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 11, 2021 - 11:59 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

What are some of the FILM composer's best and worst final scores before their death?

Obviously, you can go out on a 'dud' of a movie that nonetheless has a good, or okay, score. Goldsmith's LOONEY TUNES would be such an example -- a fairly middle-of-the-road score for a forgotten movie. Vice versa, it's hard to beat Bernard Herrmann's TAXI DRIVER -- wherein both film and score are considered classics.

Michael Kamen's BACK TO GAYA and James Horner's THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN were both disappointments to me, both films and scores. But things like Ron Goodwin's VALHALLA, Korngold's ESCAPE ME NEVER and Rozsa's DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID are pretty good. I have like a million of other examples of both good and bad final scores, but I want to hear from you first.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 1:14 AM   
 By:   Randy Watson   (Member)

What are some of the FILM composer's best and worst final scores before their death?

Obviously, you can go out on a 'dud' of a movie that nonetheless has a good, or okay, score. Goldsmith's LOONEY TUNES would be such an example -- a fairly middle-of-the-road score for a forgotten movie. Vice versa, it's hard to beat Bernard Herrmann's TAXI DRIVER -- wherein both film and score are considered classics.

Michael Kamen's BACK TO GAYA and James Horner's THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN were both disappointments to me, both films and scores. But things like Ron Goodwin's VALHALLA, Korngold's ESCAPE ME NEVER and Rozsa's DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID are pretty good. I have like a million of other examples of both good and bad final scores, but I want to hear from you first.


I don't really consider "The Magnificent Seven" as Horner's final score. I mean, he just wrote a couple of themes before the film was even shot. Franglen later adapted those for the film. So Horner's final score is either "The 33" or "Southpaw".

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 1:18 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I don't really consider "The Magnificent Seven" as Horner's final score. I mean, he just wrote a couple of themes before the film was even shot. Franglen later adapted those for the film. So Horner's final score is either "The 33" or "Southpaw".

Yes, you could make that argument. Still, I'm no big fan of those either. I consider WOLF TOTEM Horner's last, good score. But the last is the last, no matter how one puts it.

 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 1:21 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

If pressed, TAXI DRIVER may be my favorite score of Bernard Herrmann, and since he is one of my all time favorite film composers, that's high praise. Ironically, one could make an equally valid case for Bernard Herrmann's first score, CITIZEN KANE. So as far as first and last scores go, Herrmann has secured top spots. :-)

LOONEY TUNES - BACK IN ACTION I consider neither among Goldsdmith's all time greatest works, nor is it a dud in any way, it is a highly energetic, fun pulsating score. It's just the competition in Goldsmith's output is vast.

Leonard Rosenman's final score JURIJ is certainly among his finest works, even though both film and score are practically unknown. Still, this score is extraordinary, an amalgam of the best of Rosenman's lyricism and modernism into one very musical score that plays well on its own. (In fact, I've never seen the movie.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 1:28 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

LOONEY TUNES - BACK IN ACTION I consider neither among Goldsdmith's all time greatest works, nor is it a dud in any way

I was talking about the film. The score is okay. Neither particularly good nor particularly bad. But for such an iconic composer, it's a bizarre project to go out on. In terms of "subjective" final scores, I consider THE MUMMY to be it (also my alltime favourite by him, as it happens).

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 1:30 AM   
 By:   Mark   (Member)

My worst score is 'Welcome Back Pinocchio' (2007) by the brilliant Franco Micalizzi. Sounds like it was knocked out on a Bontempi organ.

I was going to pick Les Baxter's 'The Beast Within' as an example of a really good last score, but when I checked found he had scored a couple of pictures after that. .

 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 1:58 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

LOONEY TUNES - BACK IN ACTION I consider neither among Goldsdmith's all time greatest works, nor is it a dud in any way

I was talking about the film. The score is okay. Neither particularly good nor particularly bad. But for such an iconic composer, it's a bizarre project to go out on. In terms of "subjective" final scores, I consider THE MUMMY to be it (also my alltime favourite by him, as it happens).


Yeah, I was agreeing with you actually, not disagreeing. :-)

For me, the last truly "great" Goldsmith feature film score was STAR TREK - NEMESIS, which happens to be his penultimate work.

 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 6:31 AM   
 By:   JohnnyG   (Member)

Elmer Bernstein's final bow: FAR FROM HEAVEN. Marvellous.

