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The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973)
Music by Henry Mancini
The Thief Who Came to Dinner The Thief Who Came to Dinner
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: May 2009
Catalog #: Vol. 12, No. 10
# of Discs: 1

Few of Henry Mancini’s classic 1960s and ’70s scores are available in their original soundtrack recordings, as the composer typically re-recorded his scores for RCA Victor (concentrating on source cues and pop arrangements of themes). An exception was The Thief Who Came to Dinner (1973), released by Warner Bros. Records in its original film performance, and presented by FSM on CD in complete form.

The Thief Who Came to Dinner was a light comedy/suspense/caper film—exactly the sort of project that Mancini often scored for Blake Edwards. Mancini’s friend Bud Yorkin directed and produced Thief from a screenplay by Walter Hill (adapting a novel by Terrence Lore Smith). The film stars Ryan O’Neal as a charming, self-made cat burglar who takes to robbing wealthy Houston mansions almost for the fun of it; along the way, he falls in love with a beautiful socialite (Jacqueline Bisset) and outsmarts a well-intentioned insurance investigator (Warren Oates).

Mancini’s delightful, groove-driven score updates the composer’s classic light suspense/comedy sound from the 1960s (The Pink Panther, A Shot in the Dark, Arabesque) for the “mod” era of the early ’70s, with electric keyboards and Fender bass adding a pulsating, modern component and “cool” moods to his flawless big band brass and suspenseful strings. It has often been said that Mancini packed more melody into his bass lines than the typical composer did in an entire score; The Thief Who Came to Dinner is a perfect case in point, hooking the listener from the opening conga riff and maintaining interest as a masterful and enjoyable romp. In addition to the dynamic “heist” music (which grows out of the main theme) the score features a soothing love theme for Bisset’s character, catchy source cues and dynamic one-off Mancini score creations like the boogie-woogie “Tail Gate.”

This premiere CD of The Thief Who Came to Dinner features the Warner Bros. Records program followed by the rest of the score—previously unreleased score and source cues. Two early demos of the main themes are included as well. The entire recording has been newly mixed from the original 2” 16-track masters engineered by Dan Wallin on the Warner Bros. scoring stage (then known as the Burbank Studios scoring stage). The album is designed so that the tracks can be programmed in film sequence if so desired. New liner notes are by Scott Bettencourt and Lukas Kendall, giving FSM’s customary detailed information as to the production and the recording.

Henry Mancini Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Henry Mancini (1924-1994) was, prior to John Williams (his former pianist in the Peter Gunn band), the most public face of film music. His "Moon River" and "Pink Panther" theme became pop standards and he changed the nature of film music through his deft use of instrumental color, jazz/pop songwriting forms and light dramatic touch. (It is often said that his bass lines were more memorable than most other composers' entire scores!) While he was most associated with sophisticated entertainment of the 1960s—a reputation he cultivated through his career as a recording artist for RCA—he could do all sorts of styles; see his brilliant, chilling thriller score for Wait Until DarkIMDB

Comments (17):Log in or register to post your own comments
Gotta love those conga drums!

And I personally think Mancini made better use of the Martenot [is that what it is here? or is it an organ made to sound like one?] in this period than another composer (nameless) who did it a whole lot, a whole lot later.

And nobody could write more fun parts for a Fender Rhodes. Nobody. With other folks it sounded like someone was substituting for an acoustic piano, but in his writing it was very much its own instrument.


Hi David,

Actually it's not an ondes Martenot here, it's I think several keyboards that were cutting-edge at the time...I think I saw "Yamaha" written on the paperwork. I tried to identify the keyboards in the liner notes where I could. Very well said about Mancini's fender rhodes writing!

Lukas



And nobody could write more fun parts for a Fender Rhodes. Nobody. With other folks it sounded like someone was substituting for an acoustic piano, but in his writing it was very much its own instrument.


Absolutely David! Mancini seemed to treat it as an independant, newly created instrument with no strong ties to the acoustic piano and wrote to capitalize on its own unique sound.

The man knew his instruments and was a master on how to use them to color his works.

Picked up a used (but mint) copy of this today (along with the 1993 25th Anniversary Edition of "Joanna" by Rod McKuen) and am now playing for a second time - it really is a wonderful listen!

