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Rambo III
Album Cover Art
1988 Scotti Brothers
1993 Intrada
Album 2 Cover Art
2005 Intrada
Album 3 Cover Art
2018 Intrada
Album 4 Cover Art
Composed and Conducted by:

Performed by:
The Hungarian State Opera Orchestra, Budapest

Orchestrated by:
Arthur Morton
Nancy Beach

Intrada Albums Produced by:
Douglass Fake
Labels Icon
Scotti Brothers

Intrada Records
(December 21, 1993)

Intrada Records

Intrada Records
(March 5th, 2018)
Availability Icon
The 1988 Scotti Brothers release was a regular commercial CD repressed under the Volcano label in 1992. The 1993 Intrada album was a regular commercial CD as well, but has fallen out of print. The 2005 and 2018 remastered editions by Intrada were primarily made available through specialty outlets, but both carried an unlimited pressing valued initially at $20.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you'd be interested in a more emotionally varied and accessibly ethnic alternative to the domineering action material written by Jerry Goldsmith for the previous two films.

Avoid it... if you expect sustained passages of the same superior rhythmic pacing and thematic bombast of Rambo: First Blood Part II in the equivalent action pieces of Rambo III.
Review Icon
WRITTEN 6/27/98, REVISED 4/28/18
Rambo III: (Jerry Goldsmith) By the late 1980's, the concept of muscleman brute John Rambo was being replaced by technology, but that didn't stop the Carolco studio from tempting the reluctant hero back into one last battle against whatever forces were disparaging the American way of life at that particular moment. The targets of Rambo's mayhem in Rambo III were, once again, Russians, but the location shifts from Vietnam to Afghanistan for the end of the original trilogy of the series. By this point in Rambo's journey, the script and its underlying story didn't really matter, though in the process of providing a new backdrop for the killing, the producers of Rambo III inadvertently utilized a political alliance in the film that would seem horribly shortsighted just a decade later. Not only does it seem awkward that Rambo would have attended a Buddhist monastery in Thailand, as he does at the outset of the film, but the fact that he would train and fight with the Mujaheddin of Afghanistan against the Russians would eventually give Rambo III a more fascinating edge in a post-9/11 world. Outside of this now creepy aspect of the film, Rambo III only existed in concept to show audiences more of Sylvester Stallone annihilating his enemies in close combat. Stallone earned $20 million and shot location scenes in Israel for Rambo III, though, and even on a technical level, the film was dragged down by terrible direction and under-achieving cinematography. It would seem that Jerry Goldsmith didn't let any of these trashy elements discourage him from providing yet another strong action score for the franchise in his final entry. His scores for the first two Rambo-related pictures were acclaimed by fans of the composer, serving the explosive nature of the franchise's lead character well. Goldsmith had entertained listeners of Rambo: First Blood Part II with several intelligent adaptations and maturations of themes from the original film's score, keeping the established material fresh while adding a few, somewhat underwhelming new themes and motifs. In Rambo III, the formula would be the opposite; the quality of the new themes competes very favorably with the adaptations of the previous material.

Ratings Icon
Average: 3.64 Stars
***** 349 5 Stars
**** 414 4 Stars
*** 316 3 Stars
** 118 2 Stars
* 82 1 Stars
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Read All Start New Thread Search Comments
Rambo III Formula
Bruno Costa - January 6, 2011, at 2:49 p.m.
1 comment  (1658 views)
My favorite of the Franchise.
krazie835 - December 13, 2007, at 11:43 p.m.
1 comment  (2142 views)

Track Listings Icon
Audio Samples   ▼
1988 Scotti Brothers Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 38:20
• 1. It Is Our Destiny - performed by Bill Medley (4:32)
• 2. Preparations (5:02)
• 3. Afghanistan (2:40)
• 4. The Game (2:27)
• 5. Another Time (3:58)
• 6. He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother - performed by Bill Medley (4:32)
• 7. Aftermath (2:45)
• 8. Questions (3:36)
• 9. The Bridge - written/performed by Giorgio Moroder and Joe Pizullo (3:59)
• 10. Final Battle (4:49)
1993/2005 Intrada Albums Tracks   ▼Total Time: 76:01
2018 Intrada Album Tracks   ▼Total Time: 77:05

Notes Icon
The inserts include increasing quantities of notes about the film and score with each entry. The following note by Intrada producer Douglass Fake appeared in multiple of his label's releases of the score:

    When Jerry Goldsmith completed the score for Rambo III (1988) he had fashioned the longest and most complex music of the trilogy initiated with First Blood in 1982 and continued in 1985 with Rambo: First Blood Part II. One interesting feature of this score is the use of a four-note motif that sets into motion all of the new themes. Another feature is the emphasis of odd-meter rhythms, and in particular the use of eighth-note meters (5/8, 3/8, 7/8).

    The score opens with material associated with Rambo's continued self-exile (ANOTHER TIME), including a warm trumpet statement of the original First Blood theme. The actual credits unfold as Rambo readies for a vicious stick fight (PREPARATIONS).

    Much of the film is set in Afghanistan and two themes are associated with that locale. Both beginning with the four-note motif, one (AFGHANISTAN) uses a lot of embellishing sixteenth notes and the other (QUESTIONS) develops into a major theme featuring warm harmonies, transparent string writing and moving arpeggio figures throughout.

    For the many action sequences of the film Goldsmith created a brand new Rambo theme using that always flexible four-note motif. Usually heard in the brass, this line often features a distinctive open sound (the use of parallel fifths) giving it a strong military feel. In one particularly strong quote of this theme (NIGHT FIGHT) the French horns provide a striking counter melody in unison, a device only used this one time in the score.

    All of these action cues emphasize rhythm. One very intense example (FLAMING VILLAGE) finds the four-note motif as a powerful variant in the lower trombones and tuba, all heard over an unrelenting rhythm and punctuated by French horns and later, trumpets. In a stunning musical moment the established rhythm abruptly changes to a recurring 5/8 figure, propelling the cue into a new direction. In this cue, as in many others, a hammering piano figures prominently in the rhythm.

    Much of the score for Rambo III was never used in the completed film (several sequences had tracked music from Rambo: First Blood Part II) and the album released with the film featured several vocals and only a fraction of the orchestral score. For this special release we were given access to the digital masters of the complete recording sessions. We have included virtually the entire score. A highlight of this new issue is the final cue (I'LL STAY) in which Goldsmith not only bids farewell to his original First Blood theme in a powerful quote, but also underscores the end credits (in a cue never used) with fully developed statements of the principal themes, culminating in a brilliant close to Rambo III.

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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 Rambo III are Copyright © 1988, 1993, 2005, 2018, Scotti Brothers, Intrada Records, Intrada Records, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/27/98 and last updated 4/28/18.
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