Tuesday, January 02, 2007

John Barry - Somewhere In Time OST (1980)

A truly great score can transcend the film it was written for. There are some exemplary film score composers whose music became so tied to the movie that the mere mention of the movie conjured the score in the mind's ear-- John Williams, Alan Silvestri, Ennio Morricone, and John Barry are all masters of the craft.

After Barry's stirring score to the Australian film, Walkabout, he was asked to provide a score for this film adaptation of the Richard Mathieson novel, Bid Time Return. In interviews Barry has said that his father had just died when he'd been asked to score this film and he drew largely on his emotion from the loss of his father when he composed this score. And in his feelings of loss for his father, Barry truly did capture the loss and loneliness of the characters.

This wrinkle in time romance was a box-office flop that has developed a large cult popularity in its subsequent cable, video, and DVD release. Perhaps the largest part of the film's latter day success has been Barry's stirring score which is at times both haunting and poignant. In his score, John Barry ever so perfectly captured the tragic yearning of Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) and Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour). He gave what would otherwise have been a mediocre film the level of emotional depth it needed to make it convincing.

In his music, Barry made you feel Richard's longing for Elise McKenna as he tried to figure out how to get from his time-- 1980, to hers-- 1912. It wasn't just Jane Seymour's radiant beauty it was Barry's haunting score which captured that instant when Richard first lays eyes on the portrait of Elise in a museum at the Grand Hotel. Barry made the viewer feel Richard's longing with every aching note.

From start to finish this score is as much a character in the film as Richard Collier, Elise McKenna, and William Fawcett Robinson (played expertly by Christopher Plummer). And if ever there was a performer in the film deserving of accolades and awards it is John Barry's stirring score.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

"mediocre film?"


Everything about this movie is PERFECT ... !!! The actors, the location, the hybrid historical romance/sci-fi story and, of course, the score ... no need to necessarily trash the film to lift up the score ...

Lots in Costa Rica said...
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