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 Posted:   Jan 24, 2023 - 1:58 PM   
 By:   Thierry Schreurs   (Member)

Life is too short to watch all those crappy movies.

I've mixed feelings about this issue....

On one side, I so wish Goldsmith had way less of the likes in his filmography...because it didn't help to settle down his Hollywood status at the same level as timelife competitor John Williams (who else?)....

On another side, I don't regret a second all those weak movies for which Goldsmith provided solid scores exactly as he would have done for good or at least better movies.

I am sorry but I wouldn't want to miss his actual scores to BABY, DAMNATION ALLEY or THE SWARM....these B-turkeys featuring guilty pleasure film score listening experience. He was so workaholic and professional...that he delivered 99% of times, no matter how dull the movie eventually was. Last huge example of the like: THE MUMMY !

By the way, IMHO, Goldsmith best years were more 1962>1987 focused while Williams best years were 1972>1997 (a 10 years gap!), but nevertehless with a peak for both composers at the exact same era....I mean the "obvious" 1976>1983 period (from LOGAN'S RUN to UNDR FIRE for Jerry; from MIDWAY to INDIANA JONES II for Johnny). And inside I would even narrow a 4 years only peak in the peak: the 1979>1982 dream years....when both movies and scores were at their absolute TOP in Hollywood.

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2023 - 2:27 PM   
 By:   SBD   (Member)

I'm still amazed that I'm the only person to name Cassandra Crossing. The week I saw this movie, I also saw a live-read of a script for a disaster movie spoof. I couldn't tell the damn difference.

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2023 - 2:40 PM   
 By:   No Respectable Gentleman   (Member)

I'm still amazed that I'm the only person to name Cassandra Crossing. The week I saw this movie, I also saw a live-read of a script for a disaster movie spoof. I couldn't tell the damn difference.

I'm a sucker for train movies scored by JG and even I didn't like THE CASSANDRA CROSSING.

 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2023 - 3:33 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

By the way, IMHO, Goldsmith best years were more 1962>1987

Aw, man, can't agree with you there. 1957 was an incredible year for Goldsmith, writing his first outright masterpiece ("1489 Words" for radio), an excellent first feature film score (Black Patch, whose excellence is thankfully now less overlooked thanks to the Intrada/Stromberg/RSNO recording), and a bunch of superb work for live TV including this total gem:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CA9ada95klc&t=31s

It may well also be the year he wrote his first concert piece, the wonderful Toccata for Solo Guitar commissioned by the great Laurindo Almeida. (It premiered on album the following year.)

In fact all of Goldsmith's late 50s work was really strong IMO... and then 1960 had the amazing Studs Lonigan (5/5 stars from me anyways!), some superb work for feature-length Playhouse 90s (including "Tomorrow"), two excellent scores for Have Gun - Will Travel, three very good scores for Gunsmoke, and no less than FOUR of his very best scores for The Twilight Zone ("The Four of Us Are Dying", "The Big Tall Wish", "Nightmare as a Child", and "Nervous Man in a $4 Room"). Oh, and two things released in December: a superb first score for Thriller ("The Cheaters") and the highlight finale cue for an Elvis western (Flaming Star) of all things. That was a GREAT year for any composer.

But 1961 is what you *really* shortchanged... the most bonkers prolific year for a composer working in television, EVER: FOURTEEN superb Thriller scores, THREE more Twilight Zones ("Dust", "Back There", and "The Invaders"), FOUR episode scores and a great main theme for Cain's Hundred, FIVE episode scores and a great main theme for Dr. Kildare, probably his best TV western score in Rawhide's "Incident in the Middle of Nowhere", plus excellent scores for Wagon Train, Gunsmoke, and General Electric Theater to boot! (Eat your heart out, Bear McCreary! wink )

On the other end of things, I'd say 1989 was one of Goldsmith's greatest years of output, opening with The 'Burbs (my favorite score he did for Joe Dante) and ending with Star Trek V: The Final Frontier (my favorite Star Trek score), with the superb but sadly underrated Leviathan and Warlock in between.

1990 had The Russia House, Gremlins 2, and Total Recall.

1992 was even more bonkers output with Medicine Man, Basic Instinct, Mom and Dad Save the World, Mr. Baseball, Forever Young, Love Field, AND two unused scores -- Gladiator and The Public Eye. Maybe not all masterpieces but name me a single other composer who has ever put out that many good scores in a single year. How is that not one of Goldsmith's "best years"?

Hell even as late as 1999 he did The 13th Warrior, The Haunting, and The Mummy all in a single year. Like good lord you must be really grading on a crazy curve to exclude that from Goldsmith's best!

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 24, 2023 - 5:44 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

But 1961 is what you *really* shortchanged... the most bonkers prolific year for a composer working in television, EVER: FOURTEEN superb Thriller scores, THREE more Twilight Zones ("Dust", "Back There", and "The Invaders"), FOUR episode scores and a great main theme for Cain's Hundred, FIVE episode scores and a great main theme for Dr. Kildare, probably his best TV western score in Rawhide's "Incident in the Middle of Nowhere", plus excellent scores for Wagon Train, Gunsmoke, and General Electric Theater to boot! (Eat your heart out, Bear McCreary! wink )

Per Jimmy Lyndon RIP thread I just rewatched “Back There” and was shaking my head at how JG masterfully scored a back-in-time period piece, combining the inexplicable with the stunned and the historical context. And this after having seen the ep and heard the music countless times over the years.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 6:09 AM   
 By:   Nicolai P. Zwar   (Member)

Life is too short to watch all those crappy movies.

