Film Score Monthly
FSM HOME MESSAGE BOARD FSM CDs FSM ONLINE RESOURCES FUN STUFF ABOUT US  SEARCH FSM   
Search Terms: 
Search Within:   search tips 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2007 - 2:45 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)



Okay, compadres, let's stop acting like wusses and tackle a topic GUARANTEED to get our collective blood pressures up.

Which of the above is:

Your favorite?

Preferred score?

Superior film?

Someone once said John Sturges' film



is a Romantic Western (how one would prefer to cash in their chips) whilst Sam Peckinpah's





is an unblinkingly Ultra-Realistic one unblinkingly showing how you'd most likely really go.

As it (tied with LONESOME DOVE) is our all-time favorite Western - and Elmer Bernstein's unforgettable music is what made us fall forever in love with film scores - make our table set for

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2007 - 2:59 PM   
 By:   Oblicno   (Member)

My favourite is The Magnificent 7, the only music i can remember is from The Magnificent 7, so Magnificent 7 wins.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2007 - 1:29 AM   
 By:   The_Mark_of_Score-O   (Member)

I don't like either film (in spite of my cousins' company having made THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN), but Elmer's score to it is what's truly magnificent about it.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2007 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

When The Wild Bunch was released, people were pretty shocked by its gritty reality. We couldn't turn our eyes away from the violence because Peckinpah couched it in visual poetry. I liked the themes of personal honor among thieves and the encroachment of an industrial society that would make Pike and his group a dying breed. The score worked well in the movie, but it isn't a favorite of mine.

The Magnificent Seven sports one of the finest scores EVER composed. It is a much lighter movie. It has a simple plot, but it is so very engaging. It was an interesting remake of The Seven Samurai. It is hard to compare the two movies as they are truly like apples and oranges only sharing the western genre.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2007 - 6:10 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

We do feel somewhat compelled to present this caveat to (and for) any and everything on past, present and future offer:

Our perennial advocation is in the area of (hopefully insightful) appreciation, never competitive rivalry or peevish pettiness in any creative or artistic sense.

Now, having big-heartedly said that, we'll get back on the buckin 'bronco and say this ...

We're on board the same ship stating THE WILD BUNCH was, and is, unmistakably a watershed Western in many important, memorable and genre-shaping ways, Joan. We first saw it a sunny spring afternoon on campus and recall coming out of it in mute admiration along the lines of "Damn, what a movie!!!"

Both are pristine examples of proverbial apples and oranges with advocates on either side, each usually as rabid (and often foundationally inflexible) in their reverence as the other.

But SEVEN is far too influential in too many areas of our aborning evolution (personally professionally and professionally personally) to gainsay its seminal seed.

Intriguing Historical Tidbit Department:

We once were flabbergasted (or gobsmacked, if you're from Britain) watching a documentary on Westerns to hear John Sturges himself reveal the fact he AND Peckinpah once pondered the possibility of doing a teevee series spun around the SEVEN.

This totally intoxicating pregnant possibility was ultimately creatively still-born for reasons Sturges didn't go into. Mind you, he did admit Peckinpah's ideas were radically different from his, the latter somehow (if not surprisingly given his own demon-driven combative nature) seeing the project as a symbolic indictment of the studios and power-hungry businessman and such like.

Sturges was confused, albeit bemused, by it all because, in his words, "Gee, I thought we just wanted to make some Westerns!"

Still, the mind boggles at the percolating prospect of both masters ostensibly collaborating on the same frontier page.

Then again, they'd probably have gotten along as well as Leonardo and Michelangelo did(n't) on their fabled Battle of Anghiari aborted adventure ...

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2007 - 6:10 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Aw, geez, another flamin' double post! ...

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 26, 2007 - 5:13 AM   
 By:   Bill Finn   (Member)

Okay, gang, let's stop acting like wusses and tackle a topic GUARANTEED to get our collective blood pressures up.

Which of the above is:

Your favorite?

Preferred score?

Superior film?



I've never really liked "The Wild Bunch" all that much. Just not fun to watch and I don't like any of the characters. When I sometimes play the sountrack, I usually think of things other than the film it came from.

And although I usually like Sturges films, "The Magnificent Seven" really kind of bogs down. It entertains for a few viewings, but then, well I just finally loose interest. That usually means a nap in front of the TV.

Maybe it's not an either this or that thing in any case, and obviously there were many other westerns made in those years. My own preference might be for something like "The Big Country". It too can be dull, but I'm usually always kind of into the Heston/Peck revalry.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2007 - 9:27 AM   
 By:   Dan Bates   (Member)

Neither! "Red River" was a long-time favorite, as movie--UNTIL I encountered "The Big Country," which has the finest single score of any film genre. Sorry, Dimitri, I still love your compositions, but Jerome Moross has you beat with this one work, hands down! I'd give Fielding a slight edge over Bernstein, whom I interviewed the year of his death, by the way. Elmer had such vigor, bouncing around the Meyerson podium as he conducted the "Seven" overture! This was not a man facing imminent demise!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2007 - 5:06 PM   
 By:   betenoir   (Member)

Which of the above is:

Your favorite? Mixed. See below.

