Sometimes I wonder whether in their enthusiasm for every composer and his scores, film score afficianados haven't really grappled with the diversity of films out there and the ways scores can and cannot help them.
Some of the responses in this thread should answer your question.
There is a melody for every part of part of our lives. Of course this discussion is just an opinion and it is nice it is a long intelligent one . When I see wonderful films like LES MISERBLES,UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOUGH ETC I wish there were so many movies made like that. When I see a HANS SALTER and company score from the 40's I wish there was so many more movies like that. To each ones own. But I will side with more music. However as a filmmaker myself in years passed, EDITING is definitely as manipulating as any element of the film process.Hey look at the news and newspapers.
I know what you mean. Editing does seem to get a free pass -- perhaps because of that notorious 'visual medium' argument. The fact that editing does take us out of real time is however why long take filmmaking (even when the shots are 'fake' as in Gravity) still has the power it does.
THE SPIES (1957) is another flick that benefits from a sparse score approach. Appart from a short effective main title by Georges Auric, the film contains no score save for a re-use of the theme in a non-diegetic fashion.
Then there is 12 ANGRY MEN-57-Where it worked in that type of setting having a sparse score, yet how effective it was when KENYON HOPKINS melodic theme is used at the end when LEE J COBB in shame works out of the courtroom and HENRY FONDA goes down the courthouse stairs outside. That rising piece works wonders, but I thought it was ok not having music throughout the court procedures. In the remake they must have liked that theme too because they used it again, and it worked well again.