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FILM SCORE FRIDAY 5/20/05

By Scott Bettencourt

The latest crop of releases from the Varese Sarabande CD Club, announced early this Monday, is an unusually impressive group. All five CDs are available to order now (though the 1000 disc release of Making the Grade has already sold out), but will not ship until next week at the earliest.

For many, the biggest treat will be Jerry Goldsmith's rejected score for the 1988 sci-fi buddy cop thriller ALIEN NATION, which starred James Caan, Mandy Patinkin and Terence Stamp, and spawned a cult favorite TV series. Goldsmith reunited with Final Conflict director Graham Baker for the project, only to see his score replaced with one by Curt Sobel, who is better known as one of Hollywood's top music editors (La Bamba, The Monster Squad, Ray). Alien Nation was one of Goldsmith's few all-electronic scores (along with Runaway and Criminal Law) and features a theme which he later reworked into the love theme from The Russia House. The score is the second of Goldsmith's six rejected scores (not including partially composed scores like Wall Street and Disney's The Kid), leaving The Public Eye, Gladiator (the 1992 boxing film) and 2 Days in the Valley still to be released on CD.

For Golden Age fans, Varese is bringing out DESIREE, Alex North's score to the 1954 romantic drama which featured Marlon Brando as Napoleon and Jean Simmons and Merle Oberon as the women in his life, as well as a waltz theme composed by Alfred Newman.

The third official CD Club release is MAKING THE GRADE, the Judd Nelson college comedy which featured one of the few Basil Poledouris comedy scores, and which was originally released on LP by Varese in 1984. As reported earlier in the column, this 1000-disc release has already sold out, though copies may still be available from other websites.

The Masters Film Music release is Elmer Bernstein's score to John Sturges' comedy Western THE HALLELUJAH TRAIL. Unfortunately, the full master tapes for the score are severely damaged, so the CD will present just the original LP tracks, plus one extra (damaged) cue.

The fifth release is not an official CD Club release but (like last year's Timeline and The Great Train Robbery: The Deluxe Edition), an advance Internet release of a CD due in stores later this year. STRIPES, the Ivan Reitman military comedy starring Bill Murray, features one of Elmer Bernstein's finest and most popular comedy scores, and fans have awaited a soundtrack for nearly two and a half decades.


Warner Sunset will release Hans Zimmer and James Newton Howard's score to BATMAN BEGINS on June 14th.


Universal France is preparing to release a four-disc set, LE CINEMA DE MICHEL LEGRAND, which will feature four decades worth of music from the Oscar winning composer. Along with all the usual suspects (Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The Thomas Crown Affair, Summer of '42), there will be a wealth of rarer material, including pieces from Play Dirty, Sweet November, Castle Keep, The Go-Between, Portnoy's Complaint, Cage Without a Key, The Hunter, Ready to Wear, and his rejected scores for Le Circle Rouge and Robin and Marian.
 

James Horner will score his first film for director Brian DePalma, the adaptation of James Ellroy's noir novel THE BLACK DAHLIA, starring Josh Hartnett, Scarlett Johanssen, Hilary Swank and Aaron Eckhart. Horner has also scored the upcoming The Chumbscrubber and replaced Rachel Portman on the Jodie Foster thriller Flightplan, while Christopher Young has replaced Horner on Robert Towne's film of John Fante's novel Ask the Dust.


Martha Montgomery Newman died on May 9th in Pacific Palisades, California at the age of 84. Born in Clarksdale, Mississippi, she was a model and a "Goldwyn Girl" before marrying composer Alfred Newman. After her husband's death in 1970, she married composer Robert O. Ragland, and is survived by her husband, her five children by her first marriage (including composers David Newman, Thomas Newman and Maria Newman), sixteen grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Alien Nation - Jerry Goldsmith - Varese Sarabande CD Club
Angel - Robert Kral - Rounder (U.S. release)
Desiree - Alex North - Varese Sarabande CD Club
The Hallelujah Trail - Elmer Bernstein - Varese Sarabande CD Club/Masters Film Music
Hour of the Gun - Jerry Goldsmith - Varese Sarabande
Making the Grade - Basil Poledouris - Varese Sarabande CD Club (already sold out)
Spartacus - Randy Miller - Intrada Signature Collection
Stripes - Elmer Bernstein - Varese Sarabande (Internet order)


IN THEATERS TODAY

Dominion: A Prequel to The Exorcist - Angelo Badalamenti, Trevor Rabin, Dog Fashion Disco
Mad Hot Ballroom - Steven Lutvak
Revenge of the Sith - John Williams - Score CD on Sony Classical


