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The Boys from Brazil
1989 Masters Film Music

2000 A&M Records

2008 Intrada

Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

2008 Album Produced by:
Douglass Fake

Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchestra

Labels and Dates:
Masters Film Music

A&M Records (Japan)

Intrada Records
(September 22nd, 2008)

Also See:
Capricorn One

Audio Clips:
2008 Album:

CD1, 1. Main Title (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

CD1, 2. The Killers Arrive (0:31):
WMA (204K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

CD1, 15. The Hospital (Revised) (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

CD1, 16. Jungle Holocaust (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

The 1989 album was a limited pressing released by Masters Film Music in conjunction with Varèse Sarabande's CD Club. The identical 2000 album from A&M Records was only released in Japan. Both of these albums are extremely rare. The 2008 album from Intrada Records was limited to 5,000 copies, a high number in the soundtrack collector's market that allowed the product to remain available for almost a year before selling out.

  Nominated for an Academy Award.

The Boys from Brazil
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Sales Rank: 104569

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Buy it... if you are prepared for one of Jerry Goldsmith's most unique genre-defying efforts, a technical masterpiece that is more intelligent than most to have ever come from Hollywood.

Avoid it... if you prefer your listening experiences to be more consistently streamlined, in which case Capricorn One is a better packaging of the sinister half of The Boys from Brazil (and obviously absent the striking waltzes).

The Boys from Brazil: (Jerry Goldsmith) An incredibly compelling and tense drama taking advantage of public fears about surviving Nazi operatives in South America, Frank Schaffner's The Boys from Brazil postulated that a maniacal Nazi scientist was able to produce genetically perfect clones of Adolf Hitler from host mothers in the jungles of Brazil and then seed them around the world so that someday one of the boys could fulfill Hitler's unrealized visions. A famed Jewish Nazi-hunter, played by Sir Laurence Olivier in a role that brought him Oscar recognition, seeks to track down and expose the scientist, who himself battles other surviving Nazi agents, including his own security force. The bloody, final confrontation between the two men is decided by, ironically, a young Hitler clone in the United States. Perhaps the most shocking aspect of The Boys from Brazil came with the casting of Gregory Peck (with much make-up) in the role of the Nazi, though equally surprising was the unconventional approach taken to the music for the film by Schaffner and composer Jerry Goldsmith, who would also receive an Oscar nomination for his efforts on The Boys from Brazil. Despite some praise for these various off-kilter aspects of the production, relatively poor grosses awaited the film at its debut in 1978 and it has since slipped into obscurity. The score by Goldsmith was somewhat controversial in its choice of musical genre to guide the pursuit throughout the film. Schaffner was quite versed in the musical language, and he immediately insisted to a reluctant Goldsmith that The Boys from Brazil be scored with a battle between the styles of music that appropriately reflected the cultural divide in the story. More specifically, the director requested that the meter of waltzes be employed throughout the picture, and subsequently the Jewish presence is handled with an imitation of Johann Strauss' Viennese waltz constructs while the Nazi presence replies with a variation inspired by the anti-Semetic Richard Wagner, whose music was often associated with Hitler's Germany. The obvious differences in weight and melodrama inherent in the styles of Struass and Wagner is precisely the balancing act that Schaffner requested of Goldsmith, and the composer enthusiastically emulated those sounds in battle, once declaring that the score owes more to the classic composers than his own sensibilities. The score for The Boys from Brazil remains distinctive due to that underlying strategy, thus retaining fewer of Goldsmith's usual mannerisms than some of his fans may prefer.

