The Dave Grusin Archive
Music for the Screen
Bobby Deerfield

also known as  "Heaven Has No Favorites"

Stars:  Al Pacino, Marthe Keller, Anny Duperey, Walter McGinn

Director:  Sydney Pollack
Producer:  Sydney Pollack
Released:  Columbia 1977

Story:  At a spa clinic in the Alps, a jaded Formula One driver casually encounters a seemingly free-spirited girl, and is drawn  into love by her unconventional charm.

Because this motion picture is a character study whose dialogue does more to mislead than to enlighten, its score has the critical role of revealing many nuances and undertones.  While the picture is not heavy on music, it nevertheless contains a considerable number of original compositions.

Both the principal characters, Bobby and Lillian,  are substantially different than their words and actions indicate.  He appears jaded, methodical,  and without much feeling.  She acts like a mischievous pixie.

Through the music, primarily the main theme, we see the dark Bobby as a person of greater sensitivity and reflection.  In Lillian's case, as the film proceeds, her playful manner is revealed as a device only masking a tragic and unrelenting secret.

But this is not just a movie about character development.  The European locations and milieu of the Formula One world are a vitally important part of the film's raison d'etre.   Two of Dave Grusin's original works for “Bobby Deerfield” take their impetus from this facet of the motion picture, evoking the Continental locations in a quite charming way.

Ironically, Dave Grusin chose a samba to accompany the road journey through Swiss Alps.  A trick which nevertheless comes off perfectly,  giving an unmistakable sense of a European setting.  In so doing, it not only lends mood and locale instantly, but also amplifies the feeling of an American driver from Newark never really in his element on the Continent, most especially with this unconventional Italian woman.

When Bobby and Lillian arrive at Como, the luscious “Bellagio Vista” underscores the beautiful setting.  It is an evocative and tender piece, and  is also used to suggest romance. (Fragments of it are to be found seven years later in the poignant theme for “The Little Drummer Girl.”)  This is superlative Grusin scoring.

The main theme (“Bobby Deerfield”), runs through opening  credits and during the most emotional moments in the film. Especially when played as a flugel horn solo (by Chuck Findley), the piece gives layers of dimension to both the characters and scenes which, at first, appear deceptively simple.  Haunting and sad, the theme exposes the seemingly world-weary protagonist as actually deeper than he acts.

“Bobby Deerfield” also contains an incredible gem of music, buried towards the end of the picture, and virtually caught between other cues.

“Quiet Evenings” ranks with Dave Grusin's very best romantic jazz.  It is worth buying the video or begging, borrowing or stealing the rare soundtrack LP (on which there is an extended version).  Played over a montage of happy scenes, this is a piece which easily stands on its own, and really deserves to be on a “Cinemagic” volume two !  There is an additional bit of  glittery samba for the following scenes of the couple enjoying themselves together which also has a bright appeal, and like the smooth “Quiet Evenings,” is heard only once in the motion picture.

“Bobby Deerfield,” which is really a tragedy - not just about the death of a young woman in love, but of a man who, despite his power, is unable to be himself with anyone but her - is not played as a tear jerker, and the careful  use and placement of music prevents it becoming so.

In addition to the music actually contained in the film, the soundtrack album also offers a version of the title theme with lyrics by Allan and Marilyn Bergman plus a piece called “Formula One” which encapsulates the excitement and danger of the racetrack.  Referring to the film as one of the more satisfying projects he's completed, Dave Grusin states that “it gave me a chance to do some things orchestrally which I enjoyed very much.”

Music Editor:  Ted Whitfield

Casablanca - NE 7071


Formula 1
Bobby Deerfield
    (vocal Victoria Michaels)
Ballon Rouge

Main Title (Theme)
Samba di Montagne
Montage: Bobby and Lillian
Belllagio Vista
Freedom Flight
Quiet Evenings
Ritorno and Duet
End Title

Single release:
"Main Title" / "Bobby Deerfield"
Japanest catalogue release VIP  2572

Running Time:   2 hours, 4 minutes
Music Time:  (approx) 40 minutes

soundtrack album

Dave Grusin
Feature Films



(times approximate)

.50 - 1.13   (.23)

Music starts with drum roll, followed by a nightmarish whirling sound, and continuing dreamy note until Bobby wakes.

