Dismiss Notice
We are making some updates and reconfigurations to our server. Apologies for any downtime or slow forum loading now or within the next week or so. Thanks!

Fantastic movies nearly destroyed by horrible music

Discussion in 'Visual Arts' started by Dan C, Jun 24, 2003.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer Thread Starter

    The West
    I'm talking about the musical score.

    Hoosiers is what got me thinking about this. I first saw this movie when it came out in '86 and I love it to this day.
    They get the small town middle America setting in the 1950s exactly right. Stellar performances by Gene Hackman and Dennis Hopper. Yeah, we always knew they'd win the state tournament but it's a thrilling ride. We love these kids when it's over and I never get tired of watching it.

    Except for that goddamn music!!!! 80s ear piercing schlock at it's worst. The whole score revolves around the evil Yamaha DX-7 digital keyboard. Certainly my choice for the worst "musical instrument" ever developed. :mad: On top of that we're treated to what sounds like a room full of cheesy drum machines set on "stun".

    The music is so obnoxious and out of place from the rest of the movie it's hard to ignore it. Still I think this film is so good that it somehow overcomes this musical stumble, but it's hard not to think about how much better it could've been with a good score.

    Dan C
  2. Jymn

    Jymn Formerly skysaxon

    Almost all of Spike Lee's movies! I can't watch them because of instrusive and loud music.
  3. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE. Max Steiner, I believe, and a rare dud from him. It's a movie that, frankly, needed very little music to start with.

    And virtually any swords'n'sandals 'epic' has music that's generally bad, in keeping with the general intrinsic badness of such enterprises to start with.

  4. Roland Stone

    Roland Stone Offending Member

    How many movies have an obligatory montage scene over the cross-merchandised single, often neatly excised for the pre-release music video? It usually occurs in the narrative right after the characters fall in or out of love, containing lots of instantly recognizable greeting card shots of domestic bliss and childlike shenanigans for the highs, and blue-lit pans of wall-staring and smoking for the latter.

    The first I can remember is "Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head" from BUTCH CASSIDY & THE SUNDANCE KID. The worst was the characters lip-synching Aimee Mann in MAGNOLIA, a sequence which seemed to have wandered in from a George Michael video.

    The second NAKED GUN installment contained a dead-on parody of this sort of exercise in lazy film-making.
  5. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    One of my brothers actively dislikes the score for Michael Mann's MANHUNTER. But then, he didn't watch MIAMI VICE every week either, otherwise he would have been used to the synth work, and for me, it's just fine for the film. But without the clever use of "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida," I think I might not be so kindly disposed toward it today. It IS loud, and at times intrusive, but it was that way in the theater, too, so that was an artistic decision on someone's part(the director, I hope!)

  6. Ken_McAlinden

    Ken_McAlinden MichiGort Staff

    Livonia, MI
    I love "The Third Man", but I don't share the enchantment and/or fascination that many others seem to have for the "Zithermania" score. Certain passages are alright, but over the course of the film, it really starts to grate on me.

    I thought "The Princess Bride" had a nice enough score, but it would have benefitted tremendously if most of it had been arranged for and played by an orchestra rather than a synthesizer.

    One thing some of the modern television composers are starting to realize is that they can make their synth scores sound much more professional by supplementing it with just a few live acoustic instruments. A cello here, an oboe there, maybe a touch of brass, and its sounds much less "synth-ee" without having to employ an entire ensemble.

  7. Irwin Mainway

    Irwin Mainway Forum Resident

    Nashville, TN

    For the same reasons that Dan C hates Hoosiers. Bad synthesizers, mang!
  8. Jamie Tate

    Jamie Tate New Member

    Bikini Car Wash Babes. That movie was just ruined by bad 80's synth music.
  9. reechie

    reechie Senior Member

    Pretty much any Marx Brothers movie made for MGM.

    Thanks to the likes of Allan Jones, Tony Martin, Kenny Baker, et, al (who all managed to make you miss Zeppo!).. Pretty much any time the romantic lead opened his mouth in song, it was time to get a snack, or make a bathroom run.

    At least Abbott and Costello usually had the Andrews Sisters!
  10. Evan L

    Evan L Beatologist

    I always fast forward these anytime a romantic subplot or musical number(besides Chico and Harpo solos)begins. Urrrgh!
  11. Xyzzy

    Xyzzy New Member

    Personally, I love the Scarface score. Maybe I listen to too much rap.

    However I would like to submit the movies of Kevin Smith for consideration and a movie in which the score was the last straw for me was Pollock.
  12. rjp

    rjp Senior Member

    every single about the movie "armageddon" was unreasonably loud: the voices, the score, the rock songs, the special effects.

    it made the entire movie very tedious to watch.

