Basil Poledouris

Basil Poledouris (August 21, 1945 in Kansas City, Missouri, † November 8, 2006 in Los Angeles, California ) was an American film composer and film director.


At the age of seven years, Basil Poledouris began taking piano lessons, which laid the foundation for his later career was laid. After finishing school he studied - the same age as George Lucas - at the University of Southern California ( USC ), among others, cinematography and music. In his time at the University he established contacts with the directors John Milius and Randal Kleiser, with whom he later worked.

With his wife, Bobbie, he had two children, Zoë and Alexis. Although Poledouris was work-related travel frequently, his main residence remained his hometown Kansas City. The last four years of his life were spent on Vashon Iceland near Seattle.

On November 8, 2006, he succumbed to cancer.


His first film score he wrote in 1973 for the film " Extreme Close- Up." Although he for his film scores for the films " Big Wednesday " (directed by Randal Kleiser, 1980) (directed by John Milius, 1978, German " Day of Decision ") and " The Blue Lagoon " has already received smaller awards, got his big breakthrough only with the film version of Conan the Barbarian (also by John Milius, 1982): the title sequence " Anvil of Crom " was included for the first time for Poledouris later typical chorales and horn passages.

In 1985 there was the first collaboration with Paul Verhoeven, for its first English-language film " Flesh and Blood" Poledouris wrote the music. In 1987 the music to Robocop, the second collaboration with Verhoeven. Even later Poledouris should work with Verhoeven on, because this " was impressed by his drama ," says Verhoeven mid 90s.

Due to its increasing prominence Poledouris it was possible in collaboration with screenwriter Larry McMurtry to write the film score for the five -hour Western "Lonesome Dove ," for which he received a 1990 Emmy. Up to this time he had already written film scores for over 18 films. That same year, Poledouris wrote in collaboration with director John McTiernan the theme song to the movie " Hunt for Red October ". The title tune called " Hymn To Red October " alludes to the October Revolution in Russia. She leans stylistically to the former national anthem of the Soviet Union.

Until 1995, he wrote the music for " Free Willy " (1993) and " Free Willy 2" ( 1995), "Hot Shots! The second attempt " ( also 1993) and for otherwise rather unknown American productions. 1996 Poledouris had the honor to write music for the opening of the Olympic Games in Atlanta: "The tradition of the Games" is the title.

In 1997, he continued his work with Paul Verhoeven and composed the film score for " Starship Troopers ". This was recorded with a 96- piece orchestra. In the same year he also wrote the title theme to Breakdown with Kurt Russell. Even his music to Les Miserables (directed by Bille August, 1998) was excellent; In 1999, he composed the music for Mickey Blue Eyes. He also composed the music for two IMAX films.


Poledouris ' style especially Prokofiev was influenced by his early musical training on the piano. This is in contrast to the classical composers such as Mozart or Haydn, he studied at the University later. These contrasts are also reflected in his music resists: Although Poledouris often very emotional and " pompous " works designed, performed with an appropriate orchestra ( for example, the theme music to " The Hunt for Red October " ), are found sporadically very discreet pieces, such as the relatively quiet music to Randal Kleisers " It's my Party" (1996 ), which was written for only a single piano.

Film scores (selection)

Other works