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Section Header
Jerry Goldsmith
Reviews in Filmtracks'
Top 100 Traffic Ranks:
#38.  Mulan
#43.  Star Trek: First Contact
#63.  Air Force One
#93.  The 13th Warrior
(updated daily)

Scores in Filmtracks'
Top 100 Voting Ranks:
#2.  Hoosiers
#8.  The Russia House
#45.  Star Trek: The Motion Picture
#48.  Under Fire
#100.  Mulan
(updated daily)

Filmtracks Editor's Recommendations:
The Wind and the Lion
The Omen
Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Under Fire
The 'Burbs
The Russia House

Related Pages of Interest:
Jerry Goldsmith Suites and Themes
(1988 compilation of re-recordings)
The Jerry Goldsmith SPFM Tribute
(1993 compilation of rare scores)
(1997, The Royal Scottish National Orchestra)
The Omen: The Essential Jerry Goldsmith Collection
(1998, The City of Prague Philharmonic)
The Film Music of Jerry Goldsmith
(2001, The London Symphony Orchestra)
(2003, rejected score)
Jerry Goldsmith at 20th Century Fox
(2004, limited 6-CD set)
Alien Nation
(1988, rejected score)

Born February 10th, 1929, Jerry Goldsmith studied piano with Jacob Gimpel and composition, theory and counterpoint with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also attended classes in film composition given by Miklos Rozsa at the Univeristy of Southern California. In 1950, he was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS. There, he was given his first embryonic assignments as a composer for radio shows such as "Romance" and "CBS Radio Workshop." He wrote one score every week for these shows and they were performed live on transmission. He stayed with CBS until 1960, having already scored "The Twilight Zone." He was hired by Revue Studios to score their "Thriller" series. At the same time, he met and became acquinted with the influential film composer Alfred Newman. Newman, recognizing Goldsmith's talents, hired him to score the film Lonely Are The Brave in 1963, and this was his first major feature film score.

He quickly burst onto the popular scene with magnificent scores to A Patch of Blue (1965), The Blue Max (1966), and The Sand Pebbles (1966), his first epic. An experimentalist, Goldsmith is constantly pushing forward the bounds of film music. In 1968, Planet of The Apes included horns blown without mouthpieces and a bass clarinetist fingering the notes but not blowing. Meanwhile, Patton and The Wind and the Lion, both nominated for Academy Awards, showed Goldsmith as an expert of the massive Hollywood theme, capturing every motif from reincarnation and militaristic joy to Allah and the mysteries of the heart. After winning his first Academy Award with The Omen in 1976, Goldsmith began a new type of experimentation: electronics.

He is unafraid to use the wide variety of electronic sounds and instruments which are now available, although he does not use them for their own sake. In the late 1970's and 1980's, in such critical successes as Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Under Fire, and Hoosiers, Goldsmith utilizes the best of synthesized accompaniment. By the 1990's, Goldsmith, father of upcoming composer Joel Goldsmith, began composing more scores than ever before, proving that he hasn't lost his magical touch over his 40+ year career. His scores for The Russia House, Rudy, The Ghost and the Darkness, and The 13th Warrior highlight his later efforts.

Known for his amiable personality, Goldsmith is one of the best composers to work with. Many directors and producers request his services, and he isn't particular in the types of projects he will accept. His sense of humor is also noted; he wore an ape mask, for instance, when conducting the score for Planet of The Apes. His only recent rejections (scores that were thrown out by the producers/director in post-production) are Alien Nation (1988), Gladiator (1992), The Public Eye (1992), and his final completed film score, Timeline (2003).

Goldsmith died at the age of 75 on July 21st, 2004, after a long battle with cancer. He passed away peacefully in his sleep at his Beverly Hills home. He is survived by his wife, Carol, children Aaron, Joel, Carrie, Ellen Edson and Jennifer Grossman, six grandchildren and a great-grandchild.

