Elmer Bernstein

Last Man Standing [Music Inspired by the Film]

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For reasons unknown -- and largely beyond comprehension -- producers rejected Elmer Bernstein's completed score for Walter Hill's 1996 Yojimbo remake Last Man Standing in favor of an inappropriate electronic score by the otherwise unimpeachable Ry Cooder. Varese Sarabande nevertheless committed Bernstein's music to release, and it's impossible to fathom what the producers were thinking -- a vivid orchestral effort wrought from classical cinematic idioms, its menacing atmosphere seems perfectly attuned to Hill's violent milieu. Instead, listeners must accept Last Man Standing solely as a distinct listening experience, but that's problematic because the music wilts outside of its planned celluloid context -- Bernstein's melodies simply aren't strong enough to stand on their own two feet.

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