Tag Archives: Mel Gibson

John Debney talks The Passion of the Christ (2004)

The Passion of the Christ (2004) is a film that is not easily forgotten once you’ve seen it. This was the first R-rated film I ever saw in theaters (the youth group I was in went to see it one weekend, we all had to get our parents to sign waivers since we were under 18) and it’s a film that physically impacted me for weeks afterward.

For those who haven’t seen it, The Passion of the Christ details the final twelve hours of the life of Jesus, from his arrest to his crucifixion (with a short epilogue on the day of his resurrection). The entire film is subtitled, with the primary languages being Aramaic, Hebrew and Latin (to make the story feel more authentic). The film was directed by Mel Gibson and was a huge hit upon release, although many criticized the extreme graphic violence in certain scenes (I personally have only been able to see this film three times since 2004).

The Ā score that accompanies this film was composed by John Debney (The Jungle Book) and it is widely regarded as a masterpiece of film music. In the extended video which you can reach via the link above, Debney (and Mel Gibson) discuss how various themes came together, primarily Satan’s theme and the theme for Mary, the mother of Jesus. Interestingly, instead of using a traditional ensemble, or using only instruments that might have been heard in ancient Jerusalem, Debney opted to use a more global sound (Satan’s theme, for instance, is created with a traditional Chinese instrument), as this is a story that Gibson wanted to be accessible to everyone.

The music for The Passion of the Christ really is beautiful, and I do recommend this film as well, but with one major caveat: if graphic violence disturbs you, do NOT watch this film. The torture segments (particularly the flogging scene) are very bloody, and could easily be traumatizing.

Have you seen The Passion of the Christ? What did you think of it, or the music? Let me know in the comments šŸ™‚

See also:

John Debney talksĀ The Scorpion KingĀ (2002)

John Debney (and Tom Morello) talkĀ Iron Man 2Ā (2010)

John Debney scoringĀ PredatorsĀ (2010)

John Debney talksĀ The Jungle BookĀ (2016)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

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Check out theĀ YouTube channelĀ (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

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James Horner scoring Braveheart (1995)


James Horner scoring Braveheart (1995)

As I’ve mentioned before, 1995 was a very good year for James Horner. In that year alone he composed the scores for Casper, Apollo 13, Jumanji, Balto, Jade and Braveheart.

Braveheart was one of the standout films of 1995, eventually winning Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Directed by and starring Mel Gibson, the film tells the story of how William Wallace led the First War of Scottish Independence against King Edward I of England.


Wallace is spurred into action after his new bride Murron is executed by the English after she attempts to flee being raped. The Scots have several victories, including sacking the city of York. King Edward sends his son (also named Edward) to deal with Wallace, but that proves to be a failure. Then Prince Edward’s wife Isabella is sent (in hopes that Wallace will kill her and spur the French to jump into the war), but instead the two become enamored of each other and end up having an affair instead. Ultimately, Wallace is betrayed by would-be ally Robert the Bruce and is painfully executed by the English while Isabella is pregnant with Wallace’s child.


While the film takes numerous liberties with actual history (Isabella and William Wallace never had an affair for example), the film was still very well received and James Horner’s score became one of the most commercially successful soundtracks of all time.

The footage features Mel Gibson’s comments on the music as James Horner leads the scoring sessions. If you’ve never seen Braveheart before, the music is absolutely gorgeous, a perfect example of James Horner at the top of his craft. Since the weekend is here, take some time, sit back, relax and enjoy the sounds of Braveheart.

See also:

James HornerĀ Star Trek II: Wrath of Khan

James Horner talksĀ AliensĀ (1986)

James Horner talksĀ Field of DreamsĀ (1989)

James Horner talksĀ The RocketeerĀ (1991)

James Horner talksĀ The Perfect StormĀ (2000)

James Horner talksĀ A Beautiful MindĀ (2001)

James Horner talksĀ WindtalkersĀ (2002)

James Horner talksĀ AvatarĀ (2009)

James Horner talksĀ The Amazing Spider-ManĀ (2012)

Film Composer Interviews A-H

Film Composer Interviews K-Z

Become a patron of the blog at:Ā patreon.com/musicgamer460

Check out theĀ YouTube channelĀ (and consider hitting the subscribe button)

Don’t forget to like Film Music Central on Facebook šŸ™‚

*poster image is the property of Paramount Pictures