Lonely Are The Brave Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score Lonely Are The Brave by Jerry Goldsmith.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 89.1
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 32.4
Album Excellence: 51.4%
Lonely Are The Brave is a 1962 American western film directed by David Miller and starring Kirk Douglas, Gena Rowlands & Walter Matthau. It is an adaptation of the novel The Brave Cowboy by Edward Abbey. Ranch hand Jack Burns (Kirk Douglas) feels out of place in the modern world. Jack deliberately gets into a bar room fight to be imprisoned alongside friend Paul (Michael Kane), arrested for helping illegal aliens. Jack tries to convince Paul to flee with him, but, as a family man, Paul has too much at stake. Jack escapes after a beating from a sadistic police deputy (George Kennedy) and heads for the hills. An extensive manhunt breaks out, led by sympathetic Sheriff Johnson (Walter Matthau). The score is composed by Jerry Goldsmith.
Lonely Are The Brave is one of the first westerns Jerry Goldsmith did and that’s very exciting. Personally his westerns haven’t been as exciting to me as for example an Elmer Bernstein western from this era, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard it and maybe it’s just my kind of thing now. The score opens quite majestically in ‘Lone Cowboy’, a powerful opening indeed. This is promising. Not quite the powerhouse I had hoped for after those few seconds of bliss, but it’s something to build on. ‘Main Title’ isn’t that shiny over-the-top western theme you had hoped for either for the first 1:50 at least, but it certainly has it’s charm. This is so uplifting. I love the part from 1:50 and onwards, that’s the kind of classic western theme that I love. Speaking of uplifting. How do you go from this to say “Freud” within the same year? Talk about polar opposites. Well I love Jerry in both modes and this is certainly one of the more uplifting sounding scores I’ve heard from Jerry in his early years. The cues here seems to be shifting quite fast between melodies. It sounds great thought. ‘3m81’ has elements of that classic western mixed in with some drama. Well, it’s probably not a true western anyway since there’s a helicopter on the front cover, and that’s why there are various types of music. I’m just a bit confused about why so many within a single cue that doesn’t indicate the use of many cues.
This is one of Goldsmith’s more quieter scores with small moments of “fun”. Not that quieter scores can’t be fun, but I appreciate this on a different level. It’s homy, and have that Americana feel, the lonely cowboy on his steed, not necessarily rushing into danger, but enjoying the scenery. But knowing Jerry, he’s snuck more than a few action pieces in here and he has. The brass is alive and well in ‘Barroom Brawl’ and ‘Anxious Moment’, and as you all know, when Jerry find time to do action music, it’s often dramatic and rarely boring. This is fun. Still it’s one of the exceptions. This is a quiet, almost too quiet, score. Cues like ‘No Surprise / Escape’ and ‘Worlds Apart’ represents this score the best. It’s nice and relaxing, but I wouldn’t mind for a little bit of embellishment. After listening to this now, years after I listened to it the first time, I would say that my appreciation for it has grown. It contains elements I didn’t pick up before, and I specially like the latter cues when the music is more action-oriented. I’m curious what you think. Tweet me your thoughts.
2. Main Title
7. Going To Town
8. Barroom Brawl
16. Sudden Intrusion
17. Closing In
18. Anxious Moment
19. Surprised Sadist
20. Minus Whiskey / Hard Gained Ground
21. Run For It
24. End Title