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This is a comments thread about FSM CD: The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2020 - 2:25 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Grecchus, those details about how the music reflects the characters' thoughts and so on are covered in the track-by-track liner notes. Very detailed, but once I've read them I rarely go back to them to read exactly what is happening in the film at specific moments. This is one of the many films which I haven't seen, but whose score I love. It's good to have some kind of context, but in most cases (this one, for example), just knowing the genre, the period in which the story is set, the year of production, the composer... that's usually more than enough to give me a frame of reference within which I can develop my own thoughts about what the music is representing. Quite often it will have nothing to do with the filmmakers' and composers' real intentions, but it certainly fits my own little film that I invent inside my head.

I hadn't noticed the use of harpsichord and sonar ping in Legrand's ICE STATION ZEBRA (I'll get that CD next year), but I suppose it is kind of logical. I think that LK's liner notes for THE WRECK liken some of the cues to the later series "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea", or at least he says that they wouldn't be out of place there. So there "is" a kind of established way to score underwater scenes. It's hard to get past the fact that things move so sloooowly underwater, which is probably why I hear "outer space music" in some parts of the Duning score.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2020 - 4:02 AM   
 By:   Les Jepson   (Member)

I saw the film on its release, and I recall being taken by the score back then. Later, I read Hammond Innes' novel, which has a superior ending in my view. Instead of the claustrophobic harpoon gun ambush in the film, it involves a deadly and prolonged pursuit across the Minquiers at low, but ever-rising, tide. No dialogue -- it would have been a great sequence for Duning's skills.

 
 Posted:   Jun 26, 2020 - 11:32 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

Graham, Yavar has said that a good proportion of his collection consists of soundtracks for films he's not yet seen, so it appears there is not much difference in what thematically drives film music to classical pieces that are rooted in fable, except that film music is closely timed to on-screen story-driven events.

I watched TOH online and yes, it's very interesting. The frenzy in the main title music must be down to the courtroom crowd baying for blood - that is how it strikes me. The courtroom drama pivoted on that local precedent where it's considered acceptable to kill in the heat of jealousy when provoked in an adultery situation - all you have to do is prove it. The poor deluded defendant was so love possessed of his two-timing wife it seemed he would end up high and dry without a leg to stand on. Still, the idea of him getting away with an actual killing seems to be excused in the biblical sense of the offense of adultery, whereby the adulterers, at the outset, are the guilty party and it is they who must seek out 'cities of refuge' should they be pursued by the revenge-seeking injured party - in this case namely the accused husband. I guess this is offset by the prosecution's unswerving blood thirsty attitude to nail the accused one way or the other, as an outsider to their community - they're guilty of nothing less than the modern definition of hate crime itself and would see someone go to the gas chamber just to satisfy some notion of justice done by popularity (unpopular if on the receiving end) contest. In the Movie, Chamberlain's character makes just such a quip and the crowd responds with knowing laughter.

On the whole, TOH seems to be a modern take on the typical plot nuances found in a Shakespearean drama.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2020 - 5:44 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

Just replying now, Grecchus, to your comments on TWILIGHT OF HONOR. Yes, the story could be interpreted the way you explain. I think it's quite an underrated film. Richard Chamberlain shows that he could really act too.

You don't have the CD, do you? It's an interesting case here because a lot of us prefer to watch a film before choosing to purchase the soundtrack - partly because we "think" we know what it'll be like, but also because we will have supposedly heard the music in context. But in the case of TWILIGHT OF HONOR there's so much more on the CD, music which went unused in the final cut of the film, so how do we judge that?

It's strange, because although I hear something not entirely "wholesome" behind the ostensibly gentle and lilting guitar "love theme" for the past affair between Chamberlain and Joan Blackman (was she ever any lovelier than here?), their relationship in the film actually does seem to have been wholesome. So am I reading too much into the dark side of things? If that theme had been removed from the film entirely I would have certainly interpreted it as just hinting at creepy things.

