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Hunters are for Killing
  • Composed by Jerry Fielding
  • Film Score Monthly FSM Vol. 13 No. 11 / 2010 / 56:31

A tv movie starring Burt Reynolds, Hunters are for Killing sees the soon-to-be-a-star playing a man trying to rebuild his life after being released from prison.  It’s not well-remembered today, but thankfully that doesn’t stop a soundtrack album being released!  This was 1970 and Jerry Fielding had been working steadily in television for several years, but this was only his third feature-length project.  And it’s brilliant!  The main title theme is simply sensational, a lively and vivacious conglomeration of glorious 70s funk and jazz.  Lovers of the composer’s later themes from The Big Sleep and The Black Bird will be in heaven again.  Its occurrences in the main body of the score are all-too-infrequent – but that opening track is one which I could easily put on repeat and sit and listen to over and over again.

The rest of the score sees Fielding blending a range of styles together into something which remains cohesive despite featuring a mix of long-lined dramatic (occasionally romantic) scoring, funky action music and some light jazz which sometimes sounds more like source music.  Each of these is handled with aplomb; there is a certain raw energy in the music which makes it scintillating.  Even the romantic music (the highlight being “Give Him My Love”) has this; a cleverer man than myself attributes it in the liner notes to the “twisting in unexpected, chromatic directions” and frankly, who am I to argue?  This is an excellent album – sound is mono but crisp, the aforementioned notes by Lukas Kendall are excellent – and the music’s great.  ****

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