In addition to producing and directing Flags of our Fathers, Clint Eastwood also composed the music. The star of The Good, The Bad and the Ugly and Dirty Harry and the director of Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, Eastwood wrote the 2006 war movie's main theme and end title and, except for the addition of period music for aural verisimilitude, all the cues in-between. This isn't Eastwood's first foray as a movie composer. Along with Mystic River and Million Dollar Baby, he's previously written the themes for Unforgiven and The Bridges of Madison County, among many others. But Eastwood's score for Flags of our Fathers is on a much more ambitious scale. In writing the music for the whole movie, he's called upon not only to write memorable themes but to write music with the intrinsic power to evoke the film's iconic images.
Eastwood's score does just that. While his "Flags Theme" brings a tear to the eye, his "Armada Arrives" awes the mind, his "Wounded Marines" chills the spine, and his "Inland Battle" freezes the heart. Orchestrated and conducted by longtime collaborator Lennie Niehaus, Eastwood's score is spare, severe, and almost unbearably intense. With well-chosen period music, including two marches, two string quartet movements, and especially a haunting performance of "I'll Walk Alone" by Dinah Shore, the soundtrack for Flags of our Fathers is first-rate movie music from start to finish.
Three more items of note: one, the tracks labeled "Symphony in G minor" and "String Quartet Opus 2" are reversed. Two, the "Symphony" is in fact arranged for and performed by a string quartet. Three, although apparently uncredited, it sounds as if Eastwood himself takes a turn singing "I'll Walk Alone" a cappella in the fade out at the end of the End Titles cue. While he is clearly no singer, Eastwood does give an amazing performance.