Download 100 Greatest Film Scores PDF

Title100 Greatest Film Scores
PublisherRowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN 139781538103678
CategoryArts - Film
File Size6.6 MB
Total Pages337
Table of Contents
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Alexander Nevsky
Around the World in 80 Days
Back to the Future
A Beautiful Mind
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Big Country
Blade Runner
Born Free
Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The Bride of Frankenstein
The Bridge on the River Kwai
Chariots of Fire
Cinema Paradiso
Citizen Kane
City Lights
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Conan the Barbarian
Dances with Wolves
The Day the Earth Stood Still
Doctor Zhivago
East of Eden
Edward Scissorhands
Empire of the Sun
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Forrest Gump
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
The Godfather and The Godfather Part II
Gone with the Wind
The Great Escape
The Green Mile
Henry V
High Noon
How the West Was Won
Jurassic Park
King Kong
King of Kings
Kings Row
The Last of the Mohicans
Lawrence of Arabia
The Lion in Winter
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
Lost Horizon
The Magnificent Seven
The Man with the Golden Arm
The Mission
The Natural
North by Northwest
Now, Voyager
The Omen
On Golden Pond
On the Waterfront
Once Upon a Time in the West
Out of Africa
The Piano
The Pink Panther
Pirates of the Caribbean: 
The Curse of the Black Pearl
Planet of the Apes
The Prisoner of Zenda
Quo Vadis
Raiders of the Lost Ark
The Red Pony
The Red Violin
The Robe
Schindler’s List
Scott of the Antarctic
The Sea Hawk
The 7th Voyage of Sinbad
The Shawshank Redemption
Somewhere in Time
The Song of Bernadette
The Spirit of St. Louis
Star Trek—The Motion Picture
Star Wars
A Streetcar Named Desire
Sunset Boulevard
The Third Man
To Kill a Mockingbird
Tom Jones
100 Additional Film Scores
Composer Biographies
Glossary of 
Film and Music Terms
Select Bibliography
About the Authors
Document Text Contents
Page 2

100 Greatest Film Scores

Page 168

The Lion in Winter 155

A good example of this duality comes immediately in the film’s opening cred-
its, which begin musically with a loud pair of statements by trumpets and strings
of a dramatic eight-note idea. The French horns and strings then repeat this idea
twice. This repetitive music leads directly into a dynamic thematic statement by
trumpets based on the opening idea, with rhythmic accents played by brass and
strings along with repeated tones on timpani that provide a rock-music type of
background. Then a melody sung by a choir is sounded above the timpani. The
translation of the Latin text deals with a day of wrath and judgment, as though
the music were intended for a medieval funeral mass. There is no funeral in the
film, however; instead, there are numerous heated verbal exchanges concerning
the royal succession.

The second major theme in the score occurs when Queen Eleanor’s boat sails to-
ward the shore where King Henry awaits her arrival. As the boat floats along, fe-
male voices introduce a chant-like melody that celebrates Eleanor as queen. Male

Eleanor of Aquitaine (Katharine Hepburn) and her husband, Henry II (Peter O’Toole). MGM-
United Artists / Photofest © MGM-United Artists

Page 169

156 The Lion in Winter

voices join in singing this theme while strings accompany this sweet-sounding
music in an emotionally lyrical and smoothly flowing way.

It is worthy of note that the selection of the Latin texts for both of these themes
is the work of Denis Stevens, who at the time was the artistic director of the Acca-
demia Monteverdiana, the choir that recorded the choral music heard in the film.

After Eleanor’s arrival and the gathering of their sons and the French king,
there is not much music in the first hour of the film. One exception is a short fan-
fare for trumpets in two-part harmony that is sounded when Henry walks with
Eleanor into a dining hall for a Christmas feast.

Another exception comes at around thirty minutes in with a short piece for
trombones and trumpets, which are joined with strings and soft female voices, as
Richard approaches his mother’s private chamber. Such music provides pleasant
interludes between the moments of heated anger spouted by all of the royal fam-
ily, especially the cunning queen and the conniving Geoffrey, the latter speaking
with venom in almost every syllable.

