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Farewell to the King
Album Cover Art
1989 Varèse
1989 Milan
Album 2 Cover Art
2006 Prometheus
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Steven Scott Smalley

Performed by:
The Hungarian State Orchestra
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Varèse Sarabande
(October 25th, 1989)

Milan Records
(October 25th, 1989)

Prometheus Records
(September, 2006)
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Released commercially by Varèse Sarabande in America, the score was also released in Europe by Milan with same track listings and about thirty seconds more length, most of which is filler space (translated 'L'Adieu Au Roi,' most of the packaging is in French). Both of these 1989 pressings are hopelessly out of print and the Varèse one sold for $250 on the open market in the early 2000's. The 2006 expanded album from Prometheus is not limited and was readily available from soundtrack specialty outlets for about $17 for several years.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you consider yourself any kind of Basil Poledouris collector, or if you enjoy John Barry's broad and lush romantic sensibilities of the 1980's.

Avoid it... if neither of Poledouris' scores for Conan the Barbarian nor Les Misérables holds any stylistic interest for you, for Farewell to the King resembles pieces of both works despite its exotic tones.
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WRITTEN 8/29/97, REVISED 7/10/09
Farewell to the King: (Basil Poledouris) Director John Milius' adaptation of Pierre Schondorffer's 1969 novel "L'Adieu au Roi" takes considerable elements from Milius' penned Apocalypse Now and combines them with several homages to Lawrence of Arabia and The Man Who Would Be King to form another film about the utopian dream of the simple, natural life among noble primitives during a time otherwise defined by worldwide conflict. In this case, Nick Nolte is a World War II American Army sergeant who deserts the service after narrowly escaping capture by the Japanese during the battle of Corregidor on Borneo in 1942. He flees inland until encountering a tribe of headhunting Dyak Indians. Instead of killing him, however, the headshrinking Iban tribe in Sarawak allows to him to live because of a tattoo of a dragon on his chest, and eventually he becomes king of the tribe. Three years later, the war catches up with him as the British parachute onto the island and attempt to enlist the American and his tribe to fight against the Japanese. A predictable dilemma faces the Nolte character, who by that point has long hair and looks frighteningly similar to the look of the actor's famous 1990's police mug shot. The philosophy of becoming a hero is Milius' focus here, and though Nolte's performance was heralded as a success, the predictable nature of the plot (with several contradictions along the way) caused the film to be largely panned by critics and ignored by audiences. The director's choice to force the film into the mould of a love story would complicate matters. For Milius, however, the choice of composer would be among the easiest he'd have to make. Having Collaborated with Basil Poledouris for Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn, Milius would rely on the versatile composer (from a time very early in the production process) to provide music both exotic enough for the tribe and noble enough to represent a king. Also necessary would be a musically romantic representation of grand vistas, and all of this would require a significant orchestra and an array of unusual percussive elements.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.57 Stars
***** 94 5 Stars
**** 68 4 Stars
*** 40 3 Stars
** 28 2 Stars
* 37 1 Stars
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Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Yup! Exactly like Barry.
SolarisLem - November 25, 2007, at 7:32 a.m.
1 comment  (2081 views)
Prometheus Release
Colin Y. - July 23, 2007, at 6:06 a.m.
1 comment  (2372 views)
Very unique and memorable music,and well-composed as well
Sheridan - June 15, 2006, at 1:58 p.m.
1 comment  (2337 views)
excellent score!
jeroen - April 30, 2006, at 1:49 a.m.
1 comment  (2392 views)
Alternate review of Farewell to the King @ MMUK
Christian Kühn - February 23, 2006, at 12:38 p.m.
1 comment  (2756 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1989 Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 43:02
• 1. The Trek (1:37)
• 2. Main Title (1:36)
• 3. War is Over (3:21)
• 4. Learoyd and Nigel (2:40)
• 5. Battle Montage (2:36)
• 6. Nigel's Trip (4:13)
• 7. Realization (1:33)
• 8. Night of the Living (1:16)
• 9. This is my Child (3:21)
• 10. Lian the Magnificent (1:22)
• 11. The Woman Saved Me (1:23)
• 12. Learoyd Surrenders (4:24)
• 13. The Training March (2:45)
• 14. Day Of The Dead (1:04)
• 15. Imperialist Waltz (1:46)
• 16. The Village Attack (2:31)
• 17. This Day Forth (2:40)
• 18. Farewell to my King (2:23)
2006 Prometheus Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 63:47

Notes Icon
The Varèse Sarabande insert includes no extra information about the score or film. The Milan insert contains notes in French. The Prometheus album contains notes about both the film and score.
Copyright © 1997-2020, Filmtracks Publications. All rights reserved.
The reviews and other textual content contained on the 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 Farewell to the King are Copyright © 1989, Varèse Sarabande, Milan Records, Prometheus Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 8/29/97 and last updated 7/10/09.
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