COMING SOON

May 24
Cinderella Man - Thomas Newman - Decca
The Film Music of Stanley Black - Stanley Black - Chandos
Mysterious Skin - Robin Guthrie, Harold Budd - Commotion
Rediscovering Lost Scores Vol. 1 - Wendy Carlos - East Side Digital
The Wedding Date - Blake Neely - Buysoundtrax
June 7
Battlestar Galactica: Season One - Bear McCreary - La-La Land
Caveman - Lalo Schifrin - Aleph
Crash - Mark Isham - Superb
Hostage - Alexandre Desplat - Superb
National Geographic Presents: The Last Vikings & Dr. Leakey and the Dawn of Man - Ernest Gold/Leonard Rosenman - Intrada Special Collection
June 14
Batman Begins - Hans Zimmer, James Newton Howard - Warner
June 21
Land of the Dead - Reinhold Heil, Johnny Klimek - Varese Sarabande
Loch Ness - Trevor Jones - Perseverance
June 28
War of the Worlds - John Williams - Decca
July 12
Magnum Force - Lalo Schifrin - Aleph
August 23
The Punisher - Dennis Dreith - Perseverance
Date Unknown
The Big Empty - Brian Tyler - La-La Land
Book of Stars - Richard Gibbs - La-La Land
The Chairman - Jerry Goldsmith - Prometheus
The Devil's Rejects - Tyler Bates - La-La Land
Farscape Classics Vol. 2 - Guy Gross - La-La Land
The Howling - Pino Donaggio - La-La Land
Johnny Belinda - Max Steiner - Screen Archives
Killer Klowns From Outer Space - John Massari - Percepto
Le Cinema de Michel Legrand - Michel Legrand - Universal France
Marjorie Morningstar - Max Steiner - Screen Archives
Mirrormask - Iain Ballamy - La-La Land
Rediscovering Lost Scores Vol. 2 - Wendy Carlos - East Side Digital
Seed of Chucky - Pino Donaggio - La-La Land
Son of Fury - Alfred Newman - Screen Archives
Undead - Cliff Bradley - La-La Land
We Are Not Movies? - Mark Mothersbaugh - Commotion


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

May 20 - Zbigniew Preisner born (1955)
May 20 - Lyn Murray died (1989)
May 21 - Fiorenzo Carpi died (1997)
May 23 - Michel Colombier born (1937)
May 23 - William Stromberg born (1964)
May 23 - George Bruns died (1983)
May 24 - Duke Ellington died (1974)
May 25 - Pierre Bachelet born (1944)
May 25 - Star Wars released in theaters (1977)
May 25 - Alien released in theaters (1979)
May 26 - Miles Davis born (1926)
May 26 - William Bolcom born (1938)
May 26 - Nicola Piovani born (1946)
May 26 - Howard Goodall born (1958)


DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

A HOLE IN ONE - Stephen Trask

"'A Hole In One' looks and sounds better than the average indie film debut--Stephen Trask's junkshop-calypso score alone assures that -- but at its core, it's just another affected quirkfest where misfits fall in love while another misfit chases after them with an ice pick."

Noel Murray, The Onion

"The film is beautifully shot by cinematographer Stephen Kazmierski and accompanied by Stephen Trask's offbeat, moody score."

Kevin Crust, Los Angeles Times

KICKING & SCREAMING - Mark Isham

"Production values are bright and sunny thanks to reliable assists from cinematographer Lloyd Ahern and the versatile Mark Isham, who mixes it up with an appropriately playful score."

Michael Reichstaffen, Hollywood Reporter

KONTROLL - Neo

"In the end, though, I don't think it really matters what 'Kontroll' is about. Not exactly, at any rate. Antal seems happy to leave things open-ended, and his real gift is not in nailing his symbolism down anyway, but in creating and sustaining a mood of deeply claustrophobic anxiety, set to a throbbing rock soundtrack, and from which release only comes at the last minute, and in the form of an angel who transforms the ubiquitous subway escalator into a literal stairway to heaven."

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post

MINDHUNTERS - Tuomas Kantelinen

"Pic's tech work won't be hurt on video. While Robert Gantz's widescreen lensing will lose something in the transition, sub-par production values won't look half so bad. And one can remotely lower the volume button in the living room so that composer Tuomas Kantelinen's bombastic score isn't quite so ear-splitting."

Robert Koehler, Variety

MONSTER IN LAW - David Newman

"Making things feel even more contrived and cutesy than they already are is David Newman's score, a noodling creation that doesn't offer music so much as mood punctuation."

Todd McCarthy, Variety

UNLEASHED - Massive Attack

"Score by Massive Attack is effective for an action pic with a soft underbelly. Public domain maestro Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart also plays a crucial role in the movie's proudly melodramatic denoument."