Goldsmith in 1996
Additional Quotes:
"I just adore English Orchestras. This is the third film I've been with an English Orchestra. I've done a record album over here, and The Blue Max with a 100 man symphony orchestra, and I did Sebastian, which was a jazz-type pop thing. Now on this I'm using 85 men in the orchestra for The Sand Pebbles... it's a dream, like driving a Rolls-Royce, to conduct an orchestra like that." -- 1969, on recording in England

"The discipline and the friendly attitude, I find them friendlier than American musicians. The orchestras in America, they look at you... and you feel defeated straight away. I'll do maybe three concerts with them... they really are conductor killers. Sometimes they are very intimidating, and I think, why am I doing this, I don't need this animosity but that's the way the orchestras are back home. I've been here so many times that I know many of the musicians personally." -- 1989, once again on England musicians

"I didn't really concentrate that much on the games, I was really trying to sum up the whole emotional feeling, whether they were winning or losing. You know this little team comes from nowhere, and they get better and better and better. It was just a matter of keeping an emotional spirit through the whole montage of games." -- 1986, on Hoosiers

"I like the variety. But basically my choice of films is a small intimate film. Quiet film, no action, just people in relationships. That's what I like the most" -- 1998, on his choice of films to score

"Total Recall was some of the best music I've written for a film. I was really impressed with myself, even though I rarely listen to what I've finished. I'd written enough notes in that score for a Bruckner symphony! After that, I wanted a change from all of the action films I'd been doing. I realized that I wanted to do 'people' pictures again, and held out until I got The Russia House, Sleeping with the Enemy, and Love Field, movies where I could get lyrical again. The Russia House is now my favorite score, while my work for Medicine Man has some very lyrical moments." -- 1992, commenting on his favorite works

"My wife has them all in a vault... a copy of every album." -- 1981, on collecting his own albums

"I'm glad that [collectors] like that exist because they buy records. But I sometimes wonder if an avid collector like Ford Thaxton has a life." -- 1995, on others collecting his albums

"I've been using the Mac [computer] solely for years, and got very comfortable with it." -- 1990, on his choice of equipment

"I think [James Horner] is a bit eclectic. But then again, at times we've all helped ourselves to the work of others." -- 1998, on Horner's Academy Award win for Titanic

"I was very excited about being involved with anything with Spielberg. With Spielberg, probably more than any other director, there´s a tremendous amount of discussion. He´s very articulate about music, and one can discuss for hours about approaches. Anything I did was not on my own volition, it was a joint effort in that we both agreed what we were trying to do with the music for the picture." -- 1982, on Poltergeist

Jerry Goldsmith conducts at a London concert in 2000

"If our music survives, which I have no doubt it will, then it will because it is good."

Jerry Goldsmith has been an awesome inspiration for two generations, scoring masterpieces that range from the early 60's to the present. His scores have been essential in promoting the fine art of film music composition. A vast knowledge of music history and structure has enabled him to create a wide variety of moods in the films he has scored. Conducting in his jeans, brightly colored shirts and ties, with his sleeves rolled up and ready for action, Goldsmith is known in the industry as a great and admirable personality.

The last two decades of Goldsmith's career have proven to be the most diverse years in Goldsmith's impressive career. After mastering the technique of combining orchestra and electronics in the two previous decades, his experience has made him one of the most versatile composers in the world. At the same time, though, he has been criticized by film music experts for the lack of epic, thematically influential scores in the latter stages of his career. Goldsmith's willingness to take on such projects as Mom and Dad Save the World and Dennis the Menace alienated many of those who were his closest fans in the days of The Wind and the Lion and Chinatown, but enlightened an entirely new generation of film music fans. Goldsmith's quest for new challenges, leading to this new range of quirky, smaller films, has produced such wonderful efforts as Gremlins and The 'Burbs.

So popular is Goldsmith's career that nearly every work he has produced has been pressed onto a CD album. Those few that don't exist on album are the frightful cases in which the master tapes of Goldsmith's recordings are likely lost. In the 1990's there were two collectible CDs that expertly capture the essense of Jerry Goldsmith: in 1993, The Society for the Preservation of Film Music gave 500+ CD's to those who attended the annual dinner (which that year honored Jerry Goldsmith). Now, at an estimated price of $500+, it is one of the most collectible soundtrack-related CDs of all time. All of the music it contains was unreleased at the time. The other great Goldsmith compilation CD is a collection of suites and themes released by the Master Film Music series in 1988 and has the live music most often heard on Goldsmith's concert tours. Originally valued at about $100-$125, this album's recording has since been offered on other CD releases and is no longer a collectible.