1.21 - 3.30   (2.09)

Main title “Bobby Deerfield,” played gently by trumpet in melancholy manner as Bobby wakes from dream.  Plays over titles as Bobby dresses, and ends as he goes out into crowd (but titles continue over crowd noises).

3.47 - 4.31   (.44)

Source music of a band playing at race track faintly under crowd noises.  Ends with change from long shots to closer views of racing team.

4.54 - 5.29   (.35)

Source music “God Save the Queen”  heard through crowd noises as Bobby prepares to race.

9.24 - 10.29   (1.05)

“Balloon Rouge” sung  over scene in Lydia's Paris apartment as the pair converse.

16.07 - 16.42   (.35)

Trumpet plays “Bobby Deerfield” theme as he looks at family photos on train.  Faint string accompaniment, ending on string note.

16.50 - 17.23   (.33)

Source music of typical marching band in the spa town can be heard as we see Bobby coming out of a tunnel driving, Cut then to sight of band, and Bobby's car driving by them.  Ends with his car arriving at clinic.

17.33 - 17.51   (.18)

Chamber music (source music?) playing in Lillian's room as she wakes.

17.52 - 18.38   (.46)

Faint source music of marching band playing under conversation between Bobby and Carl.

23.54 - 28.27   (4.33)

Source music of orchestra accompanying magic act.  Various pieces of music including tango and violin playing on its own as a part of magician's tricks.  Snatches of conversation in the middle.

28.48 - 31.26   (2.38)

Piano music beginning in scene of Lillian in her room, telling nurse she will come to death on her own terms, continues over change of scene to lounge where Bobby questions the magician about his tricks.  Music has a strong Continental, old world flavor with a nostalgic quality.  Scene then cuts to car park around cure hotel in the dark and then to Lillian in her room, looking pensive.  Scene changes to Bobby in his room, trying to do coin trick.  Music ends with change of scene to car park in the morning.

33.28 - 36.52   (3.24)

Samba plays over drive through the mountains as Bobby and Lillian banter in car.  Feeling is light and Continental.  Ends as car goes into tunnel.

39.18 - 40.47   (1.29)

“Bellagio Vista” plays as they drive through Northern Italy.  As they look at view of lake and she says she'd like to stay overnight, music opens up  over panoramic scenes. Only guitar playing theme as car arrives at Bellagio.  Ends as they check into hotel.

41.50 - 42.34   (.44)

Faint cantina music over night shot of Bellagio becomes louder as music is sourced to hotel where Bobby is drinking at bar.  Plays faintly over phone call when she is speaking.  Louder on his side.  Ends as musicians stop playing.

43.18 - 45.15   (1.57)

Source music of mandolins playing as Bobby and Lillian dine out on terrace.  Very Continental and romantic to accompany first signs of a relationship developing between them.  Ends as musicians stop playing.

46.30 - 47.43   (1.13)

Gentle, atmospheric guitar solo as they go to Bobby's room and they undress.  Ends as she gets into bed, pulling covers over herself.

51.14 - 52.11   (.57)

Opening on a very low string note over a view of the lake, “Bellagio Vista” plays over their drive through the country to arrival at home of Lillian's uncle.

54.27 - 54.39   (.12)

“Balloon Rouge” sung over end of scene of girl translating Lillian's note through night scene of Paris and Bobby's arrival at Lydia's, sets mood to new geographic location.

59.54 - 1.00.04   (.10)

As Bobby goes up to movie screen to more closely observe a detail of accident,  tinkling, dream-sequence music indicates his worry.  Ends with cut to garage scene.

