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 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 1:48 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)



I was looking in the search engine and could not find any thread on this score aside from the tv series...

I was 10 years old when I first saw this movie and really enjoyed it. I guess like most kids growing up I liked visiting my grandparents and especially hanging out with my grandfather so in a sense I indentified a lot with the Dennis/Wilson scenario. The movie was fun, it had a drive to it, and it was in the kids/grownup tradition of "Home Alone", which I enjoyed as well.

I have to confess I never saw a Dennis the Menace cartoon because they were hardly known in Belgium, at least not to my knowledge (and I saw a lot of cartoons). So the character and setting was new to me and I had no point of reference to the cartoon in contrary to the many people who critisized it for going astray.

Regarding the music, it's a score by Goldsmith that's all over the place with the nutty outings of Dennis. I always get the impression that it gets overlooked by a lot of Goldsmith fans and soundtrack fans in general. Is it because it has that kids element? Or because it is too cartoonish at moments?

I like it and play it often. It's got so much energy. It's like "First Great Train Robbery" on a sugar rush. It's got the nice string action, exploding brass sections and the harmonica (great instrument). It goes from silly to sincere and I particulary enjoy Jerry's villain theme for Switchblade Sam which always has a great synth beat accompagnying it. And the synths do not intrude at all here.

There are a share of dramatic cues (as when Dennis is abducted) and the buildup for the opening of the flower was also done in the typical rousing Goldsmith touch.

So, what are your thoughts on this 90's Goldsmith gem?

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 1:51 PM   
 By:   Jeff Bond   (Member)

I don't know if there was a Dennis the Menace cartoon--there was a live action TV series in black and white that ran in syndication a long time. It's definitely in the "Great Train Robbery" vein and no doubt perfectly serviceable in the film--it falls in with Mom and Dad Save the World as a big scale orchestral comedy pastiche.

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 1:56 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

I don't know if there was a Dennis the Menace cartoon--there was a live action TV series in black and white that ran in syndication a long time.


My bad. I thought it was based on a cartoon show, but apparantly the character is from a comic strip (just read it online). So I guess the tv show (60's) and cartoon (80's) are derived from that as well.

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 2:00 PM   
 By:   MRAUDIO   (Member)

Yeah, saw this movie in 1993 just for Jerry's score - still have the CD - always enjoyed the music - it had that JG touch, especially the end title music...:-)

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 2:22 PM   
 By:   Kevin Sumen   (Member)



Regarding the music, it's a score by Goldsmith that's all over the place with the nutty outings of Dennis. I always get the impression that it gets overlooked by a lot of Goldsmith fans and soundtrack fans in general. Is it because it has that kids element? Or because it is too cartoonish at moments?

I like it and play it often. It's got so much energy. It's like "First Great Train Robbery" on a sugar rush. It's got the nice string action, exploding brass sections and the harmonica (great instrument). It goes from silly to sincere and I particulary enjoy Jerry's villain theme for Switchblade Sam which always has a great synth beat accompagnying it. And the synths do not intrude at all here.

There are a share of dramatic cues (as when Dennis is abducted) and the buildup for the opening of the flower was also done in the typical rousing Goldsmith touch.

So, what are your thoughts on this 90's Goldsmith gem?


I also play this one quite often, but Goldsmith is my favorite composer, so I have worked my way though my Goldsmith collection since the beginning of February, only making it to the R's as of today. I will have to toss One Little Indian and Twilight Zone-TM in when they come. But, back to DTM! I do believe it is underrated, even by Goldsmith fans! It is another terrible kids movie with a great Goldsmith score! But, boy could he write!
As you said above, "It's got the nice string action, exploding brass sections and the harmonica (great instrument)."

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

The comic book character is - or at least WAS - quite popular here in Norway, and I remember reading it quite often as a kid. I saw the film as a late teenager in the mid 90's or thereabouts....didn't like it too much. Too goofy and clichéed and basically a HOME ALONE rip-off. But then again, I was probably too old for it in the first place.

Don't remember much of the score, to be honest. But I have a vague remembrance of a jaunty main theme.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 3:56 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

The legendary magazine that was "Film Score Monthly" once described this score as "like having root canal work".

