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 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 3:38 PM   
 By:   DavidCorkum   (Member)

I had figured that a list of the worst films that Goldsmith had scored might be too depressing and negative.... but I just got to thinking about it. I made up an initial list of about 22 titles, and was surprised that honestly a list of his worst assignments wasn't much longer than a list of his best. He's had the reputation for doing a lot of bad movies, but his track record isn't really that terrible. It's just the frustration one feels at someone with his talent not getting the best projects. At times one might want to give his agent a good punch, but often it might be a case of a fine script not turning out well after filming. Making a good movie is hard.

And as often has been pointed out, a bad movie didn't mean a bad score. Goldsmith himself commented that weak movies made him work harder. Inchon for example is an incredible score. Consider these a list of challenges he faced.

1. The Salamander
2. The Swarm
3. Inchon
4. Caboblanco
5. High Velocity
6. SPYS
7. Damnation Alley
8. Rent-a-Cop
9. Players
10. Take Her, She's Mine

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 4:04 PM   
 By:   connorb93   (Member)

That's actually a solid list! For me, there are different categories of bad movies. There's entertaining bad (Supergirl), for which I argue takes up a lot of his "bad" films...boring bad (Criminal Law) and then there are movies you know you should hate but actually find merit in (Mom and Dad Save the World). I suppose if we're going by worst as in most boring/poorly made...

1. King Solomon's Mines
2. Caboblanco
3. Criminal Law
4. Inchon
5. The Salamander
6. Bad Girls

The last few slots I feel I'd leave for Players, High Velocity, SPYS, and Ace Eli, all of which I haven't seen but certainly guess from reviews that they'd be on the list!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 4:20 PM   
 By:   jb1234   (Member)

I haven't seen most of his truly bad films. I have unfortunately seen Lionheart, Bad Girls and Deep Rising.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 5:05 PM   
 By:   DavidCorkum   (Member)

There's entertaining bad (Supergirl), for which I argue takes up a lot of his "bad" films...boring bad (Criminal Law) and then there are movies you know you should hate but actually find merit in (Mom and Dad Save the World).

I certainly consider Supergirl to be bad, every scene feels like an outtake. But....it is a bit fun. I'd actually say the same about King Solomon's Mines, it feels like an episode of 1960's Batman, sort of an exaggerated camp. Both films benefited from Goldsmith's music, he propped them up and gave them some energy. It didn't quite help The Swarm, though, that ended up being the most expensive Ed Wood movie ever.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 5:33 PM   
 By:   Spinmeister   (Member)

Of those I've seen:

Bad Girls
Damnation Alley
Executive Decision
Inchon
Love Field
Rent-A-Cop
The Salamander
Star Trek: Nemesis
The Swarm
The Vanishing

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 6:10 PM   
 By:   SBD   (Member)

10. The Salamander
9. Rent-a-Cop
8. Players
7. The Cassandra Crossing
6. Logan's Run
5. The Illustrated Man
4. The Swarm
3. Damnation Alley
2. The Haunting
1. Inchon

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 6:43 PM   
 By:   W. David Lichty [Lorien]   (Member)

Of the ones I'm sure I've seen:

The Trouble with Angels (1966) - Not funny, not warm, hard to care, a by-the-numbers Plucky Rebel Kid movie which is criminally dull.

The Other (1972) - Everything conspired against this, the far from timeless cinematic style, the story, the acting. It's not silly, or it might be fun, just kind of a chore. I was properly horrified by the "I'm king of the mountain!" scene, a worthy precursor to "It's all for you, Damien," but not enough to pull it up.

Damnation Alley (1977) - Talking with a friend and I after the Thursday night performance in Detroit, at its mention, Jerry rolled his eyes and said, "Oh, that awful TV movie."

The Swarm (1978) - By '78, Irwin Allen had this formula down too much to justify this thing.

Caboblanco (1980) - To be honest, I only _think_ I watched Caboblanco, not much more than a year ago for the show. I had access. I usually do. But if I did, I've apparently blocked it like trauma.

Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend (1985) - Boring, boring, boring, boring - how?! It's got dinosaurs in it? After decades of passably entertaining Godzilla and Lassie movies, how can this be so hard?

The Vanishing (1993) - I've still not seen Spoorloos, so this isn't even a comparison thing. This is a thoroughly unengaging movie, with jeff bridges doing a bad job (which is something of a feat).

The Shadow (1994) - Hoo boy was this a miss. It checks so many 'coolness' boxes, but they hit like boxes falling on my head in the closet. None of it works.

Congo (1995) - ... I mean, you know.

Executive Decision (1996) - It was going to be this or First Blood II, but I know the Rambo picture got an unfair viewing, on VHS, on a tiny TV, on which I saw more than a few movies I later rewatched and liked quite a bit better.

Honorable mention for the last 45 minutes of Along Came a Spider (2001). It’s not bad at all until then, a competent mystery/thriller, well-acted, interesting… and then all that stuff happens that doesn’t fit what came before, nor the other arriving stuff, nor reason or real human behavior.

I can't remember if I saw King Solomon's Mines or just saw enough clips in reviews that I feel like I did, so it's off, but if I could prove I'd seen it, it would have one of those spots.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 7:12 PM   
 By:   NSBulk   (Member)

Executive Decision (1996) - It was going to be this or First Blood II, but I know the Rambo picture got an unfair viewing, on VHS, on a tiny TV, on which I saw more than a few movies I later rewatched and liked quite a bit better.

You may wish to revisit Rambo: First Blood Part II later this year. A new UHD is coming with the recently discovered original 6-track mix. All current 5.1 mixes have been derived from mono elements so this will be quite a revelation.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 7:23 PM   
 By:   Saul Pincus   (Member)

You may wish to revisit Rambo: First Blood Part II later this year. A new UHD is coming with the recently discovered original 6-track mix. All current 5.1 mixes have been derived from mono elements so this will be quite a revelation.

