The Illustrated Man

Jerry Goldsmith

" The man who's music was too weird for me "

Written by Thomas Glorieux - Review of the limited release

The Illustrated Man is a movie that sounds bizarre, but somehow Jerry Goldsmith knew how to approach its weirdness all too easily. Sadly I don't really care for its sound. There's a theme, there's a bunch of ideas and above all there's a specific sound. It somehow perfectly captures the essence of the film, something composers have all too much problems with nowadays. However in terms of enjoying it, it's another matter. It's abstract, eerie, on edge, and considering Goldsmith did stuff like this before, it's take it or leave it material. So at first it seems like it's not a bad score, but then you start hearing the failed electronic approach of cues such as "21st Century House", "Angry Child" and "Quiet Evening" (all the while mimicking an early Mrs. Deagle sound of Gremlins). When these cues appear, it feels like revisiting my thoughts of Logan's Run. It might be effective for the scene it's underscoring, but on disc it fails to impress me. Goldsmith was always a believer of electronic enhancement, but there are occasions that it failed big time. And in total contrast are gentle calm pieces like "Almost a Wife" that bring serenity to the picture. Ah, in the end The Illustrated Man is not the type of music for me. And even though it will have fans who admire this sort of music, I don't think they will be with many.

In terms of originality and possible effect, I'm sure The Illustrated Man will have its fans.
One of the few scores of Goldsmith that completely fails to grab me.
Maybe it sounds effective for the scene or not, but on disc it comes over incredibly silly ("21st Century House", "Angry Child").

Track List

1. Main Title (3.28)
2. The House (2.53)
3. The Illustrations (2.24)
4. Felicia (1.42)
5. The Rose (1.57)
6. The Lion (0.51)
7. 21st Century House (1.57)
8. Angry Child (1.50)
9. Quiet Evening (2.50)
10. Skin Illustrations (1.22)
11. The Rocket (1.19)
12. The Rain (1.35)
13. The Sun Dome (1.25)
14. Almost a Wife (6.06)
15. The Morning After (2.02)
16. The House is Gone (3.45)
17. Frightened Willie (4.28)

Total Length: 41.54
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(total of 1 votes - average 5/5)

Released by

Film Score Monthly FSMCD Vol. 4 No. 14 (limited release 2001)

Conducted by

Samuel Matlovsky

Orchestrations by

Arthur Morton