After John Williams skyrocketed to fame with the "Star Wars" soundtrack scores and subsequently went on to score numerous Steven Spielberg movies, I often wondered what had happened to this earlier soundtrack of his which I'd found arresting from the first moment I heard it.
I think I've checked soundtrack sources ever since the movie was released, 'way back when Burt Reynolds still had his own hair. Imagine my delight to discover this catchy tune is now available.
This particular soundtrack -- as well as the one from the Steve McQueen movie "The Reivers" -- are early Williams at his best. In addition, as a complete surprise to me, the composer Michel Legrand was originally asked to submit a score for "Cat Dancing" which is included on this disk. Legrand's score is lovely and interesting, but I can see how it doesn't quite capture the feeling of the Old West as well as Williams's score does.
I own two copies of this soundtrack because I never want to be without it again. Also, the movie "Cat Dancing" may not be in the same league as "High Noon," but I still enjoy it. It has a decent plot marred by a melodramatic ending, and yet....