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Friday, March 31, 2006

CD REVIEW - Force Ten From Navarone

Before I get to the pleasurable business of reviewing the above, I would just like to point you in the direction of two lengthy and excellent composer interviews that have just come to my attention. Firstly, check out the interview with John Scott at Then go to for an interview with David Shire.

Force Ten From Navarone
Music by Ron Goodwin
Film Score Monthly Vol. 9 No. 4
20 Tracks 50:58 mins

Film Score Monthly have done a wonderful job of preserving the late Ron Goodwin's
music for wartime adventures 633 Squadron, Where Eagles Dare, Operation
Crossbow and Submarine-X1. The film of Force Ten From Navarone, Alistair
MacLean's sequel novel, starring Robert Shaw, Edward Fox and a young Harrison
Ford, fresh from Star Wars triumphs, came along much later than the others, in1978,
but Goodwin's music is cut very much from the same cloth and features another very
memorable and recognisably Goodwinesque main theme, an heroic march, first heard over the "Main Title," and repeated in fragments and variations, some noble, some whimsical, throughout the body of the score, before receiving a marvellous extended treatment over the "End Credits."
In character with the other scores mentioned above, a good deal of his Navarone music is tense, suspenseful and filled with exciting bursts of action. "Take-Off" is a good example, and so is "You Did It," with its martial drumming; but the most exciting track is undoubtedly "Bridge Down," which ends the score triumphantly.
Along the way, there is something of a love theme, though this doesn't get a chance to
develop fully, as the character it supports comes to a tragic end.
A much overdue and fine addition to the Goodwin catalogue. The composer did conduct a generous amount of this music for a European-released CD collection some years back, but it's great to finally have the complete, original recording available.
As always, the CD comes with a colourful and informative booklet, featuring the invaluable cue-by-cue guide.


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