The Boys From Brazil
The Boys From Brazil was another
major work for Goldsmith and his friend Franklin J Schaffner.
Schaffner inspired Goldsmith to write at another level and The Boys From
Brazil may have been the ultimate expression of their collaborations. As discussed in the informative
notes by Jon Burlingame Goldsmith was given the idea to formulate a score around
the grand German and Viennese waltzes of the 19th century by Schaffner. Whether
Goldsmith would have arrived at this conclusion just by viewing the movie no one
will know but Schaffner rammed the thought down Goldsmith's throat ("Think 3/4"
Schaffner would say) to the point that if the score didn't feature a waltz then
I'm sure Goldsmith may not have scored the film.
The soundtrack to The Boys From Brazil has been a firm favourite amongst
Goldsmith's film music fans and the composer himself. As most know A&M Records took the
unusual but inspired step of producing a major suite from key moments in the
score, the first and only time a Jerry Goldsmith score has been presented in
this way. And it may have helped Goldsmith garner another Oscar nomination. The
album was pretty much perfect but apart from the omission of incorporating the
stunning opening cue the one thing that has been a bone of contention
is the sound quality. Back then it was merely adequate and the limited edition
CD from the Master's Of Film Music label was just as weak. And let's not
even talk of the mono isolated track from the old Laser Disc! So the question
for me was did one of Jerry Goldsmith's finest scores sound the way it should? A
sumptuous but powerhouse recording that classical music often retains.
Thankfully Intrada's wondrous new CD set sounds incredible and just what I hoped
Intrada's two disc set presents the film soundtrack as Goldsmith recorded it on
disc one. While the second disc features
Goldsmith's edited versions of the cues that made up the original album, along
with the song "We're Home Again", a couple of classical source cues
conducted by the composer, a source cue written by friend and orchestrator
Arthur Morton and two alternates from the film soundtrack.
Goldsmith's score opens with one of his finest
Main Titles, a grand waltz depicting both protagonists. Lieberman gets the
Viennese element of the waltz while striking and ominous Tuba depicts the German
element for the evil Mengele. Goldsmith's opening is a relatively short
presentation before we are launched into the tense opening sequence.
For the lengthy opening highlight; The Killer's Arrive Goldsmith focuses on Tuba for
creating repeating darkly ominous statements as we watch the young Jewish Nazi hunter
Kohler follow and photograph leading Nazi war criminals gathering in Paraguay.
As more criminals are snapped the cue builds intensity. The film version also
includes the marching band drum overlay. Also of note along the way is a delightful South American
guitar interlude as Kohlar befriends a young boy to help him bug the Nazi
meeting. As leading Nazi Seibet is captured on film arriving at the Airport
Goldsmith concludes with a crescendo and adds a modest snare drum to create a powerful statement. A genuine 'Goose Bump' Goldsmith moment.
What Does He Want in part appeared on the original album and features the
brief wry, bouncing rhythms
'south of the border' but is for the most part a tense and ominous piece for the
actual meeting with Mengele and not used in the film. An earlier highlight is the arrival of Mengele in
which he is given his own fanfare of sorts. A grand but somewhat downbeat
statement of the Nazi theme.
Find It; Don't Believe Me is the thrilling chase as the bug is discovered
and Kohler races back to his apartment to pass on the recording he has made of
the meeting to Lieberman by phone. The ominous stabbing low end brass builds
slowly as Mengele seeks to find the person who has bugged the room. Once the
small boy is revealed as the culprit Goldsmith launches into a frenetic
breathtaking passage of high virtuosity highlighting dancing strings. But with
Mengele and the Nazi henchman in pursuit the ominous brass signals the
inevitable outcome. This cue also reveals music written for the murder of Kohlar
but wasn't used.
Kill Him is an unused cue as Mengele turns his attentions to the small boy
who he coldly orders to be despatched. Noteworthy mention goes to an unused
'skewed' variation of Lieberman's theme that closes the cue. Goldsmith noted that Schaffner would
rarely use all of his intended score in his films and The Boys From Brazil
is a good example of where he made a number of cuts. Admittedly to pretty good
effect, though it would be interesting to hear what these sequences sounded like
with the full score restored.
Reuters News is a short unused cue that showcases the grandeur of the
Viennese element of the waltz as the story moves to Vienna and we see
Lieberman talking to his friend Benyon from the Reuter's News Agency.
The first assassination by the Nazis involves killing a minor Railway
official. The Nazi agent using his car to crash through crates of Broken
Bottles which his victim is standing behind. Again the cue opens ominously as the
car trails his victim and builds to a brass exclamation as the car accelerates
and orchestra is turned into a frenzy as the bottles smash and his victim is
killed in spectacular fashion.
We're Home Again [Film Mix] is the source cue heard on a radio during a
second murder in London. Goldsmith collaborated with his regular lyricist Hal
Shaper and Elaine Page sung. The song is included here
with the vocal slightly
off to the left while the album mix is centre.
It's noted this cue has some slight damage.
