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 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 10:57 AM   
 By:   AdoKrycha007   (Member)

Today, in 1990, "Dances With Wolves" hits the big screen.
Happy 30th Anniversary!

The reason why I love cinema & film music...

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 19, 2020 - 8:09 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

I remember going to see the film opening night. As a huge fan of John Barry, it was quite an event, seeing as he'd been hospitalized and absent from films for a couple of years (and twice nearly died in surgery).

So it was wonderful hearing his music in a film again -- particularly a film which afforded him such a broad "canvas" on which to express himself. Dances With Wolves proved to be one of his strongest efforts -- and for me, his best score since Moonraker.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 3:50 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

When this film was new, 99% of Barry's film career was less than 30 years old!

Yes, I remember it well. A fantastic comeback film.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 6:01 AM   
 By:   jsmiley108   (Member)

What a stunning achievement on so many levels. I remember realising afterwards that even though it was a 3 hour movie, I didn't check my watch once throughout the whole screening (wow, 30 years ago!). And Barry's score is the icing on the cake...

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 6:54 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

As I recall (and I've reported before, I think smile) we rarely went to the cinema ... a toddler and baby at home meant it wasn't always that easy to arrange the time but, for once, we made an exception. The film was nearing the end of a 6 week run and had moved to the smallest screen in the multi-plex frown. I think it was a late afternoon/early evening showing and in those pre-internet, pre-booking days we were surprised to find the auditorium virtually full. We had to sit in the front row with my head at an awkward angle resting against the top of the seat, not quite straining to see the whole screen.

When it started I wasn't sure this was my cup-o'-tea as my limited knowledge of the film, beyond it having been scored by John Barry, was that it was a western.

I'm not sure I moved for three hours. As much as I love so many movies (even if some of my ratings appear to suggest otherwise) I'm not sure I can nominate another film which I've enjoyed as much.

I saw it on TV some years later but it was the extended DVD version (running another 45 mins approx.) which took the film to a new, more enjoyable level. In a sense this shows faults in the cinematic version ... it shouldn't be necessary to expand a film to make it better.

The story, its unfolding, the cast, the cinematography ... and, of course, the music. I can't say each or any are perfect but I struggle to think of how any element could have been bettered (subject to the criticism mentioned).

Strangely, for me, it's probably the only score I have by John Barry which does not work quite so well divorced from the images. Maybe, here, its length is an issue and I rarely play it through in one sitting which is a shame because it tells such a great story even without the visuals.

We're told that director Costner pushed Barry to re-score The Buffalo Hunt and for the cinema-goer this was probably the right decision but Barry's original version works far better within the score because the revision pushed it into the western genre ...

... and one view I hold about this film is: it's not a western! But I'm probably in a minority of one here smile.
Mitch

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 6:56 AM   
 By:   other tallguy   (Member)

I had seen a number of films with Barry scores (I played the Black Hole album into the ground) without ever really knowing who he was.

When became a little more aware of him (when I got more into Bond) it suddenly became blindingly obvious. He was just about unmistakable no matter what he was doing. (OK, Lion in Winter still throws me.)

And I have to say, of all the scores is there a Barry score that is more Barry than Dances with Wolves? If you really love Barry then this is just about the magnum opus isn't it? And if you don't like Barry? Um, probably want to avoid this one. It's not going to change your mind.

I'm apparently in the middle of the road. Maybe I need to go listen again, but I think it's a Barry score minus all of my favorite stuff. OR I'm just remembering all the big, slow, lush parts and forgetting all the parts I should have liked.

(THIRTY years?!? Shut your damn dirty mouth.)

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 9:51 AM   
 By:   Adam B.   (Member)

That's one of several films that were predicted to be disasters in the months leading up to their release. The Godfather and Titanic were others. All wound up winning the Best Picture Oscar and cleaned up at the box office.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 11:48 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Costner's star has certainly waned since this film hit the big screen, but the film itself has lost none of his magnificent aura and ability to draw you in the story. Gorgeously photographed, beautifully scored and impeccably acted and directed with a great, spot on script that hits the right note on every level, this is still a favorite of mine and if watched from beginning to end, does not ever fail to move me.

As someone mentioned before, this film was destined by critics and the Hollywood insiders as the next Heavens Gate. I mean, having huge sections of nothing but Native American language being spoken and subtitled...in what was then the defunct Western genre directed by a neophyte?

When it was over couldn't believe it was right at 3 hrs in length and to be honest, I could have save for another hour more and not have noticed. I would not mind seeing this on the big screen I was able.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 2:46 PM   
 By:   BasilDowl   (Member)

My favourite score of all time. I still to this day think the choral 'bridge' as the buffalo hunt begins is the most beautiful cue Barry ever wrote.

