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 Posted:   Jan 2, 2011 - 4:11 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

LA CAGE AUX FOLLES
(Birds of a Feather)
Great French Morricone #6

This series is inspired by a controversy thread where someone posited the idea that besides THE MISSION and some Sergio Leone westerns Ennio Morricone hasn't written anything great. Rather than making my usual comment that most of Morricone's great scores are from Italy and trying to get Americans to listen to them is like getting them to see movies with subtitles, I decided to take another tact. Since I am at an age where I will only be able to make my case a finite number of times I decided to turn this into a series presenting each great score one at a time, sort of like recordman.

I continue to shift gears disconcerting some but maybe opening other's eyes. While looking for something to represent lounge Morricone I came across this which is probably in a category all by itself. This incredibly successful international hit film not only spawned two sequels but inspired a much less funny remake by Mike Nichols starring Robin Williams and was the basis of Jerry Herman's hit musical. The great French actor Michel Serrault (with support by the inimitable Ugo Tognazzi) had the role of a lifetime, Albin Mougeotte "Zaza", winning both the French Cesar and Italian Donatello award for best actor. It even crossed over into the American side of the Oscars being nominated in the categories of direction (Edouard Molinaro), writing (based on a play by Jean Poiret) and costume design.
When I first saw this, even though I thought it was absolutely hilarious, I dismissed the musical score as Morricone - light . Now, after all these years, I realize the total atmosphere of the La Cage Aux Folles Club is in the hands of Morricone and, more importantly, when the mood changes to something a little more serious and touching it is the way Ennio softens his themes that help us be moved. He is, again, an integral part of what is going on.
He wrote a lilting main theme but somehow the tango that opens the film best represents for me what he is accomplishing with his music:



Morricone scored both sequels and managed to embellish his work with new colors both times.
I am amazed I found this wonderful score lurking in a nook and cranny. But with Morricone coming close to fifty years at film scoring and over 400 movies under his belt, he has more nooks and crannies than any other composer I can think of.




#1 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74811&forumID=1&archive=0
#2 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74838&forumID=1&archive=0
#3 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74871&forumID=1&archive=0
#4 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74899&forumID=1&archive=0
#5 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74951&forumID=1&archive=0
#6 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=74968&forumID=1&archive=0
#7 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75041&forumID=1&archive=0
#8 http://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75065&forumID=1&archive=0
#9 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75088&forumID=1&archive=0
#10 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75103&forumID=1&archive=0
#11 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75147&forumID=1&archive=0
#12 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75194&forumID=1&archive=0
#13 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75252&forumID=1&archive=0
#14 http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=75297&forumID=1&archive=0

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2011 - 4:30 PM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

The soundtrack release has about 28 minutes of music. I saw the film once on TCM, but don't recall the extent of the score.

 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2011 - 6:31 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)


Keep up the good work Morricone. I have known of this scores for ages, but for some reason I have always taken it for granted.

Your series is a wonderful way to discover (or re-discover) the works of the Maestro.

Cheers!

NP: L'Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot

Music by Bruno Alexiu

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2011 - 9:07 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

Keep up the good work Morricone. I have known of this scores for ages, but for some reason I have always taken it for granted.

Your series is a wonderful way to discover (or re-discover) the works of the Maestro.

Cheers!

NP: L'Enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot

Music by Bruno Alexiu


Thanks! As you see I'm actually doing a lot of discovery for myself as well as for others. This really is a blast to be doing.

 
 Posted:   Jan 2, 2011 - 9:11 PM   
 By:   Advise & Consent   (Member)


The joys of movie music at its very best.

Thanks again for your erudite posts.

Cheers!

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2011 - 12:48 AM   
 By:   Tall Guy   (Member)

I had the LP of this score, but a CD has so far eluded me. I used to enjoy it very much (although my interest isn't piqued by the film) but don't recall the title music from the You Tube example above being on the LP.

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2011 - 1:18 AM   
 By:   Urs Lesse   (Member)

One of the most amazing aspects of Morricone's work is that you can take two or three or more Morricone fans and yet find out their musical tastes are completely different from each other's – despite of decades of going through his œuvre.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2011 - 1:41 AM   
 By:   MusicMad   (Member)

I had the LP of this score, but a CD has so far eluded me. ....

