Try & Buy From

Music Conducted By
Jerry Goldsmith

Orchestrations By
Arthur Morton

Recorded By

Performed By
The National Philharmonic Orchestra

Albums Produced By

Jerry Goldsmith

Prometheus Records PCD 160

Previous Release(s)
Silva CD, Dart LP

Year Of CD/Film Release

Running Time

Normal Release

Cues & Timings

1 Ransom - Main Theme (02:41)
2 Standard Issue (01:49)
3 Queen's Messenger (02:39)
4 Mission Aborted (05:05)
5 No Alternative (02:23)
6 Sky Chaser (05:40)
7 Course Of Action (02:59)
8 Just Sit Tight (02:39)
9 No Alternative (Reprise) (02:24)
10 Peeping Tom (02:39)
11 Ransom - End Credits (02:38)

Soundtrack Ratings







Ransom (aka The Terrorists)


A rather gritty, or should I say grubby looking 70's thriller afforded Jerry Goldsmith an unusual opportunity to write an overblown period orchestral score for Casper Wrede's tedious thriller. Even with the odd set piece, most notably a 737 airliner making an emergency landing and blowing its tyres in the process, and picturesque snow covered vistas it remains unremarkable.

So feeble are the thrills it's only watchable for Goldsmith's at times bombastic score. And definitely one of those efforts that would be a lot of fun properly re-recorded. In fact Goldsmith's elaborate theme and major cues often seem to resemble a symphony. A grand scale score that does not befit Ransom the movie but was clearly intended to help make it exciting and suspenseful.

The film itself includes a good crop of extra cues that should have appeared on the official soundtrack album. Clearly there was room and it was unnecessary to include an alternate airliner cabin source cue and three repeated cues! It is bizarre that some of the classic additional suspense cues were not considered ripe for inclusion. The cue when Connery's Colonel Tahlvik starts to realise what has been going on is pure Goldsmith.

Sadly this new CD does not include any extra music, it is assumed these tapes are lost forever, but it does at least allow fans to banish Silva Screen's dreadful sounding and looking CD to the waste bin. The new CD from Prometheus at least makes this score look and sound a lot more respectable, principally by presenting a dramatically cleaned up LP source. Years ago the thought of an LP source would make a soundtrack fan's heart sink. Now days modern technology has allowed an LP to be cleaned up and resemble a tape. In fact unless you play it with headphones you probably won't spot what this is. Admittedly it still sounds a relatively rough recording and sometimes a little bright but it is most definitely a listenable soundtrack rather than a space filler for a Goldsmith fan's CD collection.

The Ransom Main Theme introduces Goldsmith's warm and at times powerful theme dominated by brass and percussion. It is here you spot that Goldsmith has gone off into a completely different direction to the movie he should be scoring. The film has no romantic element but Goldsmith's theme is almost a love theme. I can't quite fathom what the motivation was though. At a long shot it was the odd Swedish winter vista. Though apart from one sequence it all looks rather cold and bleak. Either way Goldsmith's ability to come up with a good theme in difficult and uninspiring circumstances reminds us how great Goldsmith was at writing music, let alone fashioning a film score to a film.

Standard Issue is a variation of the source cue heard in the airliner cabin during the hostage sequences but not the one used in the film. Nothing special apart from a pop variation of the main theme more akin to a lounge or elevator.

Queen's Messenger introduces Goldsmith's powerful action theme for Ransom. Thunderous percussion dominates the early part of the cue before a reflective middle section, rounding out with a tense drawn out final flurry of piano, woodwinds and percussion.

Along with Sky Chaser, Mission Aborted is the other major score set piece. Again a rather tedious sequence is transformed into a thrilling and tense set piece courtesy of the maestro. A lone security operative makes his way round the airport and manages to board the hostage plane through a concealed entrance under the cockpit. Goldsmith's wily brass provides the momentum as strings provide the bed for classic Goldsmith piano and percussive exclamations adding further to the tension.

No Alternatives begins with another powerful quote of the Ransom theme before leading into a melancholy arrangement of the main theme. Goldsmith supports his delicate tempo with strings while piano and woodwinds showcase the melody.

Sky Chaser is the most elaborate cue of the score for what I suppose is the most elaborate sequence of the film. A small plane that has been helping the hostage takers keep an eye on what is going on at the Airport is spotted by the Police and makes its escape. It is then 'chased' by a Police plane. Goldsmith's lengthy cue plays at full volume, as does the majority of the score, but here particularly dominating the impressive scenery. Watching and listening to this sequence leads me to believe someone involved in the film was a huge Goldsmith fan and clearly wanted Goldsmith to run away with the sequence.

Course Of Action initially returns to the brooding drama following on from the elaborate Sky Chaser before introducing a rhythmic action variation of the main theme as the security forces attempt to smoke out the watcher on the Airfield. Goldsmith's suspenseful cue is another highlight with delicate strings dominated by more of Goldsmith's infectious jagged piano.

Just Sit Tight should have the word 'reprise' in brackets after its name as it is nothing more than Queen's Messenger!

No Alternative (reprise) originally turned up on side two of the LP where I assume someone thought the listener would not spot or care too much that it was a repeated cue from Side one. As mentioned earlier there were extra cues that could have filled the gaps when the original album was compiled!

Peeping Tom refers to the photographer that has been watching the hostage drama on the Airfield and is found by the security forces. Musically the first part of this cue is another warm rendition building into an aggressive variant of the main theme. More akin to the film main title presentation which shows the identi-kit image of the lead Terrorist. The second portion deals with the photographer's discovery.

Ransom - End Credits (Main Theme Reprise) closes the score and is the third repeated cue that combines a rather confused downbeat ending with a reprise of the main theme.