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The Good German (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Thomas Newman

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iTunes Review

Set against the postwar political intrigues of the Potsdam conference, director Steven Soderbergh and frequent collaborator George Clooney recreate the distinct visual aura of Hollywood's Golden Age (and specifically Michael Curtiz's Casablanca), yet charge it with a more contemporary dramatic sense. Those cinematic ambitions offered composer Thomas Newman the rare chance to step back in time and gracefully revisit the orchestral legacy of his father, Fox scoring legend Alfred Newman. His fine work here not only netted the younger Newman his seventh Academy Award nod (his father is the all-time Oscar champ, winning nine of 45 nominations), but showcases his true range as a musician as well. While better known for the adventurous experimentalism of Unstrung Heroes and American Beauty or the sly playfulness of Finding Nemo and Lemony Snicket, the composer retrenches himself here in a darkly elegant symphonic sensibility that, like the film itself, evokes and updates rich Hollywood traditions while never becoming slave to them.

Customer Reviews

An homage to old Hollywood

Thomas Newman never ceases to amaze me! This score is a huge departure from his American Beauty-esque style of recent years, harkening back to the epic style of old hollywood scores of the film noir era. It's a little different from many of today's movie scores, but is perfect for this film. Check out my iMixes for other great contemporary film music!

Newman Pays Homage to Max Steiner & More

Nobody seems to have seen this movie yet but its worth it. This is a nice departure from many of Newman's recent scores. The movie and the score does a great job of recreating the tone of films from the 1940s. Yes, both are a bit of a vanity piece for all involved but the quality is there.

A Good Dose

-Channeling the old Hollywood scores from yesteryear is what Thomas Newman does with this fantastic score and which is why it works so brilliantly. The score starts with the Main Title track, which after some pretty loud horns, and strings settles down to play the beautiful theme for the movie. How great is the theme for this movie?, even people don't care much for the score admit it's fantastic melody so I think that should be proof to what a great theme that Newman as composed. It reminds me a little of the love theme from "The Mummy" but I'm guessing it's a happy accident. I love the little French horn he brings during the last 34 seconds to play this little tune that we never really hear again during the album. -One criticism that people love to bombard the score with is that apart from the main theme there's no other memorable moment on the album. I do agree that nothing lives up to the main theme of the movie, but that's not to say that the other tracks aren't fantastic. "A Good Dose", "River Havel", "Such a Boy", "Countless Redheads", "Muller's Bullet", "Dora" and "Jedem Das Seine" are all wonderful cues that more than justify why this album is so great to listen to. I do hope that those people accusing it of only having a great theme and nothing more come around and listen to the album again, because there's a lot more that Newman has to offer here other just his wonderful theme. -We do get a lot of versions of the main theme from a version done with an oboe to one done with tremolo strings. I love how the track "The Good German" it starts with the just the chords playing before the solo violin comes in plays the main theme. It really lets you appreciate the theme to a great level because even it's stripped down to just the chords it's still a fantastic theme. It's a shame that the movie never lives up to the music, but then again a lot of great composers write great music for less than great movies so this is nothing new -I would have loved to see Newman get his Oscar for this but I guess he was not match for Gustavo's 6 minutes of guitar plucks. Hopefully someday he'll write something wonderful like this again and finally get his much deserved Oscar.


Born: October 20, 1955 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Soundtrack

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

A second-generation member of Hollywood's preeminent musical dynasty, composer Thomas Newman carried on his family's legacy through a series of Academy Award-nominated film scores. Born in Los Angeles on October 20, 1955, he was the son of Alfred Newman and the nephew of Lionel and Emil Newman, all three renowned composers and conductors from Hollywood's golden age; Thomas' brother David also followed in the family business, as did their cousin, the sardonic singer/songwriter Randy Newman. Thomas...
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The Good German (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), Thomas Newman
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