One wonders what 2011 will bring ... smile

Personally I've never been taken with this score, especially the Main theme which I find a little irritating. Again, I've never seen the film (nor its sequels or remake) and, again, it's worth owning the score (usually doubled with II on CD) for the incidental pieces (and II has some nice cues, too).

The score to No. III was better than I'd expected though one or two of the vocals grate somewhat!

Having got to No. 6 in this series, Morricone, I long to find what each new entry will be. I struggle to decide just what my favourite EM scores are but I'm certain you have yet to pick one of my top 10 ...

 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2011 - 3:09 AM   
 By:   wayoutwest   (Member)

Glad that you are enjoying doing the series I'm enjoying it very much myself almost picked this one up a number of times, do quite like a number of samples I have heard from it.There is so many other scores I keep finding out about that I would like to discover first had even forgot all about these two scores it was that long ago.
Lounge Morricone must take in a lot not even sure where that would begin and end with many of his scores seeming to be in a number of styles even in the same score.
My pick would have been Il Clan dei Siciliani for French made film for newcomers to Morricone to get them hooked,when are we going to see an expanded version of that one,your guide is as much for long time fans as it is for newcomers.wink

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2011 - 7:38 PM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)

One of the most amazing aspects of Morricone's work is that you can take two or three or more Morricone fans and yet find out their musical tastes are completely different from each other's – despite of decades of going through his œuvre.

That is why I may be an odd man for this job. I'm the type of guy who gets bored when a composer gets stuck in a certain groove and doesn't stray. If you take a look at every film score so far they contrast with each other dramatically. So when Morricone did something different, even when fans did not support it, I was delighted.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 3, 2011 - 7:43 PM   
 By:   franz_conrad   (Member)

Excellent post again, Morricone! I probably never would have sought this out above other Morricone scores without your post above.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 5, 2011 - 10:56 AM   
 By:   Morricone   (Member)


Lounge Morricone must take in a lot not even sure where that would begin and end with many of his scores seeming to be in a number of styles even in the same score.
My pick would have been Il Clan dei Siciliani for French made film for newcomers to Morricone to get them hooked,when are we going to see an expanded version of that one,your guide is as much for long time fans as it is for newcomers.wink


Actually I pick the score first then make up a category for it for the headline.
But we are on the same wavelength.

 
 Posted:   Jan 5, 2011 - 12:31 PM   
 By:   David Sones (Allardyce)   (Member)

Big fan of the La Cage scores, especially the first one which I find to be limitlessly fun and jaunty. The sequel score is notably darker, but still enjoyable. Haven't heard part 3.

 
 
 Posted:   Jan 10, 2011 - 3:51 AM   
 By:   Dan Azevedo   (Member)

Hey, David, I wish I could say the same thing. But, even though I love the main theme from the first movie (the gayest arrangement I have ever heard) and the atmosphere he creates, as Henry noted, to soften some of the moments, I never quite understood why he chose not to maintain any kind of discernible continuity as the series progressed. Granted, each film stands alone as a separate entity, but there's only an obligatory reference to that theme during the main titles of the 2nd film and then it disappears for good, with lots of suspense music instead. The 3rd film is scored with a brand new melody for the couple, perhaps more mature, but not nearly as memorable. There's also a wonderful melody for the Scottish castle and a very dated pop song. I guess I miss some coherence, though the scores admittedly are a lot of fun.

The work of Tognazzi and Serrault as "Renato" and "Albin" is great. I love this kind of comedy and wish today's movies could be more like this instead of concentrating on body fluids and gross-out gags. I remember that Francis Veber worked on the screenplay of the first film and I've always wondered what his go-to composer at the time, Vladimir Cosma, could have brought to the table. Cosma was unable to score the film since it was a French-Italian co-production and they insisted on an Italian composer. What do you think, guys? Would Cosma be a better fit than Morricone? You could probably count on him to come up with a hit song...

 
 Posted:   Jan 11, 2011 - 10:58 AM   
 By:   Peter Greenhill   (Member)

Not familiar with this score so thanks for the info, Henry.

 
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