Cape Fear: Remaking a Film Score

Jonathan Godsall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)


For his 1991 remake of J. Lee Thompson's 1962 film Cape Fear, Martin Scorsese had the Bernard Herrmann score of the original adapted by Elmer Bernstein. This article first examines that Herrmann score, before showing how it was effectively 're-composed' for the later film, with Bernstein taking its basic components and redeploying them in often entirely new musical and filmic contexts, while also combining them with his own newly composed music and further pre-existing material from Herrmann's rejected score for Torn Curtain (Hitchcock, 1966). The motivations for the reuse of Herrmann's music, and issues of interpretation arising from the 1991 score's compilation status will be considered. The article aims to be relevant not only for scholars of music in moving-image media, but also for those interested in remakes and media intertextuality more generally.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)117-135
Number of pages19
JournalThe Soundtrack
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2011

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