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Lord Jim/The Long Ships (1965/1963)
Music by Bronislau Kaper, Dusan Radic
Lord Jim/The Long Ships Lord Jim/The Long Ships Lord Jim/The Long Ships
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Price: $25.00
Limited #: N/A
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: July 2005
Catalog #: Vol. 8, No. 11
# of Discs: 1

This doubleheader features two Colpix Records LPs: Lord Jim (1965) and The Long Ships (1963). Both are melodic symphonic scores from historical adventures.

Lord Jim was filmmaker Richard Brooks' adaptation of Joseph Conrad's novel about a disgraced British seaman (Peter O'Toole) who seeks redemption in the furthest reaches of Southeast Asia. Bronislau Kaper's transcendent score—one of the last major works from the composer of Mutiny on the Bounty and other epics—features a powerful main theme and beautiful secondary melodies for Jim's spiritual journey and romance with a native girl (Daliah Lavi). The balance of Kaper's score features symphonic action music as well as authentic source cues for gamelans.

The Long Ships was a Viking adventure directed by renowned cinematographer Jack Cardiff. Somewhat goofy in tone, it starred Richard Widmark as a flippant Norseman and Sidney Poitier as a Moorish sheik in a race for a "Golden Bell" which contains the lion's share of the world's gold. The score by Yugoslavian composer Dusan Radic is an exciting sword-and-sandal-style effort with a stirring main theme and rhythmic setpieces.

FSM's premiere CD of Lord Jim/The Long Ships features each LP program remastered from the original 1/4" stereo album tapes. New liner notes are by Jeff Bond and Lukas Kendall.

Bronislau Kaper Scores on FSM
About the Composer

The Polish-born Bronislau Kaper (1902-1983) parlayed a successful stint in the French film industry (1933-1935) into a longtime Hollywood contract at M-G-M (1935-1962), where he was an indispensable member of the music department and wrote many famous songs and scores (Green Dolphin Street, Invitation, Lili). He capped his M-G-M career with his mammoth symphonic score to Mutiny on the Bounty, a fan favorite. He worked in the 1960s as a freelancer, scoring Lord Jim among others. Thanks to our relationship with Turner Classic Movies Music, we have brought a significant amount of Kaper's M-G-M music to CD—with more to come. IMDB

Dusan Radic Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Dusan Radic (b. 1929), born in the former Yugoslavia, was active as a film composer mostly in the 1960s, when he scored several Serbian-language films but also international productions The Long Ships and Genghis Khan.IMDB

Comments (4):Log in or register to post your own comments
Revisiting Lord Jim tonight, I'd venture to say it's my favorite Kaper score. With its beautiful, yearning melodies, exuberant romps and thoughtful orchestration, Kaper's earnest brand of exotica sets the scene without veering into lounge/pop/camp territory (not that there's anything wrong with that). A true classic.

Agreed. "Compassion" and "The Girl from Patusan" in particular are two of the loveliest film music tracks I've ever encountered.

The Love Theme, "The Color of Love" must be one of the loveliest melodies ever written for films. Unfortunately it remains little-known. Lyrics were put to the tune by Bob Russell, and it was released on a 45-rpm single with vocal by Vikki Carr -

I agree with all the above and still cherish my LP with it's eye-catching cover design. It's a pity that more of the score could not be recovered.
Kaper was writing at a time when the sun was starting to set on the heavyweight lush romantic film score, with all it's characteristic profundity of emotional expression and melodic generosity. In truth though, such scoring would probably be out of place with the style of contemporary film making where a systematic approach seems endemic. In my view, the contemporary film score with it's emphasis on sound-design, pulse and the genre-plagiarizing demands of studios, has been knocked back in importance in the last several decades to the point where it is now an entirely different aesthetic from the Lord Jim's of the past.
Best not to despair though and instead think back to the way John Williams restored the then atrophying grand film score back to melodic life - it could happen again at a cinema near you! But be patient.

This brilliant video has probably been posted elsewhere on this site, but for those unfamiliar with it .......

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