Preferred score? Magnificent Seven (by far)

Superior film? Wild Bunch (by far)

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2007 - 6:24 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I see you've found the "picture" function, eh neo? Be sure not to over-use it, though. I seem to remember someone saying something about the limited storage capacity of the server once upon a time. I should also inform you that many members are prevented from posting when you put quotes in the headline. It would be swell if you could remove them.

In any case, of the two choices, I would have to go with THE WILD BUNCH as the more interesting film, although THE MAG 7 is obviously the more standard "Hollywood" narrative. Both are classics in their own right, though. I must admit, however, that I prefer the original Kurosawa film over the American remake.

NP: THE BRITISH YEARS (Zimmer)

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2007 - 6:53 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

"Picture function", Thor, ?!!! Whazzat? eek (Tho someone near and dear did warn us it could become definitely addictive).

Appreciate the update, caution and clarifications as we weren't aware quotes were a hindrance, but shall conduct ourselves accordingly henceforth (SheriffThor-forth? - that's another joke, son, tho we get your considerate drift. Truly thanx).

As previously stated, our intention is never to devolve into fruitless competitiveness or opinionating (noo word), simply on-going, hopefully insightful, appreciation.

(We respectfully part company with your notion of just how "standard" SEVEN is, but that's a starship for another universe).

And it goes without saying (or ought to) BOTH films have their own valuable virtues and, as posted above, given the ostensibly friendly relationship Sturges and Peckinpah had, it usually comes down - as most things major and minor do - to personal taste and individual temperament.

As Joan might say: vive le difference!

Plus, Kurosawa's sending Sturges a ceremonial sword as a token of his admiration for the transplanted "Seven" says volumes more than we ever could.

(And how're you adjusting to your new professiorial role?) ... cool

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2007 - 11:12 PM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

Put the Bunch in a corral opposite the Pretty Boy Seven and see who's alive at the bar slamming tequilas five minutes later.

Elmer versus Jerry? Fielding's score is remarkable in that it is an authentic western score that does not once rely on traditional Americana or Copeland. Totally original. Quite a thing to pull off.

Sam versus John? Well, Sturges was a fine Hollywood Journeyman (as they say), but Sam was an artist up there with Welles, Kubrick and the best American directors. Sturges entertained millions, but Sam's cinema actually changed the form.

 
 Posted:   Jan 31, 2007 - 11:20 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

Put the Bunch in a corral opposite the Pretty Boy Seven and see who's alive at the bar slamming tequilas five minutes later.

Elmer versus Jerry? Fielding's score is remarkable in that it is an authentic western score that does not once rely on traditional Americana or Copeland. Totally original. Quite a thing to pull off.

Sam versus John? Well, Sturges was a fine Hollywood Journeyman (as they say), but Sam was an artist up there with Welles, Kubrick and the best American directors. Sturges entertained millions, but Sam's cinema actually changed the form.


Pretty much says it all...

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 1, 2007 - 2:53 AM   
 By:   Bill Finn   (Member)

Put the Bunch in a corral opposite the Pretty Boy Seven and see who's alive at the bar slamming tequilas five minutes later.

Elmer versus Jerry? Fielding's score is remarkable in that it is an authentic western score that does not once rely on traditional Americana or Copeland. Totally original. Quite a thing to pull off.

Sam versus John? Well, Sturges was a fine Hollywood Journeyman (as they say), but Sam was an artist up there with Welles, Kubrick and the best American directors. Sturges entertained millions, but Sam's cinema actually changed the form.


Didn't you even notice that Fielding used the same modus operandi that Bernstein did? The use of various Mexican folk songs. "La Golondrina" is even specifically played in the WILD BUNCH end credits.

They in fact both served their films well and both pretty much came up with original scores.

But please beware all of this Copland talking. There is no Copland in the Magnificent 7. What I think is that when the 7 score was first heard it was so different than other westerns of the time that critics needed a crutch. No doubt a way to show that Hollywood composers all sounded like so and so.

Listen for yourself. Listen to everything that Copland has written. Nothing there that is like what Elmer came up with for his film. His score is just as unique and original, if not more so, than Fieldings' was.

It's kind of a tired old saw anymore that Bernstein cut these big slabs out of Aaron Copland for his score. I do think it is way beyond time for a re-evaluation of that point of view.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 1, 2007 - 3:44 AM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Thanks, Bill. I think Bernstein's music was very original. It was branded "Americana", but it was a new and different take on the wide open spaces of the West and the Americana music tradition. I've always thought Moross broke new ground with his score for The Big Country. Then Bernstein found more virgin territory to explore with his score for The Magnificent Seven. What may have hurt Magnificent Seven was its over-use and over-exposure for the Marlboro (sp?) Man. Plus I wonder if people have listened to ALL of the score. It is so much more that its rousing main theme. Great villain and action music, sweet love theme, delightful comedic themes, source cues, etc.

