John Williams and Steven Spielberg: The Critics Speak, Not Always Kindly

John Williams and Steven Spielberg: The Critics Speak, Not Always Kindly
A few weeks ago, a video made the rounds of John Williams consulting director Steven Spielberg on crafting music for the climactic scene of “E.T. the Extra Terrestrial.” That video is a representative snippet of the partnership that began in 1975, with the meteoric popularity of “Jaws” and continued through their work on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Even with the hiccup of “1941,” as went Spielberg’s career, so did Williams'. In that clip, Williams is free-handing the soundtrack to millions of kids’ lives while Spielberg repeats the theme back to him, barely able to control his giddiness. They knew they had it. The soundtracks are iconic, the films are now pure nostalgia. So their reviews immediately recognized their genius, right? Not so much. Vincent Canby’s review in the New York Times remarked that “John Williams's...
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