Discussion in 'Star Wars And Film Music' started by HL&S, Feb 8, 2006.
I think that The Natural is a brialliant score by Randy Newman, and deserved the Oscar.
I agree about "The Natural." I think it's Randy Newman's best work ever.
A couple of scores that weren't mentioned yet: Jerry Goldsmith's "Twilight Zone, the Movie" and the never officially released Vangelis score for "The Bounty." There's also the Toto/Brian Eno score for "Dune," which is a lot better than the film.
Cross Creek - Leonard Rosenman
Star Wars Episode VI Return of the Jedi - John Williams
The Right Stuff - Bill Conti
Terms of Endearment - Michael Gore
Under Fire - Jerry Goldsmith
WINNER: The Right Stuff by Bill Conti.
Excellent year for music. Some great nominations. Bill Conti's score for the Right Stuff deserved the nom but not the win IMHO. It's exciting and has a good main theme and certainly one of Conti's best. But I think something else should have won this year.
Cross Creek by Leonard Rosenman is a score I thought I remembered, but as it turns out, I don't. So I can't say much for it.
Terms of Endearment won for best picture and Michael Gore's score is charming. I wouldn't mind learning it on the piano.
Under Fire by Jerry Goldsmith is an excellent score. One of my favorites. Glad to see it nominated. If it had won, I wouldn't have minded it.
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi by John Williams is the weakest of the OT scores, but it still deserved the nom and possibly the win. Even if you hate the Ewoks, their theme is great and so is Luke and Leia's new theme. Not to mention Jabba and the Emperors. The Dark side beckons is awesome etc etc
Other scores not nominated include Without A Trace by Jack Nitzsche, Scarface by Giorgio Moroder, the Outsiders by Carmine Coppola, Something Wicked This Way Comes by James Horner, and Twilight Zone: The Movie by Jerry Goldsmith.
Twilight Zone and SWTWC had some good stuff.
The big snub of the year goes too...
Krull by James Horner. It's his best work period. The main theme is awesome. The love theme is beautiful. The incidental and filler music is pretty good. I really enjoy the track involving the spider. This could easily have won best score of the year and should have in my opinion. It's much better than the right stuff. The reason it wasn't nominated was probably because the movie isn't exactly a classic. Though I enjoyed it.
Return of the Jedi, in my opinion, deserved the Oscar. Emperor's Theme, Luke and Leia's Theme, Battle of Endor I, Ewok Theme, Sail Barge, Battle of Endor II, Dark Side Beckons, etc. all great additions, although it is the weakest soundtrack of the OT.
I wouldn't have minded Terms of Endearment winning though. I really enjoy listening to the score while watching the movie. It's very emotional, yet charming and light-hearted at the same time. It suits the movie well.
Way to go!
I fully agree about "Krull." The word I would use for the main theme is exhilarating. The love theme, which I think should have been used as an overture, like "Ilya's Theme" was for "Star Trek the Motion Picture," is the closest to Wagner that Horner has ever come. Even though some of the incidental music sounds like "Star Trek II," I think Horner did it better this time around. (Some of it also sounds like "Battle Beyond the Stars," and some of STII sounds like "Wolfen," and some of "Wolfen" sounds like Goldsmith's "Alien," and some of Horner's "Aliens" sounds like "Wolfen" and STII and III, but never mind.) Another little factoid: 14 years later, Horner would take part of the battle music in the track "Slayer's Attack," and use it for the Titanic hitting the iceberg.
The movie is another matter altogether. The only reason I'd recommend that anyone see it is for the music. That said, maybe you can clear up a question I've been having about the movie for a long time. The blind Seer is a dead ringer for Sir John Gielgud, but an actor I've never heard of is listed next to the character in the end credits. Does Gielgud have a look-alike (and sound-alike)? Or is that really him, and he or his agent didn't want his name attached to the picture?
As fas as I know, that wasn't Gielgud.
I agree that Krull has some elements of ST2, but certainly done better. I'm so glad they eventually released the two disc.
E.T. The Extra Terrestrial - John Williams
Gandhi - Ravi Shankar and George Fenton
An Officer and A Gentleman - Jack Nitzsche
Poltergeist - Jerry Goldsmith
Sophie's Choice - Marvin Hamlisch
WINNER: E.T. The Extra Terrestrial by John Williams
Of the bunch and perhaps any score this year, it was the deserved winner. One of the all time classics because of the main theme's greatness. But the sub themes are great too. Like the bike theme, the villain theme etc. Certainly top 20 scores of all time.
