Ordinarily, I wouldn't chime in on this kind of subject, but here I feel it is important to clear up some really silly misconceptions about this film and its new score. Over the years, "Jack P," an alias, has seen fit to bash me personally, and now by extension Twilight Time, for ruining a film that this poster doesn't really have that much interest in -- he is only really concerned with the ethics, or lack thereof, involved in taking the radical step to replace the music in a then 40 year old film. So let's start with some basic facts:
In 2004, Paul Seydor, Garner Simmons, David Weddle and I were asked to record an audio commentary for the film. During the course of the commentary (carried over on the Blu-ray) some negative comments were made about the score and in particular Sam P's long, and enduring hatred of it.
As a result, Sony made the unprecedented decision to engage a composer to write a completely new score for the "extended version" (which Daniele Amfitheatrof had not scored) to perhaps better represent what the director's original intentions were. As we know, the "extended version" is not a director's cut, but an approximation of what Peckinpah may, or may not, have preferred.
Some vigorous discussions about "revisionist" thinking ensued, but Sony engaged a young composer, Christopher Caliendo, with whom they had previously worked to handle the assignment. Paul Seydor and I were asked by the studio to consult with the composer, and give him background history on the project in an effort to guide him. This had been his biggest job to date--the schedule was tight, the budget small (isn't it always?) and there was no time to dilly-dally. The decision was made, and the studio machinery was now grinding. Caliendo spent all of the Christmas holidays furiously penning the new music, and the score was recorded in Jan 2005, to make an April theatrical run. I attended the recording sessions, and subsequently co-produced with Christopher a soundtrack CD of his music.
When the DVD was released in Summer 2005 as a single-disc, it was stressed that as it was not going to include the original theatrical cut as a bonus, it was deemed essential to not ditch Amfitheatrof's score, even though technically it had no place in the "extended version" -- to lose it altogether would have been an historical tragedy, so a seamless-branching option was provided to give viewers a "choice." It was a less-than satisfactory option as two title cards had to be prepared and it created the "neither fish nor fowl" effect of being an awkward hybrid. However, it was the only thing possible at the time. Christopher Caliendo had been put in a difficult position because his work, whether one likes it or not, was always going to court controversy and he would be at the center of an enduring argument about how fundamentally right or wrong is it to "tamper" with an artwork after the fact. Appreciating how much of a no-win situation this was for Christopher, a couple of years later I was instrumental in hiring him to score John Ford's silent epic, "The Iron Horse" for Fox (along with some other Ford silents), for which he deservedly received world-wide acclaim.
Now the Blu-ray:
Back in 2005 it never occurred to us that we would again be involved in a release of the title, least of all on our own fledgling label. Sony has done an incredible job of remastering the "extended version," even going so far to correct some errors in the 2005 dub which had been rushed due to time constraints. Here, reel-by-reel, the dub has been evaluated and subtly improved. The PQ, as is typical for Sony, is outstanding. But here's the rub: the brand-new Blu-ray master only contains the Caliendo score, and there are no awkward seamless--branching options. Instead, for the first time on a digital format the original theatrical cut has been remastered in all its slightly shorter glory, complete with the original score as it should be. And it has been isolated for the enjoyment of those who want to hear it apart from the film. CC's score is isolated on the "extended version." We believe this presentation is true to history, and that most Peckinpah fans will accept this as a fair compromise. We are well aware that not everyone will be (Hello, "Jack P!") and that in no scenario is everyone happy. But it's important to remember that the world is made up of a million decisions made in micro-seconds and that not all are the right ones. But most agree that given all the confounding possibilities, things come out even in the wash more often than not.