Such a shame that as good as the reissue is, it's still incomplete and we've still not got a true film version of the buffalo hunt sequence.

Glorious glorious music though. From the first note onwards.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 3:01 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Uhhh...are you not aware of this release from a few years back? I’m pretty certain it’s the complete score:

https://www.discogs.com/John-Barry-Dances-With-Wolves-25th-Anniversary-Expanded-Edition-Original-MGM-Motion-Picture-Soundtra/release/7791337

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 3:44 PM   
 By:   BasilDowl   (Member)

Uhhh...are you not aware of this release from a few years back? I’m pretty certain it’s the complete score:

https://www.discogs.com/John-Barry-Dances-With-Wolves-25th-Anniversary-Expanded-Edition-Original-MGM-Motion-Picture-Soundtra/release/7791337

Yavar


Hi Yavar

Yeah, I've got it. Sadly it's missing at least two key pieces. Glorious sound though.

It's definitely not the film version of the buffalo hunt, as the cue as heard in both versions of the film is a chopped up cut of the 'journey' cue and 'film version' cue on the album; nice to have but not truly representative of the score as it is heard on screen, regardless of whether Barry and/or Costner intended it.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 3:50 PM   
 By:   BasilDowl   (Member)

I've edited this, as I've got two scenes mixed up in my mind - apologies!

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 4:09 PM   
 By:   Steve H   (Member)

But that cue is on the LaLaLand album. It's ' Sioux Steal Cisco'.
It's one of my favourite cues.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   BasilDowl   (Member)

But that cue is on the LaLaLand album. It's ' Sioux Steal Cisco'.
It's one of my favourite cues.


You're absolutely right, I'm getting mixed up, it's such a long score.

I can't for the life of me now remember which bit is missing...

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 4:33 PM   
 By:   BasilDowl   (Member)

You know, I think I've lost my mind. I can't find anything missing. Happy to stand corrected on this one!!

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 4:39 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

I was guessing maybe you had mixed up the two disc LLL edition with the previous single disc expansion.

Yavar

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 5:26 PM   
 By:   Steve H   (Member)

Even the previous Sony expanded edition included what they thought was the film version of the Buffalo Hunt. As it turned out it was an alternate due to a dud note in the intro. smile

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 9:04 PM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

As someone mentioned before, this film was destined by critics and the Hollywood insiders as the next Heavens Gate.

I remember before its release, some were calling it "Kevin's Gate"! Fortunately they were proved wrong.

Dances With Wolves must certainly rank as one of the finest directorial debuts of all time. It's a shame Costner's subsequent effort, The Postman, didn't quite deliver! But he acquitted himself admirably with Open Range.

 
 Posted:   Oct 20, 2020 - 11:06 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

Costner's star has certainly waned since this film hit the big screen, but the film itself has lost none of his magnificent aura and ability to draw you in the story. Gorgeously photographed, beautifully scored and impeccably acted and directed with a great, spot on script that hits the right note on every level, this is still a favorite of mine and if watched from beginning to end, does not ever fail to move me.

As someone mentioned before, this film was destined by critics and the Hollywood insiders as the next Heavens Gate. I mean, having huge sections of nothing but Native American language being spoken and subtitled...in what was then the defunct Western genre directed by a neophyte?

When it was over couldn't believe it was right at 3 hrs in length and to be honest, I could have save for another hour more and not have noticed. I would not mind seeing this on the big screen I was able.


I agree it is gorgeously photographed and scored, but it remains for me one of the dopiest and ill-deserving Best Picture winners of all time. Its 'white man ennobles himself amid under-sung culture and suffering peoples' was dated when it came out in 1990.

I'll always be glad the movie exists, though, if only for the Two Socks theme, which still make my eyes go watery after all these years.

 
 Posted:   Oct 21, 2020 - 3:36 AM   
 By:   townerbarry   (Member)

Top Ten of Best Scores Ever!

John Barry’s Dances with Wolves (By the way there was only one wolf!) Is Still Amazing Today. The entire? 20th Anniversary Score Release is 100% Top Notch. Sweeping Sounds and lovely themes. I truly love the Directors Cut...Pulls all those lose ends together. I truly never get tired of listening to Dances with that One Wolf. Lol.

Along with TBOT and ATSOT ...Dances is truly Amazing and Beautiful Still some 30 years later. Could Dances be John Barry’s Best score? I would vote for that!

 
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