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The best ancient Egypt score from roadshow era Hollywood?


JJA
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The best ancient Egypt score from roadshow era Hollywood?  

19 members have voted

  1. 1. Which of these scores do you prefer?

    • Alfred Newman / Bernard Herrmann - The Egyptian (1954)
      5
    • Dimitri Tiomkin - Land of the Pharaohs (1955)
      0
    • Elmer Bernstein - The Ten Commandments (1956)
      10
    • Alex North - Cleopatra (1963)
      4
  2. 2. Which of these films is the your favourite?

    • The Egyptian (1954)
      0
    • Land of the Pharaohs (1955)
      1
    • The Ten Commandments (1956)
      13
    • Cleopatra (1963)
      5


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18 hours ago, Edmilson said:

Isn't Cleopatra the movie that, despite being one of the biggest movies of its year, still was a bomb and almost sunked Fox?

It was self indulgent.

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For score I picked The Egyptian as it's a score I really love, utilising the best of Herrmann and Newman. The original tracks don't sound bad at all although I listen to the re-recording most often. Much though I like The Ten Commandments I have to admit that I've not listened to the full score more than once given how poor the elements often are. The stereo re-recording has all the highlights and super sound (the original release of that sounded pretty decent, I hadn't realised it was a re-recording and was always surprised it sounded so good for the vintage!). Cleopatra is great, of course, but I still vastly prefer Spartacus. I don't recall Land of the Pharaohs but will have to give the Bernstein re-recording another listen. I've never heard the original, given that it's from 1955 I assume the sound quality is a bit hit and miss?

 

For films, I've only ever seen The Ten Commandments and can't say I ever enjoyed it much. I would have to agree with the poster who preferred The Prince of Egypt. On that note, I probably prefer Zimmer's score. Elmer's is a classic, of course, but it's very broad and epic. Zimmer captures much more of the majesty and mystery, as well as the tragedy, especially in tracks like The Burning Bush or Crossing the Red Sea. I really like Stephen Schwartz's songs too, but you can enjoy Zimmer's score on its own. It could use an expanded edition as there's a few missing score tracks that really add to it.

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11 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

For score I picked The Egyptian as it's a score I really love, utilising the best of Herrmann and Herrmann.

 

I didn't know Bernard and Alfred were brothers.

 

12 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

Zimmer captures much more of the majesty and mystery, as well as the tragedy

 

The score is indeed a tragedy!

 

13 minutes ago, Tom Guernsey said:

It could use an expanded edition as there's a few missing score tracks that really add to it.

 

Notre Dame style... ;)

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My sole exposure to any of these films or scores is an 8-minute suite from The Ten Commandments from Silva's Epics compilation.

 

Not a lot of choice that I can think of in the modern era either - Prince of Egypt, the Mummy scores (my top spot), and Gods of Egypt.

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The biblical movies... for me have, pretty much all the same music.

 

For now, in my quest, this album sums a great part of it.

 

 

20211022_184742.jpg

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On 21/10/2021 at 7:07 AM, Jay said:

<-- This guy's never heard any of these scores or seen any of these movies.  Sorry!

These are masterpiece movies.  I'm not distant from you, having only seen Cleopatra 63 a few months ago but it was so fantastic!  I saw the latest version which is 4 hours long (it has a very long and complex history but try to see the latest version, not the studio version).  For example, Liz Taylor totally owns the role as does Richard Burton, they were born to play these roles.  But in the long version, Burton doesn't even show up for the first 90 minutes.  It's completely engrossing and all this makes the climax so powerful.  The film is truly epic and I've never seen another film that quite encapsulated actors born to play these roles with perfect direction and a classic story.  It blew me away.  

 

I grew up with Ten Commandments but much of what I said about Cleopatra can be said about this film too.  Here, Heston and Brynner own their performances.  They are the definitive version of these roles...the ones to which all others are compared to as well as every other role they perform.  The score is fantastic and the story, very well dramatized.  Sure there is excessive melodrama common of the 1950's, but the overall impact is powerfully effective.  These films encapsulate their era.

 

These films are epic and slow burns...watch them in full glory.  Take an afternoon to experience it because they are the great examples of epic stories and deeply emotionally involving.  Similar experience for me when I first saw West Side Story (1961) which I saw for the first time in 2016.  I was first skeptical because of its over the top silliness, but quickly absorbed in the drama, and by the end, deeply moved - transformed - by the experience of watching this film.  It was so freaking amazing!  

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Ten Commandments and Cleopatra are both total classics - both the films and scores.

 

i actually revisited both in the last 12 months, and came away with an immense appreciation for both.

 

 They look insanely spectacular, are grandly entertaining and in their own way are quite well done.

 

cleopatra could even be said to be actually quite literate in its own way and it definitely has an edge - it is most certainly not an all edges scrubbed off blockbuster.

 

 Ten Commandments has old school movie making smarts and rewards repeat viewings too.

 

i highly recommend both. Both scores are excellent too. Ten Commandments score is supremely melodic and has over a dozen beautiful themes that keep rotating throughout the score.

 

cleopatra has some absolutely tremendous themes - all time great variety that flourish beautifully over the runtime.

 

i am actually unfamiliar with the other two movies but both of these are very good picks. 

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