1.01.50 - 1.02.21   (.31)

Strings play main theme, beginning after click of photograph at race track, through Bobby jogging, probably in Paris, fading into uncle questioning Bobby in Florence.  Ends in middle of conversation.

1.06.03 - 1.07.24   (1.21)

Samba plays as Bobby takes off his sunglasses in the street on a dare from Lillian.  Strong sense of Continental location in the theme.  They stroll, and she shouts “Bobby Deerfield,” and crowds flock around him, first causing confusion, then delight.  Theme is full of the merriment of the situation.  Ends on note of understanding as each smiles at the other.

1.13.28 - 1.14.45   (1.17)

Gentle music plays as Lillian asks `who is Bobby Deerfield?'  It is a prologue to “Bellagio Vista” which plays over them arriving at Lillian's apartment.  Ends as she shows him around.

1.15.40 - 1.17.02   (1.22)

As they are about to kiss, main theme starts, playing through the kiss and love scene.  Solo trumpet adds a note of sadness as well as romance.  Very bluesy and haunting.  Ends on piano note in morning as he wakes up alone.

1.21.52 - 1.23.59   (2.07)

As balloons are about to depart, harp fanfares open into full orchestra playing main theme very slowly as a sea of balloons float off into the sky, leaving Bobby appearing very alone in the field.  Ends with aerial shot of him driving away (overlapping into next scene of Bobby doing a watch commercial).

1.24.24 - 1.25.20   (.56)

Extremely poignant (and even slightly mysterious) melody plays as Bobby examines parts of racing car in garage, adding a great deal of feeling to an otherwise neutral scene.  Continues through scene of him at racetrack, opening up into main theme played by trumpet very sadly. Camera mostly focuses on Bobby from the back.  Theme ends with change to a wide shot of race scene.

1.25.21 - 1.26.32    (1.11)

Source music of band  playing at track over preparations for race.  Towards the end, mostly drowned out by engine noises.

1.31.33 - 1.31.55   (.22)

Slightly eerie music plays through dream-like sequence after Bobby escapes from flaming car, dazzled.

1.43.46 - 1.44.56   (1.10)

Slow, ultra romantic “Quiet Evenings” begins as, in a comical way, Bobby tells Lillian he finds her irresistible.  Seductive theme plays over montage of the couple - in marketplace, laughing, in kitchen, he singing `Boo Hoo” to her, at dining table.  Ends under him singing “Red Sails In the Sunset” (from next scene) as he is chatting  with Lillian and her uncle.

1.45.49 - 1.46.17   (.28)

Lively samba as they dance together cuts to them speaking as we see their car driving along the road.  Ends as they are actually shown, talking in a boat

1.48.59 - 1.51.31   (2.32)

Main theme played poignantly by piano as Lillian happily reacts to Bobby's made-up story.  Screen becomes almost black for quite a while. Bobby emerges carrying groceries, looks up at statues of angels, appearing sad and reflective.  He arrives at Lillian's apartment, and in next scene, in the kitchen she collapses.  Orchestra takes up theme in darkened bedroom with Lillian in bed and Bobby looking out window.  As scene moves to daytime, music becomes brighter and more hopeful as we see Bobby running through the streets.  Ends as man tending flowers looks up at Bobby.

1.54.26 - 1.55.15   (.49)

Delicate version (verging towards a music box) of main theme after Lillian tells Bobby, she wants to return to Leukerbad.  Scene of them driving through the mountains, then getting out of the car at a beauty spot  Ends as tourists ask them to take a photo.

1.57.32 - 1.58.20   (.48)

(Apparent) source music of violin playing for magician's act. Violin continues to play (no longer source music) as Bobby sits by Lillian's bedside at the clinic.  Ends as she starts to speak to him.

2.02.05 - 2.03.25   (1.20)

As he begins singing “Red Sails in the Sunset,” unseen, a shimmering sound turns into main theme, opening broadly with full orchestra as Bobby drives out of tunnel.  Plays over picture of them taken by tourists.  Fade to black and through end credits, ending with appearance of last name.

Return to top