Goldsmith conducts recording sessions in the early 1980's
A frequent source for compilation cues and re-recordings, Goldsmith's work has been at the center of many third-party CD offerings since 1997. Varese Sarabande released a compilation album called "Frontiers," including the best of his sci-fi music, and several other labels followed with world-wide re-recordings in a similar fashion. Expanded re-releases of many of Goldsmith's best works have also graced record stores, including Patton, Tora! Tora! Tora!, Stagecoach, A Patch of Blue, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Rio Conchos, The Swarm, and Poltergeist, and have spoiled film music fans with crisp-sounding, complete CD releases of his best works. At the same time, with the volume of work that Goldsmith has produced, many of his smaller efforts of the 1990's have completely gone out of print and disappeared from record stores, making life more difficult for collectors and Goldsmith "completists."

As Goldsmith enters the 21st Century, he continues to prove that he's ready to branch out and reach for new horizons. In 1998, he was nominated for an Academy Award for his epic score for the animated film Mulan, his first and very successful teaming with Disney. At the same time, his fans have been delighted by his loyalty to his most famous franchise, scoring three Next Generation Star Trek films late into his career. The older generation of fans will insist, however, that Goldsmith's prime existed in from 1970 to 1990, with several of his most classic scores including Hoosiers, The Russia House, The Wind and the Lion, Patton, and Under Fire. Whatever comes next, whether it be action, romance, sci-fi, or westerns, Goldsmith is always ready to tackle a score with enthusiasm and creativity, and provide fans with endless moments of movie music magic.

 Filmography/Reviews at Filmtracks:  

