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Section Header
A Patch of Blue
1991 Mainstream

1992 Tsunami

1997 Intrada

Composed and Conducted by:
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

1997 Album Produced by:
Douglass Fake

Labels and Dates:


Intrada Records
(June 17th, 1997)

Also See:

Audio Clips:
1997 Album:

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

2. The Park (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

8. Bead Party (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

18. Selina's Walk (0:30):
WMA (200K)  MP3 (254K)
Real Audio (179K)

The 1991 Mainstream album was available only through soundtrack specialty outlets. The same was true of the 1992 Tsunami album, but that label is widely considered a publisher of bootlegs. The 1997 Intrada album is a regular U.S. release.

  Nominated for an Academy Award.

A Patch of Blue
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Used Price: $46.99

Sales Rank: 431910

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Buy it... only if you are a Jerry Goldsmith collector who has done some research into the importance of this small, intimate score and its place in history.

Avoid it... if you expect any tiny part of this score to get your pulse racing and you generally avoid scores that require a significant increase in volume to even hear them.

A Patch of Blue: (Jerry Goldsmith) One fascinating aspect of A Patch of Blue is that it can sometimes remind you of its era while still remaining timeless as a whole. As seen in a 1965 grocery store, apples are sold for 23 cents/lb, and you have to wonder about how far society has grown. At the same time, the race issues explored in A Patch of Blue are just as applicable today as they were in the 1960's, a major contributor to the film's success. The film stars a rising Sidney Poitier as a man who befriends a young woman who is both blind and abused, helping to teach her about the possibilities of a life outside the dirty apartment she mostly exists within. Poitier's character is just a normal guy with no intention of taking advantage of the girl, allowing the film to remain strictly innocent. The problem, of course, is that Poitier is black and the young woman is white, and a mildly heartbreaking conclusion is the only logical course. Written and directed by former cinematographer Guy Green, the film was shot by normal Hitchcock collaborator Robert Burks, elevating the merely normal surroundings in the film to fine art. To the surprise of MGM, A Patch of Blue garnered a multitude of Academy Award nominations (with one win for supporting actress) and finished as one of the top grossing films of 1966. One of the highly acclaimed and Oscar nominated elements in the film was the restrained score by Jerry Goldsmith, and it was with this second nomination and popular recognition that the composer confirmed his presence as a major artist in the field. A Patch of Blue was a "discovery score" for many Golden Age collectors of LPs, placing Goldsmith firmly on their radar and leading, critically, to several more Oscar nominations throughout the early 1970's. He was especially a revelation for those who enjoyed the jazzy, thematic style of a young, but already-established Elmer Bernstein. As difficult as it may be fathom today, the small and extremely intimate style of score heard in A Patch of Blue was popular in 1960's mainstream films, especially with the hint of jazz spread throughout.

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While the film's message stands strong today, the viability of the score for A Patch of Blue in the digital era largely depends on whether you were there to hear it in 1965. You can appreciate the score in the digital age, especially given its clean restoration on CD, but it's purely a generational phenomenon. Even as such, though, it succeeds very well in the film. A small ensemble consists of strings, woodwinds, guitar, harp, percussion, and the mandatory Goldsmith harmonica of the time. The percussion is creatively integrated, with marimba, castanets, and wood block lending to the more colorful cues like "Bead Party." A more traditional band was assembled for a minute and a half of radio source music. While the minimalistic ensemble is important to A Patch of Blue, the score is most famous for its tender title theme. Performed by piano, strings, and woodwind, the theme represents all the wholesome aspects of the film in a stark simplicity that suits the issues contained within the film well. While race may be a complicated hurdle, the score only identifies the notion of friendship in its most basic form. The theme is one that many Goldsmith collectors are likely to have heard at his concerts, for the most famous variant on his film music suite contains a quick performance of this score's theme on piano. On album, A Patch of Blue has been a frustrating experience for Goldsmith collectors through the years. In 1991 it debuted on CD with a terrible and unrelated score called David and Lisa by Mark Lawrence on the Mainstream label. It was one of the most embarrassing soundtrack products ever offered and featured awful sound quality. A Tsunami bootleg the following year appended some of the score to Patton and also featured poor sound quality. Finally, in 1997, Intrada Records embarked upon a full restoration of the score and discovered the all the master tapes in very good condition. The label removed the ambient hiss and preserved the extremely dry and closely recorded presentation of the sound, which is appropriate given the similarly intended effect of the score. The score's full 31+ minutes is available on that album. Overall, A Patch of Blue is a largely unknown entry for modern collectors of Goldsmith, and while its sound may be dated, it is nevertheless a vital score in the composer's career and a cherished inclusion for anyone who could enjoy the score during its initial debut. Price Hunt: CD or Download

