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 Posted:   Sep 20, 2005 - 6:00 PM   
 By:   Recordman   (Member)

The actor, Robert Shaw, was only 51 years of age when he died in 1978. At the time I was quite surprised and thought it quite unfair for an actor of his quality to leave us so soon. I had personally first noticed him as the cold-blooded assassin in “From Russia with Love”(1963) and then in “Battle of the Bulge” (1965) as a German panzer commander and “A Man for All Seasons “(1966) as King Henry VIII.. (most will probably remember him as Quint in “Jaws”(1975). It was getting better and better and then, in my opinion he was miscast as General George Armstrong Custer in the 1967 film “Custer of the West.” The film itself is a retelling of the now familiar story of Custer, the 7th Cavelry and their inevitable massacre at The Battle of the Little Big Horn (if anyone considers that a spoiler, it’s time to go back to school). Everything about Custer has now become myth with some praising and some damning him. I prefer the sentimental Flynn as Custer legend of “They Died with Their Boots On” and especially Max Steiner’s Americana score.

The film is visually stunning, as it was initially released in Super Technirama 70 (OK Manderly what was THAT process?) by Cinerama Productions Corporation and the score by Brazillian pianist Bernardo Segall (1911-1993) is quite nice. It was released on a gatefold LP by ABC Records in 1968 (ABCS-OC-5 -stereo) and (ABC-OC-5 - mono) (see photo below). The LP itself in medium rare. For some reason it doesn’t seem to have yet been released on CD (tell me if it has).
Mike


 
 
 Posted:   Sep 20, 2005 - 7:56 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Hi Recordman,
I remember this beautiful sleeve, I used to have the LP way back in the late 60s, nice to see this one again. I have a CD of Custer of The West coupled with Nelson Riddle's El Dorado this was released on the Comanche label. My copy says Promotional. I'm not sure if this was an unmentionable, but it is a very colorful release with excellent sound. I will dig it out tomorow night and check to see if it is a Stereo release.
Niall.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 20, 2005 - 9:08 PM   
 By:   joec   (Member)

Hi Recordman,
. I'm not sure if this was an unmentionable, Niall.


I am sure it is!

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 20, 2005 - 9:13 PM   
 By:   joec   (Member)

Hi Recordman,
I remember this beautiful sleeve, I used to have the LP way back in the late 60s, nice to see this one again. Niall.


This was one of my earliest soundtrack LPs! I am sure I was attracted by the colorful gatefold color. This recording proably falls under the Decca banner now. A legit release would be welcome, but doubtful.

I remember seeing the edited 35mm version of the film in a local theater and even in this scaled down format it was visually impressive. The full length version, sans intermission, is now available on DVD.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2005 - 1:20 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

This was originally a roadshow, with reserved seats and intermission. I never saw it, but I did go to the theatre where it was showing in Pittsburgh, and buy a copy of the souvenir program, which I still have.

Yet I've still never seen the movie, and have no idea as to the quality of the score.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2005 - 7:01 PM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)

Thanks, Recordman, and keep 'em coming.

Interesting score - something about it that endears it to the listener for life.

Now, if you had lived in the UK : the action-filled cover would have been the same - but, alas, no gate-fold sleeve.

- JMM

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2005 - 7:40 PM   
 By:   Cameron Fennell   (Member)

The Japanese LP is identical to the US release. There is a 45 rpm single from Japan as well with a picture sleeve that recreates the same cover artwork, but I do not know if the two cuts are identical to the album versions.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 21, 2005 - 8:09 PM   
 By:   joec   (Member)

This was originally a roadshow, with reserved seats and intermission. I never saw it, but I did go to the theatre where it was showing in Pittsburgh, and buy a copy of the souvenir program, which I still have.



There was no roadshow in the NYC area, only a general release of the cut version. The only souvenir program I am aware of was printed in the UK for the Cinerama roadshows presented there.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2005 - 2:09 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

Looks like I was wrong. The program, which I'm currently looking at, has printed on its cover, "CINERAMA Direct from its Roadshow Engagement Now on Standard-Size Screens."

I do remember getting the program in the lobby of the Warner, which was the Pittsburgh venue for Cinerama pictures, but I've still never seen the film. The program is just OK, printed on matte paper, with only a smattering of color photos. The cover is the same artwork as the lp, though the image is wider, including more background to the original painting.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 22, 2005 - 6:31 PM   
 By:   vinylscrubber   (Member)

I was fortunate enough to catch the Cinerama run of this at Milwaukee's Cinema 1 back then, but found the film too stultifying to even enjoy the visual splendors. The single redeeming element was Segall's stirring score, especially the gutsy male chorus overture song, well rendered on the 6 track 70 millimeter print.