(see legend below for information on abbreviations and codes)
 Title FRVRVT CTRD TR DatesNotes
Looney Tunes: Back in Action (co-wrote)****3.311,16832||27811/03 - 03/09
Star Trek: Nemesis**3.004,261140||||13112/02 - 02/14all albums
The Sum of All Fears****3.512,42097|||28606/02 - 08/14
The Last Castle***3.301,66016||66810/01 - 01/09
Along Came a Spider**2.623,17219||66904/01 - 01/09
Hollow Man**2.524,12667||15508/00 - 06/08
The 13th Warrior (co-wrote)****3.923,91114||||9308/99 - 04/08all albums
The Haunting****3.401,3691||65608/99 - 04/08
The Mummy***3.4412,78123|||11605/99 - 04/08
Star Trek: Insurrection****3.694,13729||||17012/98 - 08/13all albums
Small Soldiers****3.332,7891||13507/98 - 03/08
Mulan (co-wrote) (AW)****3.9610,31424|||3806/98 - 07/07all albums
U.S. Marshals**2.565821|48503/98 - 04/07
Deep Rising**2.787913||54202/98 - 08/14all albums
The Edge****3.401,8342|||27910/97 - 06/10all albums
L.A. Confidential (AW)***3.072,2150|27612/97 - 06/07
Air Force One (co-wrote)***3.714,06519|||6307/97 - 05/07all albums
Fierce Creatures***2.752331|92312/96 - 08/08
Star Trek: First Contact (co-wrote)***3.629,21024||||4312/96 - 05/12multiple albums
The Ghost and the Darkness****3.953,3342||13910/96 - 09/08
Chain Reaction***2.842092||84410/96 - 11/11
Executive Decision**2.932521||81310/96 - 11/11
City Hall***2.861990||1,04806/98 - 11/11
First Knight****3.663,19432|||10109/96 - 04/11all albums
Powder***3.387118||55706/98 - 09/08
Congo***3.0633513||64910/96 - 02/13multiple albums
The Shadow*****3.912,67511||||28709/96 - 08/12all albums
I.Q.***2.661420||1,58707/09 - 02/10all albums
Bad Girls***3.374071|||38406/98 - 07/11all albums
The River Wild***3.112457||53705/98 - 11/11
Angie**2.821951||1,01106/98 - 11/11
The Vanishing****3.342720|||64006/98 - 09/08all albums
Six Degrees of Separation*2.202640|54907/98 - 09/08
Matinee***3.172662||99206/98 - 11/11
Rudy****3.893,7881||18904/97 - 01/08
Dennis the Menace***3.233301||59806/98 - 08/14multiple albums
Malice**2.852181||1,00403/97 - 10/11
Medicine Man****3.741,4702|||51812/96 - 09/08
Mom and Dad Save the World**2.832341||94206/98 - 10/11
Mr. Baseball**2.682380||1,04506/98 - 10/11
Love Field***3.211841||1,04306/98 - 11/11
Basic Instinct (AW)****3.953,46825|||10812/96 - 09/11all albums
Forever Young***3.212993|||57306/98 - 09/11all albums
Not Without My Daughter**2.682811||66006/98 - 07/09
Sleeping with the Enemy****3.591,0651||43906/98 - 09/11all albums
Total Recall****3.883,12428|||18412/96 - 08/08all albums
The Russia House*****4.325,20313|||21812/96 - 05/07
Gremlins 2: The New Batch***3.302983||35103/97 - 11/11
Warlock**2.651791||90101/98 - 10/11multiple albums
Criminal Law*2.451880|1,09107/98 - 10/11
Leviathan****3.163049||77006/98 - 11/11
Star Trek V: The Final Frontier****3.803,1248|||14708/97 - 05/12all albums
Rambo III****3.621,2412|||41806/98 - 05/07all albums
The 'Burbs*****3.916285|||23608/97 - 07/09multiple albums
Rent-A-Cop***2.962211||1,05806/98 - 03/10multiple albums
Innerspace***3.354118|||75607/03 - 02/10all albums
Lionheart*****3.923235|||1,39007/09all albums
Extreme Prejudice***3.315261|||1,12802/05 - 10/11all albums
Link*2.672264||1,48907/09 - 03/11all albums
Hoosiers (AW)*****4.352,17617||||31206/03 - 12/12all albums
Poltergeist II: The Other Side***3.1838511|||36010/03 - 01/14all albums
Rambo: First Blood Part II****3.851,1454||33905/99 - 04/07all albums
Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend***3.081873||1,56607/09
Explorers****3.302081|||1,46307/09 - 09/11all albums
Legend****3.2191613|||35003/97 - 03/09all albums
King Solomon's Mines**3.232105||1,46408/09 - 02/15all albums
Gremlins****3.501,21712|||31111/99 - 11/11all albums
Supergirl***3.321951||1,47607/09multiple albums
The Lonely Guy**
Runaway*2.341640||1,48107/09 - 02/14all albums
Under Fire (AW)*****4.131,0057|||46108/97 - 09/08all albums
Psycho II**3.021864||1,34107/09 - 05/14multiple albums
Twilight Zone: The Movie****3.752720|||1,48707/09multiple albums
Dusty (co-wrote)
First Blood****3.943452|||1,38207/09 - 12/10all albums
The Challenge***2.752621||90404/00 - 07/13multiple albums
The Secret of N.I.M.H.****3.455554||65106/03 - 03/09all albums
Poltergeist (AW)****3.912,6364|||19403/97 - 12/10all albums
Masada (TV) (co-wrote) (AW)****3.632442|||1,47007/09 - 06/11all albums
Raggedy Man**2.721243||1,11208/97 - 10/11limited
Inchon***2.921702||1,51607/09 - 06/13all albums
The Final Conflict****3.692261|||1,49007/09all albums