Which is one of the reasons why I stopped reading Film Score Monthly!

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 4:10 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

The legendary magazine that was "Film Score Monthly" once described this score as "like having root canal work".

Which is one of the reasons why I stopped reading Film Score Monthly!


Any idea who the numbsk- er, culprit was that stated that? No wonder Goldsmith hated the magazine...big grin

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   drivingmissdaisy   (Member)

Great CD, I still own it and it gets played a lot. It's VERY Goldsmithy!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 4:42 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

Any idea who the numbsk- er, culprit was that stated that? No wonder Goldsmith hated the magazine...big grin

Nope, can't remember, I'll have to root out my old magazines...

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 4:52 PM   
 By:   Chris in PA   (Member)

I love the score.

The main title is great - rambunctious and mischievous - just like Dennis.

The movie was pretty good, too, except for an overly scary villain (Christopher Lloyd) that puts Dennis in very serious danger.



 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 6:06 PM   
 By:   Steve Johnson   (Member)

The score plays well as an indy listen.

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 6:52 PM   
 By:   SBD   (Member)

It's a pretty nice score.

However, I'm a little disappointed that a version of Switchblade Sam's theme (a nice orchestral bit when he arrives on the train) wasn't on the album.

 
 Posted:   Apr 16, 2009 - 7:48 PM   
 By:   Mr. Jack   (Member)

This is one of Jerry's better comedy scores, full of rambunctious, Great Train Robbery-style energy and nice themes. Certainly better than the miserable movie deserved.

 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2009 - 1:24 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)


However, I'm a little disappointed that a version of Switchblade Sam's theme (a nice orchestral bit when he arrives on the train) wasn't on the album.


Yes. The theme shows up in a couple of cues on the disc, but I remember this scene, the music's very powerful in establishing Switchblade Sam.

Still, the album has a nice presentation and plenty of music on it. This is an example of a score that I wouldn't want expanded because I like the album the way it is.

For those unfamiliar, here is a great clip featuring Switchblade Sam & his theme:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pV3IuEjwxQ4&feature=related

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2009 - 4:57 AM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

However, I'm a little disappointed that a version of Switchblade Sam's theme (a nice orchestral bit when he arrives on the train) wasn't on the album.

The album is strange so far as it presents the Main Title, then it skips the next 20 minutes of material, then presents virtually everything else from "Baby Sitting" onwards.

That's a shame because, while all of the key themes, motifs and musical ideas from the score are present on the disc, the first statement of the Christopher Lloyd theme etc are from the first 20 minutes and are therefore missing.

An expanded album would be fantastic and would not interfere with the existing sequence at all, merely adding a chunk of new music to the start.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2009 - 12:00 PM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

"The legendary magazine that was "Film Score Monthly" once described this score as "like having root canal work"."

Haha...I remember that comment (probably one of the Kaplans). It just made me laugh again.
The thing is, I kind of agree.
Don't get me wrong, I love Goldsmith's music in general, but this score just gets on my nerves.
It's like a big, forced, plastic grin.
I think I added about 3 tracks to my mp3 for recognition (the main theme is fun, plus the warmth theme), but trying to get through the whole disc...I'd rather go the dentist smile

 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2009 - 12:20 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Well having been to the dentist last tuesday and having to go back next tuesday for a follow up, I can assure you I rather be sitting at home playing Dennis The Menace wink

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2009 - 1:33 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

Well having been to the dentist last tuesday and having to go back next tuesday for a follow up, I can assure you I rather be sitting at home playing Dennis The Menace wink

LOL What I think the reviewer missed was that Dennis The Menace is an excrutiating character and the fact that Goldsmith gave him an excrutiating score was exactly right!! :-)

 
 Posted:   Apr 17, 2009 - 1:43 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)


LOL What I think the reviewer missed was that Dennis The Menace is an excrutiating character and the fact that Goldsmith gave him an excrutiating score was exactly right!! :-)


I wonder what that reviewer thinks of Goldsmith's "The Omen". Talk about excrutiating children big grin

In three years I will do a Switchblade Sam suite containing all of the quotes from his theme in the score and put it on youtube; a glimpse into the future:

 
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