May 24, 2006
Previously released by La-La Land (LLLCD1044) several years ago and since sold out, Kritzerland has re-released Breakheart Pass with the addition of an edited cue, a missing cue found on the D/M/E tracks, and the beginning of an album cue that was previously missing. Bruce also chose to eliminate the cavalry call for trumpet since it really has nothing to do with the Goldsmith score. If you didn’t get the soundtrack the first time around this gives you a chance to get it but keep in mind this is a release of 1000 units and will also sell out so it is better to purchase sooner rather than later. If you own the La-La Land release it is really going to be your call as to whether or not you want the Kritzerland based on the changes.
Listed below are the exact changes made on the Kritzerland release.
- The creation of two cues “Runaway” and “Box Car Fight” from director Tom Gries.
- The addition of a cue found on the D/M/E tracks which is called “Here They Come Part II.”
- The beginning of a missing electronic bars from “Here They Come.”
I have previously reviewed this title and will include it in the new one with an audio clip of the main theme .
From a novel of Alstair “Guns of Navarone” Maclean this 1975 film starred Charles Bronson and a cast of character actors which Jeff Bonds aptly puts as “a who’s who of American character actors.” Ben Johnson, Ed Lauter, Richard Crenna, Charles Durning, Archie Moore, and even Joe Kapp a former Minnesota Viking quarterback had roles along with Charles wife Jill Ireland. Veteran director Tom Gries was not only at home with the western genre, having done Will Penny but had worked with Jerry Goldsmith on 100 Rifles yet another of his excellent scores. If you have ever read Alstair nothing is what it seems and this story is an Agatha Christie type story filled with mystery and intrigue set on a train and filmed on location in Idaho. The fighting sequence between Archie Moore and Charles Bronson, especially the climax on the snow covered boxcar tops, was a highlight of the film done completely live on location with excellent scenery. Archie, the former light heavyweight champion and the only man to ever knock Rocky Marciano down, did well in his role as the nasty cook. The main theme, used in the main title, end credits, and other tracks, is one of those you can’t get it out your head melodies. If you are familiar with some of the western themes from Goldsmith you will instantly recognize it as one of his. Beginning with the guitar strumming a solo trumpet quickly leads the rest of the orchestra with the melody. The theme features a synthesizer as well as some interesting harmony from some of the other brass. Medical Supplies is one of those positively delicious underscore cues which has made Jerry oh so famous over the years. It is a simple dissonant Bartok like track with all sorts of strange sounds and noises, ending in a restatement of the main theme. On the Move which sadly wasn’t used in the film is a really cool action cue that sounds like a train moving! Electronics plays a huge role in a motif written for one of the nasty villians Calhoun played by Robert Tessier, called No Word Yet. A very odd sounding but most effective track but then again is it considering Jerry? Raiding Party is a combination of some more strange Stravinsky like staccato dissonance with the main theme being repeated yet again but returning back to the ever pounding of the excellent underscore. The score of course returns to the main theme in the Reunited/End Credits played serenely by first the oboe and then in a proud majestic fashion by the trumpet with harmony from the french horns and trombones. It finally completes itself by returning to the guitar strumming and a repeat of the main title track. There are two extremely short bonus tracks approx 15 seconds in length that are really not explained in the liner notes? The first Four Styles sounds like a motif from a Morricone western in fact very much like a cue from A Fistful Of Dollars! The other is just a short cavalry charge repeated three times. Whether either of these were used in the film is unknown to this reviewer. All in all this was quite a bumpy but good ride through Breakheart Pass! Jeff Bond provides excellent fairly easy to understand liner notes on the film and a track by track analysis with the exception of the bonus tracks which I noted above. His style of writing explains without getting too technical so that you need to be a musician to understand what is going on. The booklet was well laid out by Mark Banning with several good quality pictures along with a couple of poster type artwork. In addition, there is a nice page with a photograph of Jerry Goldsmith along with a listing of selected filmography. However, there is no explanation in regards to the remastering and we must assume that there was since this reviewer has heard the “bootleg recording” and this is far superior albiet it is still in mono The mono recording is quite clean sounding and this is the official release of this recording. Bootlegs do not count as releases in my opinion! Do not let the mono discourage you in any way from purchasing this recording although it should have been mentioned in the liner notes. This is a limited edition of 3000 units so don’t let the grass grow under your feet for too long or this will only be available at a higher price on that auction site! Recommended. Produced by Ford A. Thaxton Composed, Conducted, and originally produced by Jerry Goldsmith Performed by the Hollywood Studio Symphony Orchestra CD# is LLLCD 1044 Track listing 1. Breakheart Pass – Main Title (02:33) 2. Free Ride / Hot Stove (05:01) 3. Medical Supplies (03:58) 4. The Trestle (02:55) 5. On The Move / Runaway (02:47) 6. No Word Yet (00:58) 7. Night Watch / Help Yourself (05:39) 8. Who Are You? (00:44) 9. The Casket / Box Car Fight (07:11) 10. Make Up Your Mind / Leaving The Fort (01:27) 11. A New Friend (01:47) 12. Here They Come (00:59) 13. Raiding Party (03:55) 14. No Entry (01:29) 15. Reunited / Breakheart Pass – End Credits (04:05) 16. (Bonus track) Four Styles (00:11) 17. (Bonus track) Charge (00:20) Total Duration: 00:45:59