(Brent Lang’s article appeared in The Wrap, 7/7.)
Hamlisch composed music for more than 40 motion picture, including his Oscar-winning score and song for “The Way We Were,” and his adaptation of Scott Joplin’s ragtime music for “The Sting,” for which he received a third Oscar.
His musical scores, though intricately conceived, never drew attention to themselves. They served to complement the on-screen action, not overwhelm it — enhancing each gesture, each glance, each moment of drama. That subtle approach allowed him to be something of a musical chameleon, easily gliding from searing dramas to off-beat comedies and making him a close collaborator to a diverse group of directors, such as Woody Allen, Steven Soderbergh and Alan J. Pakula.