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The Pelican Brief
(1993)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Don Davis
Thomas Pasatieri

Notable Performances by:
Michael Fisher
Ralph Grierson
Randy Kerber
Ian Underwood
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Big Screen Records
( January 11th, 1994)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release, but out of print as of 1998 and difficult to find in stores.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you consider yourself an extreme James Horner collector and would thus be interested in eight or so minutes of a decent orchestral theme unrelated to the rest of the score.

Avoid it... if the idea of 45 minutes of Horner's standard crashing of piano, snare, and chimes as suspense stingers, along with a plethora of barely audible underscore, isn't worth the problematic album.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #671
WRITTEN 6/15/98, REVISED 11/8/11
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Horner
Horner
The Pelican Brief: (James Horner) From Klute to Presumed Innocent, a movie directed by Alan Pakula is typically defined by a high-quality suspense story about well hidden corruption in the genres of law, journalism, and politics. The 1993 thriller The Pelican Brief touches upon all of these categories, with its story closely following John Grisham's best-selling novel of the same name. Julia Roberts is a law student with a sharp mind and an inquisitive nature, and her theory about a conspiracy behind the deaths of two American Supreme Court justices inks her name on the perpetrators' hit list. She teams up with a sympathetic Denzel Washington who, as a reporter, dodges the same assassination attempts on their lives in an effort to reveal the truth. Pakula's films have never been inclined to demand large-scale or thematically complex original music out of their composers. In this case, with a seemingly snug fit between Grisham and Pakula in place, the duties of the composer would fall upon James Horner, whose popularity was nearing its height in the industry even though he was still branching out into projects that didn't reside in his normal realm of operation. With many similarities in construct and demeanor, The Pelican Brief would be the same score for Horner that Presumed Innocent was a few years earlier for John Williams. Though both scores are introverted, tense, piano-dominated works, Horner's ability to generate a similar sense of sophistication in its atmosphere falls far short of Williams' ability to do the same. Thus, while Presumed Innocent and The Pelican Brief essentially utilize the same spirit of minimal ambient suspense (despite a more chase-oriented action tilt in the latter), Williams' tackling of the job is leagues beyond Horner's music in quality and class. Like his scores for the Tom Clancy/Jack Ryan films that debuted in the same era of Horner's career (Patriot Games and Clear and Present Danger), The Pelican Brief is a largely underachieving and uninspired score. Playing once again on ideas that Horner had already established in other works, there is little structural or instrumental intrigue worth mentioning about The Pelican Brief that could define it as a unique work or elevate it beyond its peers. That said, it contains enough moments of pleasant atmosphere and quiet melody to secure a place in many Horner collections.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
251 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.89 Stars
***** 43 5 Stars
**** 44 4 Stars
*** 59 3 Stars
** 54 2 Stars
* 51 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
2 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Soundtrack for sale
Sherlock Tang - April 30, 2007, at 1:12 a.m.
1 comment  (1719 views)
Absolutely correct here
Jon - September 16, 2005, at 7:24 p.m.
1 comment  (2254 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 52:01
• 1. Main Title (2:33)
• 2. The Pelican Brief (3:50)
• 3. Researching the Brief (1:32)
• 4. Hotel Chase (4:00)
• 5. The Killing (3:16)
• 6. Bourbon Street (4:05)
• 7. Planting the Bomb (4:16)
• 8. Chasing Gray (3:15)
• 9. Darby's Emotions (3:37)
• 10. Darby's Theme* (3:55)
• 11. Morgan's Final Testament (1:48)
• 12. Garage Chase (5:01)
• 13. Airport Goodbye (11:08)
* not included in the film

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes information about both the composer and the director, but not the score or film.
Copyright © 1998-2017, 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 Pelican Brief are Copyright © 1994, Big Screen Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/15/98 and last updated 11/8/11.
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