Posts Tagged ‘Maurice Jarre’

DOCTOR ZHIVAGO – Maurice Jarre

February 16, 2015 1 comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

Doctor Zhivago was adapted by screenwriter Robert Bolt from the famous novel written by Boris Pasternak. The original manuscript was smuggled out of the Soviet Union in 1957 and awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1958. Director David Lean recruited a stellar cast for his film that included Omar Sharif as Yuri Zhivago, Geraldine Chaplin as his wife Tonya, Rod Steiger as Viktor Komarovsky, Tom Courtenay as General Pasha Strelnikov, Alec Guinness as Yuri’s half-brother Yevgraf and finally, Julie Christie as Lara Guishar. This timeless and epic film tells the tale of young lovers drawn together by fate, caught in the cruel currents of war, clinging desperately to each other to survive amidst the clash of empires, as they bear witness to a grand romantic age succumbing to a cruel and violent new order. It is a magnificent film of sweeping and poetic grandeur for which I am eternally grateful. The film was a critical success earning 10 Oscar nominations, winning five including Best Score for Jarre. It was also a commercial success earning $112 million, more than sufficient to cover its production costs of $11 million. Read more…

WITNESS – Maurice Jarre

February 12, 2015 2 comments


Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Witness is a thriller set in Pennsylvania’s Amish community. The film stars Harrison Ford as John Book, an honest cop, who is forced to travel to rural Pennsylvania to protect a young Amish boy named Samuel, played by Lukas Haas, who unintentionally witnesses a murder while visiting the big city with his mother Rachel, played by Kelly McGillis. To keep his witness safe, Book tries to maintain a low profile within the community, which shuns modern conveniences and technology, but unexpectedly begins to develop romantic feelings for Rachel, causing friction among the elders, who view Book as an interloper and outsider. Worse still, the murder suspects have discovered the whereabouts of the one eyewitness to their crime, and are coming after the young boy. The film was directed by Peter Weir, and was one of the major cinematic successes of 1985, receiving critical acclaim and eight Oscar nominations, including nods for Best Picture, Best Actor for Ford, and Best Score for the film’s composer, Maurice Jarre. Read more…


May 29, 2014 2 comments

lawrenceofarabiacompilationMOVIE MUSIC UK CLASSICS

Original Review by Craig Lysy

David Lean and Sam Spiegel purchased the film rights to T. E. Lawrence’s book “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” and hired Robert Bolt to write the screenplay on the enigmatic war hero. A stellar cast was hired that included Peter O’Toole (T.E. Lawrence), Alec Guiness (Prince Feisal), Anthony Quinn (Auda Abu Tayi), Jack Hawkins (General Allenby) and Omar Sharif as Sherif Ali. The film centers on Thomas Edward Lawrence, a complex and insolent British Lieutenant assigned to Cairo during World War I. He is ordered to assess the possibility of recruiting Prince Feisal of Arabia as an ally in their struggle against the Ottoman Turks. On his own initiative he instead chooses to rally the recently defeated Arab army for an audacious trans desert assault against the port city of Aqaba. He succeeds and returns to Cairo in triumph where he is promoted and ordered to return and lead the Arab revolt. His guerrilla army harasses the Turks with surprise desert raids and train line assaults that disrupt their command and control. Along the way the war violence and his complicity in a massacre serves to plague his conscience and forever scar him. Eventually, he leads his army northward captures Damascus and helps end the control of the Ottoman Empire. With his mission complete, he is sent back to England only to die young at the age of 46 in a motorcycle accident. The film was a stunning success winning seven Academy Awards including Best Score for Maurice Jarre. Read more…

A PASSAGE TO INDIA – Maurice Jarre

February 24, 2014 3 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

A Passage to India is a novel by English author E. M. Forster, which unfolds against the backdrop of the British Raj and the Indian independence movement in the 1920s. David Lean became enamored after watching the stage presentation of the story and immediately sought and obtained the movie rights. He adapted the screenplay himself and secured a stellar cast, which included; Judy Davis (Adela), Alec Guiness (Godbole), James Fox (Fielding), Peggy Ashcroft (Mrs. Moore) and Victor Bannerjee (Dr. Aziz). The story revolves a fateful trip to the Marabar Caves where a recently engaged Adela finds herself captivated and aroused by the beauty and sensuality of Indian culture. One day on a day trek and while alone with Dr. Aziz in one of the caves, she experiences conflicting emotions towards Dr. Aziz, panics and flees. It is assumed that Dr. Aziz had attempted to assault her and he is brought up to trial for charges of rape. The trial serves as both a commentary and a volatile catalyst that unleashes the pent up racial tensions long simmering between the indigenous Indians and the British colonialists who rule India. When Adela finally relents and withdraws her charges, Aziz is set free, but friendships are ruptured and Aziz seems irreparably harmed. Years later Aziz and his dear friend James reconcile, which brings the sad tale to a pleasing closure. The film was both a critical and commercial success, earning eleven Academy Award nominations, which included a Best Score Oscar for Maurice Jarre. Read more…

