If you love any of Errol Flynn's pirate movies, you probably love Erich Wolfgang Korngold's scores for them, too. With their heroic themes, splendid scoring, and robust rhythms, Korngold's scores are as memorable as romantic music as Flynn's films are as swashbucklers. What's even more amazing is that Korngold's scores can stand on their own as music: one can listen to Captain Blood or The Sea Hawk from end to end, and because of the scores' quality, complexity, and sophistication, one can still have a completely satisfying musical experience.
Despite their many good qualities, one cannot say the same of Hans Zimmer's scores to the three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. They are absolutely appropriate for the films: the excitement, adventure, and humor of the movies are all wholly present in the brass and percussion-heavy soundtracks. They also heighten the action on-screen. But even in the suites included in this deluxe five-disc set, Zimmer's music cannot stand on its own, and thus is hard to love as pure music. Without the film to provide context and meaning, Zimmer's scores are ultimately unaffecting. Still, fans of the films and the composer will certainly want to check out this collection, which contains not only the scores for the three movies but suites and dance mixes excerpted from the scores, plus a DVD with interviews with the composer, producer, and director, as well as other special features.