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The Patriot or War Horse?


WampaRat
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The Patriot vs. War Horse  

78 members have voted

  1. 1. Which score do you prefer?

    • The Patriot
      20
    • War Horse
      58


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Two sweeping romanticized war films scored by the Maestro.  Different eras, and different continents. Yet both have moments of heroics, tragedy, love, terror, soaring pastoral moments. In short, all the ingredients for a great Williams score. 
 

The Patriot may be the more upfront action/adventure score. War horse is perhaps more gentler. Sort of an E.T.  Set in WWI. But “No Man’s Land” could certainly compete with “Tavington’s Trap” in getting your pulse racing. 
 

What’s your favorite?

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I picked the Patriot. Nostalgia pushes that one over the line for me. Although I realize now how similar the main theme is to “Dry Your Tears Afrika” and the Civil Rights portion of Williams American Journey symphony. 

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I really like a handful of tracks from The Patriot, but in terms of sheer craft and melodic content War Horse wins by a country mile.

 

Strangely I generally enjoy listening to my selections from The Patriot more though. It's a bit more fun.

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1 minute ago, Richard Penna said:

I really like a handful of tracks from The Patriot, but in terms of sheer craft and melodic content War Horse wins by a country mile.

 

Strangely I generally enjoy listening to my selections from The Patriot more though. It's a bit more fun.

 

So you actually like The Patriot more, but think War Horse is somehow objectively better?

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Kinda tricky. They're both good scores, but not top shelf Williams for me. THE PATRIOT has that 'autopilot' feel with the AMISTAD-like theme, but Williams autopilot can be excellent. WAR HORSE has some lovely pastoral bits (I still consider it his best post-2005 score), but also less involving bits in his recent, more motivic style. If someone put a gun to my head, I suppose I would pick WAR HORSE.

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17 minutes ago, Jurassic Shark said:

 

So you actually like The Patriot more, but think War Horse is somehow objectively better?

 

There's better crafting and there's more fun and involving to listen to - different things.

 

It's why I don't go along with unconditional praise for Williams despite undoubtedly finer craft than many. It doesn't always mean that the end result is more interesting.

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When an expansion is eventually released, I look forward to this “Gabriel’s Letter cue”


There’s a little melody at :58 seconds into the clip (and right at the end but it gets cut off) that only appears once on the ost. Kind of a “family hardship” motif. But it appears in the film a handful of times.

Also the beautiful “North Star” motif plays more throughout the film (cant find that specific clip when Martin’s daughters are looking at the sky at night pointing to the North Star) I believe it too only pops up once on the ost. 

 

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I voted for The Patriot because it's one of my favorite Williams scores, but I can understand most people preferring WH.

 

War Horse is a great score, had a great OST and the sessions leaked a few years ago, so people have a more thorough idea of the whole thing.

 

The Patriot, on the other hand, has some wonderful unreleased cues that might change some unfavorable opinions when the expansion is finally released.

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I literally can't decide.  

 

But I just want to say the Keith Lockhart version of the Patriot is probably one of my favorite concert arrangements ever.  It's too bad that arrangement couldn't have been put together for the reprise at the end of the OST.  As Thor mentioned, it's not complex, but that's not necessarily bad.  In fact, it has the ability to rouse a lump to my throat.

 

But War Horse is not to be underestimated.  I think it's just slightly less in your face than the Patriot.  Slightly.  But that friendship theme (used in the absolutely magnificent War Horse Trailer) is just achingly beautiful.

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One interesting thing about both movies: John Williams' music single handedly makes these films better than they otherwise would've been with a "lesser" composer. Emmerich has a lot to thank to Williams for turning The Patriot into an emotional experience for the viewer.

 

Of course, he should've thanked him by hiring Williams to score all his subsequent movies instead of Thomas Wanker.

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36 minutes ago, Edmilson said:

Of course, he should've thanked him by hiring Williams to score all his subsequent movies instead of Thomas Wanker.

