SCORE! The 150 greatest OST’s – pt. 4 (of 15)
Merian C. Cooper and Ernest B. Schoedsack’s King Kong was revolutionary in many ways, not the least of them its use of music. Rather than “underscore” the action, the filmmakers used it to add tension and atmosphere. To do this they enlisted Max Steiner, who would go on to compose the scores for Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, and The Searchers, among others. Along with Erich Von Korngold and a handful of others, Steiner would emerge as one of the most important figures of film composition from the Golden-era of Hollywood. For more on the subject, look Here. Here’s track 5, “Entrance of Kong”:
Based on a novel by author John Fowler and directed by William Wyler, The Collector stars Terence Stamp as an introverted butterfly collector who begins to collect human specimens, namely beautiful young women. This is my favorite score by Maurice Jarre, who won Oscars for Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, and also scored the fantastic The Professionals.
Here’s track 3, “Trapped”:
Never seen it this German take on the “Angry Young Man” films of the 70’s, directed by Max Willutzki, but the soundtrack is awesome, composed by a Krautrock band. Check out their first album, 1974’s Desert Places, as well. Here’s track 4, the flute-rock classic “Archie’s Flucht”:
and track 6, “Blutspende”:
and track 10, “Kampf in der Lackiererei”:
Director Joon-ho Bong is a master of dark comedy, and while I’ve seen The Host (which has a great score as well) and Barking Dogs Never Bite, I missed this film based on a notorious real-life unsolved murder. The score is full of Didgeridoos, ambient electronics, sweeping violins, and altogether haunting melodies. Iwashiro also scored the videogame soundtracks to Onimusha 2.
Here’s track 3, “Face”:
and track 16, “On The Other Side Of The Hill”:
and track 22, “White Face”:
The ever-swanky Lalo Schifrin brings us the soundtrack to the great Bruce Lee movie directed by Robert Clouse, full of battle cries, driving bass-lines, and funky wah-wah pedals. Schifrin also scored Cool Hand Luke, The President’s Analyst, Dirty Harry, and Jackie Chan’s first attempt at crossing-over to American audiences, Battle Creek Brawl – as well as his later Rush Hour series.
Here’s the main title:
And here’s an Asian influenced track called “The Banquet”:
Here’s a Japanese movie about a blow-up doll that comes to life, directed by Hirokazu Koreeda. The soundtrack is beautiful, played fairly straight by the fantastic electronica/post-rock/freak-folk band, World’s End Girlfriend, whose 2007 album, target=”_blank”>Hurtbreak Wonderland, is another must-own. Here’s track 7, which has a definite Erik Satie feel to it:
Quincy Jones is responsible for many excellent film & TV soundtracks, including a theme for target=”_blank”>Ironside recycled by not only the Shaw Bros. in 1972’s target=”_blank”>Five Fingers of Death but also re-recycled by Quentin Tarantino in target=”_blank”>Kill Bill. Though it’s hard to pick between The Pawnbroker, In Cold Blood, The Italian Job and Dollar$, this Norman Jewison classic starring Sidney Poitier, Rod Steiger, and Warren Oates gets the nod – in large part thanks to noted musicians Glen Campbell on banjo, Billy Preston on organ, Ray Brown on bass, and the great Rahsaan Roland Kirk on flute. Here’s the title song featuring Ray Charles:
and track 2, “Peep-Freak Patrol Car” featuring Rahsaan Roland Kirk:
Like Hiroyuki Nakano’s film, which re-envisions feudal Japan according to current sensibilities, the soundtrack also takes the ancient and the new to create an enchanting fusion. Japanese Guitar God Tomoyasu Hotei not only composed the soundtrack but also starred as Rannosuke Kazamatsuri. Here’s track 1, “Transnational Spirit”:
and the main theme, where you might learn something about Budo and Ronin:
and an accordion-driven theme:
Director Nadine Labaki also stars in this ensemble love story about six women seeking love & marriage in a Beirut hair-salon. The soundtrack features fantastic work by Khaled Mouzanar. Here’s track 10, “Zaghloul El Hamam”:
Another in a long line of sleazy movies with amazing soundtracks, as director Just Jaeckin’s adaptation of Pauline Réage’s novel stars knockout Corrine Clery as a photographer whose boyfriend (the creepy Udo Kier) dishes out physical and sexual abuse in a storyline which transports De Sade to the world of soft porn (the two always manage to go hand in hand). Bachelet also scored another notorious Just Jaeckin (seriously? that’s a name?) soft core film, 1984’s Gwendoline.
Here’s track 1, “Histoire d’O”:
and track 2, “O’ Et La Rencontre”:
40 down, 110 to go!!!
Click to see part 1 (OST’s #141-150) , part 2 (131-140), part 3 (121-130), part 4 (111-120), part 5 (101-110), part 6 (91-100), part 7 (81-90), part 8 (71-80), part 9 (61-70), part 10 (51-60), part 11 (41-50), part 12 (31-40), part 13 (21-30), part 14 (11-20) and part 15 (1-10).
Check back in the coming weeks to see the rest of the countdown, and be sure to leave feedback!