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Not Without My Daughter
Album Cover Art
1991 Intrada
2008 La-La Land
Album 2 Cover Art
Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton

Performed by:
The National Philharmonic Orchestra
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Intrada Records
(November 24th, 1991)

La-La Land Records
(September 30th, 2008)
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The 1991 Intrada album was a regular U.S. release, but is out of print. It was released with identical contents but different covers by Silva and Edel in Europe at the same time. The 2008 La-La Land album was limited to 3,000 copies and remained readily available through soundtrack specialty outlets.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... only if you are an avid collector of Jerry Goldsmith's works and appreciate even the less engaging and sparse variations of his light string, woodwind, and synthesizer tones.

Avoid it... if you require sustained performances of action rhythms or harmonic sensitivity in your Goldsmith music, or if you shared in the widely publicized political protests against the film.
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WRITTEN 6/1/98, REVISED 7/12/09
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1991 Album

Not Without My Daughter: (Jerry Goldsmith) Unintentionally, the MGM film Not Without My Daughter turned out to be a heavily anti-Muslim statement released just days before the United States and its allies invaded Iraq the first time in 1991. An intensely personal drama, the film tells the true story of Betty Mahmoody, an average American woman who married an Iranian man employed at the local hospital in the States. Set in 1984, the husband takes his wife (and their young daughter) on a two-week vacation to Iran, where he suddenly beats her and announces that they will never be returning to the United States. Trapped in a foreign culture that minimizes womens' rights, the mother is forced to smuggle herself and her daughter out of Iran and into Turkey with the help of an underground network of Western sympathizers. The storyline is compelling and made for fine drama, but the film had two major problems working against it during its initial release. First, its depiction of Muslims is truly disturbing, portraying them as crazed fundamentalists and the true enemies of 'infidels.' Secondly, the film, as mentioned before, opened nationally on January 11, 1991, only a few days before President Bush's deadline for war in the Middle East. Perhaps because of the timing of the project, the film failed miserably in the theatres. But it was still the source of controversy from Muslim-advocacy groups who claimed that the film's use of non-English language without subtitles, vicious and dirty Iranian characters, and unyielding malice shown towards a white woman are all gross misrepresentations of real Iranian sentiment, even during the heaviest religious rule of Iran in the 1980's. At any rate, with so many aspects of the production coming under attack for being 'propaganda,' it's interesting to wonder where Jerry Goldsmith's score falls into this debate. This would be the only collaboration between Goldsmith and director Brian Gilbert, and the project followed an outstanding year of output in 1990 for the legendary composer. His score for Not Without My Daughter, if you want to throw it into the aforementioned debate, does reinforce the reasons for protests against the film. The music can indeed be reduced to a good-versus-evil kind of descriptor, because Goldsmith makes no attempt whatsoever, like the film, to musically portray the Iranian culture in a positive (or even interesting) light. The moment the story hits the ground in Iran, Goldsmith hits the electronic distortion (a la Legend) and machine drums and doesn't look back until the conclusion of the mother and daughter's escape.

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Average: 2.71 Stars
***** 36 5 Stars
**** 43 4 Stars
*** 78 3 Stars
** 74 2 Stars
* 63 1 Stars
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A good score!
Rende - November 18, 2006, at 1:52 a.m.
1 comment  (2007 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1991 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 35:22
• 1. The Lake (2:37)
• 2. No Job (3:15)
• 3. Threats (1:30)
• 4. Trapped (2:46)
• 5. School's Out (1:09)
• 6. Night Stories (1:59)
• 7. Don't Leave (3:30)
• 8. Dry Spell (5:52)
• 9. The Promise (1:59)
• 10. First Break (4:37)
• 11. Home Again (5:44)
2008 La-La Land Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 63:40

Notes Icon
The 2008 album contains lengthy information about the film and score. The 1991 album's insert includes the following note by Joseph Cassar about the score and film:

    "Jerry Goldsmith's score to Not Without My Daughter aptly demonstrates the composer's keengrasp of intimate drama. lt is an economic score, some 35 minutes, and it is a score that reflects the personal drama of ordinary people interacting on a day to day basis. For this recording the National Philharmonic Orchestra have forgone the services of the brass section and have allowed Goldsmith the opportunity to feature much of the transparent string writing at which he excelIs.

    The score starts off with an exciting riff punctuated by a layer of tom-toms, exotic percussion, and synthesizer sounds that foreshadow the events that will unfold in lran. This quickly segues into the primary theme that portrays an idyllic setting representing the happiness and stability of a young American family. This "home" theme, introduced by piano and strings in "The Lake", is utilized throughout the film, reflecting on the yearnings of Betty Mahmoody (Sally Field) to return from her two week vacation in Iran with her husband and her daughter to her home in America. At other times, as in "No Job", this theme becomes fragmented and gradually dissolves to show the shift in the relationship between the married couple. With "Night Stories", the theme portrays the bond between daughter and father as he reads to her.

    In cues such as "Dry Spell" and "First Break", Goldsmith underscores the dramatic scenes of mother and daughter making their way across the desolate frontier. The themes here are colored in an exotic middle Eastern idiom with one motif actually reminiscent of the Muslim call to prayer chant. As the mother and daughter realize freedom the "home" theme makes a triumphant appearance, rejoicing with them. This leads into an extended treatment for solo piano and strings. The exotic opening riff makes a final appearance before bowing out to a final resolution of the primary theme."
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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 Not Without My Daughter are Copyright © 1991, 2008, Intrada Records, La-La Land Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/1/98 and last updated 7/12/09.
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