Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Three times a day I check in on Harry Knowles' Ain't-It-Cool-News website for updates on TV and film, and last week his correspondent "Scorekeeper" set up a contest for five people to win the long-awaited CD release of John Williams' film score to Black Sunday from 1977. It is one of the few soundtracks by Williams that have never been printed on LP, CD, or digital, and is being released under Film Score Monthly's limited edition label.

The rules were simple: briefly tell Scorekeeper why he should send you the CD, what your favorite John Williams' movie score is, and what your favorite sports related soundtrack is. So I hopped into the Wayback Machine and reminiced about how Black Sunday, at the time, was one of the few movies I felt compelled to go back and see more than once.

With this and the previous year's Jaws, even as a young fledgling in cinema back in '77, I knew that the Maestro was a force to be reckoned with in the composition of great orchestrated movie music.

"Force" was the key word here, because a mere three months after Black Sunday's release, Williams' music would be hummed by nearly every man, woman, and child who ever walked into a movie theater when Star Wars exploded onto movie screens and changed almost every aspect of Hollywood filmmaking forever. And for this callow youth who drove almost 50 miles to the only theater playing the movie in central Indiana with his fiancee and kid brother, the legendary Eastwood Cinema, my life would never be the same.

But before Star Wars, Williams' magnificent score for Black Sunday helped put me on the edge of my seat to John Frankenheimer's terrorist thriller. I'm very happy, honored, and a bit flabbergasted that I'm one of the five people to win a copy of that soundtrack.

Man, almost 35 years ago. Who the heck knew?

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