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Monday, August 20, 2007


The Bridge at Remagen/The Train
Music by Elmer Bernstein/Music by Maurice Jarre
RFilm Score Monthly Vol.10 No.8 (US)
32 Tracks 71:08 mins

This limited edition disc features two scores for World War II-set films of the '60s, the first a much sought-after score by the late, great Elmer Bernstein, for the 1969 George Segal/Ben Gazzara/Robert Vaughan starrer about the American push towards the German homeland towards the conclusion of the War, the objective to find an intact bridge over the Rhine. Despite the film being quite lengthy, Bernstein only wrote around 30 minutes of score, all of which is preserved here, thanks to two monaural tapes kept in the composer's personal collection.
Although it is a fine score, with great moments of excitement and bombast, as well as more sympathetic and poignant underscoring, it will be remembered for a typically fine main theme, not quite a march in the traditional sense, but rhythmic and propulsive. The theme gets its finest workout over the "Main Title," but also crops up in variations here and there in subsequent score tracks, and of course concludes the film.
Coupled with Bernstein's fine score for The Bridge at Remagen is Maurice Jarre's complete score for the 1964 Burt Lancaster starrer The Train, taken from the original soundtrack album masters, as well as the isolated laserdics and DVD score. These latter tracks are included in a bonus section at the end of the album tracks, but the score is dealt with in chronological order in the usual excellent booklet notes by album producer Lukas Kendall.
At the heart of the score is the theme for the tragic train conductor Papa Boule, played by Michel Simon, which receives countless variations throughout the score tracks, sometimes poignant, at others rousing, and even comical. There is also music of tension, excitement and bombast - all very familiar to fans of Jarre's music of this his most fertile period.
A thoroughly entertaining album all round then, and it's great to finally have The Bridge at Remagen available after such a long wait. For further information and audio samples, go to


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