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Scores to 90s produced Pulp Hero films set in the 1930s/40s

1990s Pulp Hero films set in the 1930s/40s  

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  1. 1. What’s your favorite of the scores?

    • The Shadow (Jerry Goldsmith)
    • The Phantom (David Newman)
    • The Rocketeer (James Horner)
    • Dick Tracy (Danny Elfman)

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Listening to the expanded Rocketeer this weekend got me thinking. In the early to mid 90s there was a crop of films set in the 30s/40s inspired by pulp magazine characters. 
Some were enjoyable. Most were flops. But all had terrific scores. What’s your favorite?


(Ps- While Zorro is a pulp magazine hero his adventures don’t take place in the 30s/40s so I didn’t include Horner’s The Mask of Zorro in this poll;) Also I know the Burton Batman films had a pseudo-1940s feel. But they weren’t really set in that era.

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You're comparing three very good scores by Goldsmith, Newman and Elfman to one of Horner's masterpieces, so...

The Shadow AINEC.

The Shadow. Rocketeer always was overrated (The Flying Circus notwithstanding), the Newman and Elfman are also-ran's. Though i agree the 1994 movie was tacky (but not un-entertaining).

Yeah. HD is no friend of the Shadow lol. Killer score though. Film is campy as all get out. But fun. 

I tried watching the Phantom the other day (slipped by me as a youngster in the 90s) I was surprised by how boring it was. A purple-clad superhero living in a dark jungle fighting pirates and looking for skulls in the 40s should be a blast right? And it was super dull😔

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Score-wise, THE PHANTOM wins. But I was not, and still am not, a fan of the movie. I collected and obsessed over the Phantom comics as a kid (it was far more popular in Norway than in its country of origin), and I was more attracted to the stylish and slightly darker versions by Hans Lindahl or Jaime Valvée than I was the original Lee Falk strip. So I was disappointed by the film, which was a campy affair - and had the rather feminine Billy Zane in the title role. The comic should have been adapted by, and directed by, someone from Northern Europe, not from Australia. But again - the score remains a favourite, and I still consider it Newman's best.


The other scores are fine too. I'd rank THE ROCKETEER second, DICK TRACY third and THE SHADOW fourth.

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12 hours ago, Jurassic Shark said:

What about The Spirit? It was made only a decade too late.

I was going to say thah but it’s a decade too late for the question posed. But it does have a terrific David Newman score, much underrated next to the more popular effort for The Phantom. Having said that, I went for The Rocketeer…

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