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Stars and Bars
(1988)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Top collectible. Only 1,000 copies were printed through the Varèse Sarabande CD Club (#8). At the peak of CD values in the late 1990's, it had an estimated value of $80.
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AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you can't get enough of Elmer Bernstein's consistent orchestral Western parody music of the 1980's.

Avoid it... if you are only a casual Bernstein collector.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,324
WRITTEN 6/26/97, REVISED 5/21/06
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Bernstein
Bernstein
Stars and Bars: (Elmer Bernstein) Veteran composer Elmer Bernstein had plenty of scores rejected from films in the last two decades of his career, and it could be argued that worst of all these films was Pat O'Connor's Stars and Bars in 1988. Based on a best-selling 1985 novel by William Boyd, the story involves a depressed, proper Englishman who dreams of becoming a wild American brute. Daniel Day Lewis is terribly miscast as the English art expert living in New York City, dispatched to Georgia to acquire a newly surfaced Renoir painting. Being completely unlearned in American culture, he runs into a series of eccentric people and bizarre misfortunes, and while he may end up losing the painting, his career, and his fiancee, he does gain a new, tougher personality with the help of a scrappy Joan Cusack. The film only grossed $100,000 and suffered a horrible death before it even premiered. Released only on videotape many years ago and gone from the market in any form, the only reason there seems to be any interest in Stars and Bars is due to Daniel Day Lewis fans who want to see the then 30-year-old appear in two nude scenes, including one in which he has to climb out of a second story window while... yes, nude. For Bernstein, the composer was so entranced by the light comedy genre in the 1980's --especially any movie in which he could work in some Western motifs into the parody mix-- that it can't be surprising that he agreed to write music for this trashy project. The more fascinating aspect of Stars and Bars is the fact that his score was rejected and thrown in the garbage. This was an all-too-common occurrence for Bernstein in the latter half of his career (he had half a dozen scores rejected in a ten year period around the 1990's), and in some of those cases, such as with Last Man Standing, you can clearly understand why the filmmakers would find the music unsuitable. But with Stars and Bars, Bernstein's score seems like such a decent fit that its removal (and replacement with a score by Stanley Myers) is baffling.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
94 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.81 Stars
***** 13 5 Stars
**** 18 4 Stars
*** 23 3 Stars
** 19 2 Stars
* 21 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 40:40
• 1. Untitled (2:15)
• 2. Untitled (0:44)
• 3. Untitled (1:14)
• 4. Untitled (1:34)
• 5. Untitled (0:30)
• 6. Untitled (0:25)
• 7. Untitled (0:41)
• 8. Untitled (2:38)
• 9. Untitled (1:22)
• 10. Untitled (0:52)
• 11. Untitled (1:12)
• 12. Untitled (1:56)
• 13. Untitled (2:57)
• 14. Untitled (1:35)
• 15. Untitled (2:15)
• 16. Untitled (4:05)
• 17. Untitled (4:03)
• 18. Untitled (1:36)
• 19. Untitled (4:17)
• 20. Untitled (1:23)
• 21. Untitled (3:06)
No track titles listed on packaging

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes a filmography for Bernstein, but no extra information about the score or film. All copies are numbered. The album's title is "Stars 'N' Bars" instead of the film's actual title.
Copyright © 1997-2017, 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 Stars and Bars are Copyright © 1991, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/26/97 and last updated 5/21/06.
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