Jeremiah Johnson/Rubinstein

October 22, 2009

Jeremiah_Johnson_Vol12Nr15Robert Redford stars in the Sydney Pollack directed film Jeremiah Johnson (1972), based loosely on the novel Mountain Man and other material about the last of the mountain men in the 1800’s. The true facts of Johnson’s life had to be greatly altered as it was reported he killed 247 Crow Indians and then ate their livers, according to legend. Somehow I don’t think that Redford would want to portray that. As far as a time frame is concerned for Redford films it was between Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) and The Way We Were (1973). Other than Will “The Walton’s” Geer there were no other significant name major actors.

You’ll not find the name of John Rubinstein, son of the famous concert pianist Arthur Rubinstein, very often in the credits. A quick look in the Soundtrack Collector database revealed only one other film China Beach (1988), where a CD release is available. Tim McIntire, son of John “Wagon Train” McIntire, was primarily an actor and only had this film to his credit as far as a composer was concerned. Yet the two relative newcomers did a credible job for Warner Brothers and director Sydney Pollack.

If at all possible, and in this case it was, FSM gives you all of the recorded material available including unreleased tracks, alternate tracks, demo material for Sydney Pollack, and the original LP recording. While there is certainly a lot of very similar material it is all-available for the collector to study and sort through. The performing orchestra is a mid-size one (43 maximum) but on many of the cues it is smaller featuring piano, violin, Indian flutes, banjo, and harp. There is certainly that “Americana” sound mixed with folk and hoedown, making you realize while you’re listening how much influence Copland had on composers. Rubinstein and McIntire didn’t come up with any new groundbreaking material but created exactly the sound that Pollack was looking for, a sound that is quite easy on the ears, a bit schmaltzy from time to time, and never over the top with fortissimo chords. McIntire, who sings the songs, is very laid back in his country western style. A pleasant voice, easy to listen to but the same as I’ve heard many times before. I found the musical passages of the CD to be quite soothing, also easy to listen to, especially the Indian flute passages. The liner notes from Redman and Kaplan along with the interview of Rubinstein that Bond did provide interesting useful information. A fan of western music, Robert Redford, or the film itself will find this a nice addition to their collection. The release is limited to 3000 copies.

Film Score Monthly # is Vol. 12 #15

Produced by Lukas Kendall

Mastering By Doug Schwartz

Track listing

1. Overture/Spirits Landings/“Jeremiah Johnson” (Main Title) (07:42)


2. Hatchet Jack’s Letter/Bear Claw/You Got Some Work to Do (01:50)


3. Jeremiah Johnson/Top Knot (02:26)


4. Wedding Chant/“The Way That You Wander” (01:44)


5. Swan (02:37)


6. The Cabin/It’ll Have to Do (02:30)


7. Ride to the Buffalo (02:16)


8. Who Won?/Intermission (01:45)


9. Entr’Acte/The Burial Ground/Ride Home/The Wake (03:57)


10. Funeral Fire (01:01)


11. Indian Death Chant/”He’s Never Been Known to Be Wrong” (“An Indian Says”)/Jeremiah Johnson (01:58)


12. Violence Montage (00:43)


13. To Qualens/What’s on the Spit? (02:02)


14. Green and Muddy/“The Way That You Wander”/“Jeremiah Johnson” (End Title) (03:16)

Total Time: 36:18

Additional Score

15. Spirits Landing (instrumental) (01:55)


16. Paints His Shirt Red/Hatchet Jack/M11/M12/Yes/Close Shave (01:35)


17. He’s Never Been Known to Be Wrong (instrumental) (01:56)

Total Time: 5:30

Album Tracks

Including Dialogue from the Motion Picture

18. Hatchet Jack/Bear Claw/Full-Time Night Woman (02:00)


19. The Wedding/“The Way That You Wander” (02:04)


20. Maybe April/“The Way That You Wander”/End Title (03:50)

Total Time: 7:59

Orchestral Demo

21. Spirits Landing/“Jeremiah Johnson” (Main Title) (05:32)

Work Tape

22. The Cabin (04:22)


23. Flute and Violin 1 (01:12)


24. “Jeremiah Johnson” (01:20)


25. “The Heart of a Lady” (02:44)


26. Guitar Improvisation (00:14)


27. Violin and Piano (01:13)


28. “Jeremiah Johnson” (End Title) (01:31)

Total Time: 12:52

Song Recordings

29. “The Way That You Wander” (01:13)


30. “The Heart of a Lady” (humming (01:04)


31. “Jeremiah Johnson” (End Title) (01:14)

Total Time: 3:36


Total Duration: 01:10:46


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