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Williams was attached to score Brian De Palma's Mission Impossible?


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Tim replied on Facebook:

It's too bad he didn't score every film in history.

Williams is still sore after Desilu picked up M:I in favour of NIGHTWATCH, I'm sure! In all seriousness, I still can't believe Williams was approached for this, but what do I know?

I guess they tried to get JW first, and then approached Silvestri after he refused.

Anyway, some info here:

http://rejectedfilmscores.150m.com/info.html#MI

Brian De Palma: "Alan Silvestri had written a score. We began recording it, but 5 days later, he had to re-write half of his cues. It wasn't working. I did not have the time to supervise what he had written. He came in with his score and right away went to record it in studio, without taking any notice of my suggestions. It was not what we were looking for, it was too melodic, there always was something too excessive in his music, no matter what we would change. Yet, we kept on doing modifications, but after four sessions, I said to my editor, Paul Hirsch: 'This is not going to work, Tom won't love this music.'. Cruise was filming "Jerry Maguire" at that time.
Danny Elfman was available.
It was complicated to find a good composer who would accept to work from the Lalo Schifrin themes. We dismissed Alan Silvestri and I began working with Elfman. Every day, I went to his home and we reviewed every cue on his computer."

Question: "Didn't you consider using Lalo Schifrin?"

Brian De Palma: "No, I don't think Lalo could have written all the score. We tried to get the best [composers], but most of them wanted to write their own Mission: Impossible theme."
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This bears the question why Lalo 'couldn't have written all the score'. He did full scores then and even for years after that. It seems more like De Palma just didn't want to use him. With the highly commercial nature of the movie i guess he didn't even try something esoteric like Morricone with whom he obviously liked to work, or Donaggio or Doyle, two of his other recent collaborators.

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Yeah, some weird sentiments from De Palma there. Silvestri's music "too melodic"? I find it to be anything but. In fact, it relies more on rhytmic figures than melodies.

It's also strange that he was opposed to Schifrin, when Elfman's score clearly referenced his stylings throughout. Also, as publicist says, Schifrin was very much active at the time. In fact, his RUSH HOUR scores (the first of which came out around the same time) could very well be how a M:I score from him would have sounded.

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Well, for one, there are a few versions of The Mission Impossible theme that do not seem to be Silvestri (one of the tracks on the song album?), also someone mentioned that the cue claiming to be Silvestri's version of the Tunnel Chase sounded like a cue from Eraser.

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Even in those days Schifrin wasn't scoring A list blockbusters and hadn't for a long time. I doubt the studio would have entrusted him with a major project like this.

Again, he did MONEY TALKS in 97 and RUSH HOUR in 98, so he was clearly capable. But De Palma apparently was seeing what Ratner did a year later.

I find it to be anything but.

I am assuming you are referring to the boot that may or may not be Silvestri's rejected score?

Yes. Why would you say it wasn't? He reused some of the ideas later on, for ERASER (which is also commonly known).

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Passion's release was pretty low-key. I'd been waiting for it for years and don't even know if it received a general release here. I still haven't seen it - I'll have to import the Blu-ray at some point.

De Palma's Blu-ray catalogue is a sad affair as far as I'm concerned. Plenty (or perhaps even all) of his early classics have been released by now, but where's Casualties of War (announced but apparently never released), a decent transfer of Mission Impossible (from what I read, the current one sucks), and where are Raising Cain, Snake Eyes, Mission to Mars and Femme Fatale?

Ditto on Passion. There wasn't a BR in the Benelux, and I've waited a couple of years until the French Blu-ray got a bit cheaper, which I got fairly recently. Germany has a BR as well I think, but you should probably look up the differences (if any).

Mission Impossible you should get from Scandinavia, which is different from other releases in the US, EU, etc.

I'd love to get BRs for those films as well, and especially Femme Fatale! My DVD of the latter even has the wrong aspect ratio.

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Silvestri's rejected score contains surely more identifiable melodic content than Elfman's replacement score, which is much more motivic and textural. This scene is a good example, especially the Nixon-like theme that was Silvestri's main thematic idea for the film:

As for De Palma not hiring Schifrin, it looks like he and Cruise probably wanted a top composer on the film, like Williams, Silvestri or Elfman. Who knows, maybe they approached many others.

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God, that Nixon-like theme is awful.

I much prefer Elfman's scoring for the Prague set-up scene. No dated electronics, no interminable drones. Some really nice expressionist, contrapuntal writing--not a world apart from Pino Donaggio, but with a broader brush.

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I guess they tried to get JW first, and then approached Silvestri after he refused.

Anyway, some info here:

http://rejectedfilmscores.150m.com/info.html#MI

Brian De Palma: "Alan Silvestri had written a score. We began recording it, but 5 days later, he had to re-write half of his cues. It wasn't working. I did not have the time to supervise what he had written. He came in with his score and right away went to record it in studio, without taking any notice of my suggestions. It was not what we were looking for, it was too melodic, there always was something too excessive in his music, no matter what we would change. Yet, we kept on doing modifications, but after four sessions, I said to my editor, Paul Hirsch: 'This is not going to work, Tom won't love this music.'. Cruise was filming "Jerry Maguire" at that time.

