The Cinematic Frontier’s Top 5: Favorite Jerry Goldsmith Scores Of The 1970’s

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Louis Lopez, who runs the very cool site, “The Cinematic Frontier” stops by Vic’s Movie Den to give us a fantastic “Top 5” list. Louis and I share an avid passion for Original Film Scores and the Composers that create  these magical Movie Soundtracks.

Louis shares with us his amazing knowledge of scores composed for films with a “Top 5” list from one of cinema’s greatest maestros: Jerry Goldsmith.

Please stop by his awesome site for great reviews, posts, pictures and videos. You can find Louis’ page here: The Cinematic Frontier

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Top 5 Favorite Jerry Goldsmith Scores: The 1970’s:

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Jerry Goldsmith (1929-2004)

Jerry Goldsmith is not only the greatest film composer who ever lived but also one of the greatest composers of all time period. He was the recipient of 18 Academy Award nominations (17 Oscar nods, 1 Song nod), winning only once for 1976’s “The Omen.” He’s written many classic scores and collaborated with many top directors (he collaborated with Franklin J. Schaffner seven times). I own over 100 Goldsmith scores on CD, so it is extremely difficult for me to create any top five list involving the great maestro.

After much thought, I now present (in chronological order) my top five favorite scores from the 1970’s (and yes, I do realize that they all happen to be Oscar nominated)

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Patton (1970)

Although only a little more than a half hour (in a film that runs almost three hours), Goldsmith provides an effective score for this towering portrait of General George S.Patton with a memorable patriotic theme that’s dominated by a trumpet played through an echo-plex box followed by flutes. An organ and the echoing of the trumpets are also used to highlight the surprisingly religious side of the man (particularly his belief in reincarnation).

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Papillon (1973)

Another sparse score (although longer than his score for Patton), Goldsmith provides a French flavored main theme that proves to be one of his best for the falsely convicted criminal nicknamed “Papillon” The action cues are energetic and thrilling, and the dramatic pieces are quite emotional. The orchestra is brass heavy while the main theme is dominated by that and a accordian. This was Goldsmith’s fourth collaboration with director Franklin J. Schaffner and his third Oscar nod for a Schaffner film.

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The Wind and the Lion (1975)

An excellent, Golden Age – inspired score for this sweeping epic set in early 1900’s Morocco. The orchestra is brass and percussion heavy while using Moroccan instrumentation. Goldsmith introduces an exciting, trumpet-led motif for the Raisuli as well as a memorable love theme for him and Eden Pedecaris. The action and dramatic music was among the best of that year.

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The Omen (1976)

The score that nabbed Goldsmith an overdue (and sadly only) Oscar, this horror classic features tension filled, dramatic music dominated by a frightening chorus as well as a tender, beautiful love theme that accompanies the film’s quieter moments. The end title music, entitled “Ave Satani” (an edited, shorter version is used for the opening titles) also nabbed Goldsmith his only Best Original Song Oscar nod as well.

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Star Trek: The Motion Picture  (1979)

A terrific score for the first Star Trek film, with a memorable theme for the Enterprise and it’s crew, a love theme for Ilia and Decker, a tribal motif for the Klingons and a mysterious motif for the V’er cloud. The motif for V’ger was created through the use of a blaster beam and the energetic cues for the Enterprise crew were outstanding. Goldsmith should have taken home an Oscar for this Orchestral masterpiece.

A special and heartfelt thanks to Louis Lopez and “The Cinematic Frontier” for this incredible “Top 5” post! I deeply appreciate the contribution and we look forward to the next “Top 5” best Jerry Goldsmith scores of the 1980’s!


    • He really was and I have always felt he was overshadowed by many of his peers who had achieved popularity for lesser efforts. ST:TMP remains my favorite score from Goldsmith. I am also a big fan of his work on “Poltergeist.” Thanks for stopping by. I appreciate it!

    • He surely was and he wasn’t as recognized, around Oscar time, as much as he should have been. I’m glad you liked the list. Louis did a bang up job on these choices and I am looking forward to his list for Goldsmith scores from the 80’s! Thanks for stopping by, Paul. I appreciate it!

      • Yeah, I always thought he should have won at least a few times before and after his win for The Omen. He should have nabbed one for ST:The Motion Picture for sure.

      • Don’t forget “Alien” and “Poltergeist!” Those two scores were amazing. Of his later scores, I enjoyed ST First Contact and Hollow Man. Oh and “Sum of All Fears” too. Good soundtrack.

      • As far as when Goldsmith actually was nominated, he still should’ve won for 1979’s Star Trek: The Motion Picture (over winner A Little Romance), 1983’s Under Fire (over winner The Right Stuff), 1986’s Hoosiers (over winner Round Midnight), 1992’s Basic Instinct (over winner Aladdin), and 1998’s Mulan (over winner Shakespeare In Love).

  1. I was really glad to see this one, Vic! Music plays such a major role in movies and TV shows, yet it’s all too easy to overlook. Jerry Goldsmith was a master of the craft, as you demonstrate here. He wrote scores for The Twilight Zone as well; his music can be heard in nearly a dozen episodes altogether. Great post!

    • Glad you liked it, Paul! I LOVE Goldsmith’s music for TZ. He did the iconic music for The Invaders and A Game of Pool eps. Such a great composer, wasn’t he? I’m glad Louis dropped by and shared such a great Top 5 list for us. Can’t wait to see what he has in store for us next! Thanks for stooping by, Paul. I appreciate it!

      • I miss him as well, even though he passed long before I thought of studying film music for my profession, part of me regrets that I never got the chance to interview him about his work. Ah well, the music lives on 🙂

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