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THE GOOD GERMAN

The Musical Element
Another essential period element in the film was the score, which, Soderbergh states, "is as important as casting and as integral as production design and costume design. "I knew I was burdening Thomas Newman with an incredible task. The good news is that his father wrote this kind of music. It's in his DNA.”

Newman is the son of the late, famed composer and conductor Alfred Newman.

Newman Sr. and his contemporaries, such as Max Steiner and Dimitri Tiomkin, provided Hollywood films of the 1930s, 40s and 50s with notably dynamic scores. It was Steiner's contention that a score should enhance and support the emotional content of a scene. This is the point of view Soderbergh wanted for "The Good German,” and the reason he selected some of Steiner's work as a temp score during production.

"There was temp music I had in certain scenes that were expositional,” says Soderbergh. "When I sat down with Thomas, he said, ‘I think we need to go in a different direction with this underscore because the temp music is not letting me hear the dialogue the way I need to hear it, or to understand the importance of what the characters are discussing.' So he went in a different direction, which literally makes you listen to the dialogue differently, and created something absolutely perfectly in that idiom. It lifted the whole movie up.

"The score is spectacular and complements the movie so well, not only emotionally, which you would expect, but in the way it helps express the narrative,” the director explains. "That's especially important in a story like this, where there is so much subterfuge and so much depends upon what is being said or not said…known or not known.”

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