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Cinema Century: A Musical Celebration of 100 Years of Cinema Soundtrack, Box set

4.3 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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  • Sample this album Artist - Artist (Sample)
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Disc 2
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Disc 3
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This CD arrived this morning and already I've listened to most of it and love it - music from some of my favourite films such as "The Godfather" all on the one compilation! Even though I haven't seen most of the films I still love listening to the music. I bought this along with another film music compilation, "The Classic Score" and with these two CDs I've got a bit of everything!
A notable absence is "Titanic" but because I've heard the Titanic music so much, I was actually rather pleased to see it had been missed out! I was very pleased to discover that the track from "Bridge On the River Kwai" is the fun marching tune that all the soldiers whistle to on the film!! There are some real cinema classics on here, such as "Lawrence of Arabia", "Ben Hur", "Jaws"... the list is endless! So, three CDs, over 3 1/2 hours of great film music - you can't go far wrong with this!
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Format: Audio CD
As a comprehensive, A to Z compilation of great film music, this 3 CD set probably can't be bettered. After the 20th Century Fox fanfare as an opener, we are treated to 57 film themes in chronological order, starting with "City Lights" (1931) and ending with "Schindler's List" (1994). In between, it is very hard to think of any unforgettable film theme that should be there but isn't. The best I can manage is "The Third Man" (and that is a strange omission) and "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" (we get "Once Upon a Time in the West" instead).

If you're thinking of starting a collection of film music, start here.
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Format: Audio CD
To be honest it is hard to review this box set. I can understand Andrew_mcp's point of view, and often find myself irritated by conductors playing around with the original material, or as Andrew wrote, when a small orchestra is used. In the case of these CDs I was not actually disappointed. I think with enough volume the recordings sound as good as the originals (though of course with a new orchestra and conductor). There are a lot of songs here for not a lot of money, which is good news, and in general the songs are great. I think I've rated this four and not five stars because I feel that potentially the song choices could have been better. For example, there is a lot of John Barry here, but it would have been nice to have varying themes as opposed to the very similar Dances with wolves, Born Free, and Out of Africa themes (though these are excellent). I also feel that there is more music from films like the Mission that I would have liked to hear rather than just the one theme. To be honest though I am being picky, and this is worth buying for unique tracks like the stroke of genius that is Where Eagles Dare, not to mention the likes of Zulu and Colonel Bogey. The more classical tracks are evened out with things like Mancini's Pink Panther and Fiedel's Terminator. This is well worth it for anyone who likes classic films.
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By A Customer on 24 Nov. 2004
Format: Audio CD
Probably not. What a shame, given the excellent range of titles on this 3 disc package. It was very disappointing to discover that these re-recordings based on the original film scores are no match for the original soundtrack recordings. To give just three examples: Max Steiner's - of all composers - 'Gone with the Wind' is weak and lacks all the pace, fullness, vigour and drama of the original soundtrack recording. And the same can be said of '633 Squadron' which has none of Goodwin's almost breathless pace; 'The Great Escape' can only be described as plodding. Unfortunately, this lack of energy in the scoring is identifiable virtually throughout the collection. There is a lot to be said for original soundtrack recordings, because the studios put a huge amount of effort into the orchestrations to get them spot on to the mood of the film, so my advice has to be go for original soundtracks every time - digtally re-mastered or not.
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Format: Audio CD
I think this is a fantastic selection and I'd give it 6 stars if I could. A great deal is packed in and most of it is excellent. It works as a history of film music from 'City Lights', 'Gone with the Wind' and 'Casablanca' in the 1930s and 40s all the way to 'Chariots of Fire' and 'Schindler's List' in the 1980s and 90s. Westerns are, quite properly, well represented (especially the incomparably rousing Elmer Bernstein music for 'The Magnificent Seven'). Its a good, balanced selection with a preference for lush, melodic themes. Comedy is a bit under-represented but this is compensated for by a great gathering of evocative themes from Messrs John Barry, John Williams, Maurice Jarre, Vangelis and Ennio Morricone - to name only those who appear most often.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I was hoping for the full orchestral experience, but compared to the original soundtracks (ok, my memory of them), many of these versions are distinctly uninspiring... or recorded on a day when half the orchestra was off sick.
The playing as such isn't at fault, and 3 CDs for the price has to be good value for money. But I honestly can't recommend this.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The discs are packed. The titles well chosen. The performances are all symphonic at its best, very much in accordance to the oringinal scores. If you are interested in film music themes, buy this.
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