A WALK IN THE CLOUDS – Maurice Jarre

October 26, 2012 3 comments


Original Review by Craig Lysy

The screenplay for A Walk in the Clouds was adapted and updated from the original 1942 Italian film Quattro Passi Fra Le Nuvole. In this incarnation the setting is California following the end of WWII. Paul Sutton (Keanu Reeves), a veteran adapting to civilian life, boards a bus and by chance meets Victoria Aragon (Aitana Sanchez-Gijon). She is headed home from college to help her family with the autumnal grape harvest of their estate called Las Nubes, or “the clouds.” Victoria is unmarried and with child and fears for her fate when she breaks the news to her traditionalist and old world Mexican father Alberto (Giancario Giannini). A sympathetic Paul proposes to masquerade as her husband in order to assist her in her time of need. As fate would have it, Paul and Victoria fall in love, weathering countless obstacles, including Alberto’s fierce opposition in the process. A crisis that threatens Las Nubes overcomes all opposition and serves to bring the lovers and family together for the quintessential happy ending. While not a critical success, the movie resonated with the public and also earned Maurice Jarre a Golden Globe win for best Film Score. Read more…


July 13, 2012 Leave a comment


Original Review by Craig Lysy

The screenplay for Island at the Top of the World was based on the novel “The Lost Ones”, which was written by Ian Cameron and set in the location of Prince Patrick Island. The film is a classic adventure and discovery tale set in London circa 1907. British nobleman Sir Anthony Ross organizes a rescue party to the Arctic in a desperate search to recover his lost son Donald, who had embarked on an expedition in search of the fabled isle – the “Graveyard of Whales”. Joined by famous archaeologist Professor Ivarsson and Captain Brieux, an aeronaut who pilots the expedition, the team sets off in the Hyperion, an incredible mechanized French dirigible. Fate would have it that they discover an uncharted island named Astragard, or “Garden Of The Gods”, which is home to a lost colony of Vikings separated from humanity for centuries. The team ultimately must contend with a romance between Donald and the Viking Freyja, xenophobic Vikings who are unwilling to let their existence be revealed to the outside world, a fanatical High Priest Godi intent on executing these “invaders”, and lastly, killer whales that defend their sacred Graveyard. The film regretfully was neither a critical or commercial success. It suffered from inferior production quality, rare for a Disney film, and just did not resonate with the public. Read more…

SUNSHINE – Maurice Jarre

December 17, 1999 Leave a comment

sunshineOriginal Review by Jonathan Broxton

It seems to have taken forever, but Maurice Jarre is finally back in the scoring saddle again. After enduring the least-productive decade of his entire career, and after taking the longest sabbatical of all the top film composers, Jarre’s return to form has been cemented with his score for Sunshine, an epic drama tracing the social and political history of a Hungarian family before, during and after World War II. Director Istvan Szabó’s film traces the lineage of the Sonnenschein family, Hungarian Jews whose lives alter forever with the onset of the Anschluss and the Nazi take-over of what was then Austro-Hungary. The three male members of the family are all played by Ralph Fiennes (with varying degrees of facial hair, both in quantity and success): firstly Ignatz, a lawyer and pharmacist whose “miracle tonic” makes the family a fortune; then Ignatz’s son Adam, a lawyer and Olympic fencing champion who falls victim to the Holocaust; and finally Adam’s son Ivan, whose influential role in post-War politics allows him to bury the ghosts of his past. With a supporting cast that includes William Hurt, Jennifer Ehle, Rachel Weisz and Deborah Kara Unger, Sunshine is every bit an “epic period drama”, running for almost three hours in length and featuring stunning production values. Contributing immeasurably to the latter is Jarre’s captivating orchestral score, easily his best work in years. Read more…