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Hymns for the FallenCombat Movie Music and Sound after Vietnam$
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Todd Decker

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780520282322

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520282322.001.0001

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End Titles

(p.241) 11. End Titles
Hymns for the Fallen

Todd Decker

University of California Press

This chapter considers music heard during the end titles and at the moment of narrative closure in Hollywood combat films made after Vietnam. In many of these films, music during the end titles provides time and musical content for reflection after the narrative, creating a ritual space for meditating on the meaning of patriotism. The end titles choices made by combat film composers and directors are shown to have a profound effect on the meaning of these films. Most films end with reflective music encouraging the audience who remains to listen to “count the cost” of the narrative just seen as it reflects the lives of real soldiers and veterans. A few films, including The Hurt Locker, end with popular music that challenges the listener to think critically about the relationship between the tropes of screen violence and the US military and militarism.

Keywords:   The Hurt Locker, militarism, end titles, narrative closure, soldiers, veterans, audience response, film music, patriotism

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