Movies: The Ultimate Collection Disc 3

Written by Tim Lihoreau, Classic FM

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Raiders Of The Lost Ark - The Raiders March
John Williams

What is it about Steven Spielberg and George Lucas? Obviously, they have a talent to produce great work - fun, exciting, new and all that. But they also seem to be able to inspire the sort of following and discipleship that is normally reserved for people who run their own church in two knocked through semis on the outskirts of East Grinstead. This is certainly the case with Raiders Of The Lost Ark (see for a complete, fabricated world) and even for the music. John Williams came up with music that was catchy and memorable even before it had finished.

Dances With Wolves - John Dunbar Theme
John Barry

If you prefer your movies screened in seasons, mostly celebrating the work of award winning Venezuelan directors who tended to explore the subject of peasant rights, working in acclaimed workers' cooperatives, with audiences of folk bearing goatee beards...then it's impossible that Dances With Wolves is not for you. If, however, you like a great story, an epic timescale and some stunning, expansive music, then Kevin Costner's lovely movie might be right up your canyon.

Pride & Prejudice - Dawn
Dario Marianelli

Just in case you are 'period drama'-drunk, this is from the 2005 incarnation with Keira Knightley as Miss Bennett and Matthew Macfadyen as Darcy and, despite having upwards of 20 films behind him by then, it was Dario Marianelli's first foray into public consciousness. The 44-year old Pisa-born composer leant on his success here, though, to land big movies like The Brothers Grimm and V for Vendetta.

Jaws - Theme
John Williams

You know you've made it when The Sun newspaper can print a full page headline about sharks sighted off the English coast, which ran ""DER-DUM, DER-DUM (dum-dum, dum-dum, dum-dum, dum-dum, der-dum, dum-dum)."
Marvellous. You had to be a Hermit not to know what it meant. It's a classic theme.

Sense and Sensibility - My Father's Favourite
Patrick Doyle

1995. Ang Lee directing. Emma Thompson screenplay. Presumably, the moment someone realised the film involved bonnets and breeches, they immediately put the call in to Patrick Doyle. It's said that after one arduous day's filming with a flock of sheep, Ang Lee vowed never to work with animals again. In 2005, though, he won an Oscar for directing Brokeback Mountain - which couldn't have had more sheep had it starred Bo Peep as an insomniac.

Superman: The Movie - Main Title
John Williams

If you were John Williams, you might allow yourself a small moment of smug. The movie has dated. The special FX have dated. But the music......hasn't dated. If anything, it has grown and become iconic, and that's probably down to Williams' ability to capture the essence of the movie in his music.

Gone With The Wind - Tara's Theme
Max Steiner

Much like the search for a boy to play Harry Potter in 2001 - step forward, eventually, Daniel Radcliffe - so, in 1938, the offices of David O. Selznick began the search for Gone with the Wind's leading lady. The US was temporarily in the grip of Scarlett fever, an epidemic that ended only with the casting of Vivien Leigh. Max Steiner was drafted to provide the music and his sweeping, enervating score has really stood the test of time, still able to send shivers down spines and give geese their pimples.

The Big Country
Jerome Moross

Jerome Moross. Not the first name that springs to mind when you think of movie composers. He was a composer and orchestrator working around the first half of the twentieth century and The Big Country is his most lasting score. What a tune, too. To go with the big tune for The Big Country was the big cast - Gregory Peck, Charlton Heston, Jean Simmons, Burl Ives, and so on. Sunday afternoon western at its best.

Last Of The Mohicans - Main Theme
Trevor Jones

The name James Fenimor Cooper is one of those "Ripping Yarns" of a name, able to strike excitement and passion into the heart of every young boy, maybe not necessarily of this generation. Trevor Jones' Main Theme to the 1992 film version, starring Daniel Day Lewis as Hawkeye really does somehow capture some of the spirit of Cooper, in a yet quite simple tune. Stirring stuff.

Zulu - Theme
John Barry

Movie soundtrack titles are a rich source of kitsch and Zulu offers up its own little gems, most notably the no doubt gentle ballad 'You're All Going to Die!' ("Oh, listen, darling....they're playing our song!!") Barry's stirring strains provide the perfect backdrop to Mr Caine and co in this now cult classic.

The Great Escape
Elmer Bernstein

This one tune from The Great Escape is enough to be remembered for alone, but Elmer Bernstein wrote many many more. The Magnificent Seven, for example, is another killer tune, the sort that probably visit mere ordinary movie composers once in their lifetime. Plus there's the mega list of movies that one probably forgets were even by him - Ghostbusters, for instance! Trading Places, My Left Foot, The Age of Innocence.....{fade}.

The Merchant Of Venice - Bridal Ballad
Performed by Hayley Westenra

It's a little known fact that The Merchant of Venice would probably translate as something like "Tangata Whai Rawa o Weniti, Te" in your authentic New Zealand Maori. Just thought you might like to be told. Hayley Westernra's version of the Bridal Ballad adds that oft-missing purity to this particularly exquisite section of the score.