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Thunderheart
(1992)
Album Cover Art
Composed, Orchestrated, Performed, and Produced by:
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LABEL & RELEASE DATE
Intrada Records
(November 24th, 1992)
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ALBUM AVAILABILITY
Regular U.S. release, but out of print and difficult to find in stores.
Awards
AWARDS
None.
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   Availability | Viewer Ratings | Comments | Audio & Track Listings | Notes
Buy it... if you've been tempted to venture into James Horner's early synthesized, atmospheric work and want to hear some of his best material along such lines.

Avoid it... if no amount of ethnically respectful and intellectual minimalism will lure you away from Horner's larger orchestral recordings.
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EDITORIAL REVIEW
FILMTRACKS TRAFFIC RANK: #550
WRITTEN 6/15/98, REVISED 11/8/11
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Horner
Horner
Thunderheart: (James Horner) In a fictional representation of events that occurred on a South Dakota Native American reservation in the 1970's, director Michael Apted and writer John Rusco provide one of the most authentic depictions of reservation lifestyles in Hollywood's history. In real life, a militant group called "American Indian Movement" defied the FBI with violent results, though in Thunderheart, the formula has been twisted to include a conspiracy to steal land from the Native Americans. A murder mystery erupts from these actions, and it gives Val Kilmer the chance for one of his best career performances. His depiction of a conservative, clean-cut FBI agent with a fair amount of attitude is challenged by his quarter Indian heritage, and the plot explores his slowly-developing mystical visions of ghost dancers as he is eventually forced to choose between the law and the Native Americans. A fine film in all regards, the project would mark the third and final collaboration between Apted and composer James Horner. A work of intellectual prowess superior to both Gorky Park in 1983 and Class Action in 1991, Thunderheart would be a strictly small-scale score from Horner, who was in the process of slowly phasing out his electronics-only ensembles in favor of more orchestrally robust recordings at the time. Not only would Thunderheart be among the last synthetic Horner works, it exhibited a maturity of heart and substance that was often absent from his mundane synthetic scores of the past. From The Name of the Rose to Vibes, Unlawful Entry, and Class Action, Horner's largely electronic scores have alternated between disappointing boredom and fatal schizophrenia. While the instrumentation is even more singular than usual in Thunderheart, Horner fine-tunes his approach with superb subtly that spices up an otherwise basic atmospheric effort. The aforementioned moments during which Kilmer's FBI character witnesses ghost dancing in the distance of the beautiful prairies inspired Horner to use Indian chanting as a distinct instrumental element in the score, one that gives this score a sense of ethnic authenticity sadly absent from his later, somewhat generic music for the similarly Native American-involved Windtalkers.



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VIEWER RATINGS
233 TOTAL VOTES
Average: 3.07 Stars
***** 55 5 Stars
**** 45 4 Stars
*** 45 3 Stars
** 38 2 Stars
* 50 1 Stars
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COMMENTS
4 TOTAL COMMENTS
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secret - September 29, 2005, at 2:49 p.m.
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Newest: October 6, 2005, at 3:12 p.m. by
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Track Listings Icon
TRACK LISTINGS AND AUDIO
Audio Samples   ▼
Total Time: 43:59
• 1. Main Title (2:10)
• 2. The Oglala Sioux (2:35)
• 3. Jimmy's Escape (3:33)
• 4. Proud Nation (1:56)
• 5. Evidence (1:39)
• 6. First Vision (1:13)
• 7. Ghost Dance (3:13)
• 8. The Goons (2:33)
• 9. Medicine Man (1:00)
• 10. My People/Wounded Knee (4:28)
• 11. Thunder Heart (5:25)
• 12. Run for the Stronghold (5:20)
• 13. This Land is Not for Sale/End Titles (8:14)

Notes Icon
NOTES AND QUOTES
The insert includes the following note from James Horner written in March, 1992:

"In providing the score for Thunderheart, director Michael Apted and I wanted to include Native American sounds but realized that the picture would also need a somewhat mainstream approach to keep things accessible to the audience. The results brought singers and players of Native American music in a fusion with the electronic ensemble.

The allowed me to give the score several moments of complexity, reflection, even mysticism, and still remain appropriate for the picture."
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The reviews and other textual content contained on the filmtracks.com site may not be published, broadcast, rewritten
or redistributed without the prior written authority of Christian Clemmensen at Filmtracks Publications. All artwork and sound clips from Thunderheart are Copyright © 1992, Intrada Records and cannot be redistributed without the label's expressed written consent. Page created 6/15/98 and last updated 11/8/11.
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