Outland**2.832933|||1,45007/09 - 06/10all albums
The Salamander
Night Crossing****3.542010||1,43207/09 - 08/14multiple albums
Star Trek: The Motion Picture (AW)*****4.143,6528||||11101/99 - 09/12all albums
Alien (AW)***3.414167|||1,00007/09all albums
The Great Train Robbery***3.151510||1,55407/09 - 12/11all albums
Magic***2.596725||92506/03 - 11/08limited
The Boys from Brazil (AW)****3.241831||1,48507/09multiple albums
The Swarm****3.137914||1,05902/03 - 03/09limited
Damien: Omen II****3.201511|||1,50607/09all albums
Capricorn One****3.301900|||1,30707/09 - 11/12all albums
Coma**2.87902||1,61107/09all albums
Contract on Cherry Street (TV)***2.921380|1,18710/99 - 06/08limited
Damnation Alley**
Islands in the Stream***3.111880||1,54208/09 - 03/10all albums
Twilight's Last Gleaming**2.681404||99808/97 - 11/11multiple albums
The Hemingway Play (TV)
The Cassandra Crossing***
High Velocity***
The Omen (AW)*****3.933644||||1,28407/09all albums
Logan's Run***
Breakheart Pass***3.00980||1,54507/09multiple albums
Babe (TV) (AW)***
Take a Hard Ride****3.487651||95603/00 - 11/07limited
Medical Story (TV)**
A Girl Named Sooner (TV)***3.062590||90803/00 - 04/07limited
The Wind and the Lion (AW)*****3.903330|||1,36807/09multiple albums
The Reincarnation of Peter Proud
Ransom (The Terrorists)****
Breakout***3.103120|1,03604/99 - 09/07limited
Chinatown (AW)***
QB VII (TV) (AW)****
Winter Kill (TV)**
A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (TV)***
Indict and Convict (TV)
Papillon (AW)****
One Little Indian****
The Going Up of David Lev (TV)
Ace Eli and Rodger of the Skies***
The Police Story (TV)**
The Red Pony (TV) (AW)
Hawkins on Murder (TV)***
Pursuit (TV)
The Man
The Other***
Crawlspace (TV)
Lights Out (TV)
The Homecoming: A Christmas Story (TV)***2.75734||1,65304/11limited
Crosscurrent (TV)**
Do Not Fold, Spindle, or Mutilate (TV)
The Last Run****
Wild Rovers****
Escape from the Planet of the Apes*
The Mephisto Waltz**
A Step Out of Line (TV)
Rio Lobo**
The Traveling Executioner***
Tora! Tora! Tora!****
The Brotherhood of the Bell (TV)
The Ballad of Cable Hogue***
Patton (AW)*****3.951,0302|||38503/99 - 11/10all albums
The Chairman***
100 Rifles***3.095690|91203/99 - 09/07limited
The Illustrated Man**
The Detective***
Planet of the Apes (AW)**
Nick Quarry (TV)
Hour of the Gun***
The Flim-Flam Man****3.062590||90803/00 - 04/07limited
In Like Flint***
Warning Shot
The Sand Pebbles (AW)****
The Blue Max****
Stagecoach**3.125811|||89006/98 - 08/12multiple albums
The Trouble with Angels**
Our Man Flint***
A Patch of Blue (AW)****3.433732||64306/97 - 12/06all albums
The Agony and the Ecstasy (co-wrote)****
Von Ryan's Express**
In Harm's Way***
The Satan Bug**
Rio Conchos****3.448122|||78201/00 - 07/13all albums
Fate is the Hunter***
Shock Treatment**
Seven Days in May
To Trap a Spy
The Prize***
Take Her, She's Mine
Lilies of the Field****
A Gathering of Eagles
The Stripper**
The List of Adrian Messenger***
Freud (AW)
The Spiral Road**
Lonely are the Brave***
The Expendables (TV)
The General with the Cockeyed Id
The Crimebusters
Studs Lonigan**
The Gambler, the Nun and the Radio (TV)
Face of a Fugitive
City of Fear
Black Patch
(reviews listed with a "co-wrote" indicate that either the composer wrote the score with another person or that more than one composer worked separately to provide a score for the production)

- indicates a new review that has been published in the last 90 days
- indicates an older review that has been significantly revised in the last 90 days
Awards: AW - indicates that the music won or was nominated for a major award
Ratings: FR - Filmtracks Rating ("Varied" indicates a split rating with no overall designation)
VR - Viewer Rating (overall average)
VT - Vote Total (for viewer ratings)
Comments: Comment Total (the number of messages posted in the review's comment area)
Review Depth: ||||| - Massive Review (over 4,000 words)
|||| - Very Long Review (between 2,200 and 4,000 words)
||| - Long Review (between 1,200 and 2,200 words)
|| - Average Review (between 800 and 1,200 words)
| - Short Review (under 800 words)
Traffic Rank: Popularity Rank (lower numbers indicate more cumulative reads; new reviews take time to climb the ranks)
Dates: 1st - indicates the month and year during which the review was first published
2nd - indicates the month and year of the review's most recent significant revision (if any)

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