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 Posted:   Nov 26, 2019 - 2:59 PM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

It's been almost 50 years since I last viewed this film upon it's initial release. Prime's version is spectacular looking, it's as though it's a Blu-ray, vibrant colors and detail. I didn't recall much of this film since I last saw it, Bruce Davison and Sondra Locke are quite good together, Ernest Borginine playing, well, himself. Elsa Lanchester I'd completely forgotten was in this film as Willard's, (Davison), Mother. All the other actors in the film are pretty much cartoonish and caricatures of 'hammy acting'. Hard to believe Director Daniel Mann, who could do superb work with Actors and Actresses, pretty much makes this film feel sort of like a 'movie of the week' from television.
The filmscore by Alex North is the best individual feature of the film. Initially, during the opening credits, I thought it sounded of 'echoes' from 'Spartacus', lots of Brass and some ominus music. But after the first 1/4 or so of the film, the score seemed to get more 'edgy', more in the mood of his 'The Bad Seed', (minus the lulaby themes). There's certainly enough music for a CD but, for whatever reason(s), there's never been a release of this score. It's actually a very important score, though the film it's attached to...not so much. Were the tapes lost or destroyed or are there copyright issues? I did notice 'Bing Crosby Productions' in smallish print at the beginning of the credits, could that be one of the holdups? Still, it's an excellent score!

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2019 - 3:09 PM   
 By:   zooba   (Member)

I'd love a CD release of Alex North's WILLARD score.

Here is Fish Man's extraction of music from the film.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=udjvKTxQnwA&list=PLVrOSSDrc0NqT7Hzpk2KWDMJ45tjqHXeZ&index=2

 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2019 - 3:57 PM   
 By:   Yavar Moradi   (Member)

Funny you should ask, as I recently ran across entries for this score in the online in the Academy Library listings.

I don't know if their holdings include the complete score, but they do have three analogue tape reels:
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71009366
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71009367
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71009368

Any interested parties at film music specialty labels should definitely get in touch with them!

They also have written score elements as part of their "Alex North papers" collection...no idea if they are complete either but here are the entries for anyone interested:
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71361749
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71361750
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71361751
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71362150

That last entry (sketches) actually has a cue list, though I don't know whether it is complete or not.

The Alex North Papers also apparently include his copy of the script:
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71361748

Hope that's helpful to someone!

Yavar

 
 
 Posted:   Nov 26, 2019 - 4:16 PM   
 By:   Last Child   (Member)

Funny you should ask, as I recently ran across entries for this score in the online in the Academy Library listings.

I don't know if their holdings include the complete score, but they do have three analogue tape reels:
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71009366
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71009367
http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71009368

Any interested parties at film music specialty labels should definitely get in touch with them!

Yavar


Good find! I wonder if someone could calculate from the tape speed/length if there's a major or minor amount of music. The sound quality might not be as good as others tapes listed (ie Under The Volcano) but half of a loaf...

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2021 - 3:58 PM   
 By:   Dylan   (Member)

I recently watched "Willard" again for the first time since elementary school and I was very impressed by Alex North's decidedly "Old Hollywood" approach to scoring it.

Here's a very good sounding audio rip presumably from the recently-released Blu-ray:



Great stuff! And very cool to know via Yavar's research that at least a portion of this score survives.

Does anybody know what the apparent issue is with some Bing Crosby Production titles like this or Walter Scharf's "Ben" and "Walking Tall?" Is it rights? "The Great Santini" and "The Reincarnation of Peter Proud" came out so I would think "Willard" and the other aforementioned scores (if the tapes exist) would be a possibility unless there are other issues.

 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 3:59 PM   
 By:   gsteven   (Member)

I see STAGE STRUCK conductor's score in the North music file collections as well:

http://collections.new.oscars.org/Details/Archive/71362135

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 10, 2021 - 4:24 PM   
 By:   cody1949   (Member)

Would love to see a CD release to BEN and WILLARD.

 
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