Phil Alden Robinson's film of Tom Clancy's The Sum of All Fears was delayed from release by the tragic events of 9-11. The film, which depicted a nuclear attack on the United States by terrorists, was too raw, and far too real after the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center.
It weighed heavily on the minds of the film-makers, as it did on us all. But one man in particular: Jerry Goldsmith. At the time of the 9-11 attacks, Goldsmith was conducting his score for The Last Castle," and the emotion that suffused his main theme, he adapted, and turned into a concert-piece entitled "September 11, 2001."
The Sum of All Fears would be the next film he scored.
The music of the video above, underscores the first part of the film depicting an Israeli reconnaissance mission, carrying a nuclear pay-load, being prepped, launched and subsequently blown out of the sky by ground forces, its unexploded fission device then recovered, to be handed over by the terrorist agents hatching the plot.* Goldsmith previewed the sequence and his first impression was "opera." Phil Alden Robinson was taken aback by the idea, but trusted Goldsmith enough to let him go with his instincts.
But it was also more than September 11th that was weighing on Goldsmith's mind. He was dying of cancer, in the middle of an aggressive chemotherapy treatment that would ultimately fail. He was sick, weak and frail, and concessions were made by Robinson to allow him to finish his work, despite Goldsmith's slowed pace.
The track, called simply "The Mission," is haunting. Paul Williams was commissioned to write the lyrics, which were translated to Latin for the libretto, to be sung by Shana Blake Hill, accompanied by choir and full orchestra.
These are the words:
* I would have loved to show the sequence accompanying Goldsmith's work, but Paramount Pictures has enforced its copyright obligations, removing all traces of that sequence from video sites. Too bad. The full power of image and music is stunning, and I would encourage anybody reading to seek it out for viewing.
Update-9/11/2011: Here is the sequence from the film. I have no idea how long it will remain available.