The Way West

Ric Burns’ 6-hour epic documentary chronicles the way the American West was won – and lost; a poignant and frequently tragic story of the victimization of the Native American people during the settling of the continent from 1845-1893. The PBS mini-series, now available on a4-video boxed set also from Shanachie, featured a versatile and moving…

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Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

It’s a great pity that one of Jarre’s finest scores (although I admit to bias, being a fan of his music) should have been mutilated for the album release. Obviously Capitol Records were more concerned with having a commercial Top 40 LP rather than what should have been a classic soundtrack album. The original format…

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Enemy Mine

Wolfgang Petersen’s new film is sort of a remake of the hypnotic 1968 HELL IN THE PACIFIC; both stories imprison two opposing soldiers in a remote locale, and they gradually become friends. Where Lalo Schifrin was less interested in exploring the development of the characters than in musically simulating sound effects, Maurice Jarre spends most…

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Jesus of Nazareth

It is amazing to realize how much our perception of what “Roman epic” music must sound like has changed, once we have been exposed to Miklos Rozsa. In many celebrated scores, Rozsa clearly defined this type of music, and, right or wrong, set the standards by which other similar scores have to be judged. Not…

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The Robe

When The ROBE, the first film in the widescreen CinemaScope process premiered during the winter of 1953/54, not the least of the PR emphasis was on the innovative multichannel stereophonic sound system (“ … superior new Stereophonic Sound enhances the scope of audience participation!”). While the various sound systems that went with such giant screen…

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Wilson

Screen Archives’ latest endeavor is this splendid representation of Alfred Newman’s patriotic, star-spangled score for Darryl F. Zanuck’s biopic of US President Woodrow Wilson. The music is mostly based on patriotic folk tunes and marches, and is quite an interesting look at Newman’s ability to orchestrate and incorporate a myriad of diverse musical sources. The…

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The Final Countdown

It’s time to dump that Tarantula bootleg recording of John Scott’s masterful and magnificent  score to THE FINAL COUNTDOWN – we finally have a splendid and legitimate recording of the complete score, produced on Scott’s own label.  This compelling 1980 film told the thrilling and compelling story about a modern-day nuclear aircraft carrier that, through…

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