Raggedy Man

Jerry Goldsmith

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Raggedy Man Review

by Jason Ankeny

Raggedy Man evokes the small-scale dramatic scores that highlight Jerry Goldsmith's formative years in Hollywood. Recalling A Patch of Blue and A Girl Named Sooner (the latter can be found as half of a two-CD set with the soundtrack to Flim-Flam Man) with its intimate woodwinds and melancholy strings, the music nevertheless buckles under the weight of a scattershot approach that incorporates elements of horror, carnival-like motifs, and even a Spanish-language vocal theme. Employing acoustic guitar, flute and harmonica, Goldsmith establishes a lyrical Americana sensibility that regrettably erodes as the score keeps pace with the onscreen narrative -- the violent bursts of strings and brass that punctuate the soundtrack's second half completely undermine the thoughtful mood introduced at the outset, and render Raggedy Man a frustratingly disjointed experience that's more like two or three incomplete scores than one accomplished whole worthy of its composer.

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