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Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Arthur Morton

Recorded By
Eric Tomlinson

Performed By
The National Philharmonic

Album Produced By
Douglas Fake
Jerry Goldsmith

Special Collection Volume ISC 280

Previous Release(s)
VJF 5004D
RVF 6004D

Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Limted Edition Release

Reviewed By
Brandon Moore

Cues & Timings

1. Main Title (Part 1) (1:16)
2. Main Title (Part 2) (1:55)
3. The Market (1:05)
4. All In Vain (3:24)
5. The Picnic (4:04)
6. Plans (5:08)
7. First Test (0:43)
8. Too Much Work (1:33)
9. Success (3:44)
10. First Flight (Original) (9:39)
11. The Car 2:19

12. The Patches (2:51)
13. Short Of Time (2:44)
14. Tomorrow We Go (1:05)
15. The Chemist (1:32)
16. No Time To Wait (5:35)
17. Final Flight (6:15)
18. Into The West (Revised) (3:41)
19. End Titles (1:14)

The Extras
20. Steel Guitar (0:52)
21. First Flight (Revised) (9:38)
22. Into The West (Original) (3:41)

Soundtrack Ratings







Night Crossing


Night Crossing was a Cold War drama based on the true story about two families that escaped East Germany into West Germany in 1979. The incredible danger the two families faced was trying to cross the Berlin Wall, which they succeeded in doing in a hot air balloon! Jerry Goldsmith signed on for this exciting Disney Adventure and provided one of his most thrilling and tense scores to what added to a memorable year of his music.

The score consists of two major thematic ideas, one being a driving unison string ostinato representing the pursuit of the 'Nazi like' East German SSD and the ominous Wall itself. The other being a theme of hope and courage for the Strelzyk and Wetzel families' and their escape in their home made balloon.

Goldsmith's elaborate score effortlessly conveys the diverse elements of the dramatic story, primarily the exhilaration and wonder of flight, occasionally hinting at his triumphant score to The Blue Max. While a flourishing waltz, highlighted by Accordion, expresses the peaceful German countryside and the families' lives, and is a little reminiscent of The Boys From Brazil. While the composer's suspense writing is second to none, here in particular Goldsmith meats out some wild orchestral workouts, notably during the violent Main Title theme, his most aggressive opening since Capricorn One.

First Flight remains a standout cue combining hope and despair in equal measure as the Strelzyk family fails to cross over and instead crashes into the border zone just short of the West. Some passages sound ominous and could be influenced by Dimitri Kabalevsky, especially the haunting low brass chords progressing almost like a Russian male choir as the Strelzyk family realises they have to wait it out until morning so as not to be found. The Patches is one of Goldsmith's finest cues in the film where the family theme is given a melancholy treatment with touching woodwind and horn solos.

Goldsmith's understanding of how a score can give a scene momentum is apparent in a latter sequence when the SSD is closing in and about to uncover their attempt to escape during the movie's final act. At this point the score builds into nail biting intensity (No Time To Wait) with a spiralling piano figure as one of the Strelzyk's neighbours, who has been working for the SSD, realises that the attempting defectors have been under his nose the entire time.

Intrada originally released the score in 1987, one of a series of rare unreleased soundtracks by Jerry Goldsmith made available for the first time. They then re-issued the score in 1994 as a limited edition CD adding 8 new cues which included some memorable missing suspense cues; Short Of Time and The Car as well as the previously missing Prologue and End Credits. But equally important they discovered a superior source and re-mastered the score completely. Gone is the dull, closed in sound, now the score literally soars and the playing by NPO sounds simply breathtaking.

Night Crossing remains a memorable outing for Jerry Goldsmith as he delivers a powerful testament to the courage and commitment of two families sacrificing their all in the slender hope of attaining something most of us take for granted - freedom.