Can't speak for everyone, but once upon a time ago I would pay to go see movies (or rent) just because Goldsmith was scoring, reviews be damned. Hello, Inchon.


Yes, back in the day, I watched all the movies Goldsmith scored that I could, just because Goldsmith scored them, especially in the 80s and 90s, when often that was the ONLY way to actually hear the music.
I watched stuff like DAMNATION ALLEY and THE SWARM and THE REINCARNATION OF PETER PROUD because Goldsmith scored them. I did not see all the movies Goldsmith scored, but I saw most of them at one time or another.

Now, I don't have a "bottom 10" Goldsmith films, simply because I don't spend much time pondering about movies or music I don't like. Having recently taken a look at the movies Goldsmith scored and compared his filmography to more or less contemporary composers such as Leonard Rosenman, Elmer Bernstein, Jerry Fielding, John Barry, etc, I can't say that I find Goldsmith scoring overall less interesting films than any other regularly working composer of his day, especially not when also comparing the "top ones" of these composers.

Now while I think DAMNATION ALLEY is not a good movie, it is an entertaining one, especially if you are are sci-fi loving 12 year old kid in the 70s. (It's got the Landmaster and killer-cockroaches, for crying out loud!)

Likewise THE SWARM... not a particularly good movie, but a high-profile disaster (in more than one sense) movie, with a big budget and A-List actors, which takes itself so seriously, even though it's about bees who blow up nuclear power plants and derail and explode passenger trains out of spite, it really feels like a Zucker/Abrahams/Zucker movie to me, and if you watch it like that, it is very funny. I really had to laugh out loud last time I saw THE SWARM, so I cannot really say I don't like it. :-)

Then on the other hand, I don't really like RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II and RAMBO III. They don't do much for me. And I am not even talking about the "politics" in the movies, but more that they are so cartoony and did so much poorly what FIRST BLOOD had done so well, but that doesn't mean they are "bad" movies (they were hugely successful and obviously did what they set out to do well).

I think THE FINAL CONFLICT is a highly anti-climatic ending of The Omen trilogy. Compared to THE OMEN and even to DAMIEN: OMEN II (which were basically studio potboiler horror thrillers on the coattails of 70s occult thrillers such as ROSEMARY'S BABY and THE EXORCIST), THE FINAL CONFLICT is abysmal, so it's perhaps the worst movie Goldsmith scored I can think of right now.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 6:19 AM   
 By:   DavidCorkum   (Member)

In fact all of Goldsmith's late 50s work was really strong IMO.
Yavar


I used to have fairly little interest in Goldsmith's early output, just from hearing so little of it. But I really appreciate The Goldsmith Odyssey, and being introduced to all the good stuff he was doing before he became well known. Much of it is embryonic of where his music would go later, and of course a lot of the time this was music that only had a few days to get written. But as has been said a lot, "Goldsmith was always Goldsmith". The circumstances and trends changed, but his instincts didn't.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 7:04 AM   
 By:   W. David Lichty [Lorien]   (Member)

I used to have fairly little interest in Goldsmith's early output, just from hearing so little of it. But I really appreciate The Goldsmith Odyssey, and being introduced to all the good stuff he was doing before he became well known. Much of it is embryonic of where his music would go later, and of course a lot of the time this was music that only had a few days to get written. But as has been said a lot, "Goldsmith was always Goldsmith". The circumstances and trends changed, but his instincts didn't.

Thanks, David. I'll add that recording quality is a real barrier sometimes. It doesn't jump out at me like a Poltergeist or a Chinatown when it sounds like a Kinetoscope. I had the isolated Thriller scores ripped from the DVDs for a while, but couldn't be motivated to finish cutting them down into suites (just minus the gaps) because I didn't listen to the ones I'd done. I grabbed the first Tadlow production out of some perverse Sense Of Duty and found myself keeping it on Repeat-all because it was so lovely and moody.

I'm so glad Leigh Phillips is pushing on with his TV scores, in part for this reason. When he's done, if you take the Thriller discs, his new stuff, any other re-recordings of the radio/TV era stuff and maybe that CBS Vol. 1 and play them as a set, I think it will just hit like more, good Goldsmith, without qualifications.

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 7:29 AM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Reading comments like yours helps make all the work we put into The Goldsmith Odyssey feel worth it. Thanks! smile

Yavar

 
 Posted:   Jan 25, 2023 - 7:40 PM   
 By:   DavidCorkum   (Member)

Reading comments like yours helps make all the work we put into The Goldsmith Odyssey feel worth it. Thanks! smile

Yavar


I'm speaking as someone who remembers when LP releases of scores were the exception, and when a lot of what we enjoyed were the audio cassettes we made off of our TV's speakers when a movie happened to air, and we got used to trying to filter out the dialogue and other sounds in order to get a picture of what the music was doing. Much of what's been covered so far on The Odyssey takes me right back to the bad old days, trying to enjoy music that's just out of our reach, obscured by a haze. It's that which makes early Goldsmith harder to get into, all the extra work you have to put into it. As Mr. Lichty says, adapting to the sound quality. So thanks for making me relive all that! I've become spoiled. But The Odyssey is doing it's best to lift some of that haze, and that's an important service.

 
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