Album: The Patriot: Original Motion Picture Score

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The Patriot: Original Motion Picture Score

Artist: John Williams
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Label: Hollywood Records

Though Hollywood has long had a love affair with historical epics, it has sorely shortchanged America’s own most compelling chapter, the War of Independence. And if this tale of a retiring Colonial hero whose family gets drawn into the war against the British has no shortage of production ironies—being helmed by a German director and starring Australian-raised Mel Gibson—its score is a solid, stirring effort by American John Williams. Largely eschewing typical bombastic epic fodder for a mostly understated score rich in his distinctive writing for brass and…

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Amazon.com

Though Hollywood has long had a love affair with historical epics, it has sorely shortchanged America’s own most compelling chapter, the War of Independence. And if this tale of a retiring Colonial hero whose family gets drawn into the war against the British has no shortage of production ironies—being helmed by a German director and starring Australian-raised Mel Gibson—its score is a solid, stirring effort by American John Williams. Largely eschewing typical bombastic epic fodder for a mostly understated score rich in his distinctive writing for brass and strings, Williams’s music seeks out the story’s emotional underpinnings as much as its battle-scarred action sequences. The haunting main theme here begins as a Celtic-flavored reel for guitar and violin, then wells into strings, martial drumbeats, and full-bodied brass. Much as he did for the Oscar-nominated Saving Private Ryan, Williams paints a mature, alternately abstract and pastoral portrait of armed conflict, often as not reinventing the genre’s heroic traditions as he goes. —Jerry McCulley

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Film:The Patriot (2000)

The Patriot

Roland Emmerich

Aimed directly at a mainstream audience, The Patriot qualifies as respectable entertainment, but anyone expecting a definitive drama about the American Revolution should look elsewhere. Rising above the blatant crowd pleasing of Stargate, Independence Day, and Godzilla, director Roland Emmerich crafts a marvelous re-creation of South Carolina in the late 1770s (aided immeasurably by cinematographer Caleb Deschanel), and Robert Rodat’s screenplay offers the same balance of epic scale and emotional urgency that elevated his earlier…

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