Despite being generally regarded as one of the most brilliant and groundbreaking composers in the history of cinema, Jerry Goldsmith scored some absolute stinkers when it came to the quality of the actual movies themselves. The 1980s was particularly fertile ground for terrible films; the decade saw him working on such ignominious titles as The Challenge, Baby: The Secret of Lost Legend, King Solomon’s Mines, Rent-a-Cop, and Warlock, but perhaps no film sums up this rather unfortunate aspect to his legacy as Link, a movie about a monkey that embarks on a killing spree. The film was directed by Richard Franklin, for whom Goldsmith scored Psycho II in 1983, and starred Elizabeth Shue as Jane, a young American anthropology student, who travels to England to work with a brilliant but reclusive professor (Terence Stamp) at his remote Victorian mansion/research facility. However, once Jane gets to know the mansion’s simian inhabitants, she begins to notice unusual events occurring, and suspects that an aged orangutan named Link, who is basically the facility’s butler, may be responsible… Read more…

LEGEND – Jerry Goldsmith/Tangerine Dream

April 21, 2016 2 comments

legend-goldsmithTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Capitalizing on the enormous commercial success of Alien in 1979, and the critical acclaim afforded to Blade Runner in 1982, director Ridley Scott left the world of hard science fiction for his next film, Legend, which instead embraced the mystical world of high fantasy. A sylvan story of elves and goblins, unicorns and fairies, princesses and demons, Legend was a hugely ambitious exploration of northern European folk tales and myths, woven together by screenwriter William Hjortsberg. The film starred Tom Cruise as Jack, a forest-dwelling young boy who is chastely in love with a young princess, Lili, played by Mia Sara. Together they explore their beautiful woodland home, but all is not well in the world; the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) has sensed the presence of two unicorns in the forest, and sent three of his goblin minions to kill them and steal their horns. Circumstances result in Lili inadvertently leading the goblins to the unicorns, and when their horns are stolen, the world is plunged into a dark, wintry nightmare from which there appears to be no return – but Jack has other ideas, and resolves to infiltrate the evil palace where Darkness resides and restore the world to its former glory. Read more…

KING SOLOMON’S MINES – Jerry Goldsmith

November 19, 2015 3 comments

kingsolomonsminesTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

With the massive box office success of the two Indiana Jones films, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Temple of Doom, several film producers sought to bring to the silver screen a ‘rugged historical adventurer’ of their own. Cannon Films had acquired the rights to H. Rider Haggard’s classic novel King Solomon’s Mines and its main character Allan Quatermain, and put into production a light, family-friendly version of the tale, with J. Lee Thompson directing, and Richard Chamberlain in the lead role. The film is set in the early 1900s and follows Quatermain, who is hired by the beautiful Jesse Huston (Sharon Stone) to find her father, who has disappeared in central Africa while searching for the fabled mines of the title. The expedition brings Quatermain in contact with numerous dangers and enemies, not least of which is a rival expedition led by the ruthless Colonel Bockner (Herbert Lom), who will stop at nothing to find the mines himself. Read more…

RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II – Jerry Goldsmith

September 24, 2015 1 comment

rambofirstbloodpart2THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Following the massive success of the original First Blood movie in 1982, it was inevitable that a sequel would be forthcoming. Rambo: First Blood Part II once again saw Sylvester Stallone returning to one of his most iconic roles as former United States Special Forces commando John Rambo. Having spent a year in prison as punishment for his part in the events of the first film, Rambo is visited by his old commanding officer, Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna), and offered a deal – in exchange for being pardoned by the government, Rambo must return to Vietnam and investigate reports of American soldiers still being held captive by the Viet Cong. However, as Rambo arrives in Southeast Asia, all hell breaks loose, and the one-man army finds himself waging war not only against the Vietnamese, but against a group of corrupt Soviets who are funding them. The film was directed by George P. Cosmatos from a screenplay by James Cameron, co-stars Charles Napier, Steven Berkoff, and Julia Nickson as a local intelligence agent, and was an even greater commercial success than the original, becoming one of the most iconic action movies of the 1980s. Read more…

FIRST BLOOD – Jerry Goldsmith

September 21, 2015 1 comment

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Original Review by Craig Lysy

