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 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 8:32 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

I viewed the film on dvd the other night; it has remained on of my favorites over all these decades. I was lucky to get the 'promotional' cd from composer Rosenthal and Doug Fake back in the late 90's. During the viewing of the film it seemed there are many scenes of music that are not on the disc, though to be sure, the disc is well represented in it's cue selections of score. Still, some of the music in the film would be wonderful to have in a complete or expanded version and I've always thought this score to be Laurence Rosenthal's absolute very best work. Are there any others who love this score as well? Is there a reason the score has not been re-released on cd in a complete form? (lost tapes, etc?)

 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 4:13 PM   
 By:   filmusicnow   (Member)

I've heard that the complete master tapes are lost, though it cries out for a Tadlow reconstruction. This was my second choice to win the Oscar for Best score, after Tiomkin's "The Fall Of The Roman Empire".

 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 4:23 PM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

That DVD also has a wonderful half-hour documentary interview with Rosenthal on the music score. Make sure you look in on that. Interesting revelations on the Finale, and how to fool a meddling producer's longing for a happy ending with a bit of subtle major/minor clashing.

Apparently the Welsh folktune that appears for Sian Philips' character (on strings in the title) was suggested by Sian herself. She sings the song in Welsh at one point.

There's not that much extra music omitted from the CD. I could be wrong, but I think a few of the shorter cues may be rippable from the DVD, played upfront and unsullied as they are.

 Posted:   Jul 10, 2013 - 7:02 PM   
 By:   George Komar   (Member)

Are there any others who love this score as well?

This has always been my favourite Rosenthal score, and I would love to hear a remastering of the Intrada "Windermere" CD (which I too own) or, better, a Tadlow re-recording. I agree with William, though, that most of the score is on the CD.

 Posted:   Jun 10, 2015 - 11:56 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

I finally saw this last night and enjoyed it as much as Montana Dave did. What a great film.

I think the only piece of Rosenthal's that I regretted not seeing on the LP is the one scoring the time in the papal offices.

And what great sound this LP had, especially compared to BRASS TARGET (which had the advantage of almost 20 years!).

 Posted:   Jun 10, 2015 - 11:57 AM   
 By:   DavidinBerkeley   (Member)

And I kicked myself recently, when I learned that I missed the premiere of Rosenthal's suite from the film, performed nearby in Oakland a few years ago. frown

 Posted:   Jun 10, 2015 - 3:01 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

David, that Papal sequence is exactly the cue which I've always wished had been included on the LP -- and which, alone, if it were added, would make any CD more than worth the price of admission to me. God speed the day.


BTW, I was among a bunch of high schoolers on a field trip to see BECKET at a movie cathedral in New Haven, Connecticut, and the theater manager who gave us the grand tour told how Rosenthal had visited the theater -- and presumably all the other first-run roadshow theaters showing BECKET -- to check out the sound system to make sure that everything would be presenting his score in optimum power and clarity. Clearly, for this consummate professional, his work wasn't finished even when the score was married to the movie.

 Posted:   Jun 10, 2015 - 3:06 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

PS: I played the LP to death. I aways wondered, though, why the score for such a spectacular mega-production was housed in a sleeve whose cover -- little more than two black-and-white portraits of Burton and O'Toole -- looked so cheap. And, also curiously, the CD cover doesn't look like much of an improvement.

 Posted:   Jun 11, 2015 - 9:52 AM   
 By:   David Charles   (Member)

I'd like to have a recording of the full score too including the Welsh folk song. The Latin plainchant is beautiful. I was not lucky enough to get a copy of the promotional CD but I do have an old LP.

 Posted:   Jun 11, 2015 - 11:15 AM   
 By:   cinemel1   (Member)

There was also an RCA spoken word LP of Becket. It was a gatefold cover and graphics were much nicer than the score soundtrack LP.

 Posted:   Jun 11, 2015 - 12:00 PM   
 By:   Ford A. Thaxton   (Member)

There was also an RCA spoken word LP of Becket. It was a gatefold cover and graphics were much nicer than the score soundtrack LP.

I seem to recall that Mr. Rosenthal mentioned that he re-recorded the score for the dialogue album release.

I could be wrong, but I'd be very interested in hearing those tracks by themselves as well.

Ford A. Thaxton

 Posted:   Jun 12, 2015 - 12:39 PM   
 By:   Bob Bryden   (Member)

A 'deluxe' edition would indeed be welcome. I've had both score and dialog lp's since forever. Expanded score - plus the dialog version - yes, please!!!

 Posted:   Jun 12, 2015 - 11:51 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

I'd forgotten about the dialog LP, but now that I'm reminded I seem to recall that the cover design was indeed much finer. Do I also remember aright that the dialog LP included the song?

 Posted:   Jun 13, 2015 - 12:09 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

For what it's worth, the LP has a cover that's fairly in keeping with the aesthetic of a lot of 1960s pop design.

It's wrong to see the play as a great 'period' epic piece. Anouilh wrote it as a commentary on friendships and in particular on the feud that developed between himself and a friend/rival French theatre director. It's modern in its cheeky dialogue, especially in translation, and this was the post-kitchen-sink angry young man era of theatre. It's a bit subversive.

It isn't 'history': Becket was not a Saxon for instance, so that part of the story doesn't hold up, though it makes the drama easier, heightening contrasts. Hollywood wanted an 'epic' and somehow a fine picture got pulled out of the hat that (like Rosenthal's finale story) fulfilled that epic criterion whilst really being something else, keeping both Anouilh and Wallis happy.

So read the sleeve design more in that light, and it's fine.

 Posted:   Jun 13, 2015 - 12:15 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

 Posted:   Jun 13, 2015 - 12:48 AM   
 By:   WILLIAMDMCCRUM   (Member)

Both nice sleeves.

The music only album...

Gold and Purple for Royalty
Imperial Yellow & Heraldic Red
Black lettering.

Like some early mediaeval banner, and two great pics in a documentary b&w.

'nothing wrong with that. Better than some tacky comic-book peplum thing.

 Posted:   Jun 13, 2015 - 9:17 AM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Who said anything about the play? The point I was trying to make was that I was surprised by the "low-rent" score album cover purely because of the the way the film was being sold to the public -- big historical spectacular -- and not with any reference to the original theatrical source material. As such, I'll stand by my first impression.

Also by my feeling that the dialog album cover, even without any images of the two big stars, looks a lot more like the "big expensive Hollywood" effect I would have expected for the score album.

(Thanks, Bob!)

 Posted:   Jun 13, 2015 - 6:47 PM   
 By:   Rozsaphile   (Member)

Gold and Purple for Royalty
Imperial Yellow & Heraldic Red
Black lettering. Like some early mediaeval banner, and two great pics in a documentary b&w.

I love William's imaginative interpretations in defense of criticized works of art or music. Sympathetic interpretation is after all the proper duty of the critic. But while the heraldic idea may well justify the concept, it fails to defend the execution. The thing simply looks cheap, owing to the use of two-color instead of three-color printing.

 Posted:   Jun 25, 2015 - 3:00 PM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

What a wonderful score! An intelligent mix of period and modern genres. For me, the cue for Becket's martyrdom is up there with Caesar's assassination from North's CLEOPATRA score. I recently played the BECKET CD for the first time in a few years and was struck by the beautiful recording, too. Dynamic, detailed, nicely judged stereo spread, and that evocative cathedral-like acoustic for the plainchant bits, especially for Becket's consecration at Canterbury.

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