Basil Poledouris

The Legend of Butch and Sundance

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The 2004 telefilm The Legend of Butch and Sundance capped the career of composer Basil Poledouris, who died of cancer two years later. While it fails to achieve the same epic scale as his classic Lonesome Dove, this final score retains Poledouris' superbly evocative feel for the western genre, juxtaposing familiar elements like acoustic guitar, mandolin, fiddle, and banjo with contemporary accents like electronic percussion and orchestral samples to create a profoundly cinematic interpretation of the classic Americana idiom. For the most part The Legend of Butch and Sundance eschews sweeping drama and visceral intensity in favor of more intimate, smaller-scale moments that underline the human drama onscreen. Upbeat, energetic themes like "Riding Contest" and "First Robbery" are carefully balanced against poignantly romantic melodies like "What Could Happen?" and "The Man I Love," and taken as a whole the score spans all facets of Poledouris' artistry.