"Never Say Never Again" music

As many long-term CBNers will know I am a big fan of the 1983 Sean Connery movie “Never Say Never Again” which features some excellent portrayals by Connery and most especially Barbara Carrera. However, I’ve always felt that the musical score left much to be desired.
So imagine my surprise when I was watching “Never Say Never Again” on Amazon Prime and decided to check out the trivia section (not expecting anything surprising since I know quite a bit about the movie anyway) and discovered that the producer Jack Schwatzman had wanted James Horner to do the movie’s score, but Connery objected and pushed for Michel Legrand to get the job.
Although Legrand is a respected composer (Academy Award winner three times) I am left to wonder what a James Horner score for “Never Say Never Again” would have felt like.

I always wanted James Horner to do a Bond score, a thought I posted on this site when he passed. Right off the heals of Star Trek II, a NSNA score from James Horner would have been intriguing, and definitely better than Legrand’s effort. Legrand had a better resume at the time, so Connery’s objection had some merit. But Horner would go on to great heights with 10 Oscar nominations (two in one year!) and 2 wins. He could evoke scenery (Legends of the Fall) , could score tense action (Aliens) , and compose songs (Titanic’s and Avatar’s). All essential ingredients to a Bond score.

Alas it did not happen. Horner’s score would have been infinitely better than what we got from Legrand.

It was almost as if Legrand was trying too hard to not emulate Barry let alone Bond. Some good rifts though and the Herb Albert stuff was fun, but it lacked the rich feel of a Bond score. Hard to put into words, but you know what I mean.

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I’m not sure I would have liked Horner to score a Bond film. I love his score for Titanic, but listen to his score for The Amazing Spiderman, it’s very similar and I don’t think works very well for an action film.

Horner did some great action scores in the early 80s;
Wrath of Khan is terrific as is Aliens, Commando, 48 hrs, and Krull are all very good action orientated scores and Gorky Park is very Bond like

Horner’s Aliens score. He definitely would have given the film more energy than Legrand’s old time jazz score, which worked against the major sequences in the film.