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Poltergeist by Jerry Goldsmith


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I think Poltergeist is one of the BEST SCORES ever, written by ANY composer. I especially love the first time Carol Ann's Theme is played over the opening credits--this is so beautiful, the music and the visuals combined (also combined with the name Steven Spielberg appearing thrice, I guess) almost brings tears to my eyes. The music seems so nostalgic, so ephemerally beautiful and serene . . . does anyone else think so? Strange, if you consider that this is actually a horror movie (a B-picture, no less, if it weren't for Spielberg). If it weren't for E.T., this would have been Goldsmith's second Oscar win, I'm sure. What does everyone think about this score/movie???

Sorry, didn't mean to write Poltergeist in all caps--I know you don't like that, moderator. :)

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Sorry, didn't mean to write Poltergeist in all caps--I know you don't like that, moderator. :)

Never mind.

As for the score, I quite like it, but I have a hard time connecting to it, save for Carol Anne's Theme and some of the silent creepy music.

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I've always considered it a functional score, but I can't get into it.

The Clown is super though.

For me, Poltergeist and Basic Instinct are the top JG scores--I can listen to the scores or watch those movies over and over again. Of course, there are many others I haven't heard yet.

Basic Instinct is definitely in the Goldsmith top 5.

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One of the best scores ever. I will listen to it tonight!

I love the way the music is a love story mixed with horror music - but it is some of the best love and horror music ever.

The way he uses the strings, woodwinds, brass, percussion... just amazing. His harmonies and melodies. Just amazing. A Goldsmith masterpiece.

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Guest macrea

Really a perfectly scored movie.

KM is very partial to mid-70's to mid-80's, and while I am too for the most part, in the case of Goldsmith you simply cannot dismiss his output prior to that. Blue Max, Sand Pebbles, Planet of the Apes, and Patton are standouts of his career and of film scoring in general.

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I like a lot of his earlier stuff like Patton, Papillon,Blue Max,Logan's Run(partly) and Sand Pebbles. But in the 70's he also made scores that are pretty unlistenable,mainly for thriller/scifi films like The Cassandra Crossing,Twilight's Last Gleaming...and then there's tons of westerns which I'm not too fond of.

I feel in the late 70's early 80's he reached the apex of his themes and orchestrations,and scores like Star Trek TMP,Twilight Zone the Movie,Poltergeist,The Final Conflict,Night Crossing,King Solomon's Mines,The Secret of NIMH,The Great Train Robbery,The Challenge,Inchon,Supergirl,Legend ...ect... were much more lush sounding than what came in the late 80's (overuse of now outdated synths like Hoosiers ) and 90's(generic stuff like Chain Reaction)

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Guest macrea

A lot of it just had to do with trends in film scoring in general. There was a return of acceptance of melody and a "directness" (best word I can think of) that scores in general had in that period. Hence there's something very timeless and accessible to even small scores like Coma or Magic and ones like Capricorn One and The Boys from Brazil. All from 1978, I'm just realizing, an amazing year for Goldsmith. Where he was in his own creative output and what directors were wanting in their scores just seemed to line up somehow. I've encountered people who tripped over themselves to get The Omega Man when it came out, but as right as the score may have been for the film it just isn't very listenable.

Another factor is, of course, the age of the listener. While I can't imagine anyone not listing Star Trek:TMP as a candidate for Goldsmith's best score period, there are folks who will stand on their head to defend Patton for that distinction and for whom TMP is completely unimpressive. Go figure.

While Williams in the 60's was clearly a different voice, Goldsmith's output from the same era should not be overlooked. He did a lot of big, a-list scores then that are well worth exploring. His transitional period seemed to come in the early 70s when he didn't do many features for a while, then he came back with a vengeance with The Wind and the Lion, The Omen etc. and for me that period climaxed with Poltergeist. Many scores that followed were really good, but Poltergeist is where it peaked for me. Certainly Psycho II was a huge step down from that.

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Another factor is, of course, the age of the listener. While I can't imagine anyone not listing Star Trek:TMP as a candidate for Goldsmith's best score period, there are folks who will stand on their head to defend Patton for that distinction and for whom TMP is completely unimpressive. Go figure.

I was born after Patton and I prefer it to STTMP - His best score? Maybe top 15 material. Not to say anything negative about it, but it's clear the style of the main theme is dictated by success of Star Wars - and it doesn't measure up.

