Rob Price
Gutbrain Records
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2010 August 02 • Monday

This month we celebrate Robert Mitchum (August 6, 1917 – July 1, 1997)!

We'll begin with Bernard Herrmann's score for Cape Fear, the 124th Soundtrack of the Week.

This is one of Robert Mitchum's best movies and one of Bernard Herrmann's greatest scores.

It begins with trombones playing two four-note descending lines. In an interesting coincidence, a very similar four-note descending line can be heard in the other Robert Mitchum movie that Herrmann scored, White Witch Doctor. While it's part of a love theme there, here it's pure menace, as remorseless and unyielding as brass.

The rest of the music is pure Herrmann. There's a breathy and light-hearted bit for flute that's similar to a cue from North by Northwest. There's another bit that's uncannily like John Williams's famous theme for Jaws.

The moods of tension and suspense alternate with dreamy and watery atmospheres and some of Herrmann's most stirring action writing.