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Islands in the Stream
Album Cover Art
1986 Intrada
1997 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
2005 Intrada
Album 3 Cover Art
2010 FSM
Album 4 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Re-Recording Performed by:
The Hungarian State Symphony Orchestra
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Intrada Records

Intrada Records
(March 18th, 1997)

Intrada Records
(September 27th, 2005)

Film Score Monthly
(January, 2010)
Availability Icon
All of the identical Intrada albums are regular U.S. releases, each available for about $20. The 2010 Film Score Monthly album is limited to 5,000 copies and available for about the same price through soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you appreciated Jerry Goldsmith's introspective score in the context of the film, where the music reflects the subtleties of the ocean and the story's lead character.

Avoid it... if you want this highly personal, touching score to exude much outward warmth, for it is content in its own introverted sphere of lonely ambience at low volumes.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 8/6/09, REVISED 3/29/10
Islands in the Stream: (Jerry Goldsmith) The adaptation of Ernest Hemingway's novels has produced some spectacular failures, and while Franklin J. Schaffner's 1977 translation of the writer's last novel is floated by a very strong lead performance by George C. Scott, Islands in the Stream remains a little known footnote by comparison's to the same crew's previous films (led by, most notably, Patton). The novel's story is one of deep personal introspection and character analysis, studying a metal-artist and fisherman living a lonely life separated from his family and society on a small island in the Bahamas during the time of the outbreak of World War II. The first half of the film follows a reunion with his visiting sons and estranged wife, showing a man with familial feelings that are odds with the comfort of his solitude. As the story shifts into the setting of war and Nazi submarines begin attacking nearby refugee boats, Scott's character is forced into action, ultimately sacrificing everything in a desperate effort to save his family and others from the encroaching danger. The film is effective in its emotional appeal, though its inherent tragic nature is a major deterrent. The production attempted to counter its distressing subject matter through gorgeous cinematography and a whimsical score from composer Jerry Goldsmith, who wrote some of his best music for Schaffner's films. While Goldsmith was never happy with either the original performance or recording of Islands in the Stream, he considered the composition among his personal favorites. It was reportedly his self-professed top score until The Russia House unseated it, citing a very strong personal connection to the 1977 film (which he claimed to have brought him to tears during spotting sessions). The delicacy with which he addresses both nature and family in Islands in the Stream is often applauded vigorously by the composer's collectors. Despite its obscurity, the score has been pressed on CD no less than four times (three from Intrada Records focusing on a re-recording of almost all of the score and a final entry from FSM containing the original recording), not including fan-made bootlegs of dubious quality. Whether or not you are encapsulated by Islands in the Stream depends entirely upon your opinion of the film, though. If you connect with the sorrow and inward conflict of Hemingway's lead character, you will likely appreciate Goldsmith's extremely careful and often feathery handling of the sensitive topic. Otherwise, if you find the film shallow in its tragic setup, the Goldsmith score may actually seem surprisingly dull. Either way, it's a rare score by Goldsmith for Schaffner in which the composer was allowed to explore his own compositional voice.

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Average: 3.1 Stars
***** 35 5 Stars
**** 41 4 Stars
*** 48 3 Stars
** 37 2 Stars
* 27 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
All Intrada Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 51:12
• 1. The Island (3:11)
• 2. The Boys Arrive (3:53)
• 3. Pillow Fight (1:18)
• 4. Is Ten Too Old (2:53)
• 5. Night Attack (2:47)
• 6. Marlin (12:06)
• 7. The Boys Leave (2:57)
• 8. The Letter (3:25)
• 9. How Long Can You Stay (3:18)
• 10. I Can't Have Him (2:48)
• 11. The Refugees (4:25)
• 12. Eddie's Death (3:11)
• 13. It is All True (5:06)
2010 Film Score Monthly Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 53:11

Notes Icon
The inserts of all three Intrada albums and the FSM album include extensive information about the score and film. A note by Bruce Kimmel of Kritzerland Records, supplier of the copies of the master tapes used for the 2010 FSM album, was rejected by Paramount for inclusion in the booklet (for containing too much unsavory insider information), but it is available on FSM's website listing for this album.
Copyright © 2009-2015, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 Islands in the Stream are Copyright © 1986, 1997, 2005, 2010, Intrada Records, Intrada Records, Intrada Records, Film Score Monthly and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/6/09 and last updated 3/29/10.
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