Film scores

Soundtrack review: Dad’s army (Charlie Mole – 2016)

dad-army

“Dad’s Army” was a British sitcom and from what I gather it’s something in the vein of M*A*S*h. Based on that series an upcoming 2016 British war comedy film will be released, directed by Oliver Parker. It will be set in 1944, after the events depicted in the television series. The story will see Catherine Zeta-Jones play a glamorous journalist, who is sent to report on the Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon. This is all before MI5 discovers that there is a German spy, hiding in the fictional British town. Charlie Mole wrote the score.

The opening cue “Auf wiedersehen Mr Hitler” makes me think of the “Police Academy” score. It has that fresh and infectious marching sound that instantly puts me in a good mood. I like it that the main title stands out from the rest of the score; it gives the album a certain identity. My expectations for a full comedic score have to be readjusted because starting from the second cue, Charlie Mole’s composition goes into suspense mode and actually makes me think of the early James Bond scores. That mood is sometimes broken with another burst of marching band fun and the balance between these two sounds make the score work.

There are also some lush moments like “Secret rendezvous” which are also wonderful homages to older films. This lounge number coupled with Glenn Miller’s “Moonlight serenade” give “Dad’s army” an amusing romantic angle. As the score progresses I get more and more the feeling of listening to the score of a musical, not an action film. The music is fun and flowery and charming and it tingles my nostalgia bone with every single note. I even feel the need to close my eyes and dream when I hear “Here’s looking at you”.

What I enjoyed the most about “Dad’s army” was the overall sound which was a breeze of golden age film music in today’s world. This score was easy to listen to and very enjoyable. The military parts were smart and engaging while the comedic and romance parts were beautiful and amusing and will make me remember this score. I liked “Dad’s army” more than I would have expected.

Cue rating: 87 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 14 / 43

Album excellence: 34%

Highlights:

Auf Wiedersehen Mr Hitler (Main Title)

The ATS

Proud To Be British

Rose Goes To The Cave And High St.

Here’s Lookin’ At You

The Beach

That’s Enough George

Auf Wiedersehen Mr Hitler (Song Version)

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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