A Partial Chronology of Rejected Film Scores
By Scott Bettencourt
A few rejected film scores have received a wide amount of attention
despite being unheard for years, especially Herrmann's Torn Curtain
and North's 2001. But there are countless others that, for the moment,
are lost to obscurity. Here is as comprehensive a list of rejected scores
as I've been able to assemble.(Films marked with an asterix managed to
win a Best Score nomination for the replacement composer)
*SINCE YOU WENT AWAY - Alexandre Tansman
CAESAR AND CLEOPATRA - Arthur Bliss
THE NAKED CITY - George Bassman
CREST OF THE WAVE - Hans May
THE DESPERATE HOURS - Gail Kubik
HELL ON FRISCO BAY - David Buttolph
THE BIBLE - Ennio Morricone
Morricone reputedly later reworked his music into his score for Secret
of the Sahara.
TORN CURTAIN - Bernard Herrmann
Herrmann reworked some of his rejected score into Battle of Neretva
-- itself a rescore of a foreign film -- and Elmer Bernstein also used
some of it in his adaptation score for the remake of Cape Fear.
The Torn Curtain score has been rerecorded twice -- once by Elmer
Bernstein in the 70s for an lp, and once by Joel McNeely for a Varese Sarabande
CD [48:13]. The supplement to the recent Torn Curtain DVD features
sequences with Herrmann's score tracked back in -- but reportedly, the
synch isn't perfect.
THE WAY WEST - Franz Waxman
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY - Alex North
North reworked his 2001 music into Shanks and Dragonslayer.
Jerry Goldsmith conducted a rerecording of the complete score [35:37] for
a Varese Sarabande CD, but a labeling mixup caused him to also rerecord
North's theme for the TV documentary Africa, included on the 2001
disc as intermission music
THE APPOINTMENT - John Barry
THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN - Johnny Mandel
*THE REIVERS - Lalo Schifrin
BATTLE OF BRITAIN - William Walton
At Laurence Olivier's insistence, Walton's "Battle in the Air" cue
was retained in the final film. The Ryko soundtrack CD includes Walton's
complete score [25:45] as well as Ron Goodwin's replacement score
THE G0-BETWEEN - Richard Rodney Bennett
SEE NO EVIL - Andre Previn
SEE NO EVIL - David Whitaker
This is one of the strangest rejected score stories. At the time, Previn
was married to the film's star, Mia Farrow. After his score was rejected,
Whitaker's replacement score was also thrown out, and the final score was
by Elmer Bernstein
FRENZY - Henry Mancini
Mancini rerecorded his main title theme [2:15] for his CD Mancini
THE GETAWAY - Jerry Fielding
The limited release CD Jerry Fielding Film Music Vol. 3 featured
a 17:39 suite from Fielding's score
THE EXORCIST - Lalo Schifrin
The 14:14 which Schifrin recorded of his score was included on a CD
packaged with a recent video release of the film
THE MAN WHO LOVED CAT DANCING - Michel Legrand
The 28:19 Legrand recorded for the film was included on FSM's recent
CD of John Williams replacement score.
*CHINATOWN - Philip Lambro
Music from Lambro's score is supposedly included in the film's trailer,
seen on the DVD.
S*P*Y*S - John Scott
This one is especially inexplicable, as Goldsmith's replacement score
is probably the worst score he ever wrote.
ROBIN AND MARIAN - Michel Legrand
CASEY'S SHADOW - Elmer Bernstein
APOCALYPSE NOW - David Shire
NEIGHBORS - Tom Scott
Similarly to Goldsmith's S*P*Y*S, Bill Conti's replacement score
is the worst he ever wrote.
WOLFEN - Craig Safan
Safan released his score [58:31] on a composer promo through Intrada.
FIVE DAYS ONE SUMMER - Carl Davis
TWO OF A KIND - Bill Conti
SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES - Georges Delerue
Delerue recorded an 11:48 suite of his score on his Varese CD The
London Sessions Volume Three. Author Ray Bradbury raved about James
Horner's replacement score, said it was one of the things he loved most
about the film.
ORDEAL BY INNOCENCE - Pino Donaggio
Donaggio released 17:36 of his score on a CD with his music for Going
Bananas and Déjà Vu. Dave Brubeck's replacement
score was one of the most jarringly inappropriate scores in film music
SLAPSTICK OF ANOTHER KIND - Michel Legrand
The Varese soundtrack lp included Legrand's music on one side and Morton
Stevens' replacement score on the other.
STREETS OF FIRE - James Horner
THE JOURNEY OF NATTY GANN - Elmer Bernstein
Bernstein's music for Natty Gann was featured in the film's
trailer, and later in the trailer for Benji the Hunted.
THE CLAN OF THE CAVE BEAR - John Scott
THE GOLDEN CHILD - John Barry
A few Barry cues were retained in the final film, and 7:06 of his music
was included on the soundtrack CD, including a Nancy Wilson song, "The
Greatest Man in the World."
LEGEND- Jerry Goldsmith
70:54 of the score was released on a Silva CD, to be reissued shortly.
The Goldsmith score was included in foreign prints, and will be heard again
on the upcoming "Director's Cut" DVD.
TOUCH AND GO - Georges Delerue
A PRAYER FOR THE DYING - John Scott
Scott included 36:53 of his score on a CD from his own label, paired
with the score to Winter People.