I wonder what the "charming Southern Gothic" description refers to in the liner notes. Again, I'd never put the adjective "charming" before "Southern Gothic", but the entire score is for me a masterpiece of "not quite right/ vaguely sinister" moods, and it's a revelation on CD. I'm glad I bought it blind, because I would have passed it by if I had based my decision purely on how it's heard in the film.

Ah no, I forgot. I actually got it for THE WRECK OF THE MARY DEARE, with TWILIGHT OF HONOR being the "perhaps not very good" bonus score. Well, I hit the jackpot for once, because they're both excellent.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2020 - 7:41 AM   
 By:   ZardozSpeaks   (Member)

10. So Watt?† (0:58)

La-La Land's VOYAGE set has your name on CD 3, Graham.

https://lalalandrecords.com/voyage-to-the-bottom-of-the-sea-original-television-soundtrack-collection-limited-edition-4-cd-set/

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2020 - 11:00 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

10. So Watt?† (0:58)

La-La Land's VOYAGE set has your name on CD 3, Graham.

https://lalalandrecords.com/voyage-to-the-bottom-of-the-sea-original-television-soundtrack-collection-limited-edition-4-cd-set/


So what. Do you think my ego is tickled in any way whatsoever by these "observations" of yours?

Hang on, I've just checked and it's true!!! Herman Stein dedicated that piece to me for my fifth birthday because he couldn't make it to the party. His music took a more melancholy turn after that traumatic experience for him.

 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2020 - 11:53 AM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

TOH has something of a aggressive nature imbued within. It's like a dragster revving up with a heavy growl. The ex counsel played by Claude Rains is like a red hot poker prodding at Chamberlain but making it clear if he purrs right there's a place at the family table.

Don't have the CD, but it's great that an FSM gets the spotlight. I can see the release has pedigree, which may have been forgot. I agree TOH is a good movie to pack in with TWOTMD. The defendant is still reponsible for the killing and my earlier post, though mainly ignorant on the precise detail of the trial proceedings, was an attempt to illicit a response to help flush out the ideas behind the defence. I still don't know if the legal statute quoted in the film is real or imagined, even though the bare bones of the highlighted plot loopiness is clear enough from an audience standpoint. That's why I wondered if the legal precedent harked back to the 10 Commandments. Two of the Commandments were central to the story, so I was wondering if the tribal rules and regulations from thousands of years ago were dug out for the establishing case that is highlighted in the film. Like, if modern parlance can't cater for a peculiarity of legal nicety, those ancient folks had the right idea for dealing with specific situations within civil order. For me personally, this idea on which TOH pivots was THE interesting bit - the idea of having to go back to caveman logic because of a modern fallacy in dealing with a hard piece of legislation. The film deals with a very specific 'crime' of passion whose root is dug deep in human psychological motivation. How is an action judged to be correct or incorrect, according to sane counsel?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2020 - 12:20 PM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I liked your second, lengthier paragraph Grecchus, but as a caveman I knoweth not how to understand its complexities.

First paragraph is easy for me. The AGGRESSIVE side of the Claude Rains character is spotlighted from the outset by that very startling and scarily AGGRESSIVE black and white image of him during those tremendous Main Titles. In fact, although the liner notes speculate that the propulsive, unstoppable rollercoaster of that cue might somehow represent the "wheels of justice rolling over everything in sight", I think it's implicit that it's a force which shows very little mercy for any of the characters.

 
 Posted:   Jun 28, 2020 - 12:24 PM   
 By:   Grecchus   (Member)

First paragraph is easy for me. The AGGRESSIVE side of the Claude Rains character is spotlighted from the outset by that very startling and scarily AGGRESSIVE black and white image of him during those tremendous Main Titles. In fact, although the liner notes speculate that the propulsive, unstoppable rollercoaster of that cue might somehow represent the "wheels of justice rolling over everything in sight", I think it's implicit that it's a force which shows very little mercy for any of the characters.

Hmm, your final point sums up the film and its conclusion. Right is might.

 
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