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A Perfect Murder
(1998)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Co-Orchestrated, and Co-Produced by:

Conducted by:
Artie Kane

Co-Orchestrated by:
Brad Decter
Jeff Atmajian

Electronic Score Produced by:
Jim Hill

Solo Vocals by:
Lisbeth Scott
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(June 16th, 1998)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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ALSO SEE




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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... for the eerie main title cue and nothing thereafter unless James Newton Howard's cold, ambient suspense techniques can do no wrong for you.

Avoid it... if you expect Howard to have taken any substantial chances in emphasizing the emotional swings of the film's intriguing plot beyond the usual, basic synthetic atmosphere, stock stingers, and understated orchestral motifs.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,760
WRITTEN 1/3/12
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Howard
Howard
A Perfect Murder: (James Newton Howard) Although widely regarded as a remake of the 1954 Alfred Hitchcock film Dial M for Murder, Andrew Davis' 1998 thriller A Perfect Murder only uses the same basic premise before launching in a different direction. Criticized by some critics for diminishing Hitchcock's original, the revision did manage to impress some reviewers with its stage-worthy twists and turns of deceit. Smart casting allowed Michael Douglas to easily fill the role of a Wall Street hedge fund manager married to a much younger heiress played by Gwyneth Paltrow. When his finances take a turn for the worse, he decides to continue financing his lifestyle by arranging the murder of his wife by using her con-man lover (Viggo Mortensen) as the tool. The two men take turns claiming to have the upper hand, teasing the audience into falsely assuming that one has true control over the other. Ultimately, the scared wife has to take matters into her own hands in order to conclude the nasty game played by the two men. The movie's intrigue managed to stir up substantial box office returns, grossing twice its budget and putting the line "That's not happiness to see me" in pop culture lingo. Composer James Newton Howard had already enjoyed a successful collaboration with Davis that included the Academy Award-nominated score for The Fugitive, and he faced few challenges when approaching A Perfect Murder. Given that the tale partially originated on the stage, there was little need for a significant musical presence in the film. Howard's task was to very basically emphasize the somewhat unrealistic environment of the criminal plans at work, maintaining an uneasy ambient background for the dialogue that takes the spotlight. Interestingly, Howard did little to address the posh living conditions of the leading couple or the rather seedy alternative lifestyle of the con-man. There are occasional contemporary elements utilized in the score, though most of the electronic embellishments of the orchestral ensemble exist solely to replace an organic atmosphere with one of unrealistic haze. There are only a handful of stalking and action scenes in the film as well, meriting the occasional explosions of standard stingers. Howard's stance in all of these situations is to play the story very coldly, never making any attempt to infuse a false sense of warmth where one really doesn't exist.



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VIEWER RATINGS
194 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.38 Stars
***** 81 5 Stars
**** 24 4 Stars
*** 19 3 Stars
** 28 2 Stars
* 42 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
1 TOTAL COMMENTS
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This review is irrelevant
Vincent - August 20, 2017, at 10:37 a.m.
1 comment  (24 views)
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 30:19
• 1. Main Title (2:57)
• 2. Ever Been to Be to Belize? (2:13)
• 3. That's Not Happiness to See Me (1:59)
• 4. It's Too Late (3:09)
• 5. Intruder (3:19)
• 6. The Attack (2:05)
• 7. He's in the Kitchen (2:55)
• 8. Safe Deposit Box (1:51)
• 9. Can You Ever Forgive Me? (6:09)
• 10. You Take Care (1:54)
• 11. What Happens If...? (1:51)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2012-2017, 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 A Perfect Murder are Copyright © 1998, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 1/3/12 (and not updated significantly since).
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