Thursday, September 18, 2014

My Most Memorable Film Score? "The Firm" by Dave Grusin

I will never forget the first time I saw The Firm and heard Dave Grusin's amazing score.

I saw the movie at a small cinema in Cushing, Oklahoma when it was released in 1993. All I knew about the film at the time was that it starred Tom Cruise and was a suspense thriller.

Jumpin' Catfish! The film grabbed me at the opening credits. Captivating blues and jazz solo piano against a backdrop of rowing crews at Harvard. The opening credits sequence featured scenes of Boston where Mitch McDeere, a recent grad from Harvard Law, interviews for jobs with the nation's most prestigious law firms.

I like movie openings that start the story and give background to what is about to happen.

This was John Grisham's first best-selling novel, and the first adapted for film. His first novel, A Time to Kill, did not become a best-seller until after The Firm made it big. Then the publishers decided Grisham might be a pretty good writer after all so they went back and published the first novel. I'd never heard of Grisham before this movie, and since then I've read all his novels. He remains one of my favorite authors.

The music in this movie becomes a character. Set in Memphis, the music is blues and jazz at it's finest. Best tunes for me include, The Firm theme, Memphis Stomp, Ray's Blues and Mud Island Chase.

The Firm Theme

Memphis Stomp

Ray's Blues

Mud Island Chase


  1. I like the movie and the music is amazing. I would have to give all time film score to Goldfinger by John Barry - with two runners up from John Williams - Star Wars and Superman.

  2. Craig, good choices. John Williams is amazing - Those are my faves as well, plus Jaws theme. Oh yeah! And Barry's Goldfinger, is awesome. Great movie and great score.