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We Were Soldiers

Nick Glennie-Smith

Based on Harold G. Moore’s and Joseph L. Galloway’s “We Were Soldiers Once… And Young,” their memoir of the Vietnam War’s 1965 Battle of Ia Drang, this 2002 war epic starring Mel Gibson as Moore and Barry Pepper as Galloway also marked a reunion for Gibson and the film’s writer/director Randall Wallace, the Oscar-winning screenwriter of 1995 Best Picture-winning Braveheart.

A somber yet respectful enfolding of the heroic with the melancholic defines British composer Nick Glennie-Smith’s approach to
We Were Soldiers. Effulgent orchestrations laced with the accents of traditional military themes, indigenous southeast Asian tribal music and the bittersweet irony of unrewarded courage help tow the film through a minefield of difficult emotions, riskily balancing romanticism with an ominous sense of foreboding. Notably memorable tracks include "What Is War," "I’ll Go With You," "Photo Montage," "That’s a Nice Day " and "Jack’s Death."

We Were Soldiers

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