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Catch Me If You Can Soundtrack

4.4 out of 5 stars 31 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Soundtrack, December 10, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

SOUNDTRACK CATCH ME IF YOU CAN

Amazon.com

Steven Spielberg veered from the futuristic sci-fi flirtations of A.I. and Minority Report with this brisk, stylish period take on the career of teen con-man extraordinaire Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his dogged G-man pursuer/de facto extended family member Carl Hanratty (Tom Hanks). As always, the director's musical collaborator is John Williams, and the scoring legend uses the occasion of their 20th collaboration as a rewarding musical journey back to the days when he was known as Johnny Williams, ambitious young pianist for Henry Mancini on such early jazz scores as Peter Gunn. Informed by a half-century of subsequent achievement, Williams's return to the jazz idiom of his youth yields a smart, nervous score that evokes more than mere nostalgia. But with Dan Higgins's moody sax often leading the way, the veteran composer's work here seems more evocative reinvention than revisitation, yet another tribute to his uncanny ability to make any idiom his own. A handful of pop standards (including Sinatra's "Come Fly with Me," Getz and Gilberto's "Girl from Ipanema," "The Christmas Song" by Nat "King" Cole) deftly color both period and plot, but, as always, it's Williams who provides Spielberg's masterful imagery with its musical life's blood. --Jerry McCulley
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Product Details

  • Performer: John Williams
  • Audio CD (December 10, 2002)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Soundtrack
  • Label: Dreamworks
  • Run Time: 141 minutes
  • ASIN: B00007BKUE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,488 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. Banson on December 13, 2002
Format: Audio CD
If you listen to many of John Williams' memorable themes and scores, it's amazing to know that the guy started out as a jazz musician. With his score for "Catch Me If You Can," he gets a chance to bring out that side of him with this slick, jazzy and infectious score. One drawback is it does lacks the true William's signature: The memorable melody. It's likely due to the fact that Williams and Spielberg have a film set in an era (or begins in an era) that was musically into jazz styles like Cool and Be-Bop; styles that were driven more on dissonance and broken melodies created by improvised riffs. It only seems fitting to incorporate those styles to accompany the film. Nevertheless, the arrangements and orchestrations are top-notch. Even Spielberg points out on the liner notes that we "may swear that the E flat sax solo was improvised, but John wrote every single note of it."
With that, this score is riddled with the sound of a saxophone. There might even be credit to what Spielberg wrote: the saxophone solos do sound improvised. It seems Williams uses the saxophone in the score to parallel the main character Frank Abagnale (Leonardo DiCaprio)who is an amazing imposter. Because like an imposter, his every move may sound and appear improvised, but underneath the veneer, every move (or every note) is calculated.
There are three themes in this score. The main theme here is aptly titled Catch Me If You Can, a minimalist piece that consist of vibes, xlyophones and woodwinds written in an offbeat time signature. The second is an upbeat 4/4 progressive motif with staccato strings and alto saxophone riffs that reminds me of William's own "Home Alone" scores and Howard Shore's "Mrs. Doubtfire" score.
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Format: Audio CD
John Williams goes back to his roots. In the early 50s he issued a bunch of albums conducting a big band. Yes, he arranged them and played piano. This jazzy and fun score reminds one of the best of Henry Mancini. Add standards by Nat Cole, Frank Sinatra and Judy Garland among others and this CD perfectly catches the feeling of the time period that the film takes place in. Williams' best score in a long time.
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Format: Audio CD
This score, like most of John William's music, is strickingly different than the ones before. William's ability to dabble in different musical forms is decidedly one of his greatest strengths, along with his ability to follow the pace of the movie. If you happen to simply be a fan of William's, I think you'll enjoy this bit. It's very light, entertaining, and enjoyable. A very happy bit, indeed. Don't expect it to be like Star Wars, but expect to enjoy it.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is a pretty good score, different from the normal John Williams stuff (Star Wars, Superman). The classic music thrown into the CD with the score really brings you back to the scenes from the movie.
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Format: Audio CD
Steven Spielberg's 2002 film CATCH ME IF YOU CAN was a breezy crime caper movie based on the true-life story of Frank Abagnale, a real "phony" who nevertheless embarked on a three-year spree of writing bum checks adding up to millions during the 1960s. To capture that era's swinging mores, he had his great friend John Williams design one of that composer's quirkiest scores ever--very jazzy and redolent of the scores Henry Mancini devised for the "Pink Panther" films and Stanley Donen's 1963 classic CHARADE.

But for Williams, CATCH ME IF YOU CAN was very much a homecoming, as he started out in jazz and even worked quite closely with Mancini early on in Hollywood. The genuine jauntiness and mystery of the film's main musical motifs are balanced by moments of warm but not mushy sentimentality, and hit songs of that period by Frank Sinatra, Stan Getz, and Dusty Springfield round out this appealing collection.

CATCH ME IF YOU CAN was such an offbeat project for a composer and a director known for boldness, but it served as a challenge that Spielberg aced on the screen and Williams aced in his music. It is highly recommended for its sheer audacity in going back to the past and still remaining relevant to today.
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Format: Audio CD
The opening theme is the coolest ever. It has that jazzy, suspenseful, space-age groove that takes you back to the early 60's era portrayed in the movie.

Once I discovered it was done by John Williams, things started to click. The arrangement and themes actually go back way before he was famous. Back to an era he may not want you to remember. Back when he was known simply as "Johnny" Williams.

First, notice the melody and pace of the creeping marimbas and bubbling flutes. Next, catch a repeat of the old Sci-Fi, TV Fairy-Tale known as "LOST IN SPACE." Listen for the incidental, suspense-scene music throughout. Did you catch the composer's name in the credits?

Bingo!(and still very cool)!
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Format: Audio CD
I wasn't planning on buying this CD, but after having seen the movie, I couldn't resist. It's a really catchy score, and I really like its jazz sounds. It's very different from most of the stuff that Williams has done. It does get repetitive at times, so I understand how some people might not like it, and it's certainly not as memorable as, say, "Star Wars" or "Jurassic Park". But then again, it's not supposed to be.
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