John Barry - the man with the midas touch
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Play It Again website


 Titles of films John Barry was alleged to be scoring in the past, but that did not happen or scores were replaced. Several titles may have been be mere speculation at the time and hold no truth whatsoever.

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Promise Her Anything
Composer Lyn Murray said the "powers" didn't like Barry's score, and ask him to replace it; he added he did not hear Barry's score. Leslie
Bricusse was to have written the title song with Barry and may well have done.


Lyn Murray  

What's New Pussycat
Sinful Davy
considered but unavailable

A 19th century contemporary score which Barry says he wrote and recorded for John Huston but the producers rejected the score and subsequently wouldn't return it to Barry.
Lukas Kendall of 'Film Score Monthly' has checked the studio vaults for 'Sinful Davey' and sadly, but not surprisingly, it's not there. It must be 99.999% certain that the studio executives who hated the score destroyed the masters thus depriving us of what may well have been a classic Barry score.
The themes from Sinful Davey may have been recycled into other scores but we'll never know for certain unless Barry can remember and is willing to discuss it.

John Middleton wrote in our discussion forum: Score recorded at CTS. Masters held across the road in a basement which was flooded during a cloudburst. No-one realised about the flood for some time.

Burt Bacharach Ken Thorne

Anne of The Thousand Days
Battle Of Britain

Apparently, John Barry turned down the assignment before Goodwin was asked.

When they asked Goodwin the first time, he declined. After they found no other (Barry and apparently others) willing to replace Walton, they asked Goodwin the second time. Goodwin doubled his fee, and to his surprise Saltzman said OK.

Georges Delerue Ron Goodwin, William Walton

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Love Story
Get Carter
Anthony Harvey was to direct, but Barry left when Arthur Hiller signed on.

considered but unavailable

Francis Lai Roy Budd

Live and Let Die
Don't Look Now
unavailable: fell out with Harry Saltzman, and working on Billy

"Frances" DVD has interesting tidbits apparently reveals by interviews and commentary that Barry was offered this Nic Roeg's film. Apparently, it isn't revealed why Barry didn't do them.

George Martin / titlesong: Paul McCartney and Wings Pino Donaggio

The Man Who Fell To Earth
The Spy Who Loved Me
"Frances" DVD has interesting tidbits apparently reveals by interviews and commentary that Barry was offered this Nic Roeg's film. Apparently, it isn't revealed why Barry didn't do them.

unavailable due to tax-related problems

John Phillips, Stomu Yamashta Marvin Hamlisch

Gulliver's Travels (1972)
First Love
Peter Hunt mentioned in an interview that Barry and Black had written a substantial amount but when the film went into financial hiatus, and was effectively locked up, the whole project got shelved. When the finance came back, Hunt contacted Barry and Black, but Barry had withdrawn his music by then.

Began as a song score, wasn't working. Barry hired to write a complete score, parts of which were rejected as "too mature," resulting in a hybrid song score/ Barry score. At this point, Barry asked his name be removed, but his name was seen as composer on the theatrical posters and (b) there were unmistakable Barryisms in the snippets of score that (still) remain. The director just couldn't make up her mind.
In January 2013, a limited edition of John Barry's score was released on CD by Lalalaland Records.


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For Your Eyes Only
Clash of the Titans
unavailable due to tax-related problems

According to writer Martyn Crosthwaite, who had conducted in-depth interviews with Barry, Barry had a disagreement with the producers over his overture and left the project having written nothing more. However, Ray Harryhausen claimed Barry's complete score was rejected as unsuitable.

In 2001 Barry told Ford Thaxton: "I can't remember for sure. I don't think I got too involved. I think I may have done some demos on that and they didn't like the way I was going with it and that was probably it."

Bill Conti Laurence Rosenthal

The Right Stuff
Once Bitten
In an interview in the late eighties, Barry said that director Phil Kaufman was a frustrated musician who was unable to get his take on the music across. At one point, to describe the music he wanted, Kaufman said: "you're walking in the desert and you see a cactus, and you put your foot on it, but it just starts growing up through your foot."

Barry told Ford Thaxton "I wrote several things and Phil Kaufman was very up on all the rest of it and everything. It was going very well, and then there were certain problems on the movie down the line, and he needed an excuse for delaying the production. The details are a little foggy now, but I've always remembered my association with Kaufman was also one of the most dishonest pieces of behavior I've ever encountered in the movie industry. I'll leave it at that."

Barry wrote two demo themes, didn't get the job. Recycled them into Best Man In The World for Golden Child

Bill Conti (Academy Award) John Du Prez

Farm of the Year
Licence To Kill
Because of his ilness - ruptured oesophagus, JB had to leave the music for Farm of the Year, retitled 'Miles from Home'

The producers wanted him to score this movie but because he was still recovering from serious illness it was considered unsafe for him to fly to London to work on the score. They left it as late as possible before hiring Michael Kamen.

