I was wondering if anyone here has gotten the recent DVD release of Johnny Got His Gun? (scored by Jerry Fielding 1971) I have the original cd (Bay Cities ) witch has a portion of the score. The audio quality of this particular score on the cd is not very good.I'm hoping the DVD audio will sound much better. Any comments anyone?
Turner Classic Movies have been promoting the DVD this month in their between-program promos. That's how I found out about it. I'd love to see this movie, and am pleased to see that Jason Robards is in it. He's become a must-see performer for me.
For those who can remember when MTV played music videos, JGHG is the movie that Metallica used footage from in their "groundbreaking" music video, "One."
I vaguely recall reading an article in VARIETY around the time of the film's release in which the film's producer Bruce Campbell (not THAT Bruce Campbell!) mentioned a planned release of the Fielding score by Tetragrammaton, the Campbell/Silver-owned label that released LPs on Goldsmith's THE CHAIRMAN and Schifrin's CHE.
Since it never came to pass, I could only presume that the soundtrack release fell through when the film tanked at the boxoffice. It makes one wonder if there might once have been an album master of this in existence.
The story is sooo depressing, is it any wonder it tanked? Reading something like that is one thing, but to go re-live it in a public theater? I think not. As to the prospect of an unreleased album master out there, one would hope so. The sound quality on JF2 is dicey.
Steven, keep in mind that when JOHNNY came out in 1971-72 the Viet Nam War was still going on and the novel and film were probably believed to have some cache with the anti-war movement.
I gather the presumed crowds just didn't turn out for Trumbo's effort. I remember the film having some powerful moments but the overall "heaviness" of the whole thing just does it in, in the final analysis.
In 1974 and 1975, I was the college film programmer for my university. I showed JGHG both years, and filled the house for every performance (5 showings total). Of course, collegiate anti-war fervor was at its zenith during that era, even at the comparatively conservative school I attended.
There's a review over at dvdverdict.com they don't think too much of the picture & sound.
"The technical presentation is middling at best. The transfer is soft and abounds with nicks, small scratches, and reel change markers. It's adequate, but it would have benefited greatly from some restoration, as it looks more like VHS than DVD. Audio is a flat, two-channel mono track. It's clear enough, though a little uneven. The dialogue is occasionally difficult ot make out, and the lack of subtitles is a real liability."
I just listened to this for the first time in quite a while. Jerry Fielding had a tendency to recycle and revisit themes from his scores (no judgment here, just fact), but this one seems extremely unique within his body of work. Of course this is just from listening to the suite available -- I've never seen the film and therefore haven't heard the whole score.