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Tuesday, December 07, 2010


Jackboots on Whitehall
Music by Guy Michelmore
MovieScore Media MMS 10021
32 Tracks 64:10 mins

Composer Guy Michelmore first came to my attention through his excellent orchestral scoring of a number of Marvel animated features based on popular comic book characters like The Avengers, Iron Man, Doctor Strange and The Hulk. He has up to this point rarely ventured into the realm of cinema scoring, and it is therefore nice to see him getting an opportunity like for this big screen alternate history of World War II, Jackboots on Whitehall, which is told by puppetry and features a stellar British voice cast, including Ewan McGregor, Rosamund Pike, Richard E. Grant, Timothy Spall, Alan Cumming, Tom Wilkinson, Richard Griffiths and Pam Ferris.
Seizing the opportunity with both hands, the composer unites with the City of Prague Philharmonic to come up with a score that draws on the finest orchestral war film scoring traditions, evoking the spirits of Ron Goodwin, Elmer Bernstein et al, whilst adding more contemporary Media Ventures-styled guitars in places, and a notable Celtic twist. It's all very rousing, particularly the heroic main theme, with plenty of exciting action writing and menacing guitars for the Nazis, whilst always remaining just that little bit tongue-in-cheek. "Harvest and Village" makes for a rare pastoral interlude, and there are some rousing highland reels for the Scottish forces, who it seems play a big part, and also a rocking version of "Scotland the Brave." It all makes for a highly entertaining listen indeed.
Available on CD only, go to for samples, a trailer for the film and ordering suggestions.
Let's hope this is just the start of bigger things for the underrated Michelmore.


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