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Midway
(1976)
Album Cover Art
1998 Varèse
2011 Varèse
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed and Co-Conducted by:

Orchestrated and Co-Conducted by:
Robert O. Ragland

1998 Re-Recording Conducted by:
Rick Wentworth

1998 Re-Recording Performed by:
The Royal Scottish National Orchestra

All Albums Produced by:
Robert Townson
Labels Icon
LABELS & RELEASE DATES
Varèse Sarabande
(Re-Recording)
(October 6th, 1998)

Varèse Sarabande
(Original Recording)
(October 10th, 2011)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
The 1998 album featuring the re-recording was a regular U.S. release, but it fell out of print and sold ten years later for about $30. The 2011 release of the original recording is a Varèse CD Club title limited to 3,000 copies and available initially for $20 through soundtrack specialty outlets.
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AWARDS
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Patton
1941




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if even one of John Williams' less acclaimed and less cohesive epic scores of the 1970's is worth investigating based on its two enduring themes of concert fame.

Avoid it... on the 2011 limited release of the original recording if you seek the best available album for Midway, in which case a 1998 re-recording of almost all of the score on the same label is the far better experience.
Review Icon
EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,459
WRITTEN 8/15/09, REVISED 11/4/11
Williams
Williams
Midway: (John Williams) World War II movies of the 1970's were much different from the ones that had come two decades before. Gone were the blindingly patriotic undertones of the classic films and in vogue was a more documentary-style examination of the famous battles and personas of the war through a neutral lens. The scope of these films, however, had not diminished, and with 1976's Midway, Universal Studios and director Jack Smight enlisted a stunning cast of A-list veterans that included Charlton Heston, Henry Fonda, James Coburn, Glenn Ford, Toshiro Mifune, Robert Mitchum, Cliff Robertson, and Robert Wagner, all as commanding officers. The telling of the actual battle of Midway, a pivotal moment in the war during which the Americans gained the upper hand in the Pacific over the Japanese, was rather sloppy, mixing the seemingly obligatory amount of distracting character development in with battle scenes that relied far too heavily on archival war footage and therefore were somewhat confusing. In retrospect, Midway is an ambitious failure, one that lacks the sincerity of those that had come before. The representation of the Japanese angle of the narrative is especially puzzling, failing to give the commanders of the enemy fleet a convincing reaction to the unfolding events. At some point, too, you end up with too much star power for the good of one film, and Midway is a bit distracting in its deep collection of talent. Smight had worked with composer Jerry Goldsmith several times before (and would do so again), and despite Goldsmith's award-recognized experience in this genre, the director received the services of John Williams, whose track record with Universal was likely a determining factor in his involvement with Midway (Williams and the studio had hit the jackpot with Jaws the previous year). Williams, though not as famous as he would be after another year, was already a two-time Oscar winner, a veteran of disaster films that had become the blockbuster standard in the first half of the decade.

Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
136 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.94 Stars
***** 21 5 Stars
**** 24 4 Stars
*** 38 3 Stars
** 32 2 Stars
* 21 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
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FVSR Reviews Midway
Brendan Cochran - August 25, 2014, at 3:28 p.m.
1 comment  (142 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
1998 Re-Recorded Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 35:32
• 1. Prologue (0:31)
• 2. Main Title (2:52)
• 3. Yamamoto's Choice (1:14)
• 4. Signal Corps Con (1:31)
• 5. Yamamoto's Second Meeting (2:22)
• 6. Hiroshoma Harbor (0:49)
• 7. Haruko's Dilemma (1:00)
• 8. By Order of Nimitz (2:41)
• 9. Canceling Operation "K" (1:56)
• 10. Strawberry 5 (1:25)
• 11. Attack Begins (2:19)
• 12. Missing the Flatlands (0:50)
• 13. Morning of the Battle (1:18)
• 14. Red Parks Fighters (1:26)
• 15. Scout (1:12)
• 16. Ensign Gay Afloat (0:40)
• 17. Burning Carriers (1:16)
• 18. Crash Landing (1:50)
• 19. Good News for Nimitz (1:10)
• 20. Matt Takes Off (0:57)
• 21. Matt's Crash (1:12)
• 22. End Title: Midway March (2:27)
• 23. Men of the Yorktown March (2:35)
2011 Original Recording Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 37:18

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert of the 1998 album includes notes about the score and film, but not much information about the re-recording process. That of the 2011 album includes extensive information about all aspects of the film, score, and albums.
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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 Midway are Copyright © 1998, 2011, Varèse Sarabande (Re-Recording), Varèse Sarabande (Original Recording) and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/15/09 and last updated 11/4/11.
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