WHITE WATER SUMMER - John Scott
ALIEN NATION - Jerry Goldsmith
Goldsmith reportedly reused one his themes for his score to The
THE BIG BLUE - Eric Serra
Bill Conti's replacement score was only heard in the U.S., and was
never released on CD. Serra's score was released on CD throughout the world,
and later in a two-disc set [86:29].
COCKTAIL - Maurice Jarre
DEAD BANG - Michael Kamen
Some of Kamen's score was included in the final film, and he received
an "Additional Music" credit.
A NIGHT IN THE LIFE OF JIMMY REARDON - Elmer Bernstein
STARS AND BARS - Elmer Bernstein
Bernstein's score [40:51] was released on a Varese CD Club disc.
YOUNG GUNS - James Horner
MOBSTERS - Stewart Copeland
Copeland included 3:23 of his score on his promo CD, From Rumble
Fish to Gridlock'd.
THE PEOPLE UNDER THE STAIRS - Graeme Revell
28:55 of Revell's score was included on the Bay Cities soundtrack CD,
along with Don Peake's replacement score.
*THE PRINCE OF TIDES - John Barry
Barry turned his main theme into the piece "Moviola," and included
it on the album of the same name. Later he used it in his score to Across
the Sea of Time.
REGARDING HENRY - Georges Delerue
Replacement composer Hans Zimmer said he wanted the soundtrack album
to include both his score and Delerue's. Not surprisingly, this didn't
SHATTERED - Angelo Badalamenti
WHITE FANG - Hans Zimmer
Zimmer's score was actually written to replace Basil Poledouris' score,
but the studio ended up choosing between them cue by cue, and including
the majority of Poledouris' work.
THE BODYGUARD - John Barry
GLADIATOR - Jerry Goldsmith
HONEYMOON IN VEGAS - Marc Shaiman
JENNIFER EIGHT - Maurice Jarre
K2 - Hans Zimmer
Varese released Zimmer's score [41:24] on a "Music Inspired by the
THE PUBLIC EYE - Jerry Goldsmith
*A RIVER RUNS THROUGH IT - Elmer Bernstein
YEAR OF THE COMET - John Barry
The trailer for the film included some of Barry's unmistakable music.
Supposedly at the Barry scoring session, the film's director, Peter Yates,
was heard to remark 'This is the worst film I've ever made."
HOMEWARD BOUND: THE INCREDIBLE JOURNEY - David Shire
I LOVE TROUBLE - Elmer Bernstein
Bernstein is rumored to have told director Charles Shyer, "I'm too
old and too rich to give a s--t." However, this is a variation of a story
told about William Goldman and Chevy Chase about the writing of Memoirs
of an Invisible Man, so it may be apocryphal.
*INTERVIEW WITH THE VAMPIRE - George Fenton
LITTLE BIG LEAGUE - Hummie Mann
THE RIVER WILD - Maurice Jarre
ASSASSINS - Michael Kamen
THE INDIAN IN THE CUPBOARD - Miles Goodman
THE PEREZ FAMILY - Zbigniew Preisner
THE SCARLET LETTER - Elmer Bernstein
Bernstein is rumored to have written star Demi Moore a letter, thanking
her for throwing out his score so he could reuse the music on a better
LAST MAN STANDING - Elmer Bernstein
Varese released 32:37 of Bernstein's music on a "Music Inspired By"
MARVIN'S ROOM - Thomas Newman
MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE - Alan Silvestri
RANSOM - Howard Shore
2 DAYS IN THE VALLEY - Jerry Goldsmith
Goldsmith reused a theme from the score as "Willa's Theme" in Fierce
Creatures. The flim's director previously threw out Conti's Two
of a Kind score, and later had 15 Minutes half-rescored.
WHITE SQUALL - Maurice Jarre
Jarre sued director Ridley Scott over the replacement of his score,
claiming that Scott refused to pay him his full fee.
AIR FORCE ONE - Randy Newman
KISS THE GIRLS - Carter Burwell
MOUSE HUNT - Bruce Fowler
ROSEWOOD - Wynton Marsalis
Marsalis later included 60:03 of his score on a CD called Reeltime.
THE SIXTH MAN - Randy Edelman
THE WINGS OF THE DOVE - Gabriel Yared
DANGEROUS BEAUTY - Rachel Portman
GOODBYE, LOVER - John Barry
THE HORSE WHISPERER - John Barry
Barry is rumored to have resused some of his Horse Whisperer
material on his album The Beyondness of Things.
LES MISERABLES - Gabriel Yared
PRACTICAL MAGIC - Michael Nyman
The first pressings of the Practical Magic CD included two Nyman
cues, totalling 11:44. Later pressings featured two cues from the Alan
Silvestri replacement score instead. Nyman also included one of the cues
on his recent "The Very Best of Michael Nyman" CD.
STEPMOM - Patrick Doyle
Doyle was recovering from leukemia when he scored this film about a
woman dying of cancer and they still threw out his music, claiming he wasn't
available to make changes. Isn't that what music editors are for?
WHAT DREAMS MAY COME - Ennio Morricone
B. MONKEY - Luis Bacalov
THE 13TH WARRIOR - Graeme Revell
ALL THE PRETTY HORSES - Daniel Lanois
6:14 of Lanois' music is included on the soundtrack CD.
RAT RACE - Elmer Bernstein
SCARY MOVIE 2 - George S. Clinton
Clinton's replacement composer(s) went uncredited in the final film,
but were rumored to have included Marco Beltrami and John Debney.
If readers can offer any corrections or information on
additional rejected scores -- for example, either Michael Small or Jack
Nitzsche allegedly wrote a score for The China Syndrome, which was
released scoreless -- please let me know.