Soundtracks of Peter Weir Films

Music is one of the most important aspects of Peter Weir's films. It is very difficult to walk away from "Fearless" or "Dead Poets Society" without humming the music that was playing during the end credits. How many people who have watched "Gallipoli" are able to listen to Albinoni's Adagio again in the same way? Equally at home using new music by his frequent collaborator Maurice Jarre as he is using previous works (Henryk Gorecki's Symphony No. 3, U2's Where the Streets Have No Name) the one constant in Weir's films is that the music fits the scenes to perfection, bringing out just the right emotions and feelings that help make scenes even more memorable.

The Truman Show / Fearless / Green Card / Dead Poets Society / The Mosquito Coast / Witness /
The Year of Living Dangerously

The Truman Show
(running time: 56:30)
DiscoGlassy: full CD details including scans
Milan Records: sound samples from the soundtrack

        Twenty one tracks from the film soundtrack. This contains music from Burkhard Dallwitz as well as Philip Glass (who can be glimpsed playing piano during one scene in the film). Philip Glass contributed several original pieces for the film as well as several pieces from his earlier works on Poqaqqatsi, Anima Mundi, and Mishima. Also on the album is Father Kolbe's Preaching by Wojciech Kilar and the song Twentieth Century Boy performed by The Big Six.

        The album begins with the announcer introducing the television show ("1.7 million were there for his birth...") followed by the music which actually starts off the movie itself. Overall the album is a good listen, and a wonderful way of re-living the film. Actually, it probably works better in this sense than simpler listening for enjoyment since so many of the tracks are rather short. Tracks that particularly stand out are It's a Life, Anthem (from when Truman stops traffic), Reunion (when the music swells and the cameras zoom in for the hero shot), Truman Sleeps, Father Kolbe's Preaching (from when Truman finally discovers the truth), and A New Life (a track not in the film itself).

1) Trutalk ("1.7 billion were there for his birth")   1:18 12) Living Waters ("I'd walk through traffic for you.") 3:48
2) It's a Life (Opening music)   1:30 13) Reunion (Back from the dead.) 2:26
3) Aquaphobia (Odd music when Truman tries to take the ferry.)   0:40 14) Truman Sleeps 1:51
4) Dreaming of Fiji   1:54 15) Truman Sets Sail 1:55
5) Flashback (Memories of his father's "death")   1:19 16) Underground / Storm 3:37
6) Anthem - Part 2 (First suspicions, Truman stops traffic)   3:50 17) Raising the Sail (The calm after the storm) 2:13
7) The Beginning   4:06 18) Father Kolbe's Preaching (Reaching the end of the world) 2:26
8) Romance - Larghetto 10:42 19) Opening ("In case I don't see ya...") 2:14
9) Drive ("Where should we go today?")   3:34  20) A New Life 1:58
10) Underground ("You're welcome Truman")   0:56 21) Twentieth Century Boy (Dancing with the wrong girl) 3:07
11) Do Something!   0:44

(running time: 53:48)

        A bizarre combination of music from the film. The first track is a soft, very DPS style tune from when Max leaves the hospital and sees his wife waiting for him. The second track, from when Max and Carla take in the sights of Oakland, is a delightful combination of violins and drums that can get your toes tapping. (Actually there's some of that going on in the background of the music itself.)
        The third track is probably better suited to the film than it is to the soundtrack. It comes from the opening scenes of the plane wreckage and seems to be utter chaos, a whirling and churning combination of sounds that goes on and on. Track four is a bright and energetic Spanish tune from after the crash when Max puts his head out the window of his car and speeds down the highway with his eyes closed.
        The fifth track, another original by Jarre, is from Max's reckless walk across the busy highway. Finally, we hit the true gem of this album: Sumphony No. 3, which plays during the final haunting flashback scenes and end credits of the film. It is hard to understand how such a repetitive, almost monotonous piece can be so incredibly moving, but it is. Perhaps it is an acquired taste, my roommate refuses to let me play it because he says it makes him want to put a gun to his head. For the first minute or so, you can't even hear anything and then it slowly builds, higher and higher. Thirteen minutes into it, we have the vocals of Dawn Upshaw and then we return to the music, more powerful than ever. Truly haunting, even more so when the scenes of the film flicker through your mind as you hear it.


  1. Max: Maurice Jarre (0:53)
  2. Mai Nozipo: Dumisani Maraire (6:56)
  3. Polymorphia: Krzysztof Penderecki (11:46)
  4. Sin Ella: Gipsy Kings (3:57)
  5. Fearless: Maurice Jarre (3:33)
  6. Symphony No. 3: Henryk Gorecki (26:26)

Green Card

Mediaventures: Soundtrack info and one sound clip

You will notice that the tracks by Enya which appeared in the film do not appear on the soundtrack. Check the link to Mediaventures to see the full details on the CD as well as all songs featured in the film. The first track is by Larry Wright, the street drummer who became well known around the time this film came out (he was also in the Mariah Carey video: Someday) for his incredible drumming abilities using only buckets. The next track, Instinct, is perhaps my favorite on the CD, from when Bronte lies in bed, staring at her bedroom door, petrified that George will come in at any moment. The final track seemed like the perfect song to play over the final scenes of the film, as Bronte and George finally find out the truth about their feelings. A very inspirational song.


  1. Subway Drums: Larry Wright
  2. Instinct ("which side of the bed do you sleep on?")
  3. Restless Elephants
  4. Cafe Afrika
  5. Greenhouse
  6. Moonlight
  7. 9 am Central Park
  8. Clarinet Concerto In A Major - Adagio: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
  9. Silence
  10. Instinct II
  11. Asking You
  12. Pour Bronte
  13. Eyes On The Prize: Emmaus Group Singers

Dead Poets Society
Movie Music UK: review of the soundtrack

This soundtrack is actually music from a combination of several Peter Weir / Maurice Jarre collaborations. The first four tracks come from DPS and they bring back lovely memories from the film, especially the aptly titled Keating's Triumph, which plays at the end of the film. Track five is (obviously) from Mosquito Coast and the following two come from Witness. The barn building scene, with its music, will always stir up lovely memories for me. The final selection is made up of a number of tracks from the The Year of Living Dangerously.
There is also another version of the soundtrack (which I saw once and have never seen since) which is completely devoted to DPS. I can't remember what else was on it, but it did contain Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Since, I have noticed that there is a French version of the soundtrack which contains all the DPS tracks here, plus the Beethoven track, plus the tracks from The Year of Living Dangerously.


  1. Carpe Diem
  2. Neal
  3. To the Cave
  4. Keating's Triumph
  5. Mosquito Coast
  6. Main Title
  7. Building the Barn
  8. Wayang Kulit / Death of a Child / Kwan / Ench

The Mosquito Coast

  1. The Mosquito Coast
  2. Goodbye America (And Have a Nice Day)
  3. Gimme Soca
  4. Up the River
  5. Jeronimo
  6. Fat Boy
  7. Destruction
  8. The Storm
  9. Allie's Theme


All music by Maurice Jarre


  1. Witness (Main Title) / Journey To Baltimore
  2. The Murder
  3. Book's Disappearance
  4. Futility Of An Inside Job/Delirious John
  5. Building The Barn
  6. Book's Sorrow
  7. Rachel And Book (Love Theme) / Beginning Of The End
  8. The Amish Are Coming

The Year of Living Dangerously

All music by Maurice Jarre


  1. Wayang Kulit
  2. Poverty And Misery
  3. The Death Of A Child
  4. Kwan
  5. Enchantment At Tugu
  6. Djakarta
  7. What Can We Do?
  8. Kwan's Sacrifice