Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (2014)/Robert Guyla

May 13, 2015


A favorite story of Hollywood this latest version features the boys at 15 (Jake T. Austin and Joel Courtney) with an appearance by Mark Twain (Val Kilmer) who was also the narrator of the film. The book provided the characters and a basic template. It is unfair to compare the two as they are completely different. I won’t comment on the film as I’ve only seen a two minute trailer.

I first became familiar with Robert Guyla in 2007 with Atom Nine Adventures, released by Movie Score Media. From the title this was a very action oriented score with lots of brass and percussion. My next exposure was in 2013 with his score to In the Name of Sherlock Holmes, released by Howlin Wolf Records where some period instruments and a violin played a big part in the score. The main theme was a very ear catching melody which I have on a compilation CD. I urge you to visit Guyla’s website to get more information and have listen to some of the 20 scores he has written

01. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (6.24) opens the score with a banjo an introduction to the main theme one that your going to hear in different orchestrations with different instruments. This track runs the gamut from flute and oboe to the full orchestra in a proud  rendition. 02. Main Title (3.45) offers the same theme but this time there are a few bars of chorus added to give one a feeling of being majestic. It changes part way through with oboe, flute and romantic strings. 04. Digging (2.37) begins with chorus and muted brass fanfare all a prelude to a comic bassoon solo of the main title. The rest of the track is underscore almost cartoon like with the percussion in the background.08. Court (4.14) begins with a bit of tension and the cue slowly builds up using the main theme to a fantasy adventure with the full orchestra. 09. Old Wreck is my favorite track because it offers all kinds of underscore including action, creepy tension, and some nice brass passages. And yes the main title is there which is one that you can’t really get enough of. It bonds the score together and while I have not seen the movie I just know that this score is one that enhances and makes the film together, something that I’m sad to say seldom happens anymore. If you listen carefully you’ll hear all sorts of references from other composers. An example of this is the Morricone western theme beginning 11. The Search. There is the wailing choir and even the 5 note motif prevelant in the Eastwood movies. For a minute I thought I was listening to “A Fistful of Dollars.” I certainly hope that Guyla continues to write for a symphonic size orchestra. It is certainly welcome to this reviewer to be able to hum the main theme after listening to it. A joy to listen to. Available as a download or CD. Please check the MSM website for details.


01. Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn (6.24)
02. Main Title (3.45)
03. Secret Island (3.16)
04. Digging (2.37)
05. Painting (3.11)
06. Morning (2.37)
07. Muff Has Escaped (2.36)
08. Court (4.14)
09. Old Wreck (3.12)
10 The Barn (5.29)
11. The Search (6.12)
12. Night Mission (1.48)
13. Back to the Cave, Pt. 1 (3.28)
14. Back to the Cave, Pt. 2 (3.37)
15. Stay Together (2.00)

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