I do admire Fielding's score. It has a unique, modernistic sound that seems to fit the movie, and I do like the train sequence; however, I find it a hard score to warm up to; cognitively, I admire it, but holds me at an emotional distance. Bernstein's score pulses through my brain and blood. Different strokes, I guess.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 1, 2007 - 4:00 AM   
 By:   Bill Finn   (Member)

Thanks, Bill. I think Bernstein's music was very original. It was branded "Americana", but it was a new and different take on the wide open spaces of the West and the Americana music tradition. I've always thought Moross broke new ground with his score for The Big Country. Then Bernstein found more virgin territory to explore with his score for The Magnificent Seven. What may have hurt Magnificent Seven was its over-use and over-exposure for the Marlboro (sp?) Man. Plus I wonder if people have listened to ALL of the score. It is so much more that its rousing main theme. Great villain and action music, sweet love theme, delightful comedic themes, source cues, etc.

I do admire Fielding's score. It has a unique, modernistic sound that seems to fit the movie, and I do like the train sequence; however, I find it a hard score to warm up to; cognitively, I admire it, but holds me at an emotional distance. Bernstein's score pulses through my brain and blood. Different strokes, I guess.


I would agree with you Joan, "The Big Country" was perhaps more an inspiriation for Bernstein than anything else.

Did you ever notice that you can play many of the themes from "The Big Country" just on the black keys of the piano? It's weird. The score doesn't really sound pentatonic, but I think both the main theme and "The Big Muddy" work out that way. Anyway, that's getting off topic.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 1, 2007 - 5:02 AM   
 By:   The_Mark_of_Score-O   (Member)

Sam versus John? Well, Sturges was a fine Hollywood Journeyman (as they say), but Sam was an artist up there with Welles, Kubrick and the best American directors. Sturges entertained millions, but Sam's cinema actually changed the form.

Though not necessarily for the better.

 
 Posted:   Feb 1, 2007 - 2:05 PM   
 By:   Heath   (Member)

Though not necessarily for the better.

If you mean the slo-mo violence I would agree. I think it does, in a way, glorify violence and death simply because there is an innate beauty to slo-mo photography. But it wasn't Peckinpah's intention. He wanted to create, or recreate, the shift in reality and time perception experienced by someone involved in a sudden catastrophic event. Spielberg did something similar in Private Ryan with the shutter speed/bleach bypass technique. Both techniques look beautiful and could be regarded as glorifying or prettifying violence. But nothing could be further from the film makers' intention in both cases.

Peckinpah was incredibly responsible and conscientious about film violence. Compare with John Woo and many others who serve it up as pure entertainment and in quantities that, in a single movie, dwarf all of Peckinpah's films put together.

Peckinpah's misogyny, however, is another matter! I don't want to make an essay out of it. Suffice to say the guy had some problems. He was probably a paranoid manic depressive. But there was a good man beneath all that, with real concerns and compassion for people and the human condition.

More interesting to me than Sam's slo-mo (Kurosawa probably invented that anyway), was his editing techniques. Very innovative stuff.

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 1, 2007 - 6:46 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

BRAVO, Bill-issimo re your "There ain't no Copland in Bernstein" ballad.

Notwithstanding Copland's immense contribution (and, not incidentally, one of Bernstein's earliest mentors), it's always irked the hellacious outta us that everyone immediately tags something Coplandesque when it's usually anything but.

Which isn't to say Bernstein operated in a total vacuum (which is as impossible as it is ridiculous) - no artist does. Inspiration isn't this mysterious alloy that miraculously floats down off a creative Olympus, perches itself passionately upon someone's incubating shoulder and suddenly - PESTO! - a musical miracle, let alone masterpiece, appears.

Joan's justifiable offering of Moross' BIG COUNTRY is as close an artistic ancestor as anything but they have widely differing (and totally dissimilar) distinctions (tho what they unmistakably share is a quality of emotional euphoria that lifts you outta your seat and keeps you soaring from spectacular start to fabulous finish).

As for the equally definitive differences betwixt and between Sturges and Peckinpah, it's almost akin to comparing Olivier opposite Brando.

Wethink the masses would most likely fall at the feet of Brando while thoroughly dismissing Olivier (like that paragon of thespic perception, David Mamet, does).

Sturges and Olivier have far more in common the same way Peckinpah and Brando do.

Which is why Mark's "not necessarily for the better" comment is so spot on.

To be continued, yu durn betcha! razz

And, incidentally, here's a tantalizing tidbit: one of the greatest composers ever (having birthed many a memorable western score himself) went on public record (even taking into account his own trail-blazing output) unabashedly stating he felt Bernstein's score IS the greatest one ever written for a Western.

Which doesn't automatically make it so or definitively end everyone's emotionally subjective appraisal, but says something profoundly substantial.

But more on that manana ... cool

 
 
 Posted:   Feb 1, 2007 - 6:46 PM   
 By:   neotrinity   (Member)

Forgive us for our trespassin' double-posts, dammit ... confused

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.