Poltergeist is also great work by Jerry Goldsmith. Very eerie and haunting. Glad it was nominated.
Gandhi was okay. But I think something else should have been nominated in its place. Same goes for Sophie's Choice and An Officer and A Gentleman. There were much better scores out there that year.
Scores not nominated include...
First Blood by Jerry Goldsmith. Though Poltergeist was clearly his best work that year so it's fine that First Blood wasn't nominated.
The Dark Crystal by Trevor Jones. The main theme is small and short, but very nice. It's a solid score, but there were better.
The Secret of NIMH by Jerry Goldsmith. Goldsmith had a great year and this score showed it. Very touching music as well as the movie itself.
Firefox by Maurice Jarre. Kinda underrated in my opinion. The main theme gets stuck in my head constantly. Surprised it's not even on the best of Maurice Jarre cd.
The three snubs...
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan by James Horner. The academy just didn't like Horner in his early years which is a shame because his best stuff came back then. Truly a wonderful score that deserved an oscar nomination.
Blade Runner by Vangelis. Very unique and synth based. Had some good tunes. I love the opening piece and action music. Vangelis has only ever had two oscar worthy scores and this was the second of them.
Conan the Barbarian by Basil Poledouris. Top 100 scores easily. It's his best work. What's not to love. The Anvil of Krom? The Riders of Doom? The Orgy? All of the tracks are interesting. If E.T. hadn't been this year, I would have picked this to win. But they didn't even nominate it. What bastards.
My favorite 1982 Goldsmith score is Night Crossing. Between that, E.T., Khan, and Conan, this was just an incredible year...
Chariots of Fire - Vangelis
Dragonslayer - Alex North
On Golden Pond - David Grusin
Ragtime - Randy Newman
Raiders of the Lost Ark - John Williams
WINNER: Chariots of Fire by Vangelis
Surely not the winner I would have picked. Chariots of Fire certainly deserved the nomination but I don't think it was better than Raiders of the Lost Ark. Williams was robbed IMHO. Though both scores would easily make the top 100 of all time. So at least it's not embarrassing. Synthesizers do work wonders sometimes and Vangelis is good at working them. The main theme to Chariots is truly memorable. But we're talking Raiders of the Lost Frickin Ark here. The Raiders March was awesome. The love theme was moving. The Map Room at Dawn anyone? Great stuff.
Ragtime was Randy Newman's first big hit and a mighty fine score it is. Nice to get a nod.
Dragonslayer is alright. North kinda reprises some stuff from other scores of his but that's okay. Great movie too. Ian McDiarmid has such great death scenes...
On Golden Pond was recently voted by AFI as being the 24th greatest score or some such. I'd put it in the top 100 but not 25. No way. Overrated though it might be Grusins best work.
Scores not nominated include Escape From New York by John Carpenter, Heavy Metal by Elmer Bernstein, Stripes by Elmer Bernstein, Clash of the Titans by Laurence Rosenthal, and Body Heat by John Barry.
A score that I wouldn't have minded seeing a nod for was The Final Conflict by Jerry Goldsmith. He takes the Omen stuff to a whole new level here with a theme for Damien that's very powerful.
Nothing to say about the year 1981? Hmm
Moving on to 1980
Altered States - John Corigliano
The Elephant Man - John Morris
Star Wars Episode V The Empire Strikes Back - John Williams
Fame - Michael Gore
Tess - Philippe Sarde
WINNER: Fame by Michael Gore.
Now I would say The Empire Strikes Back is the greatest movie score of all time. You can't be the stuff Williams put in that score. It's his best work in my opinion. But it lost to Fame? What utter crap. Fame is ok but not in the same league as TESB. Not even a top 100 score. Not even a top 200 score. Fame just doesn't rank that high. Did they even listen to TESB's score? It's not even Michael Gore's best work which is Terms of Endearment. I shall never understand this win by Fame.
I've never heard the Elephant Man nor Tess so I can't comment on those, but I have heard Altered States as of this year. Very nice job by Corigliano. Too bad it took him another 19 years before he'd be nominated again let alone pick up a win for The Red Violin.