  13. Matt

    Matt New Member

    The song tacked on to the end credits of "Crouching Tiger" felt painfully wrong. It's standard practice to do that (at least 4 out of 5 Oscar nominees for Best Song seem to be used in this manner), but for a period movie with some arthouse credentials, it felt really off.

    "The Insider." I liked how Mann used Moby in "Heat," but during some parts of "The Insider," the synth-pop music just doesn't work. It kind of dates "Manhunter," too, but it doesn't bother me as much there.
  14. R. Cat Conrad

    R. Cat Conrad Almost Famous

    D/FW Metroplex
    Dragonslayer ('81) Alex North produced one of the most uninvolving and inappropriate scores imaginable for what was an otherwise excellent S&S epic. The music is a REAL disappointment; especially the cutey-pie Disney-like theme music played at the very end and over the closing credits. Bleeetch!

  15. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    Godard's ALPHAVILLE, come to think of it. Of course, being Godard, we can be sure the arch, loud music that jumps in out of nowhere throughout is quite intentional, meant to jolt, in his typical anti-commercialistic fashion. While it can be funny if you're in the mood, not so enjoyable if you're not. On the other hand, the equally anti-commercial LE MEPRIS(CONTEMPT)has an admittedly dour, yet unforgettable Georges Delerue score you're glad you've heard, in spite of its dark leanings.

  16. guy incognito

    guy incognito Senior Member

    Agreed. There's one theme in particular that's repeated incessantly throughout the film (dum dum da-dum da da da, dum dum da-dum DA da da...) and sounds like it was intended for a buddy/comedy pic rather than a terse adventure drama of conflict, distrust and greed.

    I also agree with Mr. McAlinden about the Third Man theme. A good piece that's ruined through overuse.
  17. pdenny

    pdenny 19-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Hawthorne CA
    skysaxon already mentioned Spike Lee, and I'll be more specific: Malcolm X. Rendered almost unwatchable by a creepy, innapropriate orchestral soundtrack that sounded like it was lifted from PLAN 9 or some other awful 50's horror flick. I just don't get it. Despite his best intentions (or perhaps because of them), with the exception of DO THE RIGHT THING, Lee's movies strike me as very expensive student films.
  18. Claus

    Claus Senior Member

  19. Matt

    Matt New Member

    This may be a bad thing to do, but I often tune out a lot of the old scores to classic 30's and 40's films. Not completely, but I don't focus much attention on them. I've seen "Treasure of the Sierra Madre" several times, but I can't recall anything about the score; I guess that's a good thing if it's really that bad.

    As for "The Third Man," I can't really say it feels overused. Right down to the end, I like how it was used. It's really the only zither music I know of, but I never had complaints about it.
  20. Michael

    Michael I LOVE WIDE S-T-E-R-E-O!

    Every JET LI Movie! What's Rap got to do with it? Pitiful...Great action, unfortunately they become "Silent Movies"...intolerable:laugh: Does he really like that stuff? Or does he just have a BAD Musical director? Geez....
  21. ascot

    ascot Senior Member

    Do you even need the sound on for this?
  22. Tim Casey

    Tim Casey Active Member

    Boston, MA USA
    Okay, I'm going WAY back here. "The Man Who Laughs" was a big-budget Universal silent from 1928 with synchronized Vitaphone-type soundtrack. GREAT film by Paul Leni with Conrad Veidt. Very germanic, great story, creepy makeup. At the end, just when you're about to get taken in by the sappy ending (which doesn't seem sappy just yet) the soundtrack breaks into some horrid love song that reminds me of "Sweet Mystery Of Life" from Young Frankenstein. Most people's reactions (even in 1928, I would imagine) are along the line of "what the f#%$?"

    It's such a rare film that even if you have to suffer through this audio mistake, you're lucky.
  23. Ed Bishop

    Ed Bishop Incredibly, I'm still here

    John Wayne's ANGEL AND THE BADMAN. A B-movie, some nice things in it, with the late and lovely Gail Russell as the doe-eyed girl who wins the gunslinger's heart, but the score is terrible beyond belief. This time, I can't remember who did it, and don't want to. The film has been praised as underrated--and in some ways, it may be--but as a public domain title for so long, the faded image was the least of its problems. The music is just horrendous when it's not dull and predictable, even by western standards.

  24. guy incognito

    guy incognito Senior Member

    That would be Richard Hageman, who was certainly capable of better (Stagecoach, Mourning Becomes Electra, She Wore A Yellow Ribbon).
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page