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Amistad
(1997)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Soprano Solos by:
Pamela Dillard

Orchestrated by:
John Neufeld
Conrad Pope
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Dreamworks Records
(December 9th, 1997)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
Nominated for an Academy Award and a Grammy Award.
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ALSO SEE




Decorative Nonsense
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you are drawn towards John Williams' more intelligent exercises in restraint, with themes that won't sweep you off your feet but rather entertain with their cultural adeptness.

Avoid it... if a comparatively short Williams score defined by its multi-cultural title theme doesn't offer enough overwhelming melody or robust action to sustain your interest.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #238
WRITTEN 12/9/97, REVISED 2/17/08
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Williams
Williams
Amistad: (John Williams) While the history books had never pointed much light on the events of the Spaniard slave ship La Amistad and the rebellion of its 53 captured Africans, director Steven Spielberg revived interest in the topic with a quality 1997 film that follows most of the basic historical facts. After the slaves kill most of the crew of the ship and inadvertently sail onward to the American coast and are captured, their trial represented the tug of war between the claims of the American government, Spain's queen, the ship's surviving crew, and the American naval officers who captured them. Inspiring their defense is former president John Quincy Adams, whose portrayal by Anthony Hopkins is a highlight of the film. The production qualities of Spielberg's effort are exactly as you would expect, raising memories of the equally powerful Schindler's List. But Amistad failed to muster the same emotional attachment in audiences as the previous classic, and the film withered after causing a flurry of initial public inquiry about the event. Nevertheless, an opera based on the subject debuted the same year, countless books were offered about the subject, and the film received its fair share of recognition during awards season. One of the production's Academy Award nominations came to John Williams, who extended his lengthy streak of nominations during his years of production with his highly stylistic music for Amistad. The year of 1997 was one of much anticipation for fans of the maestro; after three years of rather mundane and sparse activity, he wrote a respectfully strong score for Rosewood, a marginally satisfyingly robust sequel for The Lost World: Jurassic Park, and a melodic and rich effort for Seven Years in Tibet. Technically speaking, Amistad is likely the best of these four scores, showing a side of the composer's ethnic elegance that is rarely heard. The centerpiece of the score, the "Dry Your Tears, Afrika" adaptation of a 1967 poem, is a rousing, victorious song with spoken African vocals.

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VIEWER RATINGS
2,546 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.76 Stars
***** 790 5 Stars
**** 842 4 Stars
*** 601 3 Stars
** 162 2 Stars
* 151 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
9 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Orchestrations   Expand >>
N.R.Q. - November 2, 2005, at 10:58 a.m.
2 comments  (3982 views)
Newest: July 9, 2006, at 12:53 p.m.by N.R.Q.
Filmtracks reviewer shows extreme stupidity here
Julio Gomez - March 16, 2005, at 7:15 a.m.
1 comment  (3182 views)
appreciation
s.venkatnarayanan - December 30, 2004, at 2:17 a.m.
1 comment  (2751 views)
I like triumphant   Expand >>
Rob Loughrey - August 12, 2004, at 10:54 p.m.
1 comment  (3402 views)
Anyone?   Expand >>
Doug - November 23, 2003, at 5:34 p.m.
4 comments  (3691 views)
Newest: June 30, 2004, at 11:31 a.m.by JS Park
More...


Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 55:51
• 1. Dry Your Tears, Afrika (4:18)
• 2. Sierra Leone, 1839, and the Capture of Cinque (3:39)
• 3. Crossing the Atlantic (3:21)
• 4. Cinque's Theme (4:12)
• 5. Cinque's Memories of Home (2:35)
• 6. Middle Passage (5:18)
• 7. The Long Road to Justice (3:16)
• 8. July 4, 1839 (4:01)
• 9. Mr. Adams Takes the Case (7:15)
• 10. La Amistad Remembered (5:08)
• 11. The Liberation of Lomboko (4:09)
• 12. Adams' Summation (2:55)
• 13. Going Home (2:02)
• 14. Dry Your Tears, Afrika (Reprise) (3:37)
(track times not listed on packaging)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes the standard note from Spielberg, though he makes some serious film music spelling mistakes in his notes. He mispells the names of two major composers (out of three). Surely Williams would have caught these mistakes if he had read the proofs.
Copyright © 1997-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Amistad are Copyright © 1997, Dreamworks Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 12/9/97 and last updated 2/17/08.
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