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 Posted:   Nov 25, 2000 - 6:21 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

You guys did such a good job tracking down & re-recording Mr. Sainton's wonderful score to Moby Dick that I insist you do the same for a work from another British Composer. Allan Gray's score to The African Queen is an unheralded and underrated gem for a deservedly heralded, highly-rated film. The original score came courtesy of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and I am sure your boys in Moscow will once again prove up to the task.

Mr. Gray wrote several cues that are in fact mini-compositions, each with a discernable beginning, middle and end. He liberally employed 2 main themes, which I'll call the African Queen Theme and Love Theme, in multiple variations throughout the picture. A "triumphant" arrangement of the latter underscores the brief opening credits, which, in turn, segue into a ride downriver with but the sounds of wild Africa for an aural accompaniment.

The theme for the African Queen, a dilapidated old boat, contains a rhythm with William Tell Overture-like whimsy but with a breeziness more inherent to Gershwin's walking theme from An American in Paris. It's downright jaunty, a infectious romp at the beginning. More ominous, dramatic arrangements follow, with even a "plodding & trudging" variation in the scene when Charlie and Rose escape from the insect plague.

The Love Theme, which opens with a passage vaguely reminiscent of the song "South of the Border", is particularly memorable in the scene when Rose suddenly grasps Charlie's hand as the inveterate quarrelers discover they are very much in love. A waltz variation was inserted in the middle of a long cue underscoring a humorous scene earlier as they attempted to bathe in the river (Charlie in front, Rose astern). This piece is my favorite music in the entire movie, closely followed by other great cues: "Adrift in the Reeds" hit my memory radar with a short burst of Poltergiest-like feel, and "Breaking Free from the Reeds" is positively breathtaking (harp, flute, strings!), within a truly memorable scene-with-music.

What convinces me that the score will make an excellent stand-alone soundtrack CD is that the music, as great as it is, was not the least overpowering on screen due in no small measure to its minimal amplification. I can only dream how it would sound on its own. Please check it out, Mr. Morgan. I MUST HAVE IT!

 Posted:   Nov 26, 2000 - 6:17 AM   
 By:   John Morgan   (Member)

We hear ya!

 Posted:   Dec 28, 2000 - 10:44 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

The African Queen is on AMC on Friday, 12/29/00 at 8:15pm EST. Would love to hear comments on the score outside of my own!">

 Posted:   Dec 28, 2000 - 10:59 AM   
 By:   OHMSS76   (Member)

Sadly I don't recall the music, but I remember seeing the film on TV when I was 7 and loving it.
Guess I was a weird kid, since this was 1983 or so IIRCrazz
I would surely check it out though....the only way the Marco Polo gang can go is up!
Keep it comin' boys!

Best wishes,

 Posted:   Dec 27, 2000 - 11:54 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Betcha you saw it on TBS or maybe TNT; believe it used to show up fairly frequently (can't say lately, been w/o cable 3+yrs. & counting).

 Posted:   Dec 28, 2000 - 12:34 AM   
 By:   Graham Watt   (Member)

I'm really sorry to be old and pedantic here, but was Allan Gray really British? I seem to recall hearing that he was Polish (great Polish name he's got).

 Posted:   Dec 28, 2000 - 1:53 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

You have excellent hearing. I just found this off of "Film music on the Web-British Composers":

Gray was Polish but his creative life was largely spent in England. Musical Director to Max Reinhardt for some years. His films included Madness of the Heart, The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, The African Queen (the famous Humphrey Bogart vehicle) for and Mr Perrin and Mr Traill, based on the novel by Hugh Walpole, from which a movement entitled Proposal was extracted for concert use. His very first score was a German film Emil and the Detectives. He wrote a number of scores for Emeric and Pressburger including A Matter of Life and Death (1946) with its haunting, simple piano progression, the Prelude of which was recorded on 78 and reissued on EMI CD in a classic collection of 40s and 50s film scores.
Films: Emil and the Detectives (1931), The Silver Fleet (1943), The Volunteer (1943), Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943), A Canterbury Tale (1944), I Know Where I’m Going (1945), A Matter of Life and Death (1946), Stairway to Heaven (1946), This Man is Mine (1946), Mr Perrin and Mr Traill (1948), Madness of the Heart (1949), The Reluctant Widow (1950), No Place for Jennifer (1951), Obsessed (1951), Outpost in Malaya (1952), Twilight Women (1953).
Life and Death of Colonel Blimp (1943) 78. Commando Patrol. RAF Dance Orch. Decca F8364.
A Matter of Life and Death (1946): Prelude and This Man is Mine (1946): theme. Queen’s Hall Light Orch/Charles Williams. Columbia DX1320.

How rude of me--here's the link:" TARGET=_blank>

Sean, you're a Brit (or displaced Pole">)? Guess you didn't see it on cable over here, huh...


[This message has been edited by Howard L (edited 28 December 2000).]

 Posted:   Dec 28, 2000 - 2:11 AM   
 By:   John Morgan   (Member)

[QUOTE]Originally posted by OHMSS76:
..the only way the Marco Polo gang can go is up!
Best wishes,

Is this a compliment?


