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 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 5:28 AM   
 By:   YOR The Hunter From The Future   (Member)

Great informations about the score for John Carpenter's "The Thing" from producer Stuart Cohen:

"In a perfect world, given unlimited time and resources, I think John would have preferred to compose the music for THE THING himself. The realities of the work yet to be done, however, combined with the need for a more expansive and layered approach to the score led us to consider other options. We initially offered the film to Jerry Goldsmith who was unavailable, doing both POLTERGEIST and TWILIGHT ZONE for Spielberg. Availability on musician John Corigliano (ALTERED STATES) was checked. The legendary Alex North read the script, had ideas, and wanted to meet but at that point I felt the only composer John would possibly entrust his film to other than himself was Ennio Morricone."

Check out for more: http://theoriginalfan.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/music.html

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 5:45 AM   
 By:   Mark Langdon   (Member)

Jerry can't have been busy with TWILIGHT ZONE as that wasn't made for another year. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 5:48 AM   
 By:   mrchriswell   (Member)

I thought I read that Jerry was kind of repulsed by the picture and said no. Having done Alien just a short time before, it would have been treading perhaps too familiar ground. Now North, THAT's interesting.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 6:16 AM   
 By:   Mark Langdon   (Member)

I thought I read that Jerry was kind of repulsed by the picture and said no. Having done Alien just a short time before, it would have been treading perhaps too familiar ground. Now North, THAT's interesting.

I remember reading that Jerry asked Richard Franklin to take out the shot of Vera Miles getting stabbed in the mouth in his workprint of PSYCHO II becuse he was so disturbed by it, so it would make sense that Jerry would also be repulsed by THE THING.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 6:42 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

It's funny how you get different stories from different people. Elsewhere I thought I read Carpenter made a beeline direct for Morricone, him being exactly who he wanted.

But anyway, Morricone's score is classic as it is. I can see Goldsmith writing a great score, but I can't see him topping what Morricone did in that instance.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 7:41 AM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

"In a perfect world, given unlimited time and resources, I think John would have preferred to compose the music for THE THING himself.

THANK GOD that didn't happen!

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 7:46 AM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

I agree. The brooding slowly unfolding creepiness of Morricone's score is terrific. It's interesting to note that this score was extrapolated from a two note motif similar to The Dark Knight. The difference is in how Morricone developed upon it. Harmonically varying it throughout and treating it to different orchestral choirs. Pretty amazing stuff. Morricone did channel a bit of Bartok but I mean more in the tone of Music for Strings... Rather than any lifts of sorts.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 8:42 AM   
 By:   Vermithrax Pejorative   (Member)

And yet Goldsmith wasn't at all bothered or repulsed by those fighting jock-straps in SALAMANDER, or the whole film of THE SWARM !!!

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 12:16 PM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)

"The Thing" always feels like one of Morricone's lesser works. Other than the electronic heartbeat (which I don't know is from Carpenter or Morricone), the whole score is brooding droning and is barely noticeable in the film.

To think of the parallel universe in which Goldsmith did "The Thing", oh my...

That said, Goldsmith's pupil Beltrami did a great job with The Thing Prequel. I'd even say he did a better job than Morricone. The "orchestra pulsing" of The Thing Prequel is more interesting than the electronic heartbeat of The Thing Original.

Beltrami may have failed to make a sequel score worthy of Goldsmith's original Omen, but for The Thing, he did stand head and shoulder to the Morricone.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   DavidCorkum   (Member)

Considering how brilliant Goldsmith could be with atonal material, moreso I think than with conventional themes, it's too bad he apparently didn't care for horror movies. He didn't avoid them altogether, of course, but he expressed a distaste for them several times. It probably depended on who was involved. I read that he was also offered Predator. Not to slight Silvestri at all, but a Goldsmith score to Predator would have been amazing.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 12:49 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

"The Thing" always feels like one of Morricone's lesser works. Other than the electronic heartbeat (which I don't know is from Carpenter or Morricone), the whole score is brooding droning and is barely noticeable in the film.

To think of the parallel universe in which Goldsmith did "The Thing", oh my...

That said, Goldsmith's pupil Beltrami did a great job with The Thing Prequel. I'd even say he did a better job than Morricone. The "orchestra pulsing" of The Thing Prequel is more interesting than the electronic heartbeat of The Thing Original.


I think this is where we have opposite opinions; To me Morricone's score is very effective and captures the 'isolation' element of the movie to perfection, building up the sense of dread and danger as it becomes obvious early on that anyone can become the thing and has all odds against them. Morricone composed these cues as ideas for Carpenter to work with and the reason why it's barely noticeable is Carpenter left out most of it and replaced it by his own 'droning' cues. But all the rejected cues on the album, you can see why Morricone associated that with the movie as it stills fits taken away from it.

As for Beltrami who goes for the requested traditional score every scene approach, there's one or two 'interesting' motifs, but the score plays it so safe that it barely stands out or makes an impression and when it does feature heavily it sounds so cliché hollywood that I'm not sure what they were going for (I think that has also to do with the director's lack of vision for the prequel). The whole movie in retrospect feels like one of those audience filled out questionaires "what would you like to see in a "the thing" prequel"; it's all there but it makes little sense at times and doesn't feel like it connects as well as it could have.

