Original Soundtrack

The Green Berets [Original Motion Picture Soundtrack]

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AllMusic Review by

Miklós Rózsa never agreed with the politics of the movie The Green Berets (1968), but by that time in his career, he no longer had the luxury of picking and choosing his movie projects -- if he wanted to do any film work at all, he had to consider even the improbable ones, such as this. Rózsa's contribution to the finished film is debatable. His scoring of some sequences is wonderful, such as the earnest, string-laden music accompanying the military move to Vietnam and to the base camp outside Danang. Some of the material here recalls the other end of Rózsa's career, and his scoring of the war movies Five Graves to Cairo and Sahara (for some reason, the authors of the notes for this CD either omitted or simply forgot about those credits in their observation that Rózsa had never scored a major war movie before) -- the music depicting the attacks on the base camp and the uncovering of a spy could have slotted right in with those 24-year-old scores, or with Rózsa's film noir period of the late '40s. His lighthearted music depicting the activities of the unit "scrounger," Sgt. Peterson, and his sitar-laden work underscoring the scenes of Vietnam civilian life are less memorable, though it is interesting to hear Rózsa writing for the Chinese zither. This CD contains the original scoring for all of the scenes, including Rózsa's use of a set of orchestral variations on "Onward Christian Soldiers" that was later supplanted in the editing of the final film in favor of his original material underscoring the death of Sgt. Provo. All of that is fine material, but how well it fit in with the movie's gung-ho political sentiments and macho sensibilities is questionable -- it was almost too sophisticated for the material it was intended to accompany, though it did make the movie seem more profound and serious than it otherwise would have. The CD is well produced, with excellent sound throughout, and -- apart from some errors in the notes and a political slant to the writing some may find off-putting -- is a very satisfying release of an interesting late-career detour for the composer.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
The Green Berets, film score
1 2:21
2 1:23
3 0:52
4 2:23
5 0:53
6 2:04
7 2:11
8 1:14
9 1:33
10 1:43
11 2:27
12 3:05
13 1:41
14 1:44
15 4:21
16 3:07
17 1:54
The Green Berets, film score
18 1:09
19 2:11
20 1:14
21 2:59
22 2:12
23 2:06
24 2:00
25 5:09
26 1:46
27 6:48
28 2:42
29 1:58
30 2:05
31 3:06
blue highlight denotes track pick