 Posted:   Dec 28, 2000 - 2:14 AM   
 By:   Dana Wilcox   (Member)

And Mr. Morgan, if you're still listening...

The world is CRYING OUT for a boffo rerecording of Franz Waxman's marvelous, classic score to "Sunset Boulevard"!!!! I swear, I'll buy 3 copies, just to support what you are doing at Marco Polo!

NP: The Egyptian (Marco Polo rerecording) ****** (are six stars allowed?)

 Posted:   Dec 28, 2000 - 2:15 AM   
 By:   OHMSS76   (Member)

Of course it was meant to be!
My apologies if that came out the wrong blokes do fantastic work and have introduced me to scores I wouldn't have thought of being any consequence(The Lodger? Prince of Players?Devotion?)
Keep up the GREAT work, your contributions are greatly appreciated and supported.

Best wishes, and more apologies for the schmoozefest">
[This message has been edited by OHMSS76 (edited 28 December 2000).]

 Posted:   Dec 28, 2000 - 2:58 AM   
 By:   OHMSS76   (Member)

Since this is rapidly becoming the "Ask John Morgan" thread(and how cool to get a response!) this occured to me today...

What would be the chances of the gang at Marco Polo to record an older score by Jerry Goldsmith? Something like Black Patch(if the scores exist)The List of Adrian Messanger(I'd love to hear the hunt music played by the MSO) or even Freud?

I know the series tends to stick in the Golden Age, I just think it would be cool to see the label tackle one quasi-GA score?

What do you think!
Best wishes,

 Posted:   Dec 29, 2000 - 2:10 AM   
 By:   Matt Perkins   (Member)

The Marco Polo wish-list grows ever longer..!! John -first let me echo the sentiments of everyone else here and say a huge thankyou for your wonderful releases, which are phenomenal in their scope and quality. I'm very much looking forward to your Malcolm Arnold CD early next year and wonder if you will be doing any more "neglected" British film music. One composer that springs to mind is the hugely talented Brian Easdale - any chance of a complete recording of THE RED SHOES, BLACK NARCISSUS, or any other of the great scores he did for Powell/Pressburger?

Best wishes

 Posted:   Dec 31, 2000 - 6:45 AM   
 By:   John Morgan   (Member)

Thanks all....

Although we specialize in the Golden Age, we have done things that are a bit newer. In fact, our last sessions had Steiner's THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME (1932), our oldest recorded score and Arnold's DAVID COPPERFIELD (1970) our newest rerecorded score!
As far as Goldsmith is concerned, THE LIST OF ADRIAN MESSENGER would be Bill Stromberg and my first choice to rerecord. We both love that music. I suspect the stereo music tracks are still at Universal. My wish would be for FSM to crack that Universal barrel and release some of their holdings.
Yes, RED SHOES is a possibility. Somewhere else I posted about doing a full CD of that score. So much great music besides the ballet. Easdale is always a favorite and he and his family has taken care of his written music.


 Posted:   Jan 1, 2001 - 5:04 AM   
 By:   paul rossen   (Member)

I'll add 2 more to the 'wish' ...

Miklos Rozsa's QUO VADIS..
Alfred Newman's CAPTAIN from CASTILE..

Finer music from any source is not available and it would be great to have these scores in 'modern' sound.

 Posted:   Feb 10, 2004 - 12:45 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

I've been watching TAQ on TCM tonight and am marveling at the picture. Anyone know if a new print was struck or something? 'S been ages since I'd seen the entire opening credits sequence; in fact, I think every TV broadcast prior to TCM's was from the same old print. The color and sound has simply never been better.


 Posted:   Feb 10, 2004 - 12:02 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

Yoo Hoo, Mr. McDougal.......!

 Posted:   Feb 10, 2004 - 10:45 PM   
 By:   CH-CD   (Member)

John, How's about a tribute album to John Addison ?
He did so much good work in numerous British films of the '50's + early '60's, which have never been featured on disc.

For example:

IT'S GREAT TO BE YOUNG (features a beautiful scherzo)
....and many others.

This would make quite an album.

And, if those master tapes are really lost, a new recording of his Oscar winning score for "TOM JONES".

For your consideration .....

 Posted:   Feb 10, 2004 - 11:13 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

There's an absolutely lovely music cue in AFRICAN QUEEN, when Hepburn and Bogart are totally discouraged about getting their boat out of the swamp; so they fall exhaustedly asleep in each other's arms, as the river swells around them and carries them into their destination, the lake, as if by magic. Beautiful music.

At leat, that's the way I remember it.

 Posted:   Feb 10, 2004 - 11:14 PM   
 By:   John B. Archibald   (Member)

I can even hum that cue from memory.

I am doing it now.

 Posted:   Feb 11, 2004 - 12:29 AM   
 By:   John Morgan   (Member)

We just must do a complete recording of MacDougal's HOUSE OF HORRORS. By way of Marco Polo or another company, this is upper most on my list and must be done.

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