I believe a movie score not only enhances a film, it can make the movie. There are songs in a film that define a moment like the whistling march in Bridge on the River Kwai (1957) or Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” in Say Anything (1989). Remember John Cusack holding up the boom box to declare his love? Then there are the sweeping title scores that define a film and heighten the excitement. I’m going to list a few of my favorite ones. I sure would be interested in knowing yours.
This 1960 remake of the Japanese classic, The Seven Samarai (1954), stars Steve McQueen and Yul Brynner competing for screen time, and the plot is not original at all. I love The Magnificent Seven. Why? The score by Elmer Bernstein, of course.
Just about anything John Williams composes is gold, right? With 41 Oscar nominations, if he wrote the score, the movie is bound to be better. He sure knows how to pull at the heart strings.
I was a very young teenager and fell hopelessly in love with the power of the movies because of the original Star Wars. It was the musical score that made this very un-original plot come to life with magic and excitement and fear. I remember saving my babysitting money and purchasing the soundtrack record and listening to it over and over in 1976.
How about the theme for the 1963, Harry Mancini score for The Pink Panther?
Do you remember the plot? Nope, I don’t either. It was the movie that made it a classic.
I highly recommend you read the memoir by Danish author Isak Dinesen(1937) about her time spent in Africa managing a coffee plantation. The film version in 1985 starring Meryl Streep and Robert Redford won seven Academy awards. This Sydney Pollack film is a beautiful, sweeping saga which no movie buff should miss. John Barry’s score is as breathtaking as the cinematography.
How about anything Leonard Bernstein does? West Side Story or one of my top 5 favorite films of all time, On the Waterfront (1954)?
A major reason I love the film Last of the Mohicans(1992) is because of the score.
I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t mention this classic. You know it just by the score.
The score always makes the film better, do you agree? What are your favorite scores? The Godfather? Psycho? A Fist Full of Dollars?