Try & Buy From

Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Arthur Morton

Trumpet Soloist
Uan Rasey

Recorded By

Performed By

Album Produced By

Jerry Goldsmith

Intrada Special Collection Volume ISC 350

Previous Release(s)
Varèse Sarabande
VCL 0512 1129
Varèse Sarabande


Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Normal Release

Cues & Timings

1. Love Theme From Chinatown (Main Title) (1:59)
2. Noah Cross (2:27)
3. Easy Living (Ralph Rainger & Leo Robin) (1:49)
4. Jake And Evelyn (2:41)
5. I Can't Get Started (Ira Gershwin & Vernon Duke) (3:35)
6. The Last Of Ida (2:59)
7. The Captive (3:05)
8. The Boy On A Horse (2:05)
9. The Way You Look Tonight (Jerome Kern & Dorothy Fields) (2:16)
10. The Wrong Clue (2:32)
11. J.J. Gittis (3:05)
12. Love Theme From Chinatown (End Title) (2:03)

Total Album Time: 31:23

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

13. Love Theme From Chinatown (Main Title) (1:56)
14. J.J. Gittis (3:10)
15. Noah Cross I (1:32)
16. Mulwray's Office (1:29)
17. A Late Swim (0:25)
18. The Boy On A Horse (2:06)
19. Easy Living (Ralph Rainger & Leo Robin) (1:48)
20. The Way You Look Tonight (Jerome Kern & Dorothy Fields) (4:35)
21. Noah Cross II (1:11)
22. No Trespassing (0:55)
23. Some Day/The Vagabond King Waltz (Rudolf Friml & Brian Hooker) (3:18)
24. The Last Of Ida II (0:54)
25. Jake And Evelyn (2:46)
26. The Captive (3:15)
27. Second Thoughts (1:03)
28. The Last Of Ida I (2:50)
29. The Wrong Clue II (2:15)
30. The Wrong Clue I (1:19)
31. It's Not Worth It (1:11)
32. Love Theme From Chinatown (End Title) (2:01)

Total Soundtrack Time: 40:46

Soundtrack Ratings








Jerry Goldsmith's replacement score to Phillip Lambro's earlier effort is quite rightly regarded as a classic score. Goldsmith turned out to be the perfect choice (one of the few Hollywood composer to have grown up in the film's period setting), to perfectly capture the mood of the piece, and turning in his work in approximately 10 days! Although relatively modest in duration Goldsmith's task was to climb a mountain and provide the movie with an identity. Which is exactly what he did with one of the finest themes ever written for a motion picture. So good was the composer's 'hook' that legendary producer Robert Evans commented that Goldsmith single handily saved the picture.

Jerry Goldsmith's masterful score to Chinatown features quite an unusual ensemble; made up of strings, four pianos, four harps, guiro, and solo trumpet, which the composer revealed he saw in his head while watching the movie for the first time. The latter instrument went on to define the film's film noir aspect perfectly with its hypnotic bluesy theme (Main Title) for Jack Nicholson's Private Eye, and love theme for the mysterious Evelyn (Faye Dunaway). But the score to Chinatown has a darker, more avant-garde heart to it. It's here that Goldsmith presents a series of unsettling cues for the movie's thriller and mystery elements, remaining a stark contrast to his memorable opening theme.

Noah Cross introduces a kaleidoscope of sound from the lowest registers with bells and harp joined by guiro to create dissonance and motion, while strings and eventually trumpet resonate on an alternate theme. Jake And Evelyn introduces a more contemporary 70's sound with a beautiful reading of his main theme; here Goldsmith capturing intimacy and anticipation with tremolo strings and a delicate piano motif. The Last Of Ida begins with a warmer rendition of Goldsmith's theme for Jake's drive across L.A. before things turn decidedly dark with piano and chimes. Dissonant strings build to a moment of classic Goldsmith action writing as piano and snare drums rally, while the cue signs out with more trumpet and harp. The Captive follows on in a similar vain with piano creating tension, along with shakers and guiro, again to create momentum. Descending strings are now introduced along with castanets and distorted vocalisations, that all prove more chilling than some of Goldsmith's latter work for The Omen.

The Boy On A Horse introduces an eerie feeling of melancholy with a new piano motif, that leads on to more sinister work for strings. With The Wrong Clue and JJ Gites building to the downbeat and dark final act, with a warmer rendition of the love theme juxtaposed with more aggressive moments for the drive to Chinatown and the use of more unnerving piano, harp manipulations and closing with some deliriously giddy brass. The score signs off with the End Title for another chance to savour Goldsmith's memorable theme.

Originally issued on LP, it was finally preserved on CD by Varese in 1995 and later again as part of their CD Club. Finally in 2016 we have the definitive presentation courtesy of Intrada Records which presents the album content along with the full film soundtrack in a clean mono source, from the late composer's own archive. An incredible moment in the Goldsmith canon that sadly missed out on the Oscar, but will be forever remembered as one of the truly great film scores.