Lisa Nesselson, Variety

"The solid soundtrack helps to keep the mood shifts from seeming too abrupt, with the RZA providing music for most of the fight scenes and Massive Attack filling in during the quieter moments."

Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle

"The fight sequences, choreographed by Yuen Wo Ping ('The Matrix,' 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon'), are spectacularly intense, scored by the aptly named Massive Attack."

Richard Harrington, Washington Post


VARESE ON I TUNES

FROM: "Randy Derchan"

Just as a matter of interest, I noticed that many Varese titles are available on iTunes for download for 9.99. Looks like Varese is making their catalog available for internet download. As a completist myself, I prefer owning the original CD, but this is a great opportunity to collect film music at a great price without leaving your home. I thought maybe you could mention it on your site next week, as I'm sure many people would be interested. If anything, they allow you a 30 second preview on each track of an album.

AND STILL MORE ABOUT FILMS BETTER THAN THEIR SCORES

FROM: "Charles Christesson"

I disagree that GONE WITH THE WIND is a bad score. On the contrary, I think it's one of the best ever written. As for Jack Nitzsche, I consider his CUCKOO'S NEST music clever and poignant. I also like the score he wrote for HEARTBEAT. I think that was the title of the movie with Nick Nolte and Sissy Spacek.

On a different topic, the liner notes in the recent ESSENTIAL ELMER BERNSTEIN suggest he finished RE-recording his KINGS OF THE SUN score. Any news of its release on CD?

By the way, your MUTINY ON THE BOUNTY release is monumental to say the least. Keep the glorious music coming! Thanks.
 
PS It's actually kind of ridiculous to say GONE WITH THE WIND is a bad score. So there!


ON AFI'S 250 SCORES

FROM: "Preston Neal Jones"

Once upon a time, THE WOLF MAN never would have been considered worthy. Once upon a time, NONE of these 250 would have been given any recognition. So, there is reason to be thankful.
 
But -- am I prejudiced? -- THE NIGHT OF THE HUNTER really belongs in the batch, and without it the batch is a botch, as far as I'm concerned.
 
PS: Ditto MOBY DICK by Philip Sainton. For the record, a few more of my all-time top ten that didn't make the cut of the AFI's 250: SCROOGE (A CHRISTMAS CAROL) by Richard Addinsell. THE EGYPTIAN by Newman and Herrmann. (At least Al and Benny got nominations for other scores, of course.) THE LUCK OF THE IRISH by Cyril Mockridge. I can understand the obscurity of this last precluding its getting on the list, but not so the others, which were either by major composers or for classic films. It's to the AFI's credit that they've allowed for write-ins. T'will be interesting to see what gets written in, and by whom.

Here is the complete AFI list, arranged by composer (if there's any score from the list I left out, please let me know). I'm curious as to what our other readers think are serious omissions from the list:

ADDISON
Sleuth

ARNOLD, DAVID
Tomorrow Never Dies

ARNOLD, MALCOLM
The Bridge on the River Kwai
The Inn of the Sixth Happiness

AURIC
Moulin Rouge

BACHARACH
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
Casino Royale

BARRON & BARRON
Forbidden Planet

BARRY
Body Heat
Born Free
Dances with Wolves
Goldfinger
The Lion in Winter
Out of Africa
Somewhere in Time

BENNETT
Equus
Murder on the Orient Express

BERNSTEIN, ELMER
The Age of Innocence
Far From Heaven
The Great Escape
Hawaii
The Magnificent Seven
The Man with the Golden Arm
Summer and Smoke
Sweet Smell of Success
The Ten Commandments
To Kill a Mockingbird
Walk on the Wild Side

BERNSTEIN, LEONARD
On the Waterfront

BLANCHARD
25th Hour

BLISS
Things to Come

BROUGHTON
Silverado

BURWELL
Fargo

CHAPLIN
City Lights
Modern Times

CHURCHILL & PLUMB
Bambi

CONTI
The Right Stuff
Rocky

COPLAND
The Heiress
Of Mice and Men
The Red Pony

COPPOLA
The Black Stallion

CORIGLIANO
Altered States

DELERUE
A Man for All Seasons

DOYLE
Much Ado about Nothing
Sense and Sensibility

DUNING
Picnic

ELFMAN
Batman
Edward Scissorhands

ELLINGTON
Anatomy of a Murder

FENTON/SHANKAR
Gandhi

FIELDING
Straw Dogs
The Wild Bunch

FRIEDHOFER
An Affair to Remember
The Best Years of Our Lives

GLASS
The Hours

GOLD
Exodus
It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World
Ship of Fools