(...or if you count television work, CECIL B. DeMILLE: AMERICAN EPIC a few months before he died. Also great.)

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 6:45 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Elmer Bernstein's final bow: FAR FROM HEAVEN. Marvellous.

Yes, that's a great one to go out on! Plus, the 'retro' aspect of the film kinda bookends his career nicely.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 7:12 AM   
 By:   barryfan   (Member)

I was going to ask a similar question!!

Anyway, John Barry's last was Enigma. The movie was so-so and the score was middle of the road for Barry. That said, "middle of the road" Barry is better than 90% of what else is out there!

 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 7:26 AM   
 By:   Solium   (Member)

What was their best and worst score before postmortem set in? Really Thor?!

 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 7:35 AM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

More importantly, what were their favorite desserts? I want 10-best lists of the 10-best composers of the 10-best films. I'm sure we'll all learn something from that.
I forgot: !

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 7:48 AM   
 By:   villagardens553   (Member)

Well, Taxi Driver was pretty damn good. Herrmann's first and last: Citizen Kane and Taxi Driver.

I, also, have never warmed up to Barry's Enigma.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 8:23 AM   
 By:   OnyaBirri   (Member)

Pete Rugolo - This World, Then the Fireworks.

Can't find it on the InterTubes.

 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 8:25 AM   
 By:   johnbijl   (Member)

Like Magnificent seven, Kamen's Back to Gaya was finished by co-workers. I'm not sure what he did for Against the ropes (nothing has been released and I've never seen the film) so if we skip that, his last score would be Open range. So I'll take that convenient lie smile

Also, shouldn't Horner's last score be Living in the age of airplanes? (which is bloody fantastic!)

 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 8:36 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Well, Taxi Driver was pretty damn good. Herrmann's first and last: Citizen Kane and Taxi Driver.

I, also, have never warmed up to Barry's Enigma.


Different tastes ... I like a lot of Bernard Herrmann's scores but I find that final score only so-so ... highly over-rated (on this forum); and despite having several recordings of his first score, it's not one I'd suggest as being a great work.

And from my single viewings of both films (both in the last ten years) neither suggested a repeat viewing.

Whereas, subject to its silly Hollywood action-style ending, Enigma (2001) is great entertainment and John Barry's (final) score is a major factor in that. His scoring of The Convoy is superb and shows he was, as ever, top of his game in spotting/scoring scenes to bring out the best.
Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 3:34 PM   
 By:   John Black   (Member)

If Bernard Herrmann's OBSESSION was his penultimate score, and TAXI DRIVER was his last score, I'd say those were the greatest final two scores by any composer.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 3:43 PM   
 By:   Spymaster   (Member)

The score is okay. Neither particularly good nor particularly bad. But for such an iconic composer, it's a bizarre project to go out on.

It's not at all a bizarre project to go out on. It was a Joe Dante movie. It wasn't so much the project, it was the collaboration that was important. And that was true of so many Goldsmith scores. In many ways it was perfect.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 4:22 PM   
 By:   Bill in Portland Maine   (Member)

"Also, shouldn't Horner's last score be Living in the age of airplanes? (which is bloody fantastic!)"
-

I personally consider it to be his swan song. "Southpaw," "The 33" and "Magnificent 7" were all competent but forgettable efforts. But his love of flying unleashed a flood of imagination and euphoria for "Living in the Age of Airplanes," which I consider one of the gems of his career---buoyant and soaring, beautifully orchestrated, with almost a complete lack of the "Hornerisms" that drove so many of us nuts.

Speaking of airplanes, Alfred Newman's final score, for "Airport," was one of his best, particularly the main title theme which I've listened to a thousand times. (The version conducted by Charles Gerhardt is perfection.)

-

 
 Posted:   Jan 12, 2021 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   Zoragoth   (Member)

The score is okay. Neither particularly good nor particularly bad. But for such an iconic composer, it's a bizarre project to go out on.

It's not at all a bizarre project to go out on. It was a Joe Dante movie. It wasn't so much the project, it was the collaboration that was important. And that was true of so many Goldsmith scores. In many ways it was perfect.


I find Goldsmith's score absolutely delightful, not at all mediocre. It's a gem that glistens beautifully, and quite respectably given its backdrop of a galaxy of far more brilliant diamonds.

 
You must log in or register to post.
  Go to page:    
© 2021 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved...