Benjamin Frankel's music for the movie The Battle of the Bulge was, along with the staging of the combat scenes, one of the few shining elements in a deeply flawed film. Frankel was a serious composer with a style of his own and avoided most of the expected cliches that one would anticipate in a score for a film of this kind. The music is surprisingly spare and intimate, without the kind of enveloping and sweeping thematic material typical of the genre. There is gorgeous, lyrical music for horns and reeds, and, punctuated by shattering passages for the brass, all of it is intended to get inside and behind the action, rather than merely mimic it externally. Even some of the less promising material, such as "Christmas in Ambleve," which starts out quoting a pair of carols, evolves into far more inventive underscoring, depicting the troubled state of mind of the principal character and the doubts about his competency. Frankel was forced by the producers to include "Panzerlied," the actual 1936 battle song of the German Panzer troops, but he makes the most of it with differing levels of irony in the most pompous arrangement possible or as underscoring buried in the orchestration for the ultimate defeat of the force.