The Horse Soldiers Soundtrack Review: This is a review of the film score The Horse Soldiers by David Buttolph.
At a glance:
Geek Score: 100
Total Minutes Of Excellence: 17.55
Album Excellence: 100%
The Horse Soldiers is an American 1959 western set in the American Civil War directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne, William Holden and Constance Towers. It is loosely based on Harold Sinclair’s novel of the same name which was based on true events. A Union Cavalry outfit is sent behind confederate lines in strength to destroy a rail/supply center. Along with them is sent a doctor who causes instant antipathy between him and the commander. The secret plan for the mission is overheard by a southern belle who must be taken along to assure her silence. The Union officers each have different reasons for wanting to be on the mission. The score is composed by David Buttolph.
Milan Records is on a roll this year re-releasing classics such as The Magnificent Seven, this one, The Big Country and more. It’s a short score, one that’s been released on CD before from Film Score Monthly as part of a compilation called “The Unforgiven: Classic Western Scores From United Artists”, but that’s slightly different. This one is based on the United Artists LP released in 1975. Technically more of a Civil War drama than a western, but I don’t mind if it’s both. The short score starts thunderous with ‘Dixie’, lots of epic bass, fast scoring, quick marches and some nice hints of classic western scores. It also includes a classic Civil War march. Excellent! Really enjoyed that. With that much happening in a cue, and I mean this cue was super buys, you don’t notice much of the sound quality. In the romantic ‘Lorena’ which is calm and slow you will really notice that the sound is pretty bad, but then again I’ve heard a lot worse than this. At least the motif is very nice and romantic as it should be. I thought that I had a bad case of Tinnitus when I heard Lorena because there’s a very noticeable thing high pitched sound throughout.
Sound issues aside, It’s a great score. Musically it ticks all the boxes for me. It got exciting western music, it got romance and in a very classic style. A Civil War score should contain a few marches and even with it’s short length, The Horse Soldiers provide. I’ve already mentioned the opening cue ‘Dixie’ which contains a famous march (also repeated in ‘When Johnny Comes Marching Home’, but the best one is in fact several exciting marches. You will find a joyous time with ‘Bonnie Blue Flag’ if you’re into marches. Enjoy this short gem, not many scores like it.
5. I Left My Love
6. When Johnny Comes Marching Home
7. Bonnie Blue Flag
9. Deep River / Lorena
10. Kingdom Coming
12. By The Campfire