S29 is the slate number and an un-named cue that no one has been able to
work out where it was intended for. It appeared in the original album suite
though. The notes say they have inserted it here as
it follows the previous cue on the sheet. Goldsmith recalls the ominous strings
and brass before launching into an ornamental variation on the Lieberman waltz.
Without Hope/Frau Doring focuses on the
meeting between Lieberman and the widow of Doring. A solemn piece but at the end
incorporating a lightly
comedic moment hinting at Frau Doring's flirtatious overtones.
The opening is another unused sequence in which Kohlar's friend Bennett meets
with Lieberman and bullies him in to allowing him to help, which was unused in
Do Yours is another unused cue and may have been intended for an unused
sequence. The notes tell us it was intended for a scene showing Mengele's anger
at Seibert for being so concerned at Lieberman's investigations. Goldsmith
provides a harrowing statement of the Nazi theme to depict Mengele's rage.
The Dam sees another assassin (Mundt) on a mission to kill. This time
meeting with an ex Nazi friend who turns out to be his next victim. Goldsmith's
opens with a lavish but short version of Lieberman's waltz before the cue
becomes superbly understated showing the spectacular Swedish Dam with tantalizing fragments of
his Nazi theme punctuating the serene and
Over The Top concludes the Dam sequence as Mundt pushes his friend over.
The shocking moment and long fall is captured brilliantly in Goldsmith's score
as the orchestra explodes into a cacophony. The second part of the cue
deals with the meeting with the imprisoned ex Concentration Camp guard Freda
Maloney. Interestingly Goldsmith does not focus on her musically, instead the
cue focuses on the dialogue and the unravelling of the mystery. Goldsmith shows
his lightness of touch with a fluid but delicate piece of underscore.
December 11th has grim sounding bass notes dominating Lieberman's waltz
as Lieberman and his sister discuss the mounting evidence of Mengele's sinister
The Hospital [Revised] is one of the highlights of the score and the
original album suite. Here Mengele visits the now derelict Hospital in the South
American jungle and recalls the days when he impregnated a group of Women with
the cloned Hitler embryos. The darkness and eeriness of the moment are subtly
conveyed in the scoring with stabbing brass revealing flashes from the past.
When we're transported back to those earlier days the sequence is punctuated with a full statement
of the Nazi theme before returning to the dark derelict hospital.
Incredibly Goldsmith manages to create a beautifully elegiac moment for Mengele.
Jungle Holocaust deals with Seibert's raid on Mengele's Jungle compound
and its destruction after Nazi higher powers order the project terminated.
Goldsmith unleashes a wild and relentless piece. Brass figures dominate but
strings dance manically around them.
Old Photos is another one of the unreleased highlights and deals primarily with Mengele's arrival in Pennsylvania and the
Wheelock Farm. Goldsmith's creeping cue is inspired painting Mengele as a
snake slithering along. Again Goldsmith brilliantly builds tension but this time with focus
on woodwinds and what could be described as a new motif for Mengele. The
remainder of this cue then deals with Lieberman's theme which gets a more whimsical
arrangement as he also arrives in
You! is another unused cue meant for the brief
struggle between Mengele and Lieberman at the Wheelock Farm. Goldsmith's swirling strings,
punctuating snares and angry
brass figures are as
brutal as the fight that ensues, while the serene woodwinds were intended to
show the Wheelock boy coming home on his bike.
The finale cue Print!; The Dark Room; End Titles covers the assault
by the Dogs on Mengele and its aftermath. Goldsmith continues the brutal assault
from the previous cue as Mengele is finally silenced. Swirling strings whip to a
frenzy while the ever present brass focuses on the snarling biting dogs.
particular growling as Mengele is ripped apart. For the aftermath Goldsmith's
music becomes reflective but still with an ominous under tone. This is properly
realised as the finale scene shows the Wheelock boy developing photos of the
assault and reveals he has kept the necklace that Mengele had at the Hospital. Goldsmith builds
his Nazi theme to a
crescendo then resolving the score with a lengthier end
title rendition of his magnificent waltz.
As mentioned Disc two opens with the album presentation and features
selections from the score discussed above. Along with the alternate version of
the song. We also have the Goldsmith conducted source music heard at Mengele's
Jungle Compound (Siegfried Idyll by
Wagner) and the Nazi 'party' (The
Blue Danube by Strauss). Arthur Morton's South American instrumental used
as a Radio source cue (Ismael's Samba) then follows.
The final two cues are slight variations on two earlier highlights. The
Killer's Arrive [Without Percussion Overlay] is a superior listen compared
to the film version. The marching band element is of course vital to
the original scene but this alternate is very
welcome. The Hospital is slightly different from the film version with
brass in the centre of the cue subdued and noted as less powerful.
Intrada's latest "WOW" title
is such a fantastic gift for Goldsmith fans. Like all of Intrada's releases the love that
went into it shines through. But when it comes to Goldsmith-Intrada titles there
is just that little bit more. Mr Fake is probably Goldsmith's biggest fan and he
of course ensures that when they release something from the Goldsmith canon it
gets extra special treatment. As a Goldsmith fan I am indebted to Mr Fake and
the Intrada team for this beautiful release of such an important score.