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  • crossing_lineComposed by Ennio Morricone
  • Varese Sarabande VSD-5326 / 1991 / 35:41

A little-known British film from 1990, Crossing the Line is about a man (Liam Neeson) whose run of bad luck forces him into bare-knuckle fighting in Scotland.  This is an unlikely place to find an original score by Ennio Morricone, but there he is.  All I know about the film, I learned from IMDB, and I was slightly amused to see that its box office performance on its opening weekend was a total take of just over $5,000.  (It went on to gross ten times that amount during its run in the US.)  It’s largely a moody, brooding score – with an unsurprising lack of bagpipes – but there is a very pleasant love theme for Neeson and his on-screen wife.  It’s not terribly memorable by Morricone’s standards, but it does its job and is certainly an appealing piece of music.

There’s a fair amount of suspense in the rest of the score – it’s effective stuff, never unlistenable.  And perhaps the most striking music in the score is that which underscores the big fight – it’s somewhat unusual in this sort of film for the main event to actually be scored, but Morricone’s music is impressive.  It’s very dark, some electronics accompanying big brassy punches.  One of those occasions where I’d like to see the film just to see how the music works in context – it’s not hard to imagine it working very well.  This obscure score won’t be for everyone – it’s no Rocky, that’s for sure – but it certainly features a number of impressive moments, and it’s interesting to hear Morricone’s approach to a film which is rather different from his usual.  ***

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