Other scores not nominated include the Fog by John Carpenter, Airplane! by Elmer Bernstein, The Blue Lagoon by Basil Poledouris, Friday the 13th by Harry Manfredini, and Somewhere In Time by John Barry.
Williams was definitely in his prime in 1980 and 1981. He should have won in both years. Chariots Of Fire had a memorable and unique theme (and a #1 hit single), but Raiders beats it by a lot. And how in the world could ESB not beat out Fame, or any other film in 1980? Just another of many examples why I don't give much credence to the Academy's choices. Even if you think the Imperial March gets overused, it's still one of the most recognizable (and coolest) themes ever, and this is still hands down one of the top five film scores of all time. Is there a better action cue than The Battle Of Hoth? The Asteroid Field? The Clash Of Lightsabers/Rescue From Cloud City/Hyperspace?
I would have rather had Airplane! win the Oscar. "No, I'm not John Williams and I never conducted the LSO. My name is Roger Murdoch. I'm the co-pilot."
Looks like the Academy picked a bad year to quit sniffing glue.
That's a shame Horner couldn't be recognized for one of his greatest works. Williams losing to Chariots of Fire has some merit, but Fame? Also, at what year are we going to stop?
We go to the very end...er beginning. The first Academy Awards ceremony that recognized original scores. Which would be 1934. It's a year long thread. I started at the end because we're more familiar with the scores of recent years. As the years get earlier, I expect us to know less and less. But we still have time to educate ourselves. We'll at least know one score from each year.
As for Airplane!, it actually did have a good score by Bernstein. Even used a bit of Jaws in there too. I might have chosen that over Fame as well.
I recently saw The Elephant Man, which was an amazing, amazing film (probably among my favourites now) but it wasn't really a score that stood out particulary. It's best musical passages are not even original, as the best music plays at the end, which is actually the wrenching, operatic theme that was used later to much more success in Platoon (I don't know the name or composer, but if you've seen Platoon, you probably know what I'm talking about). It also has some creepy, slow circus music sections, which were good, but who even knows if that was original, either. It wouldn't surprise me if the academy just assumed all of the music was original and obviously became quite confused during awards season 6 years later.
10 - Henry Mancini
The Amityville Horror - Lalo Schifrin
The Champ - David Grusin
A Little Romance - Georges Delerue
Star Trek - The Motion Picture - Jerry Goldsmith
WINNER: A Little Romance by Georges Delerue.
Nice to see Delerue get an Oscar for a score. It's his best score in my opinion so that worked out. Although I do think Star Trek was better and one of Goldsmith's best. So it was a tough year. I suppose the academy didn't want to give it to another space epic.
Never heard the Champ and if I've heard 10, it would be on my best of Mancini cd and I'm not sure which track it was.
The Amityville Horror has a spooky score. Childrens voices in a horror flick tend to creep me out. Like in Poltergeist.
Scores not nominated include Apocalypse Now by Carmine Coppola, The Black Stallion by Carmine Coppola, 1941 by John Williams, Dracula by John Williams, Zulu Dawn by Elmer Bernstein, and Phantasm by Fred Myrow and Malcolm Seagrave.
Alien by Jerry Goldsmith. Though it wasn't represented well in the film as there was music edited from the picture release that appears on the album. Great score. Top 100 I'd say. With Alien and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, I'd say this was Goldsmith's best year. So giving him the oscar for either of them would have been great.
Goldsmith's score of ST - TMP is one of the all-time greats, and should have won the Oscar. Granted, the film itself is lacking in many areas, but that shouldn't keep a great score from winning.
As I recall, the score for 10 included Ravel's Bolero as its featured music, so maybe that's why it isn't on that "Best Of" disc.
1941 us jinda interesting because of Williams' Jaws quotes at the begining of the film. I love Goldsmith's score for TMP, my 2nd favorite Trek score.
The Boys From Brazil - Jerry Goldsmith
Days From Heaven - Ennio Morricone
Heaven Can Wait - David Grusin
Midnight Express - Giorgio Moroder
Superman - John Williams
WINNER: Midnight Express by Giorgio Moroder
I've never heard this score. I checked my local library for it and the video stores nearby, but they didn't have it oddly enough. I've heard other works by Moroder though, so it kinda sucks not to have heard the score he won an oscar for. But then again, I think it's clear that they hit and miss when awarding the right guy.
