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U-571 (Soundtrack) by Richard Marvin

Marvin's Matinee Masterpiece
Review by Christopher Coleman

Composed, Conducted and Produced by Richard Marvin
Produced by Ford A. Thaxton  -  Exec. Producer: John J. Alcantar III
Orchestrations by Richard Marvin, Ken Thorne, Brad Dechter, Peter Anthony, Bruce Babcock
Promotional Release - July 2000


U-571 (Soundtrack) by Richard Marvin


Originality 8
Music Selection 8
Composition 8
CD Length 8
Track Order 9
Performance 9
Final Score 8/10

 Years ago, matinees had a special air about them.  They were heroic.  They were adventurous.  They were simple and they were fun.  U-571 is the first film in some time that, as I watched, reminded of those days long gone- as each of the matinee-ingredients are in abundance. What better way to resurrect the essence of the matinee than with a good ol' WWII Naval film?

In recent memory, submarine-centered films have been tied to excellent film music.  Zimmer's Crimson Tide, Poledouris' Hunt for Red October and Klaus Doldinger's Das Boot, all give sub-films a good name when it comes to soundtracks.  Thankfully, Richard Marvin continues this tradition with his score for U-571.

After seeing the film, I found it nothing short of tragic that this score was not in line to be released.  A poll conducted of Tracksounds visitors showed that there would certainly be a demand for it, if the proper authorities could be persuaded.  Well, a promotional release is certainly better than no release.  After holding our breath for almost three months, the promotional CD of U-571 has finally surfaced.

Composer Richard Marvin has scored his share of military flicks.  Most of these film's were lower budget, made for cable, direct to video or network television movies, but gave clues as to the talent they lay at his helm.  His military exploits include: Interceptor, Aurora: Operation Intercept, Flight of Black Angel and Final Mission.

The Goldsmith influence is so clear, in U-571's main theme, that it bears only a casual mentioning.  While Marvin takes a page out of the master's book, he doesn't just rely upon this to carry his score.  As much as people  pick on the Goldsmith elements, if one listens carefully, they'll hear a bit of Horner in some of the action sequences, as well.  Despite all of this, Richard Marvin masterfully navigates his way through the treacherous and hostile seas of the film music world- waters which have been carefully mined by film music collectors, fans, and reviewers.  Richard Marvin helps to take this audience through these seas with skill and precision and resurfaces with them unscathed.

The score contains three styles of music.  The first are strong, heroic themes, the second, menacing underscore, and third,  hold-on-to-your seat-bombast!  This might prove to be the bombast release of the year.  For those who are looking for a few megatons of explosive film music, tracks such as Chase (4) and Destroyer Battle (11) easily deliver.  Maybe not since the much celebrated Cutthroat Island have I experienced such throttling music.  This is the audio-stuff that your home theatre was made for!

The tracks have been ordered in a very pleasing manner.  Tracks containing the memorable main theme and secondary themes are alternated with the heavy action and suspense cues. This keeps a listener's attention quite well.  There are few ruts in the track ordering here.  As John Williams, and other composers and producers,  seek to furnish their audience with the best possible listening experience, the producers of U-571 have as well...and succeed.

Released on April 21, 2000, U-571 launched the big screen's most lucrative and commercial season a little early.  Before the haunting voice of Lisa Gerrard gloried, before John Williams enlisted, and before James Horner set sail, Richard Marvin launched the Summer season of big films and big scores with U-571.  The film and score pleasantly hearken back to the days when the Saturday Matinee was every kid's afternoon destination.  Richard Marvin might not be the most well known of film music composers, but with solid efforts such as U-571, it will not be long before he becomes just that.

Track Listing and Ratings

 Track  Title  Time


1 End Credits #1 2:16  *****
2 Sub Battle 5:46  ****
3 Material Office 1:14  ***
4 Chase 2:54  ****
5 Finale and Dedication 4:41  *****
6 Picking Up Survivors 2:41  ****
7 S-33 Leaves Port Sound Clip 1:43  *****
8 Big Leaks 1:46  ***
9 Restarting The U-571 1:07  ****
10 Going to 200 Meters 1:05  ***
11 Destroyer Battle 8:36  ***
12 Enigma Photo/Swastika 2:09  ***
13 Pier Intro 0:55  ***
14 Lock and Load 2:17  ***
15 Taking the U-571 1:44  ****
16 Tyler Picks Trigger 1:15  ***
17 U-571 Rises/Trigger Struggles 2:34  ***
18 S-33 Sinks  2:22  ****
19 Searching Below 2:14  ***
20 Opening/U-571 Attacks 2:30  ***
21 U-571 Surfaces 1:24  ***
22 Tyler's Torpedo Plan 5:10  ***
23 Quiet Theme (End Credits #2)Sound Clip 3:38  ****

Total Running Time


Referenced Reviews:  
Gladiator | The Patriot | The Perfect Storm


Quick Quotes

Yes, Richard Marvin's score CD to U-571 starts with an end title cue that recreates Jerry Goldsmith's theme to Air Force One. But once the score really kicks in, listeners may indeed realize that a gem has been uncovered thanks to Marvin's considerable talent and feel lucky that we are treated to a CD of this fine music. For whatever military and predictable patriotic tunes, the body of the score is stirring, suspenseful, and indeed very emotional. ****.5

Vance Brawley - Scorelogue

Richard Marvin





All artwork from U-571 is exclusive property of  (c) 2000.  Its appearance is for informational purposes only.
Review format version 4.5

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