I suppose it's whistling in the dark to hope that someday someone might consider releasing his charming music to the now-forgotten 1971 James Garner tv series NICHOLLS.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 23, 2005 - 4:05 AM   
 By:   clipton   (Member)

The single redeeming element was Segall's stirring score, especially the gutsy male chorus overture song, well rendered on the 6 track 70 millimeter print.

I'm very fond of the score -- I have the LP and the aforementioned cd. I'm glad someone else likes the "army" song; I'm especially fond of the subtle orchestration behind the chorus.

 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2013 - 10:50 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Fabulous score, I know film and composer are a little low profile but 'Custer Of The West' could surely sell 1000. I think the LP was on ABC now owned by UMG. One for Intrada, perhaps.

Anyway, while we wait, here's a suite:

 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2013 - 11:26 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

I remember the main title. From 1:36 onwards - that very distinctive solo trumpet ostinato. Shaw at centre frame flanked by two cavalrymen in line-abreast formation, riding at the gallop.
I can also remember the ending too. Obvious as it may be, you have to see it to appreciate the significance. Almost like the tales of Davy Crockett's alleged demise.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2013 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Fabulous score, I know film and composer are a little low profile but 'Custer Of The West' could surely sell 1000. I think the LP was on ABC now owned by UMG. One for Intrada,perhaps.


I've loved the album and score from the moment that my eyes set upon that cover, which surely is one of the great soundtrack covers of the LP era. I agree that a 1000 copy CD edition should be an good seller. But since the LP only runs 31 minutes, it should be paired with another score from the ABC Records vault. I'd suggest that other Cinerama Releasing Corp. spectacular--1969's KRAKATOA, EAST OF JAVA. The ABC LP of Frank DeVol's score for that epic also runs 31 minutes and would make a perfect pairing with CUSTER OF THE WEST.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2013 - 12:25 PM   
 By:   BillCarson   (Member)

i know its an old thread but thank you recordman, wonderful, classy score. and a much better film than it gets credit for.

I have said this before but some glorious dialogue. Having got Custer trapped and outnumbered. Chief: "We have been waiting for you, Yellow Hair..."

"..There are three armies on the way. They will wipe you out. They will be here tomorrow..." says Shaw as Custer.

"...Today.." says the Chief, "..is good day for fighting..."

(get out of that, George!!!)

The LP was always very sought after. One of those rare ones people paid a lot for.
Not sure about Promotional copy being a boot - nearly all soundtrack releases back then were small- run promotional luxuries.

There is a particularly poignant and beautiful piano theme. And the end title where the chief rides through the massacred bodies and rides off is something else.

 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2013 - 1:49 PM   
 By:   OnlyGoodMusic   (Member)

So this must have been a bootleg:


http://www.amazon.de/Custer-West-Dorado-Bernardo-Segall/dp/B0040P7LGC

Few people seem to know that the original director of CUSTER was Akira Kurosawa (!!!). It appears he was fired, then Siodmak took over. The expensive film (budget USD 4 million - quite a lot at the time for a film shot completely in Spain) had a troubled production history. Lawrence Tierney, who plays Gen. Philip Sheridan, was a rebel rouser who caused so much trouble that the Spanish authorities wanted to extradite him. Siodmak convinced them to let him stay so he could finish his scenes.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2013 - 2:36 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Here's the version of the poster used for the film's CINERAMA engagements, with revised wording in the upper left and the CINERAMA logo replacing the CRC one atop the film's credits.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2013 - 2:43 PM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)



There is a particularly poignant and beautiful piano theme. And the end title where the chief rides through the massacred bodies and rides off is something else.



Yes, it is a lovely tune, "When Will Love Rule the World", later given lyrics by Earl Shuman and recorded on a 45-rpm single.

 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2013 - 3:01 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

Very good and enjoyable score, much in need of a decent CD release.
Someone earlier said the Comanche-label CD release has good sound. It doesn't. It sounds horrible.

 
 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2013 - 3:42 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

One major oddity in the film is that the primary Indian antagonist is presented as Dull Knife, while the main chief at Little Big Horn was Crazy Horse. I'm not even sure that Dull Knife (AKA Morning Star) was even present at the battle.

 
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