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Hey guys! It just occurred to me that, while many good scores by JG were mentioned here, no one seems to have thought of OMEN, the only JG score which won an OSCAR!!!! Does no one like it? What do you think of this one?

Coincidentally (or maybe not so coincidentally, since I have started actively looking for JG), I found OMEN DELUXE SCORE for 8.50 Euros. Who thinks I should get it? (There was also Rambo III, Hollow Man, and The Legend of Bagger Vance by RP).

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I found OMEN DELUXE SCORE for 8.50 Euros. Who thinks I should get it?

I do! It's a fantastic score, intense in places but also incredibly beautiful. You won't find many who think The Omen is JG's single greatest work (as the Academy seemed to), but it's still wonderful. I particularly like the love theme. And the "Deluxe Edition" has the nearly complete score. If you like it, get the other two - Damien: Omen II and The Final Conflict. Actually, get The Final Conflict even if you don't like The Omen, it's totally different. Omen II is actually my favourite of the three, but it's based heavily on material from the first score, which I'd recommend buying first.

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I found OMEN DELUXE SCORE for 8.50 Euros. Who thinks I should get it?

I do! It's a fantastic score, intense in places but also incredibly beautiful. You won't find many who think The Omen is JG's single greatest work (as the Academy seemed to), but it's still wonderful. I particularly like the love theme. And the "Deluxe Edition" has the nearly complete score. If you like it, get the other two - Damien: Omen II and The Final Conflict. Actually, get The Final Conflict even if you don't like The Omen, it's totally different. Omen II is actually my favourite of the three, but it's based heavily on material from the first score, which I'd recommend buying first.

I'm ashamed to say I haven't even seen the movies. I probably should. Yeah, Omen II I also saw in a used CD store. I forgot how much it was, but it was still sealed! Yeah, I'll get OMEN DELUXE. What about Hollow Man and Rambo III?

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Hollow Man is a very good score, but not really essential. Rambo III is also good (though not as good as II), but suffers from a poor performace by the orchestra.

As for the Omen films - none of them are true classics, though the first one is very entertaining. It's not particularly scary, and the story is pretty silly, but it's very well made, worth a rental (even if only to hear the score in context).

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Whatever he composed between 1979 and 1986(ending with Legend)

I just listened to Supergirl for the first time, and while I pretty much enjoyed it overall (will give it a few more spins over the next few days), I'm really wondering what Jerry was inhaling when he decided to use that 'whoosh!' effect.

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Whatever he composed between 1979 and 1986(ending with Legend)

I just listened to Supergirl for the first time, and while I pretty much enjoyed it overall (will give it a few more spins over the next few days), I'm really wondering what Jerry was inhaling when he decided to use that 'whoosh!' effect.

I thought that was incredible.

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I love the music during "They're Here!" because it's classic Goldsmith. Carol Ann's theme is cute. However, I find "Poltergeist" to be the scariest movie I have ever seen. If you're not freaked out by the hand reaching out to Carol Ann from the TV or the clown attack, you're way too desensitized.

I also believe Jerry would have won the Oscar for "Poltergeist" if not for "ET." But then, it was another score to a horror movie, and they might not have wanted to give him another Oscar for the same type of score, without the chorus (save for the end).

I say that knowing full well that they did give two Oscars to Howard Shore and :) Gustavo Santaolalla for essentially writing the same score twice.

"The Omen" is the greatest horror score. Humanity and thrills mixed together perfectly. I'm so glad they made the Deluxe Edition, so I can scream "Ave Satani! Aveeeeeee Sataniiiiiiiiiiiiiiii!" during the decapitation.

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Hollow Man is a very good score, but not really essential. Rambo III is also good (though not as good as II), but suffers from a poor performace by the orchestra.

As for the Omen films - none of them are true classics, though the first one is very entertaining. It's not particularly scary, and the story is pretty silly, but it's very well made, worth a rental (even if only to hear the score in context).

Thanks for the tip, I'm gonna have to watch that, if only to listen to the score!

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Buy the HOLLOW MAN dvd instead and sit back, listen to Jerry's commentary and isolated score. Love that opening title sequence. Oh and buy THE LEGEND OF BAGGER VANCE. Portman is always good value but THE CIDER HOUSE RULES is a much richer score...albeit a bit repetitive.

"Good night you princes of Maine...you Kings of New England. Good night....and good luck"

Hitch

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