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At the same time, perhaps too much is read into the overt Viennese waltz that serves as the primary theme for The Boys from Brazil, for the application of the Wagner-inspired Nazi material is saturated with Goldsmith's techniques of suspense in this era. The seven-note Nazi theme doesn't really receive a robust performance for the full ensemble until "The Hospital" and the massive "Jungle Holocaust," instead simmering like a constant source of menace in the remainder of the score. In fact, Goldsmith's deployment of the theme is very similar to the sinister NASA motif in Capricorn One; both are rhythmically based and both only require two or three notes performed in the bass region to signal the audience as to the tone of a scene. Also similar to that concurrent effort by the composer is an emphasis on low brass and percussion. The prevailing tone of The Boys from Brazil is one of menacing depth, percolating in the lowest regions for all of the film's conversational material. The outward action sequences are also standard to the composer's output at the time, leaving the performances of the waltz as distinctive within the work. The overly romantic and optimistic flow of these Strauss-like cues is indeed a culture clash with the rest of the score. The use of this style causes The Boys from Brazil to stand out in Goldsmith's career the same way the infusion of jazz would signal attention to The Russia House over a decade later. Some of the waltz material, like the limited amount of Latin guitar and rhythm music, would be eliminated from the final version of the film, though. There are no performance issues with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, and sound quality is about on par with Capricorn One as well. The score's original 39-minute LP release was reflected in two identical CD albums (one limited entry from Masters Film Music in 1989 and the other from the LP's company, A&M Records in 2000). This arrangement was somewhat odd for Goldsmith, carefully editing the score into just three cues on top of the Elaine Page pop song for the film. In 2008, Intrada Records provided both this presentation (re-edited from re-mastered source tapes) and the complete score of 56 minutes as was written for the film. Much of this material, as well as some of the source recordings included on that album, were dropped from the final edit of the picture. The Intrada album was limited in pressing, but at 5,000 copies was a bit easier to find after its initial debut. On the whole, The Boys from Brazil is a technically masterful score that may not hold up as well on album for some Goldsmith collectors, but its effectiveness remains unquestioned. **** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Jerry Goldsmith reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.26 (in 113 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.26 (in 138,584 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.23 Stars
Smart Average: 3.18 Stars*
***** 36 
**** 46 
*** 49 
** 29 
* 23 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   An Intelligent Score
  Compos24 -- 7/23/09 (11:20 p.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings (1989 and 2000 Albums): Total Time: 38:46

• 1. Suite from The Boys from Brazil (19:45)
• 2. We're Home Again - performed by Elaine Paige (3:51)
• 3. Frau Doring (8:12)
• 4. The Dogs & Finale (6:58)

 Track Listings (2008 Intrada Album): Total Time: 111:19

CD 1: (55:40)

The Complete Original Score:
• 1. Main Title (1:32)
• 2. The Killers Arrive (5:26)
• 3. What Does He Want? (3:57)
• 4. Find It/Don't Believe Me (4:55)
• 5. Kill Him (1:33)
• 6. Reuters News (0:34)
• 7. Broken Bottles (1:56)
• 8. We're Home Again - performed by Elaine Paige (4:07)
• 9. S29 (1:44)
• 10. Without Hope/Frau Doring (4:46)
• 11. Do Yours (0:33)
• 12. The Dam (1:41)
• 13. Over the Top/Frieda Maloney (2:22)
• 14. December 11th (1:23)
• 15. The Hospital (Revised) (2:18)
• 16. Jungle Holocaust (3:36)
• 17. Old Photos (2:52)
• 18. You! (1:12)
• 19. The Right One (1:16)
• 20. Print!/The Dark Room/End Title (6:48)

CD 2: (55:39)

The Original 1978 Soundtrack Album: (39:03)
• 1. Suite from The Boys from Brazil (19:49)
• 2. We're Home Again - performed by Elaine Paige (3:51)
• 3. Frau Doring (8:14)
• 4. The Dogs/Finale (6:57)

Bonus Tracks: (16:26)
• 5. Siegfried Idyll - excerpt, Richard Wagner (4:24)
• 6. The Blue Danube - excerpt, Johann Strauss II (2:27)
• 7. Ismael's Sambba (Radio Source) (2:00)
• 8. The Hospital (Alternate) (2:19)
• 9. The Killers Arrive (Alternate) (5:04)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The inserts of the 1989 and 2008 albums include extensive information about the score and film.

  All artwork and sound clips from The Boys from Brazil are Copyright © 1989, 2000, 2008, Masters Film Music, A&M Records (Japan), Intrada Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/16/09 (and not updated significantly since). Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2009-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.