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Sleepers
(1996)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
John Neufeld
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Polygram Records
(October 15th, 1996)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
Nominated for an Academy Award.
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ALSO SEE




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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you are prepared for one of John Williams' most depressing and grim scores of heavy drama, one meant to give you a feeling of gloomy discomfort.

Avoid it... if you do not prefer Williams' use of stark synthesizers and challenging ambience as a substitute for orchestral presence and thematic focus.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #603
WRITTEN 10/16/96, REVISED 11/11/11
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Williams
Williams
Sleepers: (John Williams) For the film adaptation of Lorenzo Carcaterra's novel, director Barry Levinson assembled an outstanding principle cast in Sleepers. The story of torture, homophobia, and vengeance claimed in the opening line of the film to be based on true events, a somewhat unsubstantiated point of controversy surrounding the film at the time of its release. Whether it was true or not, the subject matter of Sleepers is unpleasant at best. Four boys growing up on the west side of New York steal a hot dog wagon for fun and the runaway cart accidentally crushes a bystander. While consequently in a reformatory, they are sexually and physically abused by a cruel and perverted guard. Twenty years later, in 1981, two of the boys kill the guard and the other two, a lawyer and a journalist, become involved in a conspiracy to cover their tracks and clear their names of the crime. Topics of honor, religion, revenge, and morality all abound in Sleepers, with depths of character observation that floating the film and aided by the success of the grim plot and its genuine depictions of the New York setting. The production represented the only score of 1996 for legendary composer John Williams, and it also served as his first collaboration with Levinson. For the maestro, the mid-1990's was a period in his career when he had left behind the adventuresome themes of action and fantasy; his projects had dwindled in number and gravitated towards topics of a more serious and dramatic nature. While his scores after his outstanding 1993 duo of Jurassic Park and Schindler's List, extending through Saving Private Ryan five years later, remain less memorable for casual film music collectors, much of his work during that time is not only fascinating to study, but it still characteristically continued to garner Academy Award nominations for the composer. An odd entry for Williams in this era was Sleepers, a score reaching outside of his usual accessible, tonal nature and creeping in the realm of the tormented psyche. For many collectors of the composer's music, Sleepers is an above average entry, a crafty and understated score that makes for a superior background listening experience. While this may be somewhat true, Sleepers also suffers from a complete lack of center and focus, causing its identity to be defined, ironically, by its lack of any defining characteristics.

Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
269 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3 Stars
***** 46 5 Stars
**** 54 4 Stars
*** 69 3 Stars
** 54 2 Stars
* 46 1 Stars
  (View results for all titles)

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COMMENTS
3 TOTAL COMMENTS
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Excellent score, Filmtrack reviewer stinks
S.Venkatnarayanan - March 31, 2008, at 9:07 p.m.
1 comment  (1659 views)
Superb score   Expand >>
Tomek - August 1, 2005, at 6:39 a.m.
2 comments  (2736 views)
Newest: November 1, 2005, at 6:31 a.m.by F
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 56:24
• 1. Sleepers at Wilkinson (3:41)
• 2. Hell's Kitchen (5:23)
• 3. The Football Game (4:09)
• 4. Saying the Rosary (6:53)
• 5. The Trip to Wilkinson (2:35)
• 6. Time in Solitary (4:23)
• 7. Revenge (2:46)
• 8. Michael's Witness (4:09)
• 9. Learning the Hard Way (5:21)
• 10. Last Night at Wilkinson (3:51)
• 11. Father Bobby's Decision (3:56)
• 12. Reliving the Past (3:40)
• 13. Reunion and Finale (5:30)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 1996-2015, 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 Sleepers are Copyright © 1996, Polygram Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 10/16/96 and last updated 11/11/11.
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