*Read John Williams’ biography here
This was a 1984 drama directed by Mark Rydell. The film is based on the true story of farmers who unknowingly took on positions as strikebreakers at a steel mill after their crops were destroyed by rain. The husband and wife are played by Mel Gibson and Sissy Spacek.
The movie was nominated for an Academy Award and Golden Globe for Best Original Score, losing both to A Passage to India.
The theme to this movie is far superior to the movie itself which did not do very well (I haven’t seen it, but even Mel Gibson admits he shouldn’t have been cast, ironic when you consider he fought to get the role).
The River starts with a bubbly, jaunty main theme with some beautiful soloist work from the flute. It then moves into a love theme featuring trumpets. This has a real blues feel to it. The theme finishes with an extended flute solo.
I like the music, particularly the main theme (opening) which I find to be quite happy music. When you take into account this was filmed in the early 80s it has a very contemporary feel to it. What do you think, has it held up over time?