The Big Country

9 Favorite Western Film Scores

I’m not a fan of Westerns particularly. The mythological images created by Hollywood seldom bear any resemblance to reality and their political leanings are often less than honorable. But those wide, open spaces and America’s dramatic past (even filtered through Hollywood’s gauze) arguably have inspired more great film scores than any other cinematic subgenre. As… More


John Barry: A Personal Reminiscence

Waking up on Monday to the news of John Barry’s passing was heartbreaking to say the least. Even though he had retired and hadn’t scored a film since 2001’s ENIGMA, his death has rocked the film music community over the last few days, with tributes and reminiscences pouring out all week long. And whether you… More

Born Free

Born Free

Sometimes the historical success of a film rests solely on its music, at least with us film score fans. Such is the case with BORN FREE. Based on naturalist Joy Adamson’s bestselling book, the film chronicles the African adventures of Joy (Virginia McKenna) and her husband George (Bill Travers), including bringing up a lioness cub…. More

John Barry

9 Favorite John Barry Scores

After last month’s “9 on the 9th” discussion of my favoriteJohn Williams scores, I received an email asking when I was going to do a list of the scores ofJohn Barry. Always one to heed my reader’s requests, here you go. Whether it’s his James Bond scores, jazzz-tinged films from the swinging 60’s, or the… More


Enter the Queen

Katharine Hepburn sure knows how to make a grand entrance. In her Oscar-winning performance as Eleanor of Aquitaine in THE LION IN WINTER (1968), she enters as as a medieval queen should–on a barge floating down the River Vienne. And John Barry’s Oscar-winning music rows her onscreen in imperial splendor.


In the Lion’s Den

“It’s 1183 and we’re all barbarians…” And barbaric it is! THE LION WINTER follows an aging King Henry II (Peter O’Toole) who has summoned his exiled queen, Eleanor of Acquitaine (Katharine Hepburn), to court to spend the Christmas holiday together and select Henry’s successor. Verbal and physical sparring ensue as each of the three sons declares… More