The category this year was again divided into two – Best Original Score, and Best Original Song or Adaptation Score which makes less than zero sense. I’ll pick my winner from each of the Official categories, but for My Nominations I’ll be merging them.
Official Nominations (Original): Thoroughly Modern Millie. Cool Hand Luke. Doctor Dolittle. Far From The Madding Crowd. In Cold Blood. (Adapted): Camelot. Doctor Dolittle. Thoroughly Modern Millie. Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner. Valley of The Dolls.
Bernstein won for Thoroughly Modern Millie, an suitably light and jaunty soundtrack which is reminiscent of the theme for TV series Bewitched and immediately evokes light and fluffy ideas of single women shopping and giggling. It’s not terrible, it’s just not great. Ironically, this was to be his only Oscar win. Schifrin’s soundtrack for Cool Hand Luke is clearly stronger, being poignant and sad, perfectly suited to the actions on screen. Merging lonely guitars with traditional big string surges, harmonica, and speedy news report-esque fills, it’s an oft forgotten work which transcends the time in which it was written. Bricusse’s soundtrack for Doctor Dolittle sounds like a cross between a cartoon from the 30s-50s and an old weepy romance. There are beautiful moments which float along, but the whole package lacks than big hook or two to tie it all. Similarly, Bennett’s work on Far From The Madding Crowd is quite lovely, acting as a strong emotional piece to the film itself, but again (narrowly) loses out when searching for the ever elusive killer theme. Jones’s soundtrack for In Cold Blood instantly grabs you and drags you along on a heart-pumping ride. Merging light Jazz moments with rushing, galloping drums, it is an archetypal theme for a thriller.
My Winner: Cool Hand Luke
My Nominations: Cool Hand Luke. Far From The Madding Crowd. In Cold Blood. You Only Live Twice. The Graduate. The Jungle Book.
I add three films which really should have received official nominations.George Bruns’s score for The Jungle Book may be overshadowed by the songs written for the movie, but there is still enough in the incidental pieces to warrant a nomination. The same can be said for Dave Grusin’s score for The Graduate. Finally, John Barry’s score for You Only Live Twice is likely his finest work in the Bond Universe, merging oriental flavours with the more familiar Bond tones and themes to create something striking and memorable.
My Winner: You Only Live Twice
Let us know i n the comments what film of 1967 you feel has the best soundtrack!