There's just one catch. No-one is permitted to live beyond the age of thirty!
This is the basic premise behind this sturdy, innovative Jerry Goldsmith sci-fi
score from the mid seventies. And even if the film itself was a little stolid,
the music certainly isn't.
A simple, ominous three note ascending motif is the first key theme to appear
on 'The Dome/The City/Nursery' and the early part of the score is dominated
by a variety of bleak electronic cues like 'Flameout' and 'Fatal Games', along
with some icy string pieces such as the unsettling 'She'll Do It/Let Me Help'.
Another notable track, 'A Little Muscle', has a slight similarity to the composer's
work on the 'Nightmare at 20,000 Feet' segment of Twilight Zone: The Movie.
Better still is 'The Sun', the first cue to utilise full orchestra and this
is where Goldsmith introduces his 'love theme' (despite earlier subtle hints
at it) and this motif is further developed in the eight minute plus 'The Monument'
with a brief flute led, refined version before a richer, full orchestral reprise.
This long cue also includes some variations on the main 'City' theme which illustrates
the strong thematic structure of Goldsmith's work. Another imposing piece is
'You're Renewed', a boisterous action cue with brash brass and typically skittish
piano and strings. Finally 'End of the City' concludes with the 'love theme',
first gently for strings then in full orchestral mode to climax. As a fun bonus
there is also 'Love Theme From "Logan's Run"', a pseudo pop interpretation
arranged by Jimmie Haskell.
Although the electronics used to depict life in the emotionally sterile 'City'
are somewhat dated, there is no questioning their effectiveness and ironically
it now seems to enhance the futuristic quality of the film itself. Of course,
much of this synthesizer work is by its very nature not particularly melodic
and doesn't make for easy listening. However, full orchestra comes into play
once the protagonists discover there is another world beyond.
Another worthy release from Film Score Monthly that not only Goldsmith admirers
but general film music fans will grab with both hands. Technically and creatively
this is a fine score, although its merits and attraction rely on an appreciation
of film music beyond merely the melodic.