Danny Elfman was available.

It was complicated to find a good composer who would accept to work from the Lalo Schifrin themes. We dismissed Alan Silvestri and I began working with Elfman. Every day, I went to his home and we reviewed every cue on his computer."

Question: "Didn't you consider using Lalo Schifrin?"

Brian De Palma: "No, I don't think Lalo could have written all the score. We tried to get the best [composers], but most of them wanted to write their own Mission: Impossible theme."

LOL so he didnt want a melodic or excessive score yet he wanted Williams whose earlier works in the decade included: Home alone, Hook, Far and Away, Jurassic Park, schindler's list, sabrina...

Silvestri's score is weird...

These films needed the TV theme anyway. And you cannot order A-list composers to use another's themes...you need young promises composers to do that. I suppose Elfman did not yet had his alledged big ego yet. Zimmer twisted the franchise's musical cohesion for hos own ends...

On a side note. It's amazing how things have changed since M:I. It seems a different kind of film and time...

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Yes, Silvestri's score worked much better in ERASER -- given the tone of the film -- but there are some things to like in it. Elfman's is superior, though, even if it's very complex and challenging -- really the first score that ushered in his love for dense, contrapuntal writing.

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I didn't like it when it first came out (very different from the Elfman I had fallen in love with) -- I even sold it at some point, only to re-acquire it later -- but I've come to appreciate it more over the years.

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These films needed the TV theme anyway. And you cannot order A-list composers to use another's themes...you need young promises composers to do that. I suppose Elfman did not yet had his alledged big ego yet.

Elfman expressed frustration about his experience on Mission Impossibile in at least a couple of interviews.

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These films needed the TV theme anyway. And you cannot order A-list composers to use another's themes...you need young promises composers to do that. I suppose Elfman did not yet had his alledged big ego yet.

Elfman expressed frustration about his experience on Mission Impossibile in at least a couple of interviews.

It seems he had the ego then. But not that big (or he would have left the project...) :P

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Ditto on Passion. There wasn't a BR in the Benelux, and I've waited a couple of years until the French Blu-ray got a bit cheaper, which I got fairly recently. Germany has a BR as well I think, but you should probably look up the differences (if any).

There is a German release, but it lacks English subtitles, which is generally a reason for me to avoid a release.

Mission Impossible you should get from Scandinavia, which is different from other releases in the US, EU, etc.

Does it have a better transfer?

With the ongoing popularity of the series, I'm hoping there will be a box set with new transfers at some point.

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These films needed the TV theme anyway. And you cannot order A-list composers to use another's themes...you need young promises composers to do that. I suppose Elfman did not yet had his alledged big ego yet.

Elfman expressed frustration about his experience on Mission Impossibile in at least a couple of interviews.

It seems he had the ego then. But not that big (or he would have left the project...) :P

I think some of Elfman's best work comes from the projects he tends to get really frustrated with.

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Ditto on Passion. There wasn't a BR in the Benelux, and I've waited a couple of years until the French Blu-ray got a bit cheaper, which I got fairly recently. Germany has a BR as well I think, but you should probably look up the differences (if any).

There is a German release, but it lacks English subtitles, which is generally a reason for me to avoid a release.

Mission Impossible you should get from Scandinavia, which is different from other releases in the US, EU, etc.

Does it have a better transfer?

With the ongoing popularity of the series, I'm hoping there will be a box set with new transfers at some point.

Yes but I'm limited to Region B so sometimes I just have to go for releases without English subtitles.

You'll find the info on the Blu-ray forum for M:I. I think the audio is at least better, if I remember correctly, and maybe the image as well, but you'll find the info there.

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Yes but I'm limited to Region B so sometimes I just have to go for releases without English subtitles.

There's usually at least a UK alternative. And luckily, many US releases are region free, though it's not so easy to get hold of them.

I have a region free player, but it's getting old and has trouble reading discs (not DVDs, oddly, but most Blus), so I usually use my secondary player, which is region B only.

You'll find the info on the Blu-ray forum for M:I. I think the audio is at least better, if I remember correctly, and maybe the image as well, but you'll find the info there.

Thanks, I'll have a look.

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Hey guys! Sorry—I'm just now seeing this thread. I should've realized that little "aside" in my piece would kick up a few question marks, since it was a total revelation to me when I first learned it. Just to clarify and verify, in an interview I conducted with Paul Hirsch last October, Hirsch said this:

"[Williams] was approached about doing Mission: Impossible, and he said, 'Would you mind if I changed the theme?' And they said, 'Oh no, no, no, you can't change the theme.' And he said, 'Well, never mind.' But I thought, you know, hey, if John Williams wants to change the theme, I would be very interested to know what he would have come up with."

...which almost makes it sound like it was a deal-breaker for the studio and not necessarily De Palma. But who knows!

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"[Williams] was approached about doing Mission: Impossible, and he said, 'Would you mind if I changed the theme?' And they said, 'Oh no, no, no, you can't change the theme.' And he said, 'Well, never mind.' But I thought, you know, hey, if John Williams wants to change the theme, I would be very interested to know what he would have come up with."

I wonder what "change the theme" means.

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