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Point Blank/The Outfit (1967/1973)
Music by Jerry Fielding, Johnny Mandel
Point Blank/The Outfit Point Blank/The Outfit Point Blank/The Outfit
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: June 2002
Catalog #: Vol. 5, No. 8
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music

The character of Parker has endured in the crime novels of Richard Stark (a pen name for Donald E. Westlake) for 40 years: a relentless, unstoppable thief typically seeking money owed him by the Mob. The character was most recently portrayed on screen by Mel Gibson as "Porter" in Payback (1999), adapted from the first Parker novel, The Hunter (1962). However, The Hunter was first filmed in 1967 as Point Blank, starring Lee Marvin as "Walker" under the direction of John Boorman (Deliverance, Excalibur).

Point Blank is a landmark of 1960s American cinema, a neo-noir thriller set amidst the steely, impersonal architecture of Los Angeles. The film was influenced by the French new wave, turning the book's simple story into a kind of avant garde fable that is possibly a revenge fantasy: Walker, shot and left for dead by his friend Reese (John Vernon), awakens to wreak havoc through the criminal organization that has wronged him.

Scoring Point Blank was Johnny Mandel, a widely acclaimed composer and arranger whose film credits include The Sandpiper and MASH. Mandel's score is a singular achievement: he uses the twelve-tone system of atonal composition not for shocks but for emotion in the style of Alban Berg, creating a type of trance-like cage in which Walker mechanically but artfully tears through the underworld. Combined with chamber-style accompaniments particularly for woodwinds (a Mandel trademark) and gorgeous, tonal variations for Walker's romantic relationships, the score has virtually no peers. FSM's premiere presentation features Mandel's complete work (including unused cues) along with source cues and Stu Gardner's "Mighty Good Times" from the film's nightclub sequence.

In 1973 M-G-M brought another Parker novel to the screen: The Outfit, starring Robert Duvall as "Macklin." The Outfit is the blue-collar '70s counterpart to Point Blank's arty sophistication: spare, gritty and naturalistic, as co-stars Karen Black and Joe Don Baker help Macklin fleece the Midwest Mob and avenge his brother's death. The score was by a veteran of '70s crime thrillers: Jerry Fielding, best known for his work for Sam Peckinpah (The Wild Bunch, Straw Dogs). With his pulsating rhythms, avant garde sensibilities and jazz arranger's skill, Fielding excelled at the hit-and-be-hit genre, and for The Outfit drew upon his earlier "shades of black" score to The Mechanic. Unusually, his score for The Outfit features three songs, none of which are heard in vocal version in the finished film: an unused main title and two source cues. With country-styled performance by Steve Gillette, the songs add a sense of folksy compassion to the "Parker" aesthetic, and show a rarely represented, easily accessible melodic side of the composer.

FSM's "Parker" doubleheader is entirely in stereo (save "Mighty Good Times") and comes with an illustrated 24-page booklet.

Jerry Fielding Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Jerry Fielding (1922-1980) was one of cinema's most distinctive voices in the 1960s and especially '70s, the perfect musical complement to the films of Sam Peckinpah, Michael Winner, Clint Eastwood and others. His scores are marked by modernism and intricate orchestrations but also a poetic beauty and intensity—an appropriate accompaniment to the decade's strange and often sad (but never sentimental) criminals and antiheroes, be they in westerns (The Wild Bunch) or crime films. He was, however, capable of numerous styles (he was a former Vegas bandleader), and wrote a great number of scores (from sticoms to dramas to sci-fi) for television. IMDB

Johnny Mandel Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Johnny Mandel (b. 1925) is one of the most heralded composers, arrangers and songwriters in American music. As a film composer, he brought a sophisticated, intimate sound to 1960s dramas such as The Americanization of Emily and The Sandpiper, released by FSM along with Drums of Africa in a 3CD set. His arrangements for artists like Frank Sinatra and Count Basie (and many more) are legendary. His film and TV credits also include MASH (and its famous theme), Being There and The Verdict. IMDB

Comments (70):Log in or register to post your own comments
Somehow I get the feeling that this isn't one of FSM's best-selling CDs. :o

It only took me seven years to finally love the music on this tough and uncompromising disc, a prickly, brutal, but effective stew concocted by the great Johnny Mandel.

