The Boys from Brazil Return!

1978 was the mid-point of Jerry Goldsmith's golden seventies period - Coma, Capricorn One, Damien Omen II, The Boys from Brazil, Magic, and The Swarm (yes, that stinker) – and while Boys did earn an Oscar nomination for Best Score, it didn’t win, losing out to Giorgio Moroder’s all-synth Midnight Express.

Call it a case of a popular corkscrew score (music that worms its way into your brain and replays for days without respite) beating out an orchestral masterpiece. Goldsmith’s loss, or rather, Moroder’s win, will probably remain a thorn in the side of some fans, aggravated by the fact Midnight will always stay in print, whereas Boys has been a top collectible because it's drifted in and out of circulation for 30 years.

The LP, like the original Alien soundtrack album, was a concept album: Goldsmith selected, edited down, and re-ordered cues into suites for a more cohesive listening experience. Subtract the ditzy pop song “We’re Home Again,” and you have a 33 mins. of actual score – paltry by today’s standards, but quite normal for the era.

That album appeared on CD in Japan (A&M Japan) and Canada (Masters Film Music) before disappearing again, and like Damien Omen II and Coma, it took years before a full-score CD brought the music back into circulation.

Intrada’s new 2-CD release is limited, which means it’ll disappear again once the 3000 copies are sold out. That’s the nature of the beast when you’re dealing with a large orchestral score for a movie produced by ITC, a company that’s been negligent in releasing its catalogue of feature films in proper anamorphic DVDs with some archival content.

Boys from Brazil, on home video, was distributed by Fox in America, so while it's been branded a box office dud, the film has aged into a fine work of glossy Nazi sleaze (which I still think is what director Franklin J. Schaffner knew it was). Boys was one of the first movies released on RCA’s old CED format – so it’s been around on video for decades, but only the laserdisc offered any extras of note.

The two main goodies included a promo trailer that contained some alternate takes and deleted shots, and an isolated music track (in mono, and the source of a few bootleg albums).

Score-wise, Intrada’s CD means the music is at least available again, but the film needs a special edition DVD. ITC made a lot of turds (Raise the Titanic, Saturn 3, The Salamander), but Boys is one of the few decent productions that a) possessed a script; b) was well-directed; c) had high production values as well as a superb cast.

So while you can enjoy the music in its full glory (read review HERE), the film is only available as a blah DVD – something ITC’s owners (Granada) should slowly correct, now that Capricorn One (1978) has been reissued with a new commentary track from writer/director Peter Hyams.

Next: Varese Sarabande releases Hugo Friedhofer’s complete Boy on a Dolphin score in true stereo!


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