December 2002 Film Music CD Reviews

Film Music Editor: Ian Lace
Music Webmaster Len Mullenger

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Miklós RÓZSA
The Green Berets  
  FILM SCORE MONTHLY Vol.5 No. 14   [72:37]
Available from Film Score Monthly, 8503 Washington Boulevard, Culver City, CA90232; Tel: 1-888-345-6335; overseas: 310-253-9595; fax: 310-253-9588; e-mail:

green berets

Notorious in Hollywood as John Wayne's right wing pro Vietnam propaganda exercise, The Green Berets does at least feature a score by the masterful Miklós Rózsa and once again the gang at Film Score Monthly have done a sterling job of producing a first rate recording complete with informative notes.

The work itself while always of interest never really develops into anything more than a capable action/suspense war score with an Eastern/Asian feel that despite its effectiveness may sound to modern wars a little clichéd. The Main Title' itself subtitled 'Ballad of the Green Berets' was actually written by Barry Sadler and Robin Moore and had been a hit song in 1966 and is the kind of patriotic anthem that has not dated particularly well. Far better are Rózsa moments of drama and disquiet such as 'Devastation' and 'The Bridge/Escape', although a good deal of the music remains similar and is bereft of the emotional power of his best work. Even so, allowing for the inherent limitations in the film itself, there are still some fascinating elements that remind the listener why Rózsa has such a justly devoted following among film music enthusiasts.

An intriguing soundtrack that ultimately lacks any real distinction. However, as an invaluable addition to this composer's available scores it cannot be underestimated.

Mark Hockley


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