For POINT BLANK, it helps if you already like the sonic landscapes of Leonard Rosenman or the experimental side of Jerry Goldsmith. However, there's enough melodic, loungey, string-laden tracks to keep things balanced as far as a stand-alone listening experience goes. Even if you haven't seen POINT BLANK, one can still get a good idea of what it accompanies.

THE OUTFIT is great Fielding. Reminscent of The Mechanic at times, but more low key. And I love the songs here! Steve Gillette has a great voice, too. "Quentin Blue" is endlessly catchy, and "Through the Fields of Summer" reminds me of so many montage sequences of early-70s TV shows. There are those who bitch about things being "dated", but I like dated!

I'm thrilled that Lukas had the good taste to release this wonderful doubleheader.

Somehow I get the feeling that this isn't one of FSM's best-selling CDs. :o

It only took me seven years to finally love the music on this tough and uncompromising disc, a prickly, brutal, but effective stew concocted by the great Johnny Mandel.

For POINT BLANK, it helps if you already like the sonic landscapes of Leonard Rosenman or the experimental side of Jerry Goldsmith. However, there's enough melodic, loungey, string-laden tracks to keep things balanced as far as a stand-alone listening experience goes. Even if you haven't seen POINT BLANK, one can still get a good idea of what it accompanies.

THE OUTFIT is great Fielding. Reminscent of The Mechanic at times, but more low key. And I love the songs here! Steve Gillette has a great voice, too. "Quentin Blue" is endlessly catchy, and "Through the Fields of Summer" reminds me of so many montage sequences of early-70s TV shows. There are those who bitch about things being "dated", but I like dated!

I'm thrilled that Lukas had the good taste to release this wonderful doubleheader.[/endquote]





Hey Walker,

I bought it when it first appeared because anything related to Neo Noir and The Underworld are most welcome.
This was "Point Blank" that got me first:
the trance-like state in "At the Window/The Bathroom" with the sensual and hypnotic voice of Sharon Acker.
the dissonant leaning in "Opening", "Nightmare", "Chris Scores", "End Title".
the intense smooth grace in "Nostalgic Monologue".
There is an underground-like soul music performance in "Mighty Good Times"!
If you like the esoteric writing of "Point Blank", get immediately "The Sandpiper" which contains some in a light vein:
http://filmscoremonthly.com/cds/detail.cfm/CDID/421/The-Americanization-of-Emily-The-Sandpiper-Drums-of-Africa/
Read the notes:
http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/notes/sandpiper.html
And when FSM will decide it, get "Harper", Lew baby!

Fielding-wise, the greatest track of "The Outfit" remains the dense (8:57) and fabulous “Mansion Gates/Assault on Impregnable Fortress of Anti-Social Adversary/Surprise While Shaving”: a hell of a masterpiece!

Fielding-wise, the greatest track of "The Outfit" remains the dense (8:57) and fabulous “Mansion Gates/Assault on Impregnable Fortress of Anti-Social Adversary/Surprise While Shaving”: a hell of a masterpiece![/endquote]

Hey Macklin,

I'm positively groovin' to "Office Scuffle/Kenilworth Heist/Casino Heist"! The funk, the great instrumentation, and even playfulness in Fielding's sound.

Another score that really brings back my memory of seeing it three years ago. THE OUTFIT needs to be on DVD! Maybe pair it with another Bobby Duvall pic of the period, BADGE 373, also from 1973.

It's interesting to note that the TV network edit of THE OUTFIT has a downbeat finale, with the film ending with our "heroes" inside the burning mansion as the cops surround the place.

POINT BLANK airs on TCM (U.S.) September 12 @6pm est.

Ive seen so many cuts of The Outfit - not the one that finishes in the mansion like you describe, but always with the freeze frame of them laughing in the ambulance. The bit they usually make a mess of is the hand incident in the card game. One minute Milner is holding his cards, next he has a bloody bandage on his hand.

