Original Soundtrack

The Bravados [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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For reasons best understood by 20th Century-Fox, Alfred Newman and Hugo Friedhofer's music for Henry King's revenge western The Bravados (starring Gregory Peck) was never issued on an actual soundtrack album. Instead, some 43 years later, Film Score Monthly magazine released a soundtrack CD, totalling almost 70 minutes of music, including all of the surviving stereo cues, the mono core of the score assembled into a separate 20-minute suite, and all of the source music from the scenes in the church. The decades of storage have apparently not been kind to the original session recordings, because there is some evidence of wear and damage (one track is even labeled as such) to the sources, most obviously some slight distortion on the louder passages and other flaws. (The recordings were fairly convoluted, supervised by Lionel Newman overseas to save money). Still, this is a compelling mix of western score and psychologically-based score in one, leaning much more toward the latter in its dark moodiness -- even the "hunter theme" at the center of the main title music, with its soaring horn part, has a grim tone that makes it unusual for the scoring of a Hollywood western; the composers captured the movie's essence, as a thematic bridge between the old-style Hollywood western, built around the notion of a man doing what he has to do, and approaching the 1960s successor (and, to some extent, the spaghetti western in its level of violence), in which even well-intentioned heroes may do horrible things in the name of justice. The lesser-known of the two composers, Hugo Friedhofer writes some beautiful material here such as his music depicting the ambush of the pursuing posse, with its stuttering figure on the cellos, and the somber accompaniment on the brasses. Despite the flaws in some of the surviving elements, the CD holds up extremely well, with a lot of care in both the production and the annotation, and is well worth the high list price.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 3:05
2 1:30
3 1:24
4 1:08
5 4:30
6 1:42
7 2:45
8 2:41
9 3:26
10 6:20
11 1:26
12 1:34
13 1:07
14 1:15
15 0:43
16 4:26
17 1:44
18 0:56
19 2:23
20 2:38
21 0:55
22 1:56
23 3:05
24 1:30
25 1:24
26 1:52
27 4:28
28 2:44
29 2:56
30 1:07
31 0:34
blue highlight denotes track pick