Robert Folk Michael Kamen

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The Russia House
In an interview Barry says he had finished composing the score and the "powers that be" decided the film should be a comedy instead of drama and asked him to redo the main theme. Barry refused, and walked off the picture.

can anyone confirm?

John Morris Jerry Goldsmith

The Prince of Tides
fell out with director and left

Saw film and decided he wasn't interested. As told to Geoff by him.

James Newton Howard Trevor Jones

The Bodyguard
Year of the Comet
new director, Barry left

Main theme is used in the film's trailer towards the end.

Alan Silvestri and pop songs Hummie Mann

Of Mice and Men

JB told Geoff that the director once offered to show him the film but that was as far as it went. He never heard from him again on the subject.

Mark Isham Vangelis

Sleepless in Seattle
It Could Happen To You
'I was offered Sleepless in Seattle. They sent me the script. They asked me to do it, and I said I would be very interested. But then I heard there was a so-called "musical supervisor," and whenever I hear that I want to run. So then the musical supervisor came into the picture. And then I spoke to a guy who runs Epic Music in Los Angeles. And he said he wanted these songs, and I said "can I have a list? Fax me a list." And there were about 20 songs, and I said, "Well, where am I?" Right then I didn't want to do this movie.'


Marc Shaiman Carter Burwell

The Grass Harp

Was asked to score but was too busy on other projects and also wanted to spend time with his very young son.

Patrick Williams Eric Serra

The Juror
The English Patient
"I met with the director, Brian Gibson, and told him how I work. I would give him themes, and then I go off and work, and then go to Los Angeles, he's finished shooting, we spot the movie. I did a few things which he really liked a lot, and which Columbia liked. Then he said, "Well, what about the rest of the music?" and I said, "What about the rest of the music?" He said, "I want to hear it." I said, "This is not an audition, Brian. This is your second movie. If there's anything at the end of the  day that you don't like, then we have a little session."

was approached but refused

James Newton Howard Gabriel Yared

Tomorrow Never Dies
Wanted proper fee, full creative control (the song), both of which he was refused.

Barry recorded some violin pieces that were played on set while filming, but a scheduling problem led to him being unable to do the score in the end.

David Arnold Jan A.P. Kaczmarek

Seven Years in Tibet
Ever After
had conversations with director but never signed

wrote a theme as a demo, which was rejected

John Williams George Fenton

The Horse Whisperer
The End Of The Affair
Wrote and recorded several demo themes but disagreements with director Robert Redford led to him leaving the project. He did not compose and record a complete score, as has been suggested.

Wrote demo theme, presumably rejected. It's now a track on Eternal Echoes.

Thomas Newman Michael Nyman

Goodbye Lover
Tom's Midnight Garden
Wrote and recorded full score. However, the film's writer, Ron Peer, who was delighted that John was the composer, believes he did not want to "lighten" his score in certain places as required by the director during the editing process. Hence John Ottman was brought in to write a replacement score. It's worth noting that actress Ellen DeGeneres claimed that test audiences reacted badly to the film originally ending with her character being killed, so she was called back to re-shoot the ending.

Director Willard Carroll wanted Barry (him being a big fan), made one phone call just to check out availability but there was never any discussion beyond that.

John Ottman Debbie Wiseman

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Thomas and the Magic Railroad
The Incredibles
Barry was initially very enthusiastic about this (his son was a big fan of the stories) and wrote several songs with Don Black. However, he eventually decided the film was not going the way he had envisaged and left.

Worked on this for some time but apparently the studio did not agree with his take. There seems to have been a misunderstanding as director Brad Bird hired him on the basis that he would write a score which was a pastiche of his James Bond scores.  Barry had no intention of scoring it that way and even his trailer music was replaced by a real Bond theme - OHMSS!  They could not agree and Barry left.

Hummie Mann Michael Giacchino

Projects which never saw the day of light.

The Jam Travels with Charlie
Barry bought the rights and planned to act as composer/producer

Barry bought the rights and planned to act as composer/producer with segments to be directed by people like Kevin C. I seem to recall that Jim Wilson might have been a co-producer? Not sure! Barry publicised this quite a lot in the sweep of post-Dances popularity but (obviously) it never arrived.


Thanks to: Stephen Woolston, Pete Greenhill, James Southall, David N. Butterworth, Michael Storck, Matt Manning, Ron van Overveldt, Guenther Koegebehn, Mike Copping, John Middleton.

Other sources: "John Barry - A Life In Music", "Score" (Dutch film music magazine, which also mentioned: Property of a Lady (a Bond title rumour), Lonesome Dove, and called The Horse Whisperer the new Bond ! in 1996.

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