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 Posted:   Nov 15, 2017 - 9:34 AM   
 By:   Jonathan Foster   (Member)

Hi all,

A friend recently asked me if I could think of other scores like Williams' THE LONG GOODBYE in which one tune is used in various forms with little to no additional musical ideas occurring throughout the film.

I could not think of any, so I figured I'd ask the board. Anything come to mind?

-Jonathan

 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2017 - 9:51 AM   
 By:   SBD   (Member)

I want to say THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY. One theme, throughout the score, but what a theme!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 15, 2017 - 9:58 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I want to say THE GREAT TRAIN ROBBERY. One theme, throughout the score, but what a theme!

What? That's a rather varied score with lots of different things going on beyond the main theme. I don't see how that is anything like THE LONG GOODBYE at all.

Mono-thematic scores are dime a dozen, of course, but the ingenious way it is used in the film (i.e. appearing both diegetic and non-diegetic) is more rare. Some French New films come to mind, like PIERROT LE FOU, but even this has other musical ideas.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 16, 2017 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   John McMasters   (Member)

Perhaps Delerue's score for Godard's "Contempt"?

 
 Posted:   Nov 16, 2017 - 2:01 PM   
 By:   Loren   (Member)

Great Train Robbery has nothing to do with this topic.
A better answer would be LINK, pretty monothematic.

But at the same "obsessive" level of THE LONG GOODBYE I can think only about THE MACKINTOSH MAN by the greatest Jarre.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 16, 2017 - 2:10 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Does Doctor Zhivago use a whole lot of musical themes, other than "Laura's Theme"? I can't remember, as it's been a while since I listened to it... confused

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 16, 2017 - 2:37 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Does Doctor Zhivago use a whole lot of musical themes, other than "Laura's Theme"? I can't remember, as it's been a while since I listened to it... confused

Yes, there are several. And various other musical ideas.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 17, 2017 - 5:50 AM   
 By:   KonstantinosZ   (Member)

I've recently watched a film that used the same music over and over (at a point that I was annoyed with this), but unfortunately i don't remember the film.
I remember my annoyance.
I think it could be a 70s action film but I'm not sure.

 
 Posted:   Nov 17, 2017 - 7:42 AM   
 By:   SBD   (Member)

Great Train Robbery has nothing to do with this topic.
A better answer would be LINK, pretty monothematic.


Not sure about that. There's the main theme, there's Jane's theme, kind of a stomping action motif. Lot going on there, too.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 17, 2017 - 6:19 PM   
 By:   TerraEpon   (Member)

I feel like there's at least one video game score which follows this trend to a point (i.e. for much but not all of it) but for the life of me I'm coming up blank....though a lot of games do it a small amount -- for instance Tales of Graces uses varied arrangements of the same theme for a number of towns, and Azure Dreams varies the music. as one ascends the tower, but it's no where near the level that The Long Goodbye uses -- both these games have much other unrelated music (though....Azure Dreams has a very samey [synth] instrument set throughout, so there's that)

 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2017 - 3:16 AM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

I think that way the music plays in The Long Goodbye is pretty unique. It goes way beyond it being a monothematic score, and deep into meta territory by having all of the music in the film, the vast majority of which seems to be diegetic (except for the snippets of “Hooray for Hollywood” that open and close the movie) be variations on the exact same song.

You're not really going to find another example too similar to this, unless it is somebody who specifically was “pulling a Long Goodbye.”

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2017 - 3:56 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I think that way the music plays in The Long Goodbye is pretty unique. It goes way beyond it being a monothematic score, and deep into meta territory by having all of the music in the film, the vast majority of which seems to be diegetic (except for the snippets of “Hooray for Hollywood” that open and close the movie) be variations on the exact same song.

You're not really going to find another example too similar to this, unless it is somebody who specifically was “pulling a Long Goodbye.”


Good one Josh. That's what I think too, but couldn't put it into words.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2017 - 3:59 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Well, to be fair (and as I mentioned earlier), THE LONG GOODBYE owes a LOT to French New Wave films -- both in its execution and its use of music. The way it plays with stereotypes and genre, and all the meta things. Especially Godard, who was the most overt in this.

So if anything, Altman was "pulling a New Wave".

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2017 - 4:25 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Well, to be fair (and as I mentioned earlier), THE LONG GOODBYE owes a LOT to French New Wave films -- both in its execution and its use of music. The way it plays with stereotypes and genre, and all the meta things. Especially Godard, who was the most overt in this.

So if anything, Altman was "pulling a New Wave".


Good one Thor. That's what I think too but couldn't put it into words.

Any particular New Wave/Godard film which uses music in virtually the same way as the Altman though? I'm trying to find a specific example but I can only come up with movies in which it's the same theme, yes, but very sparsely used, perhaps in three scenes and in different musical styles - but hardly that you'd notice.

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 18, 2017 - 4:55 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

PIERROT LE FOU is a good example. The way he uses Dudamel's theme (chopping it up, repeating it). Of course, this was Godard applying Dudamel's music the way he wanted rather than Dudamel conceptualizing it that way.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 16, 2017 - 8:56 PM   
 By:   Slackattack   (Member)

Check out Leonard Bernstein's 'On The Waterfront' -- the diagetic source music in that score is, for the most part, jazz and jukebox arrangements of the score's themes! Brando even whistles one of the motifs at one point!

Not quite the extent of what Williams & Altman were doing for The Long Goodbye (there's more than one theme, and for the most part the score is non-diagetic), but it's the same idea... 20 years earlier! This is even before the French New Wave!

Anyone know any others?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 17, 2017 - 12:06 AM   
 By:   The CinemaScope Cat   (Member)

Would Michel Legrand's Summer Of 42 count? The film uses source music but as far as the underscore goes, it's just Legrand's theme.

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 17, 2017 - 1:20 AM   
 By:   humster   (Member)

Ken Russell’s CRIMES OF PASSION used almost entirely a piece of the New World Symphony by Dvorak — to utterly relentless and maddening effect.

 
 Posted:   Dec 17, 2017 - 3:55 AM   
 By:   Josh "Swashbuckler" Gizelt   (Member)

Did this thread get revived because of the quote of “The Long Goodbye” in The Last Jedi, or is this a complete coincidence?

 
 
 Posted:   Dec 17, 2017 - 4:58 AM   
 By:   Bill Cooke   (Member)


I think this idea has its roots in Dimitri Tiomkin's HIGH NOON. It does have a secondary theme - for Helen Ramirez - but everything else, even the action music, is derived from the song "Do Not Forsake Me Oh My Darling." Even the piano in the bar is playing this song!

 
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