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 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 8:02 PM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)

Exactly 50 years ago today....May 13th, 1963, I went to the London Casino Cinerama theatre,
and saw "How the West Was Won" for the very first time.

I still remember how knocked out I was as this great movie unfurled on that gigantic Cinerama screen.

I watched the Smile Box version today, and, whilst it had nowhere near the same impact, it's still an enjoyable movie, and Alfred Newman's magnificent score has lost none of it's power.

Might pop along to the National Media Museum in Bradford next time they show their 3-Strip print.

The ticket:




The Theatre:




The Main Title:




The Finale:

http://youtu.be/8t_qToyqiOU

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 8:45 PM   
 By:   philiperic   (Member)

A great memory - and you still have the ticket - sweet.

I wish Id seen it in Cinerama. But I love the BR .

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 9:00 PM   
 By:   Christopher Kinsinger   (Member)

CH-CD, what a wonderful tribute to a great film with a memorable score (I have the 2-CD set!).
A magnificent memory.
Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

 
 
 Posted:   May 13, 2013 - 9:56 PM   
 By:   joan hue   (Member)

Wow, how cool, and you still have the ticket. I saw it in Cinerama in Seattle. The music was glorious and still is!!

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 1:02 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

... and you still have the ticket. ...

I had the same thought. Where it states TO BE RETAINED I don't think this is meant to suggest ... indefinitely! smile

... The music was glorious and still is!!

For all its faults - and there are many - this is a film I love (and the music is one of the big components of my enjoyment). I saw it at the cinema, at least once, but only on a re-run and then only on a flat screen. But I've watched it several times over the years and treasured the W/S VHS tape for many years. That said, I've owned the BD release for a while now but apart from a quick review of the two versions I've not watched either ... my wife is not a fan of the film!

And I know it's a western but I think of it as a musical.

Mitch

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 4:25 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Ah, nice shot of the Casino in Old Compton Street, great cinema. The Blu-ray of HTWWW looks superb, I only watch the Smilebox version these days.

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 5:53 AM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Interesting that you saw it relatively late in its UK release. The film had a curious distribution pattern. It opened in the USA in February 1963 and was considered for that year's Academy Awards. I'll never forget my disappointment at seeing Newman lose to the popular but relatively lightweight TOM JONES score. This was also the famous incident where Sammy Davis, Jr., opened the wrong envelope. He announced the original score winner, John Addison, after reading the nominees for the adaptation category. Realizing the mistake, he memorably quipped, "Wait until the NAACP hears about this!"

Somewhat unusually for a big Hollywood production, the film had opened the previous November in the UK. That's why you often see it listed as a 1962 release. One British review provided a key blurb for the US advertisements: "It deserves to run forever!" In the event I believe the US roadshow release did not last as long as those for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or CLEOPATRA.

 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 10:41 AM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)

Interesting that you saw it relatively late in its UK release.


Glad you all enjoyed my post, folks. Happy memories, indeed !

Rozsaphile, I would say I saw it relatively early in it's UK run ....Just over 6 mths into it's two and a half year run ??

It Premiered on November 1st, 1962 and closed on April 8th, 1965. ( Making way for "The Greatest Story Ever Told".)

I was only 14 back then, and didn't live in London at that time.

I've always saved ticket stubs, and did post others in a thread we had a little while ago.

Here are a couple more photos of the Casino, both outside and in :







 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 1:18 PM   
 By:   Recordman   (Member)

For some background on HTWWW go to my 2004 post:
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=23552&forumID=1&archive=1

Mike

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 5:22 PM   
 By:   paulw   (Member)

Thanx for the info .. Suddenly I feel old ..

 
 
 Posted:   May 14, 2013 - 6:09 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

I would say I saw it relatively early in it's UK run ....Just over 6 mths into it's two and a half year run ??

Interesting that the first run was so much longer in England.

 
 Posted:   May 15, 2013 - 10:37 AM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)


Interesting that the first run was so much longer in England.

"How the West Was Won" was hugely popular in the UK, and still is for that matter.

Apart from it's London run, it had long runs in Cinerama theatres in several major UK cities, and did well on it's 70mm release, in 1964.

"The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm" ran concurrently with "HTWWW" for a while, but it was nowhere near as successful.

It opened at the Coliseum on July 15th, 1963 and ran until Nov. 24th. It then transferred to the Royalty Theatre and played there until March 21st, 1964.....roughly, 9 months in all.






 
 Posted:   May 15, 2013 - 11:41 AM   
 By:   Ron Pulliam   (Member)

Interesting that you saw it relatively late in its UK release. The film had a curious distribution pattern. It opened in the USA in February 1963 and was considered for that year's Academy Awards. I'll never forget my disappointment at seeing Newman lose to the popular but relatively lightweight TOM JONES score. This was also the famous incident where Sammy Davis, Jr., opened the wrong envelope. He announced the original score winner, John Addison, after reading the nominees for the adaptation category. Realizing the mistake, he memorably quipped, "Wait until the NAACP hears about this!"

Somewhat unusually for a big Hollywood production, the film had opened the previous November in the UK. That's why you often see it listed as a 1962 release. One British review provided a key blurb for the US advertisements: "It deserves to run forever!" In the event I believe the US roadshow release did not last as long as those for LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or CLEOPATRA.


Among those nominees for adaptation was John Green for "Bye, Bye Birdie" (who I hoped would win). When Davis opened the envelope, he said "And the winner is...John [and he looked a bit confused at this point]...Addison for 'Tom Jones'". He looked around as if to say, "Whoops!"

I was so disappointed...that Newman hadn't won AND that Green hadn't won. I don't begrudge Andre Previn's win for "Irma La Douce" (straight musical adaptation of part of a Broadway score enhanced by his own original contributions).

 
 Posted:   May 15, 2013 - 11:45 AM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

i feel olde..........

 
 Posted:   May 15, 2013 - 11:52 AM   
 By:   Mr. Marshall   (Member)

The Kim Darby/Mitch Miller style of singing - mixed chorus- has gone completely out of style.
Thank god!
Compare "Moon River" as sung by a solo artist to the tepid choral version.
I never understood why Mancini arranged his great, great songs in this format.

btw I hate the version of "green Sleeves in HTWWW .The score is fine, though!
brm

 
 
 Posted:   May 15, 2013 - 5:35 PM   
 By:   paulw   (Member)

Every time I hear "Green Sleeves" I always think of "Home in the Meadow" song..

 
 
 Posted:   May 15, 2013 - 7:16 PM   
 By:   dan the man   (Member)

Now wait a minute, I'm not that old, the west was won 50 years ago?

 
 
 Posted:   May 16, 2013 - 12:25 AM   
 By:   paulw   (Member)

Now wait a minute, I'm not that old, the west was won 50 years ago?

Fraid so. I saw it 5 times in the original Cinerama format..

 
 Posted:   May 16, 2013 - 9:37 AM   
 By:   PhiladelphiaSon   (Member)

Saw it a few times at the fabulous Boyd Theatre, where I saw all the Cinerama films.

 
 Posted:   May 16, 2013 - 4:22 PM   
 By:   Recordman   (Member)

(startquote by Philadelphia Son))Saw it a few times at the fabulous Boyd Theatre, where I saw all the Cinerama films.(endquote)

This for you Philly Son. Saw films there myself.

 
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