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 Posted:   Mar 27, 2020 - 9:56 PM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

For me, Horner was at his melodic best during the late 80's and early 90's. Most make mention of Legends of the Fall, The Rocketeer, etc. And I agree on those and others. But there is one theme, or melody, that gets overlooked, mainly due to the fact that the rest of the album barely makes mention of this theme until the finale. I stumbled across it years ago after purchasing it a used CD, having no really idea what the score would be like in tone or theme.

I'm referring to 1993's "The Pelican Brief" and in particular, "Darby's Theme". This was another high profile Hollywood take from one of the earlier bestseller books by John Gresham , one that Hollywood was intent on scarfing up and making an immediate hit off of by using the likes of Denzel Washington and Julia Roberts. Or at least hoped they would, after "Presumed Innocent" was such a hit.

If I remember, Pelican Brief was a modest hit and something of a disappointment overall. I do do remember liking it well enough but forgot about it shortly thereafter.

I bought the CD God knows how many years ago. While the score is mainly suspense and chase cues, with heavy use of piano crescendo's, out of the blue in it comes "Darby's Theme". An absolute gorgeous and memorable gem of a theme that has made me replay it over and over and over. Sadly, it's really only used in that track, specifically for the CD and in the final track "Airport Goodbye".

Am curious on others thoughts on this and do any of you actually play it from time to time or is it to relegated to a far off memory? I'm going through my old scores that I haven't listened to or played in years and years and am rediscovering wonderful lost pieces of music that have been shoved away by one re-release/remastered classic after another.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 27, 2020 - 10:19 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

Indeed.

Pure, passionate and Superb James Horner music!


Darby's Theme:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5rybLK_lew

The following 10 minute plus cue is among one of those "long" cues that James Horner always talked about loving to write for a motion picture. "Preparations for Battle" from GLORY is another that is overwhelmingly heartbreaking James Horner music. What a wonderful gift he had for touching our hearts and souls!

Airport Goodbye:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=henDDhzcdH4

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 2:36 AM   
 By:   KeV-McG   (Member)

Yeah, the score CD does meander a bit, with what feels like endless suspense and chase cues, but when that lilting, gorgeous theme pops up (is it twice, with Darby's Theme just being a shortened edit of Airport Goodbye?), it makes the purchase of the disc worthwhile.
I remember watching the film in the cinema, before I had the CD, and rolling my eyes when I heard him re quote a bit from Where The River Runs Black, during a night scene with a boat coming ashore.
I sense a replay of the CD coming on this weekend.

 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 7:00 AM   
 By:   Dr. Nigel Channing   (Member)

Good call re: Darby’s Theme.

 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 9:10 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Indeed.

Pure, passionate and Superb James Horner music!


Darby's Theme:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z5rybLK_lew

The following 10 minute plus cue is among one of those "long" cues that James Horner always talked about loving to write for a motion picture. "Preparations for Battle" from GLORY is another that is overwhelmingly heartbreaking James Horner music. What a wonderful gift he had for touching our hearts and souls!

Airport Goodbye:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=henDDhzcdH4


Ditto on Preparations for Battle. His masterpiece for me.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 9:20 AM   
 By:   George Flaxman   (Member)

Pelican Briefs... I never realised they wore any.

 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 9:29 AM   
 By:   TominAtl   (Member)

Pelican Briefs... I never realised they wore any.

And I've never seen a baby pelican either...doesn't mean they don't exist. wink

 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 10:45 AM   
 By:   The Mutant   (Member)

I love this score and do play it often. The end titles were a favorite of mine back in my high school days and I even got my GF at the time to play bits of it on the piano for me.

The garage chase is taken directly from Sneakers, but I love it anyways. I did see the movie when it came out but found it pretty boring back then. I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 12:20 PM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

I remember not caring for this score at the time, but it's grown on me.

 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 2:24 PM   
 By:   Travis   (Member)

Darby's Theme is not forgotten by me as it's gotten regular plays since I purchased the disc back in 1994. It is so unexpected when it appears during an album listen because it is such a contrast to the suspense and Chase music before it. The reprise of the theme in Airport Goodbye is excellent and makes that end title one of James Horner's best. Truly a gem and a hall of fame quality piece.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 3:12 PM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)



Here it is performed by Dan Redfeld for BSX.

Enjoy


Ford A Thaxton

 
 Posted:   Mar 28, 2020 - 6:06 PM   
 By:   Shaun Rutherford   (Member)

I love this score and do play it often. The end titles were a favorite of mine back in my high school days and I even got my GF at the time to play bits of it on the piano for me.

The garage chase is taken directly from Sneakers, but I love it anyways. I did see the movie when it came out but found it pretty boring back then. I wouldn’t mind seeing it again.


It plays much better today. Fits perfectly with Pakula's classic 70's work, in my opinion.

Horner pretty much rewrote Darby's Theme for his trumpet theme for Apollo 13, so it's almost weird to hear The Pelican Brief's version - it's so many notes!

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2020 - 7:45 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Interesting, Shaun old sport, that I should once again respond on the heels of your reply. It is never easy listening to a previously unheard Horner piece without preparing for...well, you know what. In this instance I tried to block out its composer for a free wheeling association and there were a couple moments I would have guessed David Newman. Had a pronounced Paradiselike feel in that regard. And a most pleasant feel at that. But at 3:12-14 picked up on a little Horneresque piano flourish employed in his Field Of Dreams, and again it was subtle and pleasing. This is a nice cue.

 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2020 - 8:02 AM   
 By:   johnjohnson   (Member)


I remember watching the film in the cinema, before I had the CD, and rolling my eyes when I heard him re quote a bit from Where The River Runs Black, during a night scene with a boat coming ashore.
I sense a replay of the CD coming on this weekend.


Good idea. I must dig out my copy.

 
 
 Posted:   Apr 26, 2020 - 11:13 AM   
 By:   Paul MacLean   (Member)

I don't own The Pelican Brief.

Did Horner use that theme in any of his others?

(I know that sounds sarcastic, but I'm in earnest!)

 
 Posted:   Apr 27, 2020 - 10:10 AM   
 By:   Mike Esssss   (Member)

I don't own The Pelican Brief.

Did Horner use that theme in any of his others?

(I know that sounds sarcastic, but I'm in earnest!)


Nope. Shaun mentioned some similarities with the opening notes of the APOLLO 13 main title motif, but for what it's worth I've never thought of that until he mentioned it.

Darby's Theme is nice, but for me the real masterwork of scoring in this movie is the main title theme. Just an absolutely perfect, tone-setting, haunting cue. He had such a gift for that kind of thing.

 
 Posted:   Apr 27, 2020 - 1:05 PM   
 By:   Maarten   (Member)

The airport goodbye cue is beautiful. Thanks for bringing it up again. Very much like the goodbye and godspeed cue from Deep Impact, but a bit more subdued. It also has that long-winded ending, always coming back on the main theme figure: in Pelican Brief it's this pyramidal Darby motif, in Deep Impact it's the descending the Wedding piano-motif. The end of Deep Impact is a three minute coda with beautiful meandering lines of brass. It goes on and on and I love it. I find these three minutes of music one of the highlights of Horner's musical output. I'll always remember him for cues like these.

 
 Posted:   Apr 27, 2020 - 3:36 PM   
 By:   solarwnz   (Member)

Agreed! Airport Goodbye is one of my favorite Horner pieces. Horner could often strike the perfect balance between the sentiments of hope and sadness in his music; looking forward, looking back. Airport Goodbye is an exquisite example of his skill in expressing such rich emotional duality. I miss him very much.

 
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