I saw a 70mm print in a rather small New York theatre across from our hotel in the summer of '85. The track was fantastic – very directional and impactful.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 7:41 PM   
 By:   W. David Lichty [Lorien]   (Member)

Executive Decision (1996) - It was going to be this or First Blood II, but I know the Rambo picture got an unfair viewing, on VHS, on a tiny TV, on which I saw more than a few movies I later rewatched and liked quite a bit better.

You may wish to revisit Rambo: First Blood Part II later this year. A new UHD is coming with the recently discovered original 6-track mix. All current 5.1 mixes have been derived from mono elements so this will be quite a revelation.


You know, Neil, it's already not the kind of movie I like very much, but it's still been on my list of Give This Another Chance movies in spite of that. Going from disliking a thing to liking it is the best kind of being wrong, and I usually just need a good excuse. This is good to hear.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 7:45 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

In my opinion, the majority of those bad films also had scores to match.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 8:53 PM   
 By:   Tom Servo   (Member)

In my opinion, the majority of those bad films also had scores to match.

How anyone could hear the brilliant, bristling main title for CABOBLANCO and consider it "bad" is beyond me. The scores JG composed for the films listed here are all still highly engaging and enjoyable.

 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 10:40 PM   
 By:   Spinmeister   (Member)

In my opinion, the majority of those bad films also had scores to match.

And at number 2 on the "Top Ten Hot Takes on the Music of Jerry Goldsmith"…

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 8, 2023 - 11:34 PM   
 By:   jenkwombat   (Member)

Damnation Alley
The Swarm
Logan's Run
Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend
Supergirl
King Soloman's Mines
The Illustrated Man
Star Trek: Nemesis
Damien: Omen II
Outland

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 1:44 AM   
 By:   Stephen Woolston   (Member)

I probably haven't seen the very poorest films scored by Jerry Goldsmith, so I feel unqualified to give a proper, ranked answer...

But here are a few films I have seen, that sport GREAT scores, but as films they have low merit in my opinion.

WARLOCK

LEVIATHAN (please never make me endure that again!)

ALONG CAME A SPIDER

THE SWARM

DAMNATION ALLEY

STAR TREK V: THE FINAL FRONTIER

I'm not a big fan of the RAMBO films, except for the excellent FIRST BLOOD. In fact I think they're dreadful films with a dreadful message. I'm also not really a fan of other muscle movies like TOTAL RECALL, but I refrain from listing them because that's more about my personal preferences than them having poor merit.

THE FINAL CONFLICT is a poor sequel, and a poor conclusion to the OMEN trilogy, but, again, I refrain from listing it because I feel like it has just enough merit to not slam it outright. As for the other sequel, I quite like DAMIEN, actually.

I'd be more likely to list something I find truly eye-rolling, like SUPERGIRL, which I cannot bear, than the OMEN sequels.

However, as I look down Goldsmith's filmography, despite his reputation for working on a lot of terrible films, there really aren't that many that are truly hopeless.

Cheers

 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 2:53 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

Of films I've watched, ranked and reviewed (here on FSM) in the last 5+ years, the one (with a score by JG) which did not meet with my approval ... i.e. I rated as 2 or less (out of 10):

- The Boys from Brazil (1978)

but I've been rating films on IMDb for longer and can add

- Legend (1985)
- Air Force One (1997)
- Bad Girls (1994)
- The Swarm (1978)
- Star Trek: Nemesis (2002)
- The Wind and the Lion (1975)
- The Chairman (1969)
- 100 Rifles (1969)
- Rio Lobo (1970)

The recently watched The Last Hard Men just makes the cut ... but I could probably swap it with either of the last two (disappointing) westerns. I was surprised to find I'd rated The Wind and the Lion ... about 10 years ago ... since I was convinced I'd never got through it (I have tried a couple of times in recent years).

There are surely others from earlier viewing, such as Along Came a Spider (2001), Rambo III (1988) and Omen III: The Final Conflict (1981) or S*P*Y*S (1974) ... though this one may have had the John Scott score when I saw it so does that count? smile

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 3:17 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

So many clunkers on his resume, it's hard to choose.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 9, 2023 - 5:12 AM   
 By:   zatzrite   (Member)

These are my least favorite scores, not necessarily the worst films.
But then again...

10 City of Fear
09 Rent-A-Cop
08 The Last Ride
07 Leviathan
06 The Don Is Dead
05 Take Her She's Mine
04 The Satan Bug
03 Sebastian
02 The Lonely Guy
01 Criminal Law

 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2023 - 10:12 AM   
 By:   Coco314   (Member)

Not much to post because of 3 reasons:

- I tend to forget crappy movies, so why list them?
- Realized that actually, after living with a terrific score all these years, discovering its crappy shot/edited sequence in a poorly dramatized context was actually diminishing my enjoyment of the music (the "uncompleted dream sequence" in my head was much better and I had to forget the crappy one)
- Life is too short to watch all those crappy movies. So I learned and stayed away from Bad Girls and whatnot. There are plently of great ones I have not seen yet.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2023 - 10:34 AM   
 By:   c8   (Member)

I'm pretty picky about the movies I watch so most of what I've seen of Goldsmith's lesser movies have been the ones that fall squarely into mediocre or brainless categories.

However, the one true risible, awful film I've seen that Goldsmith wrote music for is Hollow Man. So so SO bad its a wonder Goldsmith wrote the wonderful score he did. I got laughed at in another thread when I wrote this was among the worst movies I've ever seen, but I'm careful about what movies I watch so indeed its right up there.

 
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