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Cape Fear
Album Cover Art
1962 Original
1991 Re-Recording
Album 2 Cover Art
Originally Composed by:
Bernard Herrmann

Adapted, Arranged and Conducted in 1991 by:

1991 Adaptation Orchestrated and Produced by:
Emilie A. Bernstein
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
MCA Records
(December 10th, 1991)

Soundstage Records
(1996)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1991 adaptation score is a regular U.S. release. The original Herrmann recording was released in 1996 on Soundstage Records (SCD525) and was initially available only through soundtrack specialty outlets for $30.
Awards
AWARDS
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you are ready for a relentless exercise in intensely thrilling Bernard Herrmann music, even by his own standards.

Avoid it... in the Elmer Bernstein adaptation if you prefer classic scores in their original archival sound quality.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #760
WRITTEN 11/1/96, REVISED 4/9/06
Bernstein
Bernstein
Cape Fear: (Bernard Herrmann/Elmer Bernstein) With his first film after signing a major contract with Universal Studios and Steven Spielberg's Amblin Entertainment, director Martin Scorsese decided to remake the classic 1962 horror story of Cape Fear. In the original, Gregory Peck was the lawyer and heroic father figure and Robert Mitchum was the criminal who had served time because of what he believed to be a bad defense by Peck. The ensuing battle of nerves and wit between the Hollywood icons made for a classic film of good versus evil. But in Scorsese's darker outlook on life, there can't be any true hero, and in his 1991 remake, everyone from the lawyer to his 16-year-old daughter has demons with which to work. It's more difficult to root for Nick Nolte in the Peck role, and Robert De Niro is far more psychotic than Mitchum ever was as the criminal. What Scorsese had going in his favor was a $35 million budget, cameo roles by both Mitchum and Peck (ironically on opposite sides of their original allegiances), and access to the original 1962 score by horror legend Bernard Herrmann. The desire to use Herrmann's score is no surprise, with the composer's last score being for Scorsese's Taxi Driver, not to mention the outstanding success of the music in the original. Whether or not you can tolerate this usage of Herrmann's music in a modern setting (whether it is this, or the remake of Psycho several years later) depends on how awkward it is to hear that trademark Herrmann horror sound, forever bound to a certain era in Hollywood, inserted into a much more recent setting. Since Scorsese would be adapting the story of Cape Fear along unfamiliar lines, he would require someone to adapt Herrmann's material, and Elmer Bernstein was proud to do the job. While the task seems elementary on the surface, Bernstein needed to choose where he could move cues to complementary places in the new film, compose cues for new sequences, and do all of that without harming the integrity of Herrmann's highly distinct sound. Regardless of opinions about whether the music seems out of place in a 1990's film, there's no doubt that Bernstein successfully accomplished his task.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
261 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.52 Stars
***** 86 5 Stars
**** 65 4 Stars
*** 43 3 Stars
** 35 2 Stars
* 32 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Cape Fear Formula
Bruno Costa - January 9, 2011, at 2:47 p.m.
1 comment  (1169 views)
Cape Fear deserves a higher rating.
Talos - May 29, 2006, at 6:46 p.m.
1 comment  (2275 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1991 Adapted Re-Recording Tracks   ▼Total Time: 43:08
• 1. Max (5:38)
• 2. Sam's Story (1:47)
• 3. Love? (1:58)
• 4. Strip Search (3:38)
• 5. Rape and Hospital (3:56)
• 6. Frightened Sam (2:13)
• 7. Cady Meets the Girls (2:06)
• 8. Sam Hides (2:20)
• 9. Drive (1:11)
• 10. Teddy Bear Wired (2:45)
• 11. Kersek Killed (3:36)
• 12. Houseboat (1:47)
• 13. The Fight (1:55)
• 14. Destruction (2:36)
• 15. End Titles (5:35)
1996 Soundstage Original Tracks   ▼Total Time: 48:57

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The 1991 insert includes a very short note from director Martin Scorsese about the score.
Copyright © 1996-2017, 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 Cape Fear are Copyright © 1991, 1996, MCA Records, Soundstage Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 11/1/96 and last updated 4/9/06.
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