I love film. I’m not schooled in it, but I would still love one day to produce a movie of my own mind for a big screen that people can watch. It may never happen, but the point is I love good film. I also love music. Although my music tastes are all over the place, one genre I can say I never waver on at times is Movie Soundtracks. They immediately take me into the feel of the film and resonate. One of the key people I have loved for this is John Williams.
There are times when I’ve poked fun at Williams for the fact that his scores seem very much the same, especially the ones he did late 70’s and the 80’s because in many ways they are. Then again, I can’t poke at a person for having a specific style that is almost an autograph as to who they are for the art they create. When I look over his musical filmography it’s like a who’s who of major characters and movies for the past 30+ years. Indiana Jones, Star Wars, E.T. Superman, Jurassic Park, Jaws, the list goes on and on. The movies these sounds are attached to would be very different without his score as well. Not only his but any movie would be different without a good score. Sound and music immediately sets a tone, case in point: the original Halloween movie was terrifying because of the shots, but also because of that creepy, basic theme music of Michael Myers. It is why it still resonates today.
Let’s be more specific though to Williams. I went on the good ol’ YouTube and found some clips that someone took the time and effort to remove said soundtracks from and you can feel the change in the importance of the scenes immediately. I have 3 cases, you listen and decide for yourself, and at the end of the day maybe thank John for the good work he’s done if you didn’t think about it before.
Case #1 E.T. The Extra Terrestrial (1982)
The famous ending scene first with music (and pardon this person’s video, but it still works)
And now without the music
That seemed pretty cut an dry. I may be in my 30’s but I can fully admit to having goosebumps and some tears in my eyes when putting the friendship that is going away with that John Williams score playing in the background.
Case #2 Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Who doesn’t remember this? First the ending throne room scene with music
And without (also some levity was added by whoever made this but the point is still there)
And Finally the Film that Williams himself said jumpstarted his career:
Case #3 Jaws (1975)
Luckily someone put both with and without into one nice piece
I’ll say it again, music connects on something deeper than just your ears. It goes into the very heart of a person. A good score can make a bad movie into something decent. A good score can make a good movie into an EPIC! Williams is on board for the next Star Wars movies, and I’m happy to hear that, because would it really be a Star Wars movie without his distinct sound? I think not. If you have a specific creator of soundtracks, or a specific soundtrack itself that stick with you, let me know in the comments!