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To Die For
(1995)
Album Cover Art
Composed and Produced by:

Conducted by:
Richard Stone

Orchestrated by:
Steve Bartek
Labels Icon
LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Varèse Sarabande
(September 26th, 1995)
Availability Icon
ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if, frankly, you desire some of the songs in the film, because the 19 minutes of Danny Elfman's score sharing time with those songs on the album is as schizophrenic, bizarre, and casually unlistenable as anything the composer has ever written for the screen.

Avoid it... if you already own Elfman's second "Music for a Darkened Theatre" compilation featuring more than half of the same material and all of the score's highlights.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #1,750
WRITTEN 3/15/10
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Elfman
Elfman
To Die For: (Danny Elfman) There are ten different ways from center that Gus Van Sant's 1995 film To Die For could be protested for indecency, and it's safe to confirm that it chronicles human behavior at its very worst. In a much acclaimed performance by Nicole Kidman, an aspiring anchor woman with limited intelligence and talent devises a plan to gain notoriety for herself through deception and murder. She marries the son of a mobster to ensure financial stability but eventually has to dispose of him because, awkwardly enough, he genuinely cares about her and wants to start a family. The woman seduces a youngster in the process of falsifying a news report about teens and he, along with a couple of his friends, carries out the murder. By mostly luck, she escapes prosecution from the law, but it's not long before the mafia discovers what she did and gives her proper treatment. Unquestionably, To Die For is a truly sick dramatic comedy, exposing the darkest corners of personality disorders with a wink of the eye. It was based on a novel that took inspiration from a real-life American case in which a school employee did actually seduce a teenager and convince him to kill her husband. Audiences really didn't want to see that story with all of Van Sant's twists, however, and after being screened out at the Cannes Film Festival, To Die For only managed to recoup its costs in a wide release. Kidman's monologues aimed directly at the camera, among other things, gave the film it's only representation at major awards. The project initiated a fruitful collaboration between Van Sant and composer Danny Elfman, who was in the process of expanding beyond his Tim Burton ties and accepting a wider variety of oddball assignments outside of the blockbuster scene. The assignment spoke purely to Elfman's quirkier side, and the composer later commented that To Die For was refreshing because it allowed him to explore musical avenues without genre boundaries. There really was no clear musical direction taken by the production as a whole; the songs selected for inclusion on screen (and then on album) are wildly schizophrenic, so Elfman, in a rather limited role in terms of contributed time, was allowed to meander through three really unrelated sounds to suit his own sense of humor. The resulting score is strangely fascinating, and its ingredients and demeanor are rooted firmly enough in Elfman's methodology to make it comfortably familiar, but it remains among the composer's only truly unlistenable works. For some Elfman collectors, this score symbolized a year in which the composer lost the "magical" appeal of his early writing.



Ratings Icon
VIEWER RATINGS
129 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 2.88 Stars
***** 29 5 Stars
**** 18 4 Stars
*** 23 3 Stars
** 27 2 Stars
* 32 1 Stars
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 42:55
• 1. Main Titles (4:09)
• 2. Suzie's Theme - featuring Little Gus & The Suzettes (1:41)
• 3. Busted (2:00)
• 4. Weepy Donuts (1:50)
• 5. Creepy Creepy (0:50)
• 6. Murder! (3:51)
• 7. Angry Suzie (0:36)
• 8. Finale (3:47)
• 9. Wasting Away - performed by Nailbomb (3:03)
• 10. Nothing From Nothing - performed by Billy Preston (2:34)
• 11. All By Myself - performed by Eric Carmen (4:54)
• 12. Sweet Home Alabama - performed by Lynyrd Skynyrd (3:37)
• 13. Wings of Desire - performed by Strawpeople (4:48)
• 14. Season of the Witch - performed by Donovan (4:54)

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NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes no extra information about the score or film.
Copyright © 2010-2017, 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 To Die For are Copyright © 1995, Varèse Sarabande and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 3/15/10 (and not updated significantly since).
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