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Flight of the Intruder
1997 Bootleg

1997 Bootleg Alternative

2013 Intrada

Composed, Conducted, and Produced by:
Basil Poledouris

Orchestrated by:
Greig McRitchie
Mark McKenzie

Soundtrack Library Bootleg

Release Date:

Also See:
The Hunt for Red October
Starship Troopers

Audio Clips:
1997 Bootlegs:

1. Flight of the Intruder March (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (241K)
Real Audio (149K)

6. Air Battle (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (241K)
Real Audio (150K)

11. Review Board (0:29):
WMA (191K)  MP3 (234K)
Real Audio (145K)

13. The Rescue (0:30):
WMA (195K)  MP3 (242K)
Real Audio (150K)

The "Soundtrack Library 46" album is a bootleg that was available in limited quantities from soundtrack specialty outlets in 1997. Several less organized variants resulted. The 2013 Intrada album is a limited product of unspecified quantities, originally available through soundtrack specialty outlets for $20.


Flight of the Intruder

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Used Price: $38.00

Sales Rank: 279081

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Buy it... if you can be satisfied with a dull but sufficient extension of the basic war genre sound you heard in The Hunt for Red October, in this case bracketed by a ridiculously transparent primary theme of heroic bravado.

Avoid it... if you seek an engaging score with any truly intelligent, fresh constructs or dynamic performances from orchestra and synthesizers, elements that you often find well balanced in Basil Poledouris' works but not here.

Flight of the Intruder: (Basil Poledouris) Director John Milius' 1991 translation of the popular Stephen Coonts novel came under much criticism at the time of Flight of the Intruder's release. Viewers who had appreciated the novel sharply criticized the adaptation, claiming that much of the intrigue involving the intelligent, politically complex portion of the plot was replaced with black and white wartime situations that make for good, dumbed-down American cinema. For the story of A-6 fighter pilots during Vietnam of the early 1970's, the characters, while maintaining flight names such as Cowboy, Razor, Rabbit, or Tiger, didn't closely resemble their counterparts from the book as well, further irritating Coonts' readers. Still, adaptations of techno-thriller war novels to the big screen were a hot idea in the early 1990's, with The Hunt for Red October opening the box office floodgates to potential mega-profit imitations. Unfortunately, debilitating post-production difficulties with Flight of the Intruder contributed to a lack of momentum for the project that ultimately yielded a dismal public response and essentially concluded Milius' directorial career. Composer Basil Poledouris had by chance been the composer of the popular score for Hunt for Red October, and his friendship and working partnership with Milius would make him an immediate choice to score Flight of the Intruder the next year. By 1991, Milius and Poledouris already enjoyed half a dozen collaborations, many of them existing in the war or action genres and their most successful ventures being the 1980's hits Conan the Barbarian and Red Dawn. Poledouris felt so strongly about his loyalty to Milius that he backed out of his assignment to Kevin Costner's Dances With Wolves because the post-production parts of Flight of the Intruder relating to the score would overlap the Costner production by two weeks. In an intriguing and frustrating development, however, Flight of the Intruder was delayed by half a year, opening up the entire time in which John Barry scored Dances With Wolves. It has been speculated endlessly that Poledouris, in the process of leaving the award-caliber film for Milius' ridiculous venture, cost himself his best shot at an Academy Award nomination and win. The criticism of Flight of the Intruder would catch up to Poledouris' score as well, for several critics claimed upon release that the music is one of the reasons why the film failed to maintain the novel's intelligence and degenerated into the realm of mindless action. Indeed, it is a very simple, straight forward piece of music.

