Thursday, February 12, 2009

Something for Thursday

The day before yesterday would have been the 80th birthday of film composer Jerry Goldsmith, who passed away in 2004. I'm a big admirer of Goldsmith's work, and note the occasion of his 80th with a remarkable cue he wrote for Star Trek: The Motion Picture. This is heard during the scene where Admiral Kirk flies to the Enterprise for the first time, early in the movie; it's basically five minutes of looking at a starship. But what a starship she is, and with music like this, well....

For a taste of what Goldsmith at his height could bring to the table in terms of action scoring, here is what is, for me, the single best action cue he ever wrote (and he wrote a lot of 'em). It's "Raisuli Attacks", from The Wind and the Lion:

There are actually two cues here, put together: the second is "Guest of Raisuli", which begins at about the 3:12 mark. It's a delicate statement of the film's gorgeous love theme. I listened to this score for years before I saw the movie, and I was a bit disappointed, I must admit, when I finally saw the actual action scene "Raisuli Attacks" underscores. Hearing that music initially, I pictured a pitched battle of Ragnarokian scale. It's not, at all. I got over it; The Wind and the Lion is really a terrific film.

I've always been of the opinion that Goldsmith's output after around 1990 or so dropped off in quality a bit, but he still had an amazing career, and I think his music tended to get lost in the shuffle a lot because, unlike John Williams, Goldsmith tended to end up scoring, for lack of a better term, bad movies that are mostly forgotten except for their wonderful Goldsmith scores. Anyway, Goldsmith left behind a giant legacy in film music.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Be certain to see Wind and the Lion on DVD. if you saw it on TV their brief cuts that mar the film IMHO

there is one in the opening where she is kidnapped, there is a very classic 1/2 second view of her guest firing his pistol. it is a classic pose POV from the target you see drictly down the barral of the gun and see him pointing at you head on. a very classic shot from earliest silent era

Another is in the Raisuli attacks scene. the shot where he beheads the guy is often cut (sic.)

I had taped off TV and would watch it every once and a while, and I would always watch it if it was on TV. Well I lost that tape and all others in the August 2007 Flood

Last year I was going through a Bargain DVD bin and bought it. As I have watch it a billon times so ididnt expect anything different
Wow there are about 3 or 4 seconds that are loped from the film in about 4 scenes

most are quick re action shots that add real depth to the action

It is a terrific film one of my favs

Best Wishes