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THE BLUE LAGOON
Beautiful portrait of love is early highlight from Poledouris
A review by JAMES SOUTHALL
Music composed by
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Album running time
Album cover copyright (c) 1987 Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.; review copyright (c) 2006 James Southall
Randal Kleiser's desert-island movie is unlikely to be amongst anyone's favourites, but its extremely curious sense of innocence and downright cheesiness make it eminently watchable (though, I'm sure, not for the reasons the director intended). It looks gorgeous too, thanks to Nestor Almendros's cinematography - and it sounds gorgeous, thanks to Basil Poledouris's wonderful score. Poledouris was a good friend of Kleiser at film school, and this was only his second major score (after Big Wednesday - written for another friend from film school, John Milius).
The album begins with the sweet love them ("Emmeline"), a rapturous piece for piano and orchestra is ravishing, and very memorable. It's one of Poledouris's most enchanting creations - old-fashioned, even corny in a way, but full of life and happiness and richly rewarding. After this, the score proper starts with a portentous main title cue which is no less sumptuous, Poledouris filling it with the spirit of a beautiful paradise. He also captures this well, later on, with the florid waltz "The Island", again so full of life and colour. Occasionally the score has darker passages, such as in the strained "Paddy's Death" or ominous "Lord of the Lagoon", in which the composer uses low winds to great effect.
Indeed, the whole score is a rich experience. Poledouris doesn't hold back from offering a conciously-overstated tone poem about love, and it makes for a very fine album. Considering this was one of his very earliest scores, it is impressive indeed. The music was released on CD by the Australian Southern Cross label, and is still surprisingly easy to find (including from the Amazon link above). A fine example of Poledouris at his beautiful best.