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Comments about the soundtrack for Alien (Jerry Goldsmith)

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Re: Disdain for Scott?
• Posted by: Jamie   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at 9:49 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Disdain for Scott? (Indiana Schwartz)

> I agree that the score is a challenging one and that the production itself
> may be to blame for that, but I do not agree with the assertion that the
> reason for this was Scott's inexperience and lack of intelligence.

> First of all, the initial slight to the film's success owing to Cameron's
> addition to the franchise is a bit unfair. "Alien" was actually
> quite a hit, on the contrary to what the review states, earning upwards of
> 75 million in it's initial run in 1979 (NOT shabby for the time.. and
> particularly stellar for a film with an "R" rating in the US and
> an "X" in Europe). It was nominated for and won Oscars, BAFTA's
> and numerous other awards and was positively received by critics.

> Scott's direction was hugely modern, intelligent and ahead of it's time.

Who says? That is simply YOUR opinion, it isn't face at all. And even if that was the case it doesn't mean it's better than what Goldsmith came up with. I wouldn't call it "ahead of its time" at any length either.

> Goldsmith's idea of moving from fantastical suspense to horror isn't
> necessarily the more intelligent approach to the film. It may have been
> the more logical, traditional approach, but Scott wasn't traditional with
> "Alien" in any sense. In the end, it is Scott's film and
> Goldsmith's refusal to work with the director's ideas because he was young
> and inexperienced, while quite out of form for the composer, only speaks
> to the fact that Scott was reaching beyond what was expected. Frankly,
> ignoring Scott's wishes for the music while composing the score is
> somewhat arrogant.

Just like Terry Rawlings and Scott were arrogant enough to cut up Jerry's music and turn it into a shambles. The music is crap as they presented it in the film, pure and simple. And for the record Goldsmith complained that Ridley Scott wasn't even available to talk to and discuss the music while he was scoring it, hence the reason he decided to go off and work it into his own direction. Besides, you don't hire a composer like Jerry Goldsmith to rescore a bunch of old crap, including classical library tracks and weave it all in together in no coherent order. Maybe Ridley and Terry should've picked all the music from pre exisiting tracks and got a faceless hack arranger who wouldn't argue and got him to string them all together, because that is exactly what they needed, make no mistake. Spielberg never treated Goldsmith that way, neither did Joe Dante or Richard Donner. Yet these two chimpanzees seem to think they can treat a legend like Goldsmith this way? Pretty arrogant.

> Goldsmith may have been upset about the treatment of
> his music in the film, but the film is a success nonetheless the way it
> ended up and perhaps if he had just written the type of music Scott has
> asked for in the beginning, we may now have a classic, commercially
> accessible score to go along with this titan of sci-fi/horror cinema.

Again, why hire Jerry Goldsmith to score your movie if that's not what you're looking for? You wouldn't buy a can of Coke and complain that it didn't taste like Pepsi. Absolutley ridiculous.

> Scott did applaud Goldsmith's work and I really don't think he was saving
> face by saying it. I do believe he meant it sincerely. Goldsmith was not
> wholly available or willing to make all the changes that Scott wanted and
> Scott did what he had to do. The two worked together only a few short
> years later on "Legend," though, unfortunately, an even worse
> circumstance happened with Goldsmith's music. Although that time around,
> the director and composer were on the same side of the debacle.

And the inclusion of the music fro Psycho II was incredibly annoying. I knew the theme but couldn't work out where I knew it from. I spent ages racking my brain trying to think of the movie the music had been ripped off of, when I should've been watching the present one! Many people felt the same way about Alien, too.

> Overall, I agree with the review and the overall star rating, but to argue
> that the music isn't effective in the film the way it stands is pretty
> ridiculous. I do not think the film would have had the same effect with
> Goldsmith's original ideas for the score. The score may not be lush or
> romantic, but that would have gone against Scott's minimalistic idea which
> eventually yielded an early masterwork.

I don't even consider it a "masterwork". It's actually a pretty schlocky B-Movie with state of the art (for the time) special fx. Ridley is not Kubrick that's for sure.

Comments in this Thread:     Expand >>
  • Disdain for Scott?  (3317 views)
       Indiana Schwartz - Monday, July 20, 2009, at 4:07 p.m.
    •      Re: Disdain for Scott?  (2030 views)    We're Here
         Jamie - Tuesday, February 5, 2013, at 9:49 p.m.

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