    Score as Written for Film: ****
    1991 Mainstream Album: *
    1992 Tsunami Album: **
    1997 Intrada Album: ****
    Overall: ****

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 138,583 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 3.43 Stars
Smart Average: 3.32 Stars*
***** 91 
**** 104 
*** 90 
** 52 
* 36 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   A Patch Of Blue Soundtrack
  johnny -- 7/6/12 (2:50 p.m.)
   Excellent movie, excellent score!
  Reinhard Ende -- 7/12/06 (1:27 p.m.)
Read All | Add New Post | Search | Help  

 Track Listings (1991 Mainstream Album): Total Time: 41:42

A Patch of Blue:
• 1. Main Title - Theme from "A Patch of Blue" (1:56)
• 2. The Park (2:05)
• 3. Stringin' Beads (1:43)
• 4. Pineapple Juice & Discovery (2:43)
• 5. Ol' Pa, Help Me (1:41)
• 6. Just the Radio (1:26)
• 7. Waiting (1:03)
• 8. Friends (1:44)
• 9. Grandmom's Music Box (1:08)
• 10. I Walked Myself (2:00)
• 11. Finale/Love, the Equalizer (3:23)
David and Lisa:
• 12. Main Title - Theme from "David & Lisa" (2:49)
• 13. Muriel (1:50)
• 14. Clock Smash (1:32)
• 15. Lisa's Waltz (0:48)
• 16. David's Nightmare (0:57)
• 17. Play With Me (1:03)
• 18. Museum (1:36)
• 19. Discovery (1:38)
• 20. Finale (2:20)
• 21. Theme from "David & Lisa" (3:50)
• 22. Lisa's Waltz (Reprise) (0:48)

 Track Listings (1992 Tsunami Album): Total Time: 60:45

• 1. Patton March (1:45)
• 2. Fanfare and Patton Speech (5:43)
• 3. Main Title (2:18)
• 4. The Battleground (2:21)
• 5. The First Battle (2:54)
• 6. Attack! (3:20)
• 7. The Funeral (1:59)
• 8. Winter March (1:58)
• 9. Intermission Music (2:11)
• 10. No Assignment (2:05)
• 11. German Advance (2:35)
• 12. The Hospital (3:22)
• 13. The Payoff (2:26)
• 14. Finale/"All Glory is Fleeting" (2:24)
A Patch of Blue:
• 15. Main Theme/The Park/Stringin' Beads (5:58)
• 16. Pineapple Juice & Discovery/Ol' Pa, Help Me (5:27)
• 17. Waiting Friends/Grandmom's Music Box (6:22)
• 18. I Walked Myself/Finale (5:37)

 Track Listings (1997 Intrada Album): Total Time: 31:46

• 1. Main Title (1:56)
• 2. The Park (2:05)
• 3. Acid Bath (0:43)
• 4. The Gift (1:06)
• 5. Alone (2:14)
• 6. Chores (2:03)
• 7. Thataway (0:40)
• 8. Bead Party (1:43)
• 9. Gordon's Place (1:34)
• 10. Friends (outtake) (1:44)
• 11. Grandmom's Music Box (1:08)
• 12. Discovery (2:43)
• 13. Waiting (1:03)
• 14. Just the Radio (1:26)
• 15. Help Me (1:41)
• 16. Happy Selina (0:31)
• 17. Gordon (1:03)
• 18. Selina's Walk (2:00)
• 19. Finale (3:23)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The 1991 Mainstream album includes some of the most childish liner notes ever pressed on a score album. The 1997 Intrada album includes extensive liner notes by producer Doug Fake, as well as a picture of a young Jerry Goldsmith. Some addendum information about the production of the album includes the following:

    "In preparing this album we had access to virtually all of the 15 i.p.s. multi-track session master tapes for both the score and the radio source cues. The tapes were in fine condition - with the single exception of about three seconds of material towards the End of track 5. The masters mere played on Ampex ATR reproducers, digitally mixed down to two tracks, and transferred to the Sonic Solutions system for digital editing and mastering. Instrumental detail not previously evident was now possible, as well as proper balancing between the left, center and right channels. The tapes yielded only a small amount of hiss, allowing this new mix to retain the clarity of the original performance with only minimal noise reduction. The "No Noise" computer program was employed, allowing us to address the hiss without interfering with the warm equalization and rich dynamic range present on the masters.

    The original sessions were very closely miked in a tight recording studio, resulting in a dry sound with a degree of "room noises" (chairs moving, woodwind keys rattling, etc.) as well as achieving a very intimate sound within the orchestra. To maintain the integrity of this unique sound we chose not to edit the noises nor add any artificial reverb, thus allowing the original performance to dominate."

  All artwork and sound clips from A Patch of Blue are Copyright © 1997, Mainstream, Tsunami, 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 6/24/97 and last updated 12/16/06. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 1997-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.