GOLDENTHAL
Frida

GOLDSMITH
Alien
Chinatown
L.A. Confidential
The Omen
Papillon
A Patch of Blue
Patton
Planet of the Apes
The Sand Pebbles
Star Trek - The Motion Picture
The Wind and the Lion

GREEN
Raintree County

GRUSIN
The Heart is a Lonely Hunter
On Golden Pond

HAMLISCH
Sophie's Choice
The Way We Were

HAYES
Shaft

HERRMANN
All That Money Can Buy
Citizen Kane
The Day the Earth Stood Still
The Ghost and Mrs. Muir
Jane Eyre
North by Northwest
Psycho
Taxi Driver
Vertigo

HOLLANDER
Sabrina

HORNER
Apollo 13
Braveheart
Field of Dreams
Glory
Titanic

HOWARD
The Fugitive
The Village
Wyatt Earp

ISHAM
A River Runs Through It

JARRE
Doctor Zhivago
Lawrence of Arabia
A Passage to India
Ryan's Daughter

JONES
In Cold Blood
In the Heat of the Night

KAMEN
Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves

KAPER
Auntie Mame
Green Dolphin Street
Lord Jim
Mutiny on the Bounty

KARAS
The Third Man

KORNGOLD
The Adventures of Robin Hood
Anthony Adverse
Captain Blood
Deception
Kings Row
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex
The Sea Hawk

LAI
Love Story

LEGRAND
Summer of 42
The Thomas Crown Affair

MANCINI
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Charade
Hatari!
The Pink Panther
Touch of Evil
Wait Until Dark

MANDEL
The Sandpiper

MELLE
The Andromeda Strain

MOCKRIDGE
Miracle on 34th Street

MORODER
Midnight Express

MOROSS
The Big Country
The Cardinal

MORRICONE
The Mission
Once Upon a Time in America
Once Upon a Time in the West
The Untouchables

MORRIS
Young Frankenstein

NEWMAN, ALFRED
Airport
All about Eve
Captain from Castile
The Greatest Story Ever Told
How Green Was My Valley
How the West Was Won
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Love is a Many-Splendored Thing
The Robe
The Song of Bernadette
Wuthering Heights

NEWMAN, DAVID
Hoffa

NEWMAN, RANDY
Avalon
The Natural
Ragtime

NEWMAN, THOMAS
American Beauty
The Shawshank Redemption

NORTH
Cleopatra
The Misfits
Spartacus
A Streetcar Named Desire
Viva Zapata!
Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

POLEDOURIS
Conan the Barbarian

PORTMAN
Chocolat
The Cider House Rules

PREVIN
Elmer Gantry

RAKSIN
The Bad and the Beautiful
Forever Amber
Laura

ROSENMAN
East of Eden
Fantastic Voyage
Rebel Without a Cause

ROSENTHAL
Becket
The Miracle Worker

ROTA
The Godfather
War and Peace

ROZSA
Ben-Hur
El Cid
Double Indemnity
A Double Life
Ivanhoe
King of Kings
The Lost Weekend
Madame Bovary
Quo Vadis?
Spellbound
The Thief of Bagdad

SALTER
The Ghost of Frankenstein
The Wolf Man (with Skinner & C. Previn)

SCHIFRIN
Bullitt
Cool Hand Luke
Dirty Harry

SHAIMAN
The American President
City Slickers

SHIRE
The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

SHORE
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
The Silence of the Lambs

SILVESTRI
Forrest Gump

STEINER
Adventures of Don Juan
Casablanca
Dark Victory
Gone With the Wind
The Informer
Jezebel
Johnny Belinda
King Kong
Now, Voyager
A Summer Place
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre

STOTHART
The Good Earth
Mrs. Miniver
The Wizard of Oz

THOMSON
Louisiana Story

TIOMKIN
The Alamo
Dial M For Murder
Duel in the Sun
Friendly Persuasion
The Guns of Navarone
High Noon
Lost Horizon

VANGELIS
Blade Runner
Chariots of Fire

WARBECK
Shakespeare in Love

WAXMAN
The Bride of Frankenstein
Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
The Nun's Story
Peyton Place
The Philadelphia Story
A Place in the Sun
Rebecca
Sayonara
The Spirit of St. Louis
Sunset Blvd.
Taras Bulba

WEBB
Cat People
Notorious

WILLIAMS
A.I. Artificial Intelligence
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
The Cowboys
E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Jaws
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Schindler's List
Star Wars
Superman
The Witches of Eastwick

YARED
The English Patient

YOUNG
Around the World in 80 Days
For Whom the Bell Tolls
Samson and Delilah
Shane

ZIMMER
As Good As It Gets
Gladiator
 

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