What i love about this film - apart from the very believable underplaying by duvall and Joe Don Baker, is the nonchalant way the hoods deal with other.

"I got braced by a couple of fellas"
"Try and get me on this side, I gotta a bad left ear"
"They wouldve been okay - but you wouldnt have"
"he's dead, its over, you're unemployed"

if you were responsible for writing dialogue like this, then I think you could look at yourself in the mirror and feel very proud of your achievement.

I bought the CD for the Outfit - remembering that Point blank was a little dissonent in the movie. Truth is, I love the Outfit music, but all these years Ive never really got into Point Blank yet. Ive seen the film a few times now, unimpressed with it first showing, have warmed to it over the years, but still cant dig the music apart from a couple of tracks. I probably should play it more.

Mandel's score for The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is also worth investigating. It was available on Japanese Polydor for about five minutes. It is very minimalistic, pointillistic, what have you ... with a very "minimal" running time as well.

http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=24667

Ive seen so many cuts of The Outfit - not the one that finishes in the mansion like you describe, but always with the freeze frame of them laughing in the ambulance. The bit they usually make a mess of is the hand incident in the card game. One minute Milner is holding his cards, next he has a bloody bandage on his hand.

What i love about this film - apart from the very believable underplaying by duvall and Joe Don Baker, is the nonchalant way the hoods deal with other.

"I got braced by a couple of fellas"
"Try and get me on this side, I gotta a bad left ear"
"They wouldve been okay - but you wouldnt have"
"he's dead, its over, you're unemployed"

if you were responsible for writing dialogue like this, then I think you could look at yourself in the mirror and feel very proud of your achievement.

I bought the CD for the Outfit - remembering that Point blank was a little dissonent in the movie. Truth is, I love the Outfit music, but all these years Ive never really got into Point Blank yet. Ive seen the film a few times now, unimpressed with it first showing, have warmed to it over the years, but still cant dig the music apart from a couple of tracks. I probably should play it more.[/endquote]

----------------------------------------------------------

Give POINT BLANK another chance--it isn't as "out there" as its rep might suggest.

Though I've only seen it once, the atmosphere and overrall "feel" of THE OUTFIT has stayed with me. I like the stripped-down...everything. I'm sure it didn't have a huge budget, and I'm aware of the "TV movie" accusations it gets, based on John Flynn's direction, but that works in favor of the film. In fact, it's what has stayed with me whenever I think of the film. Ive got some "Parker" novels on order and I'm betting that THE OUTFIT is very much in the stripped-down spirit of the books.

And Sheree North never looked better, either. :D

This score has what has become one of my favorite ending cues, as "Finale" is a great rendition of "Quentin Blue." I love the song, too, so having the uplifting instrumental at the movie's end is great.

Anyone who hasn't bought this release shouldn't be surprised if Walker/Macklin bursts into your room and shoots your mattress. And you'd damn well better have his 93 grand. :D

Mandel's score for The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea is also worth investigating. It was available on Japanese Polydor for about five minutes. It is very minimalistic, pointillistic, what have you ... with a very "minimal" running time as well.

http://www.soundtrackcollector.com/catalog/soundtrackdetail.php?movieid=24667[/endquote]

Sigh....I wish SOMEONE would b-side that amazing score someday. My LP transfer bites,
yet I have been going to bed with this score for weeks on end now, every night almost.

Someday....and ironically the best cue is Kristoffersons' SEA DREAM THEME, something I wouldn't
think he would write, but it's gorgeous. Makes me want to investigate his other records if they
even approach the beauty of this music- but I'm thinking it's a Kris Kristofferson 'sketch' that was
turned to art by Mandel....anyone have any background on this one?

As for Point/Outfit - fantastic record, 80 minutes of groovy/atonal/poppy/country/redneck/did I mention atonal bliss. I play the hell out of this to escape the lousy decade we live in now to the probably-as-lousy-70's (but I wouldn't know since I missed that era, unfortunately).

[SheriffJoe edited your post to remove the spam message. Thank you for your time.]