As for Goldsmith doing "The Thing" ... call me a pessimist but if Carpenter left out more than half of Morricone's stuff (and he was the one who wanted Morricone on board in the first place), I doubt Goldsmith's contributions would have survived and I'm sure it would have been regarded as one of Goldsmith's lesser works.

I personally don't feel Goldsmith would have been perfect to score Carpenter's "the thing", as honestly, that movie requires little score and is strong on itself. If Goldsmith were to have scored the prequel, I think he could have let loose a lot more on that one and 'save it' as he can do best. wink

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 1:03 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

Thats funny because i heard that Zimmer aged 12 turned it down, before they asked Jerry.

And before that they asked Elmer Bernsteins auntie.

Yeah what a drag having to ask Morricone, a man whos music John Carpenter used for his wedding. He really wanted to use a Goldsmith score but the CD wouldnt work.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 2:09 PM   
 By:   Gold Digger   (Member)

Great informations about the score for John Carpenter's "The Thing" from producer Stuart Cohen:

"In a perfect world, given unlimited time and resources, I think John would have preferred to compose the music for THE THING himself. The realities of the work yet to be done, however, combined with the need for a more expansive and layered approach to the score led us to consider other options. We initially offered the film to Jerry Goldsmith who was unavailable, doing both POLTERGEIST and TWILIGHT ZONE for Spielberg. Availability on musician John Corigliano (ALTERED STATES) was checked. The legendary Alex North read the script, had ideas, and wanted to meet but at that point I felt the only composer John would possibly entrust his film to other than himself was Ennio Morricone."

Check out for more: http://theoriginalfan.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/music.html


Superb bit of info. Would have been fascinating to hear JG's approach.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 8:51 PM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

Obviously he could have been doing Poltergeist if not Twilight Zone. Goldsmith had such a lousy time on Alien, and always stated he hated the characters--I can't help but think he would have responded to The Thing in the same way. Of course that doesn't mean he wouldn't have come up with a great score. smile I'd love to have heard any of those other composers' approaches! But I'm also perfectly fine with Morricone's effort.

 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 9:03 PM   
 By:   DavidCoscina   (Member)

Morricone's score is actually more complex than it may initially appear. Despair has some terrific build to it. It's actually one long crescendo to that brass statement. Brass come in and play all sorts of chromatic chords. Aside from that long string line it would be hard to discern a key centre. Very Bartokian.

I just watched the prequel this evening and Beltrami's score seems very knee jerk. The music is a literal reflection of the events in the film whereas Morricone's was atmospheric and allegorical. I don't listen to the entire soundtrack as there's some pretty harsh sonorities in the but I always enjoy Despair.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 1, 2013 - 9:33 PM   
 By:   facehugger   (Member)


As for Beltrami who goes for the requested traditional score every scene approach, there's one or two 'interesting' motifs, but the score plays it so safe that it barely stands out or makes an impression and when it does feature heavily it sounds so cliché hollywood that I'm not sure what they were going for


I think they were going for "amorphous monster (i.e. a Shoggoth) attacking people in Antarctica" rather than "alien virus that mimics humans". In other words, they were doing a Mountains of Madness movie.

The original design for The Thing Prequel was much more grotesque (the three-eyed alien pilot that was cut from the final version was genuinely disgusting, even for a hardcore monster fan like me). Unfortunately the studio heavy-handedly interfered with the director's vision.

I'd even say Beltrami's score stand head and shoulder with Alien and Jaws as one of the greatest monster scores.

Morricone's work might be better categorized as psychological drama score.

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 2, 2013 - 12:54 AM   
 By:   ian642002   (Member)

Yeah what a drag having to ask Morricone, a man whos music John Carpenter used for his wedding.

And Goldsmith's, reportedly. Being a Howard Hawks fan, Carpenter used the theme to Rio Lobo amongst the goodies in the soundtrack to his wedding. Your moment of pedantry, ladies and germs.

 
 Posted:   Jul 5, 2013 - 3:46 PM   
 By:   Justin Boggan   (Member)

There's a working list of films Jerry was attached to and almost scored or did score portions thereof, at JGOnline:
http://www.jerrygoldsmithonline.com/forum/viewthread.php?tid=3985&page=1

 
 
 Posted:   Jul 6, 2013 - 10:37 PM   
 By:   Cooper   (Member)



Some old, Carpenter tweets on the subject:


https://twitter.com/#!/TheHorrorMaster/status/91923397222744064

https://twitter.com/#!/TheHorrorMaster/status/91565822186754048


 
 
 Posted:   Jul 7, 2013 - 5:44 AM   
 By:   stuart cohen   (Member)




Well, not almost...when I called Goldsmith's agent to inquire about availability I was told he was completely tied up and that was that. There was no script sent ( John had just begun shooting ) for Mr. Goldsmith to reject...


You can chew on the notion that Henry Mancini was pitched by his agent for THE THING. When I expressed surprise his agent said he was " in a dark place " and would like to be considered for the film. Too big a leap for us, maybe, but it would have been fun to see what he came up with ( think EXPERIMENT IN TERROR )...

 
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