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The composer's contribution to Flight of the Intruder is patriotic where appropriate, pulsating with snare rhythms during action sequences, and subdued with ambiguity in places in between. As before, Poledouris employed a moderately sized orchestra for the project and then mixed in his own array of modern sound effects to satisfy the military genre and nautical locale. The main theme, developing its heroism progressively until announcing departure and rescue scenes with bravado, is one of Poledouris' most transparent career ideas; it was obviously aimed at the same narrow audience as the film in its whole. The theme is robust and overflowing with patriotic testosterone, but it suffers from the same kind of brutish attitude that left former pilots wondering why so many of the flying scenes in the film were unrealistic. Its tone on album is distractingly upbeat as a result. There is basic suspense in the score, a descending six-note phrase generic and utilized too often (a good alternate in "Iron Hand Mission" and "Camparelli Crashes" is comparatively shunned). Slight, exotic woodwind effects for the Vietnamese element are likewise rather tepid. One snare-led preparation motif is an exact replica of the one used for the Americans in The Hunt for Red October. As such, Flight of the Intruder does seem like an extension or sequel score in parts. The electronics this time, however, are not as well handled, with some of the chosen rhythmic effects reverberating with a bit too much of an underwater echo mixture. The tingling, steady bass electronics that Poledouris relied upon in his other sea-faring scores are largely absent in Flight of the Intruder as well, and they are missed. For the flying sequences themselves, Poledouris abandons the graceful kind of writing that he produced for Flyers and instead continues the tone of testosterone-driven force in simple fashion. When denoting tragedy, as in the opening "Morg's Death," the presence is too slight, lacking a poignant dramatic touch in the process of attempting disillusionment. Thus, the emotional depth of the score is minimal, and the work only serves as a good listening experience if you desire your stock military action without much genuinely contemplative thought. Surprisingly, the score for Flight of the Intruder was never released commercially in 1991, despite Poledouris' considerable popularity during that era. A widely circulated bootleg with several different covers existed since the mid-1990's, however, every variant offering the same 45 minutes of Poledouris material in very good sound quality. In 2013, Intrada Records finally provided official treatment to the work in limited album form, adding a few minutes of bonus material and cleaning up the presentation. Overall, though, it's a very average war score that requires you to turn off your brain. ** Price Hunt: CD or Download

Bias Check:For Basil Poledouris reviews at Filmtracks, the average editorial rating is 3.47 (in 33 reviews)
and the average viewer rating is 3.22 (in 33,624 votes). The maximum rating is 5 stars.

 Viewer Ratings and Comments:  

Regular Average: 2.83 Stars
Smart Average: 2.91 Stars*
***** 17 
**** 28 
*** 35 
** 28 
* 28 
  (View results for all titles)
    * Smart Average only includes
         40% of 5-star and 1-star votes
              to counterbalance fringe voting.
   Re: A Solid Score...
  Oscar G. -- 4/10/13 (11:30 a.m.)
  mastadge -- 2/24/13 (1:02 p.m.)
   A Solid Score...
  Solaris -- 2/24/13 (1:00 p.m.)
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 Track Listings (1997 Bootlegs): Total Time: 44:21

• 1. Flight of the Intruder March (1:56)
• 2. Tragedy at Sea (6:26)
• 3. Mourning (1:47)
• 4. In the Air (2:07)
• 5. Into Combat (2:53)
• 6. Air Battle (4:21)
• 7. Friendship and Honor (2:54)
• 8. Fallen Friends (1:41)
• 9. Dawn (1:20)
• 10. The Bomb Run (5:49)
• 11. Review Board (1:59)
• 12. The Crash/Surrounded (5:42)
• 13. The Rescue (3:43)
• 14. Finale (1:58)

 Track Listings (2013 Intrada Album): Total Time: 55:14

The Album: (47:10)
• 1. Morg's Death (6:38)
• 2. Morg's Funeral (1:45)
• 3. Chase For Five Dollars (2:08)
• 4. On the Beach (0:37)
• 5. Iron Hand Mission (4:21)
• 6. Boxman's Death (2:54)
• 7. Cole Decides to Bomb Hanoi (1:42)
• 8. I Get Good Vibes (1:19)
• 9. Raid on Hanoi (5:52)
• 10. Court Martial (0:25)
• 11. San Pedro Harbor Scene (0:56)
• 12. Alpha Strike (1:58)
• 13. Camparelli Crashes (2:43)
• 14. Keeping the Faith (1:59)
• 15. Alpha Mike Fox Trot (5:42)
• 16. Rescue (3:43)
• 17. Final Scene (1:56)

The Extras: (8:04)
• 18. Chase For Five Dollars (Alternate) (1:37)
• 19. Boxman's Death (Alternate) (2:54)
• 20. Trailer - composed by John Beal (3:27)

 Notes and Quotes:  

The inserts of the bootlegs are haphazardly designed, with no extra information about the score or film. That of the 2013 Intrada album includes detailed information about both.

  All artwork and sound clips from Flight of the Intruder are Copyright © 1997, 2013, Soundtrack Library Bootleg, Intrada Records. The reviews and other textual content contained on the site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the prior written authority of Filmtracks Publications. Audio clips can be heard using RealPlayer but cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 7/12/03 and last updated 2/24/13. Review Version 5.1 (PHP). Copyright © 2003-2015, Christian Clemmensen (Filmtracks Publications). All rights reserved.