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Comments about the soundtrack for Enemy at the Gates (James Horner)

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Re: Schindler's? No. History? Yes!
• Posted by: Tim Perrine   <Send E-Mail>
• Date: Monday, March 19, 2001, at 3:40 p.m.
• IP Address:
• In Response to: Re: Schindler's? No. History? Yes! (Brendan Anderson)

> Controversy or not, public domain is public domain...

I couldn't care less about it being in the public domain. I'm not arguing whether Horner CAN steal the theme, I'm arguing whether or not he SHOULD have stole it. What I'm trying to say here, and the point I'm repeating for the 3rd time is that the music is credited to John Williams whether he borrowed from a piece in the public domain or not. Horner's theme sounds JUST LIKE this piece in which JOHN WILLIAMS is given sole credit except for a few modifications- and thus it sounds like Horner stole from John Williams' theme. I'm willing to bet that this is EXACTLY the case and not some happy coincidence like you seem to claim it to be.

we can only guess at
> any other intentions Horner seem to assume he was just sitting
> in the dark in his little studio patiently waiting for the phone to ring
> with a call about a movie in which he could finaly use Williams'
> material as his own...something he had been ploting for years and years
> I'm sure...And I'm sure he's just sitting around cackeling with evil
> delight as he shouts out, "You fools! I can write music like
> Schindler's List too!!! Look at me!!! Love me!!! worship me!!!" As fun as it would be, I don't really think of Horner as a cartoony supervillain. I live in the real world. He HAS hinted at themes before in his other scores- then to come out and introduce them as major themes in following scores. I'm sure this was the case with EATG. He used it in Titanic and then waited for an opportunity to use it as a major theme- low and behold an Eastern European/ Russian themed movie came along a few years later.

> ...and Horner's theme is Horner's own composition incorporating the
> same tune. What's the problem?

The problem is that it was already done only 7 years earlier and with an assload of success!! The Schindler's List theme is still fresh in everyone's minds- and not just OUR (The filmscore fans) minds- but the film-going public's minds! It's associated exclusively with the Holocaust as Schindler's List is the definitive film on the subject. Williams' music is sacred! For another composer to take that theme and use it in their own score so soon after that film was released shows a lack of respect for the composer and the movie and that includes the subject material.

> In which track did that occur? I'd like to hear it as well...

Track 10 (6:16 - 6:23). It's clear proof that your theory is hogwash. Horner is a hack. He didn't happen to stumble upon the "old Jewish folksong" that coincidentally sounds similar to Schindler's List upon writing his score for EATG. What he did is outright plagiarism...

> but let's not single him out...almost every major film composer
> has been guilty of that same thing at one point in their career.

Man, I get so sick of answering this response from Horner defenders. Let's look at it this way: Say there was a thief named Jerry Goldsmith who stole some candy from a convenience store. He only did it once or twice. And generally, Jerry isn't prone to stealing candy. Now, there another thief named James Horner who steals 12-packs of beer from 100 different convenience stores- and he does it EVERY SINGLE DAY. Isn't it pretty obvious who is the worse thief is and who should be locked away in a prison??? Sure, what both did was wrong, but at least Jerry doesn't do it every 5 seconds and steals something smaller. THAT is why James Horner is constantly under fire for his lack of creativity and other famous composers aren't.

> Of course there is...all I'm saying is, why can't he use any Jewish folk
> song he wants? Why can't any composer use any folk song they want?

I've already explained this above. There are such traits among artists as good-taste, honor, and creativity...

BTW, could you explain to me HOW Judaism plays a major role in this movie? I honestly am curious. I was under the impression it was about 2 snipers after each other and a love triangle during the Battle of Stalingrad...

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