The only other Henry I have is "Wait Until Dark" which I bought recently after being blown away by the movie. Which others can you recommend for a fan of these two? Thanks!

Picked up a used (but mint) copy of this today (along with the 1993 25th Anniversary Edition of "Joanna" by Rod McKuen) and am now playing for a second time - it really is a wonderful listen!

The only other Henry I have is "Wait Until Dark" which I bought recently after being blown away by the movie. Which others can you recommend for a fan of these two? Thanks![/endquote]

If you like your Mancini dark, try Experiement in Terror, Nighwing and Lifeforce

Thanks Robert0320.

Yeah, I like the dark sounds of "Wait Until Dark", but I also love the upbeat vibe of "Thief". I see that "Experiment In Terror" is available with "Charade" on a twofer. Think I'll try that CD next. Thanks again!

Avoid any US RCA CD from the 1980s mastered by Dick Baxter. They sound horrible. The European twofers from the 1990s sound much better.

The sound of the Fender-Rhodes keyboard was a signature of many 70's scores and the two best proponents were Mancini and, better yet, Lalo Schifrin. Roy Budd used it to great effect also.

The sound of the Fender-Rhodes keyboard was a signature of many 70's scores and the two best proponents were Mancini and, better yet, Lalo Schifrin. Roy Budd used it to great effect also.[/endquote]

Is that a Fender-Rhodes in the Main Titles of Hancock's "Death Wish" from 00:53 and 01:45? One of those great cues missing from the album which was obviously a re-recording.
Wish someone could release the original tracks some day!


[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t8Gmt5Enyds[/youtube]

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1aChk3TC00&feature=related[/youtube]

Re: Fender Rhodes on DW Main Title?

Yes it is Chriss. HH played a FR, and assorted others during the period in question. As did Chick Corea and Joe Zawinul.

I think my fav is HH using the clavinet on the HH live album from the same era (viz., mid-70s). You know who uses a FR well in the more modern sense: Donald Fagen, and in this regard you can check "Morph to Cat" or "The Nightfly."

PS: I didn't view your clips, I used your timings with my version of the DW OST.

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Track List
Instruments/Musicians
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Henry Mancini

Violin:
Harry Bluestone, Josef Brooks (Schoenbrun), Bobby Bruce (aka Robt. Berg), Samuel Cytron, Janice Gower, Thelma Hanau (Beach), Nathan Kaproff, George Kast, Lou Klass, Erno Neufeld, Irma W. Neumann, Jack Pepper, Linda Rose, Ambrose Russo, Joseph Stepansky, Charles Veal, Jr., Tibor Zelig

Viola:
Rollice Dale, Allan Harshman, Virginia Majewski, Alex Neiman, Robert Ostrowsky, Milton Thomas, Charles Veal, Jr.

Cello:
Ron Cooper, Dennis Karmazyn, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Jacqueline Lustgarten, Joseph Saxon, Gloria Strassner

Woodwinds:
Ronald Langinger (aka Ronny Lang), Donald Menza, Ted Nash, Ray Pizzi, Ethmer Roten

French Horn:
Vincent N. DeRosa, Richard E. Perissi, Alan I. Robinson, Marilyn Robinson

Trumpet:
Albert Aarons, Oscar Brashear, Austin "Bud" Brisbois, Raymond Triscari, Graham Young

Trombone:
Richard "Dick" Nash, James Priddy, Sr., Terry C. Woodson

Baritone Horn:
Hoyt Bohannon, Dick Hyde, Lewis Melvin McCreary, David Howard Wells

Tuba:
John T. "Tommy" Johnson

Keyboards:
Douglas Clare Fischer, Ralph E. Grierson, Artie Kane, Larry G. Muhoberac, Jr., James G. Rowles, Clark Spangler

Synthesizer:
John Montenegro

Drums:
Sheldon "Shelly" Manne

Percussion:
Tommy Vig

Orchestrator:
Jack J. Hayes, Leo Shuken

Orchestra Manager:
Kurt E. Wolff

Copyist:
J. Gus Donahue, Dan Franklin, Joel Franklin (Guzy), Arthur W. Grier, Alvin Sanders, Bill Williams (aka George Davenport)

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