None But the Brave - Soundtrack
International Title
 None But the Brave
Music By: John Williams
Record Label: FSM
Running Time: 65:49 Discs: 1
Release: June 2009 CD Number: FSM-1212
Anthony Romero
First, thanks goes to Jessica Stan for sending this in for review!

This release is certainly an enigma for a Toho site, to be sure. When one thinks of the great soundtracks of Toho films, composers like Akira Ifukube and Masaru Sato come quickest to mind, both contributing to the ever popular Godzilla series while Sato also made his mark on some of Akira Kurosawa's best remembered work. Yet, this little 1965 film, a US and Japanese co-production, is host to the world's most famous film composer of all time: John Williams. This is a very early film score for the maestro, long before Jaws and Star Wars made him renowned a decade later, and while its certainly one of the composer's lesser scores, it's none the same an enjoyable body of work that hints at his later genius to come.

Suffice to say, if someone collects soundtracks they are likely a fan of Williams work. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, the Harry Potter series... there is a huge collection of outstanding film work to the composer's name. The score for this 1965 anti-war film certainly doesn't belong in any top list for the composer, even a top 25, but is an enjoyable soundtrack that also marks the transition of Williams career away from comedic work into more blockbuster and action oriented territory.

Theme wise, the main part of the CD is pretty consistent, although a slight hint toward the work of Universal Monster composer Hans Salter in its approach at times. The "Main Title" has some majesty mixed in, while capturing the almost heroic, old west style that was popular of the time to make for a theme rooted in the era the film was created. The drawback of the disc is the lack of highlights, outside of the great "The Final Fight / The Spirit Lives / End Cast" of which has the most foreshadowing for his later work and effectively combines a military march with a more tragic take of the main title, encompassing really the whole plot in a single cue.

In terms of bonus content, the disc has about 11 minutes worth. Starting from the top, there is a majestic piano version of the "Main Title" that Williams played himself, which was originally going to be released as a single but got canned. This is followed by a radio luau-style source theme before giving the listener a few outtakes and then the original trailer music which is a rousing march theme. The CD then concludes with two tracks from the record single done by The Jack Halloran Singers. While the "None But the Brave" song is an acquired taste, I quite enjoy its odd mix of choral and 1960's pop to give it a somber yet slightly uplifting piece that fits with the film. The other song, "Sylvia", doesn't quite fare as well. It starts off strong, very soothing, but gets a bit repetitive and the lyrics start to clash with the background music a little.

Overall, while this will never fit among the composer's best work, its a fine score on its own and an even better release given its roots as a turning point in Williams career. This release by FSM (Film Score Monthly) was limited to 3000 copies, but shouldn't be too hard to find online still for soundtrack collectors.
Rating: Star Rating
  1. Main Title / Kuroki's Introduction
  2. The Boat Detail
  3. Busy Hands / Kuroki Prepares for War / Fishing Spear
  4. Night Adventure
  5. The Enemies Repair
  6. Ship in Sight / When Enemies Meet / Okuda Whistles / Kuroki's Challenge / Connection
  7. Brothers in Command / The Water Hole
  8. Water Logged
  9. Waiting for Battle
  10. The Dream of Hope is Ashes / Hirano's Problem
  11. The Bargain / Mahoney Gets the News
  12. Uneasy Peace / Okuda and Craddock
  13. Kuroki's Reflection
  14. Mahoney's Reflection / Mahoney's Analysis
  15. Okuda and the Shark
  16. Good Friends Part / Radio Contact
  17. The Separation
  18. The Final Fight / The Spirit Lives / End Cast

    Bonus Track
  19. Piano Theme
  20. Word From Waikiki
  21. Kuroki's Introduction (Alternate #1)
  22. Kuroki's Introduction (Alternate #2)
  23. Trailer

    Record Single
  24. None But the Brave
    By: The Jack Halloran Singers
  25. Sylvia
    By: The Jack Halloran Singers