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The Challenge
(1982)
Album Cover Art
2000 Prometheus
2013 La-La Land
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Prometheus Records
(April, 2000)

La-La Land Records
(March 26th, 2013)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 2000 Prometheus album was a limited and numbered release of 3,000 copies, available only through soundtrack specialty outlets for $20. It eventually sold out and fetched far higher prices. The expanded 2013 La-La Land Records product is limited to 3,000 copies and also available primarily through soundtrack specialty outlets for an initial price of $20. Its release date was pushed back from March 26th, 2013 to May 7th, 2013 due to manufacturing errors.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you would be satisfied with lesser forms of the brutal action in First Blood, the swelling mannerisms of Poltergeist, and the thematic structures of Under Fire in a slightly ethnic package.

Avoid it... if you're simply curious about the ability of The Challenge to provide the same kind of highlights as the scores listed above, even if this score does offer these offshoots in surprisingly dynamic sound quality.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #909
WRITTEN 4/13/00, REVISED 7/5/13
Goldsmith
Goldsmith
The Challenge: (Jerry Goldsmith) Director John Frankenheimer sought to clash the brazen action of American cinema with the ancient traditions of Japan in The Challenge, and audiences wanted nothing to do with it. The obscure 1982 film tells of a contemporary, initially unwilling American boxer (Scott Glenn in the middle of his career ascent) who is trained in the ways of the ninja, both mentally and physically, to help one Japanese brother in his decades-old battle with his more modern, gun-wielding counterpart to secure two sacred swords. The film's focus is towards the concepts of honor and tradition rather than straight forward action, though Frankenheimer inserts enough of a basic revenge equation and frenetic action scenes to serve American audiences. A dash of nudity, hallucinations, and outrageous, head-splitting violence is also featured, none of which prevented the production from fading quickly to a level of obscurity that didn't allow it a home video release for over thirty years. Composer Jerry Goldsmith had rarely ventured into the realm of Japanese-influenced music, but The Challenge came at time of great transition and fantastic output, by almost unanimous accounts, in his career. Twenty years after the fact, the budding Prometheus label revived Goldsmith scores from this era over the course of 1999 and 2000, including Breakout and Contract on Cherry Street. These scores all feature carry-over traits of Goldsmith's Silver Age writing while also significantly foreshadowing his superior work of the 1980's. The non-synthetic habits of the composer in that decade served him well with The Challenge, though despite the marginally alienating ethnic elements of the work, collectors of Goldsmith's scores will find it to be among the more readily consistent and accessible of his scores from the era. In the process of tackling this kind of values-based film of Japanese influence, Goldsmith was called upon to do something new for The Challenge: compose a score of Japanese character without charging that ethnic influence from a hostile or intentionally foreign direction. Such had been the case with his only previous score of primarily Japanese instrumentation, Tora!, Tora!, Tora!, for which a more divergent sound was appropriate. The composer employed the shakuhachi flute, zither-like koto, and mixing bowls to create the proper ethnic environment, but the traditional orchestra that almost always accompanies these elements is what carries the majority of the load in the soundscape. Any initial impression that the score will devote itself to the ethnic sounds will be dashed by the fact that The Challenge quickly reveals itself to be a somewhat predictable combination of First Blood, Poltergeist, and Under Fire.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
268 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.79 Stars
***** 38 5 Stars
**** 43 4 Stars
*** 66 3 Stars
** 69 2 Stars
* 52 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Alternative review at movie-wave.net
Southall - July 16, 2013, at 3:25 p.m.
1 comment  (660 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
2000 Prometheus Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 60:25
• 1. Main Title (4:55)
• 2. The Wrong Sword (3:50)
• 3. Over the Top/Fish Market (5:20)
• 4. Half an Equal (2:54)
• 5. Lonely Road (1:57)
• 6. "Let's Talk" (2:16)
• 7. Interlude (1:02)
• 8. "Can't We Do It?" (5:12)
• 9. The Pit (4:48)
• 10. Double Cross (5:50)
• 11. Bamboo Forest (0:30)
• 12. The Traitor (3:22)
• 13. "Stay with Me" (4:25)
• 14. "I Will Go" (1:20)
• 15. Surprise Visitor/Forced Entry (6:17)
• 16. "As You Wish"/End Title (5:49)
2013 La-La Land Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 76:02

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The inserts of both albums contain lengthy notes about the film and score.
Copyright © 2000-2017, 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 The Challenge are Copyright © 2000, Prometheus Records, La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 4/13/00 and last updated 7/5/13.
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