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Album Cover Art
1987 Polydor
1995 Polydor
Album 2 Cover Art
2012 Intrada
Album 3 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Co-Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Co-Produced by:
Bruce Botnick
Joel Goldsmith

Performed by:
The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra

2012 Album Produced by:
Douglass Fake
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That's Entertainment Records (Europe)

Polydor Records (Japan)

Intrada Records
(December 10th, 2012)
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Both original albums are international releases by Polydor Records, with no commercial pressing in America. The 1987 European album under the name "Best Shot" was the easier of the two to find in most countries. A cassette release was offered in America.

The 2012 Intrada CD is a limited product of unspecified quantities, originally available through soundtrack specialty outlets for $20. As of 2012, the original LP record was worth $150.
Nominated for an Academy Award.
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Availability | Awards | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... on the expanded 2012 album if you maintain any collection of Jerry Goldsmith's works, for Hoosiers is not only a major achievement in the composer's balance of symphony and electronics, but it remains one of the best sports genre scores of all time.

Avoid it... if you're so cold-hearted that the best of the inspirational sports genre of film music, including Goldsmith's Rudy, does nothing to successfully engage you.
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WRITTEN 6/5/03, REVISED 12/21/12
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1987 Album

Hoosiers: (Jerry Goldsmith) One of the definitive sports movies in the history of Hollywood, Hoosiers is an essential piece of Americana filmmaking. Directed by David Anspaugh (who would continue on to direct another similarly themed concept in 1993's Rudy), the film captures a piece of Indiana life with an authenticity that few have ever accomplished. A disgraced, out of town basketball coach, performed brilliantly by Gene Hackman, arrives to guide an underdog high school basketball team, the Hickory Huskers, to an improbable state title. It is, like Rudy, the ultimate message about motivation, faith, self-confidence, and achievement against the odds. The small-town spirit depicted by Anspaugh is almost religious in its powerful appeal, and the film's heart and loyalty to character depth required a score that could help motivate those characters onto their path to rewarding success. Jerry Goldsmith was emerging from arguably the most successful period of his career in 1986, with several of his most dynamic scores produced in the prior ten years. He had branched out from his usual science fiction, horror, and war drama assignments to compose for children's films, fantasy, and animation. Also a pioneer in the integration of synthesized elements into a symphony orchestra, Goldsmith was becoming fond of utilizing electronics as a fifth member of the ensembles for his works at the time. In fact, by 1986, he had completed the electronically rich Legend, and while that score would be partially replaced in the final theatrical cut, it proved to film music collectors that his techniques of applying his Yamaha keyboards and other electronic instruments to an orchestral canvas were truly mastered. Goldsmith loved scoring the adversity of sports dramas, and when approaching Hoosiers, he had the additional challenge of augmenting the autumnal setting of Indiana in the 1950's. With a fully symphonic score expected by his fans, it was a complete shock when Goldsmith's end product for Hoosiers was a piece of music dominated by electronics. The fit didn't seem natural when mentioned by the word of mouth, and yet, when all was said and done, the composer somehow managed, just like the Huskers, to pull off the impossible. Goldsmith single-handedly proved the legitimacy of employing electronics in period dramas by composing and mixing one of greatest hybrid scores of all time for Hoosiers.

So natural is the music for this film that the listener is completely enveloped into the world of 1950's Indiana during the heartfelt scene of travel at the start of the film without realizing that the score is, despite its organic elements, electronically defined. That opening title cue, adapted into a similar end credits variation tacked on as the last five minutes at the conclusion of the score's original LP and CD albums, offers the score's main, pure melody of historic beauty. This cue, "Main Title - Welcome to Hickory," single-handedly launched the film and score from their opening minutes all the way to multiple Academy Award nominations. This theme of redemption and regional simplicity ties together all the character and location elements in the story, and some film music veterans have gone so far as to argue that the opening five minutes featuring this theme (and cleverly previewing the later victory theme as an interlude and conclusion) in Hoosiers, with only the score heard in association with the visuals, is one the most impressively understated moments of music and film congruence ever. It's hard to disagree, though people who are fixated on the tender moments of the Hoosiers score forget that Goldsmith's innovative sounds during the climatic scenes on the basketball court are another remarkable treasure. It's not often that even the greatest composers accomplished what Goldsmith did for the game scenes in Hoosiers. He took the sound of a basketball bouncing off of a hardwood floor and mutated it into several variations, depending on how distant the ball was from the listener. He then utilized the main, up front bouncing ball for the majority of his beats in the score (supplied in his perfectly appropriate 7/8 rhythms) and accentuated other moments dictating percussive beats with the other bouncing variations, some in drum pad style. The result is a powerful and bass-rich score that sounds strangely effective even though most casual movie-goers likely didn't clearly make the bouncing ball connection. Along with other tingling synthetic elements, including some straight forward keyboarding on his Yamahas, these sounds are accompanied by a full orchestra. The strings are consistently utilized in every cue, woodwinds carry the most personable moments, and solo brass accents are woven into the percussive textures without resorting to obvious thematic duties outside of the score's famous trumpet solos. Rhythmic propulsion is expertly applied, with tempi carefully tailored, much like Rudy, to how well the team is performing during game sequences.

