Friday, October 30, 2009

Interlude: the Marathon Man score

Michael Small's music for the 1976 John Schlessinger classic Marathon Man, one of my favorite movies of all time, has never been put out on a record. (Judging by Google searches I've run, I'm not the only person looking for Michael Small's music, both from "Marathon Man" and from "Parallax View," but there's never been an official release of either soundtrack.)

This is one of the great 'seventies scores, exemplifying the tonalities and mood of the movies of that period. I've had these melodies running in my head for more than twenty years. I did what I could to pull the music off the movie DVD. I was able to remove dialogue, noise etc. to some extent (due to duplicated tracks through the movie) but there's still a lot of ambient sound. I draw your attention to Szell's theme and to the solo instrumental in the "Closing Suite" that alters the timbre of Babe's Theme. (Obviously I'm making up all the names.) Look at all the trouble I have to go to, just because Paramount won't put out a record! But there can't possibly be more appropriate music for running in Central Park, can there?


Johnny Sweatpants said...

I'm embarrassed to say I've never seen this movie. I rented it once a few years ago and the DVD was unplayable so I returned it. :( But now it's time. This will be my first post-thon movie.

The soundtrack sounds great! Thanks for posting the songs.

Jordan said...

Johnny, it's one of my favorite movies of all time as I've said. You just can't beat the 1970s output of the superstars of that era (Hoffman, Redford, Beatty etc.) because it's the first time in the history of Hollywood that the movie stars themselves are busting out of the remnants of the studio system and exerting their own power, and the actors of that time were very cool people with good taste. Today, it's all become calcified; people like Clooney and Pitt do very well for themselves, but it's like they're Radiohead to Hoffman/Redford's Stones/Beatles. Anyway, Marathon Man is a fucking classic. See it!

50PageMcGee said...

gotta back that up -- this of course is from dustin hoffman's action star era (also including straw dogs), this one's an exciting piece of work. nice collection of clips, jordan, and i hope you find your way to a completed soundtrack at some point.