First Blood was adapted from the David Morrell in 1972 novel of the same name, although an alternative ending was shot that preserved the story’s protagonist for future tales. Sylvester Stallone plays John J. Rambo, a Vietnam War veteran who gained honor and distinction serving as a member of the elite United States Special Forces, for which he was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor. Yet all is not well as he is haunted by the horrors of war and cannot find inner peace as he tries to adapt to civilian life. As Rambo hikes through Hope, Washington, to visit a friend he arouses the interests of the xenophobic local Sheriff, William Teasel (Brian Dennehy), who promptly escorts him out of town. Outraged as his treatment as he has not done anything wrong, Rambo returns to the town; Teasel takes his return as a personal affront and promptly arrests him on false charges. When Rambo is further disrespected and physically abused by Teasel’s minions he snaps and switches into his special forces combat mode with predictable and devastating consequences for his abusers. After pummeling his abusers, he escapes the jail and then flees on a motorcycle to the safety of the woods. Teasel, of course, organizes a hunting party to bring Rambo in “to face justice.” What follows is a rampage of killing and destruction as Rambo brings Teasel and his city to the brink of defeat. Thanks to the timely intervention of his commanding officer Colonel Trautman (Richard Crenna), Rambo’s release and free passage is negotiated to save the town further carnage. The movie served as a potent commentary on the alienation and estrangement felt by many of our soldiers as they returned from a deeply unpopular war and attempted to re-assimilate into society. Read more…

THE SAND PEBBLES – Jerry Goldsmith

April 27, 2015 1 comment

sandpebblesMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

Director Robert Wise recognized the epic potential of The Sand Pebbles when he read Richard McKenna’s novel, and commissioned Robert Anderson to adapt it for the screen. He assembled a stellar cast, which included hero Jake Holman (Steve McQueen), his love interest Shirley Eckhart (Candice Bergen), his friend Frenchie Burgoyne (Richard Attenborough), the honorable Captain Collins (Richard Crenna) and his apprentice Po-Han (Mako). The film’s setting is colonial China circa 1926 where the gunboat U.S.S. San Pablo patrols a tributary of the Yangtze River. China is in tumult as Nationalists, Communists and feudal warlords all compete for land, money and power. Jake, a laconic loner and iconoclast, joins the crew and immediately clashes with the “rice-bowl” coolie system, which runs the ship. In so doing he alienates both the captain and his crewmates. He meets Shirley, a missionary, and we see a spark of romance. Yet their relationship is doomed as war against all westerners erupts and the San Pablo must fight for its life as it sails upriver to rescue missionaries at the China Light Mission. The film was a commercial and a critical success earning eight Oscar nominations including Best Score, which Goldsmith lost out to John Barry’s Born Free. Read more…

BABY: SECRET OF THE LOST LEGEND – Jerry Goldsmith

April 9, 2015 1 comment

babysecretofthelostlegendTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

In my review of Supergirl earlier in this series, I remarked how a number of Jerry Goldsmith scores are essentially ‘parallel universe’ scores, inferior versions of films John Williams scored. From the late 1970s through the mid 1990s, Goldsmith wrote a lot of great music for some truly awful movies, and if you look at his filmography during that period, you can see the pattern developing: where John Williams had Superman, Goldsmith had Supergirl; as Williams had Raiders of the Lost Ark, so Goldsmith had King Solomon’s Mines; and so on. Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend is basically Goldsmith’s Jurassic Park, eight years before Steven Spielberg broke all box office records with his dinosaur movie. It’s a family adventure directed by Bill L. Norton, starring William Katt, Sean Young, Patrick McGoohan and (inexplicably) Downton Abbey creator Julian Fellowes in an early acting role; it tells the story of Susan and George Loomis, a paleontologist and her husband, who discover a mother and baby brontosaurus in Africa, and try to protect them from hunters who want to capture them. Read more…

SUPERGIRL – Jerry Goldsmith

November 26, 2014 Leave a comment

supergirlTHROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Supergirl was envisaged as a spin-off, capitalizing on the enormous success of the Christopher Reeve Superman franchise. Originally created in 1959 by Otto Binder and Al Plastino, the character was a popular but under-utilized member of the DC Comics family until this, her first big-screen appearance in 1984. Directed by Jeannot Szwarc from a screenplay by David Odell, the film starred Helen Slater as Clark Kent’s cousin Kara, an inhabitant of Argo City, the last surviving remnant of the planet Krypton following its destruction in the first reel of Superman: The Movie. When Kara’s teacher and mentor Zaltar (Peter O’Toole) accidentally allows a special and exceptionally powerful jewel called the Omegahedron to travel to Earth, Kara follows it, intending to retrieve it and bring it home; once there, she finds she has acquired powers similar to that of her cousin, which she must use to stop an evil witch named Selena (Faye Dunaway), who has found the Omegahedron and intends to use it to increase her powers. Read more…