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'Showdown at the Grand' is a Testament to the Power of Music in Filmmaking

Poster of Showdown at the Grand: Starring Terrence Howard and Dolph Lundgren. Directed by Orson Oblowitz.
Showdown at the Grand: Starring Terrence Howard and Dolph Lundgren. Directed by Orson Oblowitz.

In life, you have to fight for what you love.

This is the basic premise of a new film, Showdown at the Grand, starring Terrence Howard and Dolph Lundgren and directed by Orson Oblowitz. The movie, which premieres today, revolves around the story of George Fuller (Howard), who owns a movie theater and loves everything about his business, from managing the theater to loading the projector, when a group of real estate developers comes and proposes to buy him out of his property. George refuses and then embarks on a life-and-death struggle to protect what he loves most, culminating in a grand showdown in the theater–Western style with the help of a former action star (Lundgren).

The type of material posed some creative challenges for Oblowitz since the film has many scenes with movies playing within movies in various genres (mainly with Lundgren), thus requiring something to bring everything together. And for Obvowitz, music played a critical role in providing the glue.

"The movie is almost wall-to-wall music, Oblowitz said in an exclusive interview with APM Music. "We use it to set the tone, the place, and the genre."

Watch the full interview with Showdown at the Grand director Orson Oblowitz.

Oblowitz wanted to use dream needledrops like Ennio Morricone's "Ecstacy of Gold" from the film The Good the Bad and the Ugly, but the budget was prohibitive. His solution was that he went to APM Music and found music also composed by Ennio Morricone and other legendary Italian composers like Bruno Nicolai, Fabio Frizzi, and Selvio Cirpiani, which were perfect for his film. They were the real deal.

"Suddenly, this whole world opened up to us that I didn't think was going to be available," Oblowitz said. "And because of that, we were able to really flesh out a soundtrack of almost eighty-five needledrops that I am extremely proud of. It was like being a kid in a candy shop."

Check out the Showdown at the Grand trailer.

Listen to more archival filmscore tracks below.


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