Out of Africa is a 1985 American epic romantic drama film directed and produced by Sydney Pollack, and starring Robert Redford and Meryl Streep. The film is based loosely on the autobiographical book Out of Africa written by Isak Dinesen (the pseudonym of Danish author Karen Blixen), published in 1937. The film quotes the start of the book, "I had a farm in Africa, at the foot of the Ngong Hills". The score’s legendary main theme anchors the score, receiving a full performance in the opening cue, “Main Title – I Had a Farm in Africa”. After a few moments of stately build-up, combining regal brass fanfares with slow, refined string and woodwind accents, the theme emerges into life, and it’s utterly glorious. Searching, emotional strings combine with a deep, sonorous brass countermelody, and a lilting, lyrical variation for flutes. It’s one of the most beloved, most-recorded film themes in history, and it’s not difficult to see why. This is the John Barry music that many people fell in love with, and fell in love to, and which in many ways defined the final two decades of his life.
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