The score for Hoosiers is extremely melodic, almost to a fault. You can understand by the victory scene at the end of the finals sequence why Goldsmith spent so much time developing his themes until that one, massively heroic statement of emotion. While the aforementioned, primary theme captures the spirit and charm of the team, its individuals, and community in Indiana, Goldsmith's arguably more memorable ideas exist in a packaged related to the game of basketball. He does separate the game-related melodies with specific intent; in the concert arrangement of the "Theme From Hoosiers" (which is performed electronically only by Goldsmith on the albums and could have served as a demo for the assignment), the composer divides the piece between its driving, inspirational half for the game and its intimate half of introspection that eventually flourishes as a representation of triumph. Boiling them down to their most simplistic descriptors, the idea in the first two minutes of this suite is the "game theme" and the following two minutes offer the "victory theme" (intermingling at times with the Hickory theme, as at 2:27). The main game theme is largely static in its applications, with cues like "You Did Good," "Get the Ball" and the first two-thirds of "Finals" exploring its potential with all the driving intensity that Hackman's character inspires in his players. An intriguing Western, Aaron Copland-styled subtheme inhabits a variant of this idea in "The Pivot" and "Free Shot," though the game theme is still the backbone of the former cue. Less transparent is the victory theme, which understandably experiences the most growth throughout the picture. This is the idea that delicately opens the film, bracketing "Main Title - Welcome to Hickory" with a ghostly, solo synthesizer foreshadowing of what is to come. Its intermingling with the Hickory theme's lovely trumpet and electronic flute performances is joined by a friendly, two-note rising motif that accentuates each shift in harmonic progression (this high range effect gorgeously concludes the end credits version of the cue). These lighter themes are eventually passed to the violins in this early cue, with Goldsmith's trademark rambling of soft keyboarding flowing with elegance underneath. Those who appreciate the composer's mid-range, tingling synthesizer effects will enjoy their contributions to this score. The victory theme, like Hackman and his players, gains confident throughout the score until its cymbal-crashing explosion at 8:45 into "The Finals" introduces the Hickory theme in full orchestral glory. Several secondary themes and motifs round out the work, including a few somber ideas for scenes of conflict and conversation in "Town Meeting" and "Someone I Know."

Ratings Icon
Average: 4.29 Stars
***** 1,323 5 Stars
**** 498 4 Stars
*** 229 3 Stars
** 112 2 Stars
* 72 1 Stars
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Review at Movie Wave
Southall - December 24, 2012, at 4:40 a.m.
1 comment  (1301 views)
Jerry Goldsmith the best composer !!!
Isaac - December 24, 2012, at 3:10 a.m.
1 comment  (1103 views)
Overrated. Clemmensen is a hack.   Expand >>
DewittM - February 25, 2010, at 1:29 p.m.
2 comments  (3236 views)
Newest: August 21, 2010, at 9:17 a.m. by
What a soundtrack!
Mathias Sender - July 21, 2006, at 10:38 a.m.
1 comment  (2885 views)
Hoosiers or Rudy?   Expand >>
Evan - June 24, 2006, at 3:56 p.m.
3 comments  (4533 views)
Newest: January 9, 2013, at 9:20 p.m. by
I need this soundtrack!!!!!
Trevor Simpkins - October 4, 2005, at 5:31 p.m.
1 comment  (2682 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
Both Polydor Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 39:35
• 1. Best Shot (Theme From Hoosiers) (4:25)
• 2. You Did Good (7:02)
• 3. Coach Stays (2:42)
• 4. Pivot (3:29)
• 5. Get the Ball (1:49)
• 6. Town Meeting (4:47)
• 7. Finals (15:19)
2012 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 59:34

Notes Icon
The inserts of the Polydor albums include no extra information about the score or film. That of the 2012 Intrada album features extensive information about the film but no cue-by-cue analysis of the score.
Copyright © 2003-2021, 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 Hoosiers are Copyright © 1987, 1995, 2012, That's Entertainment Records (Europe), Polydor Records (Japan), Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/5/03 and last updated 12/21/12.
The irony of my love for this film and score exists in my hate for the game of basketball.
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