SheriffJoe

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Track List
Instruments/Musicians
Click on each musician name for more credits
For more specific musician lists for the scores on this album, go here:
Point Blank
The Outfit

Leader (Conductor):
Robert Armbruster, Jerry Fielding

Violin:
Israel Baker, Robert Barene, Arnold Belnick, Harry Bluestone, Henry Arthur Brown, Bette Byers (La Magna) (Marks), Bonnie J. Douglas (Shure), Henry Ferber, Elliot Fisher, Jacques Gasselin, Jack M. Gootkin, Janice Gower, Jerome Kasin, George Kast, Irving Bane Katz, Murray Kellner, Bernard Kundell, Marvin Limonick, Alfred Lustgarten, Joy Lyle (Sharp), Stanley Plummer, Lou Raderman, Sally Raderman (aka Sarah Kreindler), Nathan Ross, Henry L. Roth, Ambrose Russo, Myron Sandler, Ralph Schaeffer, Marshall Sosson, Spiro Stamos, Helen Tannenbaum-Katz, Marcia Van Dyke, Gerald Vinci, Heimann Weinstine

Viola:
Myer Bello, Samuel Boghossian, Allan Harshman, Virginia Majewski, Reuben Marcus, Robert Ostrowsky, Paul Robyn, David Schwartz, Barbara A. Simons (Transue), Milton Thomas

Cello:
Douglas L. Davis, Armand Kaproff, Raymond J. Kelley, Jerome Kessler, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Frederick R. Seykora

Bass:
Suzanne Ailman (Stokes), Raymond M. "Ray" Brown, Monty Budwig, George "Red" Callender, Charles L. Domanico, Arni Egilsson, James D. Hughart, Milton Kestenbaum, Abraham Luboff, Peter A. Mercurio, Keith "Red" Mitchell, Joseph Mondragon, Robert King Stone

Flute:
C. E. "Bud" Shank, Sheridon W. Stokes

Oboe:
Arnold Koblentz

Clarinet:
Gene Cipriano, Dominick Fera, Joseph Soldo

Bassoon:
Norman H. Herzberg

Woodwinds:
Gus Bivona, Gene Cipriano, Robert Hardaway, Harry Klee, Arnold Koblentz, Don Lodice (Logiudice), Jack Nimitz, Hugo Raimondi, C. E. "Bud" Shank

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent N. DeRosa, George W. Hyde, Arthur Maebe, Jr., Richard E. Perissi, Alan I. Robinson, Henry Sigismonti

Trumpet:
Marion "Buddy" Childers, Maurie Harris, Carroll "Cappy" Lewis, Uan Rasey, George Werth, James C. Zito

Trombone:
Francis L. "Joe" Howard, Richard "Dick" Nash, George M. Roberts, Thomas Shepard, Kenneth Shroyer, Lloyd E. Ulyate

Tuba:
Mario Camposano

Piano:
Artie Kane

Keyboards:
Paul Beaver, William Mitchell Byers, Ralph E. Grierson, Artie Kane, Ray Sherman

Organ:
Larry G. Muhoberac, Jr.

Guitar:
Richard Bennett, Alton R. "Al" Hendrickson, Orville Rhodes, Trefoni "Tony" Rizzi, Thomas "Tommy" Tedesco

Harp:
Verlye Brilhart-Mills, Catherine Gotthoffer (Johnk), Dorothy S. Remsen

Harmonica:
Tommy Morgan, Christopher Steven Smith

Accordion:
Carl Fortina

Drums:
Hubert "Hugh" Anderson, Frank L. Carlson, Victor Feldman, Mel Lewis, Emil Radocchia (Richards), Charlie Shoemake

Percussion:
Larry Bunker, Emil Radocchia (Richards), Kenneth E. Watson

Unknown:
Robert K. Morris

Orchestrator:
Jerry Fielding, Greig McRitchie, Leonard "Lennie" Niehaus

Orchestra Manager:
Harry W. Lojewski, James C. Whelan

Supervising Copyist:
Harry W. Lojewski

Copyist:
Gene Bren, Jack Dulong, Willard W. Jones, Ray Mace, Donald J. Midgley, Edward E. Ocnoff, Randolph Joseph Rayburn, Fred Sternberg, Harry Taylor

© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.