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Saving Private Ryan

Pieter Boelen

Saving Private Ryan (John Williams)  

60 members have voted

  1. 1. How do you rate this score?

    • 5 stars
    • 4,5 stars
    • 4 stars
    • 3,5 stars
    • 3 stars
    • 2,5 stars
    • 2 stars
    • 1,5 stars
    • 1 stars
    • I'm not familiar with this score

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even the JW fans once rated it the 18th best Steven Spielberg film score, hmmmm, collectively the group maybe smarter than I give credit.

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If you think this is a bad score you need to get your hearing fixed.

It takes maturity to understand this music and subject matter.

Omaha Beach is an absolutely perfect track.

For me this is in the top ten of all time scored scenes, he hit it right on the head.

Also stealing from Nimrod a bit.


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  • 7 months later...

4.5 stars. This was a real return to form for John Williams, with cues like Wade's Death being the best underscore he'd written in years. The score edits and retracks made the in film presentation suffer, but on album, we can hear what was intended, and we can match it to image.

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sorry but you think Batman Begins Again is a great score, so I take what you see with little regard

heh, i find that ironical after you said POTC is a guilty pleasure of yours

And that i was more or less over-analised when i said what you said to Koray to you...

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The Terminal has a fun main theme but at times the rest of the score feels like Williams on autopilot.

So THIS is where Luke got his comment about The Mummy and Goldsmith.


No not really, that post is a year old in a thread that has been re-activated today...

Mark is not the only to say there are autopilot scores.

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  • 7 years later...
2 hours ago, Alexcremers said:


This Dutch song (very famous in Holland and Belgium) by the late Ramses Shaffy originates from 1972 and it strongly reminds me of Saving Private Ryan's main theme. They're not the same notes but the feeling it evokes is exactly the same. 





I kind of see what you mean. For what is often seen as a 70's protest song it is actually surprisingly "anthemic", for lack of a better word.


Good song too!

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SPR is a fantastic film and fantastic score.  Not because it has so many wonderfully memorable tunes but because the score so perfectly fits the story and the subtext.  This is JW's equivalent of Jerry Goldsmith's Patton.  For those of you who haven't seen that masterpiece, it is a 3 hour war film that basically encapsulates all elements of what makes a war film great.  Jerry's score only had around 30 minutes of music so the film is almost entirely unscored.  The music though has three elements.  The hymn like religious, the trumpet fanfare echoplex (which JG would later reuse in Alien) representing Patton's belief in reincarnation, and the martial representing the military aspects.  So with the music JG encapsulated the character in multiple dimensions with minimal notes.  That is effectively what JW did with SPR.  The drama is almost entirely unscored.  The subtext is where the score lies and this was JW at his most subdued.  He really nailed it at an emotional and sub-textual level and defined a generation of war movie scores such as band of brothers and The Thin Red Line where the score avoided any reference to battle and focused on the personal and psychological aspects of war.  At the time, that was very innovative. @JoeinAR have you seen Patton?


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I like the brass chorale moment in the Hymn.  Oddly though I prefer one of those compilation performance versions of that moment, where the brass sounds much richer.  Love the violins during the climax as well, great counterpoint that's playful without at all going against the reverence of the piece.

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I REALLY disliked SPR (the score -- I loved the movie!) when it first came out. I was 20 years old, and this was smack in the middle of my early Williams exploration. I was discovering his older works while also keeping up with what came out at the time. So the "slowness" and suggestive nature of this was the antithesis of the more exuberant Williams from the past that I was discovering and enjoying.


Of course, these days -- as an old and mellowed man -- I really like it. In fact, it's the very thing I disliked as a youngster, I now fully appreciate. So you can definitely say it's a score that grows on you.


In fact, when it comes to Williams, I seem to have done a complete 180. I still love the STAR WARSes and SUPERMANs and HOME ALONEs and what-have-you; they're part of my musical DNA, so to speak -- but my interest and enjoyment now primarily lie in either the obscure (especially the older stuff) or the more serene, laidback, textural, suggestive. Perhaps it's a natural evolution when you've obsessed over a composer for 25 years.

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