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VCL 0805 1040

Artwork copyright (c) 2005 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.; review copyright (c) 2005 James Southall



Gorgeous, affecting, spiritual feast of a score


It is hardly a secret that Georges Delerue's talents were just wasted on such a large number of undeserving films after he moved to Hollywood.  True Confessions - which was, in fact, the film which prompted him to move there in the first place - had all the ingredients of being an exception to that - based on the infamous Black Dahlia murder case in 1940s Los Angeles, starring great actors like Robert de Niro and Robert Duvall, who play a priest and a detective - brothers - who get caught up in the tangled web that develops.  Unfortunately, despite the pedigree on offer, the film was a troubled one, never really finding an audience.  It's such a shame that Delerue so rarely managed to find himself working on projects that deserved him during the last years of his life.

Having said that - no matter what the quality of the film - the quality of the music was rarely in any doubt.  His relocation to Hollywood didn't do anything to dampen or diminish his great sense of melody, or managing to find just the right tone for any film, and he still wrote a number of great scores.  True Confessions is certainly one of them.  Its closest cousin is the truly great Agnes of God and, if this score doesn't soar to quite the same heights as that one, it's within a whisker.  It opens with one of Delerue's typically delicate, graceful themes - gentle strings and winds are accompanied by a vaguely liturgical chorus; it's one of those heartmelting themes Delerue chalked up so often.

The rest of the score has plenty more fine material.  "Carrick Fergus" gives an extended version of the theme; there's some gorgeous stuff in "After the Fight / Rancho Rosa".  The cello solo, accompanied by harp, in the second "Carrick Fergus" track is enough to break your heart.  Delerue's approach to this film is completely different from, I suspect, the approach any other composer would have taken.  He is forever scoring the tragedy and anguish in such a beautiful way, raising the film to a higher plane and raising the listener to a different place altogether.  There are so many spine-tingling moments on offer - the aforementioned cello solo, the brass chorale in the end credits, the soaring strings in "Troubled Des"; this is a truly great score.

It was released by Varese Sarabande's CD Club in August 2005 and is one of the finest releases so far in that collection; sadly (not to mention, very curiously) this great score was limited to only 1,000 copies and it became the fastest-selling film music album in history, disappearing before the day was even out.  If you didn't get a copy but are even vaguely a fan of Delerue's work then you should beg, borrow or steal a copy from somewhere (not from me though) - it's one of his magical scores which tugs at the most rigid of heartstrings and touches even the hardest of hearts.


  1. End Credits (3:55)
  2. The Notebook (3:12)
  3. Carrick Fergus (2:12)
  4. The Barracks (3:13)
  5. After the Fight / Rancho Rosa (2:07)
  6. The Barracks (alternate) (3:22)
  7. Carrick Fergus II (2:43)
  8. Troubled Des (5:06)
  9. Forget It (2:25)
  10. Brenda's Goodbye (3:34)