Well I wasn’t expecting I would be writing about Howard the Duck as part of #Johnuary. I had no idea it was John Barry who did the score for it.

I know this film gets a lot of stick, but I still love it. Despite it’s obvious flaws I think it’s actually pretty well made in terms of it’s directorship and editing, and I feel Howard’s personality does shine through, even though many people have criticisms about the costume. Despite its wackiness it still comes across as pretty slick in some ways, and I do wonder just how much part the score plays in that. If the score had been something whimsical and childish it would have really let all the flaws in the film shine through but I think because it’s a professional, orchestral score by someone of Barry’s calibre it really helps add an extra weight to the events of the film. I bet Lucas was very pleased to get Barry on board.

Here’s arguably the main John Barry theme from Howard the Duck.

I kind of feel that the John Barry music for this film is quite lamenting and sad and lonely, rather than fun and exciting. I think this really does affect the feel and tone of the film as it makes you feel much more empathy for Howard being stuck in this alternate universe on his own, instead of just laughing at the exploits of an actor in a duck suit. It lends more gravity to the situation.

I’d love to have been there when the producers pitched the film concept to John Barry to get him on board and see what his reaction was!