The score’s main theme returns a few times. A memorable occurrence comes
in the latter part of the film, starting around 1:47:00, when Henry’s three sons are
roused from their sleep during the night by castle guards who lock them up in
a dungeon. At this point dynamic brass chords, strings, and rumbling timpani
accompany the action as Henry determines to leave Chinon on the spur of the
moment. The melodic part of this music includes trumpets playing a variant of
the score’s main eight-note motif. Throughout this scene wordless voices add a
repeated series of descending chords while the timpani melodically add a second
variant of the film’s main motif.

Other noteworthy music in the film includes “Allons gai gai gai,” with French
words sung by Alais to Henry in an early scene. This lilting tune comes during an
interlude that precedes Henry’s explanation of why he wants John on the throne.
Later in the film Alais sings an unaccompanied piece called “The Christmas
Wine,” with words by James Goldman.

Since nothing is resolved regarding the royal succession, the film may seem
rather pointless. However, John Barry’s inspired music makes the film entertain-
ing in a darkly comedic way and is a testament to his artistic ingenuity. While the
film contains only a meager amount of music, what Barry composed is first rate.
The dramatic main-title theme, with its insistent rhythmic drive and strongly sung
Latin text, bears more than a little resemblance to the opening chorus of Carl Orff’s
cantata Carmina Burana, but Barry’s melodic idea has a quality that is truly original
in design. When this theme returns one last time in the final scene, the film comes
to a majestic close that confirms the fact that, even without any real plot resolution,
Barry’s music makes the film an emotionally satisfying experience.

In summing up Barry’s achievement, it is safe to say that his music is crucial
to the success of Lion in Winter. This score represents one of his most memorable
film-music creations.


Seven Oscar nominations and winner of three, including an award for Barry’s

Voted by New York film critics as best film of 1968.

Page 336


Matt Lawson is a film music scholar, academic, and lecturer in music. Born in
1987 in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, in the United Kingdom, Matt was loaned a
cornet and joined a local brass band at the age of fourteen. His love of music blos-
somed from that moment, with significant help from the music teacher at Malton
School, the high school he attended 1998–2005. He received a BMus (Hons) degree
in music from the University of Huddersfield in 2009, and went on to complete
a master’s at the University of York in 2012, graduating with distinction. In 2017,
Matt completed his PhD in film music studies at Edge Hill University, with a the-
sis analyzing the music used in German depictions of the Holocaust in cinema.
As an active academic, Matt has studied extensively in Germany with the help
of prestigious fellowships from the European Holocaust Research Infrastructure,
and the Deutsche Akademischer Austauschdienst. He has also presented his research
on a global scale, including appearances at conferences in Australia, USA, Poland,
Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Austria, and locally in the UK. He is a fellow of the
Higher Education Academy, and a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Matt has
been married to Nichola since 2013, and has one son. This is his first book.

Laurence E. MacDonald is a lifelong movie fan. He starting going to the movies
when he was five years old and has never quit seeing movies on a big theater
screen. He grew up in Ohio, started playing the piano at a young age, and re-
ceived a bachelor of music cum laude at Ohio State University in 1963. In 1966 he
received a master of arts degree at Ohio State University, with a major in music
history and literature. Since moving to Michigan in 1966, MacDonald has been a
college professor at Mott Community College, where he still teaches a course on
the history of film music. MacDonald hosted a weekly radio show called Music
from Movies that aired on a local Public Radio affiliate in Flint for over twenty
years. He has also been the music critic for the Flint Journal, currently directs
music at St. Michael Catholic Church in Flint, and serves as a board member for
the St. Cecilia Society, of which he is a longtime performing member. Larry has
given many solo piano performances in the Flint area, and also plays two-piano
concerts with his former student, Pat Cronley, who is an accomplished pianist and
jazz musician.

MacDonald is the author of The Invisible Art of Film Music, the second edition
of which was published by Scarecrow Press in 2013. The editor of that book,
Stephen Ryan, guided Matt and Larry through the paces of creating 100 Greatest
Film Scores. Larry has been married to Carolyn for four years and has six grown
children, most of whom are passionate filmgoers.

About the Authors

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