×

Jerry Goldsmith’s 10 Most Indelible Scores

In honor of Jerry Goldsmith’s star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, Jon Burlingame offers ten scores that best capture the late composer’s genius.

1. A Patch of Blue (1965) For the tender relationship between a blind white girl (Elizabeth Hartman) and the kindly black man (Sidney Poitier) she befriends, Goldsmith wrote a haunting, delicate score featuring piano and harmonica.

2. The Sand Pebbles (1966) Goldsmith’s first epic score, for director Robert Wise’s film about a U.S. gunboat in Chinese waters in the 1920s starring Steve McQueen. He evoked an Asian atmosphere with exotic instruments, and his love theme (“And We Were Lovers”) was recorded by artists from Andy Williams to Shirley Bassey.

3. Planet of the Apes (1968) A landmark in film-music history, this unearthly, Bartok- and Stravinsky-influenced soundscape strongly implied that Charlton Heston and his fellow astronauts were marooned on a far-off planet… when, in fact, they were on Earth all along.

4. Patton (1970) Goldsmith’s music illuminated the character of the World War II general (famously portrayed by George C. Scott), cleverly employing echoing trumpets to suggest his conviction that he had been present at every great battle in the history of warfare.

5. Papillon (1973) A virtual tone poem, this alternately gorgeous and harrowing score is a forgotten masterpiece of ’70s cinema music: beginning with a charming French waltz, ending with a crashing man-against-the-sea coda. Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman played inmates in the notorious Devil’s Island penal colony.

6. Chinatown (1974) Producer Robert Evans often said that Goldsmith “saved” Roman Polanski’s noirish drama set in 1930s L.A. Goldsmith wrote and recorded it in 10 days after an earlier score was discarded; his modernist ensemble included four pianos and four harps, and that sexy solo-trumpet theme is indelible.

7. The Omen (1976) Goldsmith’s sole Oscar winner was a choral-and-orchestral score for a summer popcorn movie about the Antichrist as a child, complete with Latin lyrics praising Satan. The composer’s music for Gregory Peck being attacked by dogs in a darkened cemetery is among the scariest of the decade.

8. Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) Perhaps the most familiar of all Goldsmith themes (used in many of the Enterprise crew’s subsequent film and TV appearances), this score established the heroic, symphonic sound of Kirk, Spock and company still in use today.

9. Poltergeist (1982) This Steven Spielberg-produced haunted-house movie about a little girl abducted into another dimension contains one of Goldsmith’s most brilliant musical ideas: a lullaby as its main theme, designed to remind listeners that a frightened child was at the story’s heart.

10. Basic Instinct (1992) Goldsmith’s most provocative and sensual score, for Paul Verhoeven’s infamous erotic thriller starring Sharon Stone, uses both orchestra and electronics to create moods of intense passion and edge-of-seat suspense.

 

More Music

  • Soulja Boy Drake Tyga

    Soulja Boy Vs. Drake and Tyga: 'Breakfast Club' Co-Host Breaks Down the Feud (EXCLUSIVE)

    “Tyga…. TYGA? TYGA???” Soulja Boy’s recent interview on New York radio show “The Breakfast Club” included this meme-worthy line. Barely 24 hours after sitting down with Power 105.1 hosts DJ Envy, Angela Yee and Charlamagne Tha God, the clip has logged over 4 million views, roughly the same amount of followers Soulja has on Instagram. [...]

  • Mariah Carey All I Want for

    Mariah Carey's Assistant Claims She Was Urinated On and Called a 'Whore'

    Mariah Carey’s former assistant claims in a new lawsuit that she was subjected to physical and sexual abuse, which included being called a “whore” and being urinated on. Lianna Shakhnazaryan filed suit in Los Angeles Superior Court, claiming she was tormented by Carey’s manager, Stella Bulochnikov. According to the suit, Bulochnikov slapped her buttocks and [...]

  • Bishop Briggs

    Bishop Briggs, Blackwave Among Winners of Inaugural Music Moves Europe Awards

    Emergent artists from across the EU are in Groningen this week to play showcases for music festival bookers, and several award shows took place Wednesday evening to toast top talent. Accordingly, bands were on hand from all corners of the European Union to collect prizes (and grant money) that will further careers. The Music Moves [...]

  • Phil McIntyre Steps Down as Roc

    Phil McIntyre Steps Down From Roc Nation Management, but Remains Affiliated With Company

    Phil McIntyre has stepped down as president of Roc Nation Management, but his PhilyMack management company remains affiliated with Roc, a source close to the situation tells Variety. PhilyMack, which McIntyre founded in 2006, partnered with Roc Nation in 2015. The source stressed that McIntyre’s role at Roc Nation Management  — whose clients include Rihanna, [...]

  • Miley Cyrus performs during the "I

    Metallica, Miley Cyrus and a Reunited Soundgarden Pay Tribute to Chris Cornell

    Metallica, Foo Fighters, Miley Cyrus and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine headlined an all-star lineup honoring the late Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell at a mammoth five-hour tribute concert in Los Angeles Wednesday. Mixing rock n’ roll with elements of pop, punk and stripped-down acoustics, the sold-out event was a journey through Cornell’s decades-long career and a [...]

  • Hikaru Utada to Perform 'Kingdom Hearts'

    Hikaru Utada to Perform 'Kingdom Hearts' Songs in PlayStation VR

    PlayStation VR owners can catch a special performance from Japanese-American singer-songwriter Hikaru Utada starting on Friday, Jan. 18, according to the PlayStation Blog. Filmed at the Yokohama Arena, the “Hikaru Utada Laughter in the Dark Tour 2018 – ‘Hikari’ & ‘Chikai’ – VR” features two songs from the “Kingdom Hearts” franchise — “Simple and Clean” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content