 

Nah, would've been a waste of Williams' time.

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The Patriot was one of those scores that I skipped at the time after sneaking a little bit into it. I more or less just know the suite. Probably it is still better than anything we could expect to come out nowadays from other film composers. So, I would definitely go for an expansion.

But War Horse caught me immediately. Clear winner for me.

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Patriot is one of the rare instances of me watching the movie and having no knowledge beforehand that JW wrote the music. Once the movie got going, it was obvious I was listening to a JW soundtrack and that was a really nice surprise.

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The main theme from The Patriot is the most stirring thing in either of the two scores. 

 

However overall War Horse is better - though, it is also a bit disjoint o album (mainly due to the film). But in the film proper, it shines.

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They are both good, though War Horse touches upon (but does not dwell long) greatness.  A little too indebted to RVW for my tastes.

 

The Patriot's main theme is just a bit too on the nose for me.  Its good and rousing, but it is missing something that keeps it from being a true classic for me.  I don't know music well enough to articulate way, but it seems like a melody of a just mostly quarter notes in standard time, whereas his other big pieces do not.  But, again, I don't know music well enough--perhaps it is no different from others.  

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I voted for The Patriot just because of the main piece from the score which Ive always really loved. But maybe the rest of the score should go to War Horse. I don't know. I like them both but neither are top tier for me. 

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On 26/02/2022 at 9:46 AM, Tom said:

The Patriot's main theme is just a bit too on the nose for me.  Its good and rousing, but it is missing something that keeps it from being a true classic for me.  I don't know music well enough to articulate way, but it seems like a melody of a just mostly quarter notes in standard time, whereas his other big pieces do not.  But, again, I don't know music well enough--perhaps it is no different from others.  

 

I know what you mean: the main theme (or whatever you want to call the first theme you hear in 'The Patriot' / 'The Patriot Reprise') is a bit plain by JW standards. But there are quite a few excellent themes, some one-offs and some recurring.

 

I just adore this brass chorale later in the End Credits, which was unfortunately cut from the published concert arrangement: https://youtube.com/clip/UgkxC_o8dHX4JYvYM1jYYVVCJiKNYqy-HO4S

 

And there's a lovely, twice-occurring theme for Benjamin's daughter Susan:

 

 

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59 minutes ago, Disco Stu said:

Plain is a good word for that main theme, but in a positive sense.  "Unembellished, without addition or decoration."  Homespun is another good word.  It expertly evokes this sort of idyllic domestic rural feeling, with a feeling of simple folk music and "shape note" style sacred music of early American history.  It's nice and easy to sing.

 

Needless to say, I eat it up.

I always really liked the folksy violin theme that opens the main theme concert arrangement but the brassy theme is kinda as close to JW on autopilot as you can get (and let’s face it his autopilot mode better than most composers doing their best work). I think on the nose describes the brassy theme well. The violin theme feels a lot more, I dunno, authentic? Having said all that, I voted for War Horse.

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I associate both scores with Christmas time. (War Horse came out on Christmas and I received The Patriot on DVD when I was younger for Christmas)

 

A few years ago I would have said War Horse by a long shot.  Not anymore.  It's rather close for me personally as I've grown to love The Patriot.

 

But it's still War Horse for me.  An absolutely perfect score.

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8 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

Comparing these two films is like comparing CITIZEN KANE to SUPERMAN IV

 

Nah, they're pretty even. Both are good films, but both also have issues.

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6 minutes ago, bruce marshall said:

PATRIOT is crap.

You idolize Emmerich and can't be objective😉

 

I don't know about that. I think ANONYMOUS, WHITE HOUSE DOWN and STONEWALL are rather bad films, for example. But yes, I am a hardcore fan of Emmerich, and I think THE PATRIOT is one of his finest. The sheer intensity of it all (both the mise-en-scene and the powerful performance by Gibson, in particular). The fine Williams score is icing on the cake.

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