I've seen Heaven Can Wait, but I can't remember the score.
Days From Heaven is top 10 of Morricone's I think. But not his strongest work, and with so many other worthy scores this year, I might have wanted something else nominated in it's place.
The Boys From Brazil is a classic. Dark when it needs to be and yet kinda up beat in others. I'm glad Goldsmith got a nod for his work here.
But of course I believe the true winner was Superman. Though I'm comparing it to a winner I've yet to hear. But something tells me I'm justified in believing Williams should have won for this score. The main theme is the best Superhero theme ever. The love theme is beautiful. The villain theme with the tuba is funny. Even the Kryptonian music is majestic. But this should have won mainly for the fact that during the opening credits to Superman Returns last week, I crapped my pants with excitement.
Other scores not nominated include...
Damien: The Omen II by Jerry Goldsmith - Basically more of the same from part one, only with more Synth work. Good, but it didn't need the nod.
The Fury by John Williams - A certainly captured the insanity that was that movie. Spooky music to be sure. I also kinda think it sounds like dark circus music for some reason at some points. A comment I usually reserve for Danny Elfman.
Capricorn One by Jerry Goldsmith - Goldsmith had a great year. This score is in your face and perfect. It would have been a tough choice between Boys from Brazil and this, maybe both should have been nominated.
Death On The Nile by Nino Rota - Top 5 for Rota. It has an adventurous feel mixed in with mystery. Loud and then soft.
Halloween by John Carpenter - Carpenter scored many of his movies, but this was his best for obvious reasons. He nailed the psycho murderer theme down. Though that's all that anybody really remembers from it anyways. But there was other stuff. Who hasn't played this on the piano though. I might have given it a nod just for it's unique qualities.
The Lord of the Rings by Leonard Rosenman - Rosenman's best work ever. Though the movie collapsed in the end, the score held up. The main theme is awesome. It captures the fellowship's journey in cartoon perfectly. The battle music is nice too as well as the chanting choirs. This should have been nominated.
My aunt used to have the LP of Midnight Express, but I never listened to it. Still, Superman should've won easily.
Judging by its use as of today, the obvious choice is Superman. The Love theme actually sold singles with Margot Kidder's lyrics.
Superman is great, up through Fortress of Solitude. After that (with the exception of the Flying Sequence) I don't find it to be quite so good.
I like Rosenman's LOTR.
And I need to hear The Fury, and Capricorn One...
Superman should have won,It's the best JW score after the Star Wars films IMO
Close Encounters of the Third Kind - John Williams
Julia - Georges Delerue
The Message - Maurice Jarre
Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope - John Williams
The Spy Who Loved Me - Marvin Hamlisch
WINNER: Star Wars Episode IV A New Hope by John Williams.
Other scores not nominated include Equus by Richard Rodney Bennett and Suspiria by Goblin.
Though it was just called Star Wars back then, the choice was clear. Perhaps the greatest film score of all time. Unless you're like me and believe TESB was better. The Main fanfare, Leia's theme, and the force theme are just great tunes to hum. All the filler music is memorable as well. Not very common amongst film scores in my opinion. Thankfully the academy got it right this time and didn't give the win to their beloved Marvin Hamlisch.
That being said, The Spy Who Loved Me isn't a bad piece of work. It's just not on the level of Star Wars. Of course most people just remember the opening song written by Hamlish and performed by Carly Simon. It's basically a solid score for a bond flick. Took me forever to find it in my cd piles. I must have hundreds of movie scores and this was almost in the last place I looked. Typical.
Julia by Delerue is good. Well deserved nomination. But the Message by Jarre isn't so great in my opinion. They would have done better nominating Suspiria. At least it's somewhat unique.
The closest competition to Star Wars was John Williams's other classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Williams could have had another oscar had this came out another year. It kinda gets overshadowed by Star Wars. But it's certainly a masterpiece.
I didn't know he was up against himself with Encounters. Funny.
Especially since nowadays they still do that, but he never wins anything anymore
CE3K is Williams at his best. Star Wars is not far behind...and given the impact the film had, yeah, won't disagree with the Academy.