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The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor (1959/1963)
Music by George Duning, Johnny Green
The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor
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Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: May 2008
Catalog #: Vol. 11, No. 3
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement With Turner Classic Movies Music.

FSM PLEADS NOT GUILTY...of ignoring two classic scores for films involving courtroom drama, by renowned composers George Duning and Johnny Green, respectively.

The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959) combined courtroom drama with contemporary maritime adventure as it untangled the mystery of a freighter, the Mary Deare, found drifting in the English Channel. Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston team up as the freighter’s former first officer and a would-be salvage man, with Richard Harris a villainous saboteur.

Longtime Columbia Pictures composer George Duning ventured to M-G-M to score Mary Deare likely due to the film’s producer, Julian Blaustein. Duning provided an excellent score seemingly inspired by the mysterious hulk of the ship itself, with a churning, nautical bass figure giving way to a lovely main theme that achieves a surprising degree of warmth and hopefulness. Adding a modern color is a Novachord synthesizer, suggesting a sonar ping for the seafaring scenes, and foreshadowing the moods of 1960s television adventures such as Star Trek and the shows of Irwin Allen (some of which Duning scored).

Twilight of Honor (1963) was M-G-M’s attempt to make a feature film star out of Richard Chamberlain, TV’s Dr. Kildare. Chamberlain plays a young attorney given the hopeless task of defending the murderer of a popular businessman in contemporary New Mexico; he diligently uncovers a seedy underbelly of sex and infidelity to the case in order to exonerate his client. Claude Rains, Joey Heatherton, Joan Blackman and James Gregory play supporting roles.

Twilight of Honor was the rare straight dramatic score by Johnny Green (billed here as “John”) in the latter stage of his career, which otherwise comprised musical direction and conducting. Green was M-G-M’s former head of music (1949-1958) who wrote one of the greatest scores of the Golden Age in Raintree Country (FSMCD Vol. 9, No. 19) and penned many standards as a songwriter. Green wrote an unusual, propulsive main title for Twilight of Honor that sounds like the wheels of justice rolling over everything in sight; the entire score is written for brass, woodwinds and percussion (no strings) and also features a tender love theme, delightful “Southern gothic” moods and jazzy source cues. The complete score is presented here; an LP featured only four cuts along with miscellaneous selections from the MGM Records catalog.

Both The Wreck of the Mary Deare and Twilight of Honor are presented in complete form, newly mixed in stereo from the original 35mm three-track scoring sessions. Liner notes are by Lukas Kendall. 

George Duning Scores on FSM
About the Composer

George Duning (1908-2000) was a longtime contract composer at Columbia Pictures (From Here to Eternity, Picnic) who later did feature films as a freelancer (including several of the titles released by FSM) as well as a great amount of television (including Star Trek). A former bandleader for Kay Kyser, he was comfortable in jazz idioms and had a sensitive and melodic touch as a symphonic dramatist. FSM is one of the only labels to showcase his work, from action-adventure (The Devil at 4 O'Clock) to magical comedy (Bell, Book and Candle) to bluesy and lyrical (Toys in the Attic). IMDB

Johnny Green Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Johnny Green (1908-1989) was a hugely influential figure of 20th century American music, a composer, arranger, songwriter, music director, conductor and executive who from 1949 to 1959 presided over the world-class M-G-M music department, assigning composers and conducting many of their scores himself. His songs included standards like "Body and Soul"; he music-directed such classic musicals as An American in Paris and West Side Story; and as a composer he wrote the great Raintree County, restored by FSM as a 2CD set. IMDB

Comments (29):Log in or register to post your own comments
This CD was released in 2008 I believe. I shall be the first to comment. I still have to organizize my thoughts, but I thought I'd warn you beforehand that I shall be VERY enthusiastic about this release. In fact, it's one of the best CDs I have ever heard, and I had totally ignored it for twelve years. There must be hundreds, nay thousands more out there that are pure wonders waiting to be discovered by me.

I shall attempt to assemble a rabbit and then post it here later. And I will be doing the same for all the other six old FSM CDs wot I got on the spur of the moment recently, and also Caldera's "Fried Potatoes". Actually, maybe I should go and give them all another proper listen before the rabbit ejaculation, but either way you have been warned.

Good for you, Graham.
I like to re-open old cases and add my thoughts and opines, when I've just bought or re-listened to an old CD.
But BEWARE, sometimes people don't read or care, and your eye opening thoughts and mouth watering opines fall on deaf ears!!
Your words were all to NOAH VALE.
I'm listening to THE BIG FIX by Bill Conti RIGHT NOW for the Very First Time and it's pretty groovy man! Especially if it was 1978 right now!

The thing I remember about 'Wreck' is that mysterious pounding sound resembling sonar. What I think the composer was doing, though, was the musical equivalent of a lighthouse beacon sweep, except that the meaning is inverted in the sense that it's a false light meant to deliberately dash a vessel onto the rocks, which is why it has that menacing sound to it. It's the bad guy motif.

I love this one, Graham. I play THE WRECK... quite often, but I haven't listened to TWILIGHT... for quite a while. I must rectify that. For some reason, every time I play THE WRECK... I want to hear David Shire's THE HINDENBURG. I've never figured out why. Anyway, I'll wait to see what you say before I chip in.

I love this one, Graham. I play THE WRECK... quite often, but I haven't listened to TWILIGHT... for quite a while. I must rectify that. For some reason, every time I play THE WRECK... I want to hear David Shire's THE HINDENBURG. I've never figured out why. Anyway, I'll wait to see what you say before I chip in.[/endquote]

Zat vun iz eezy. While flying over the NY harbor area on the Hindenburg, Gig Young sees the Queen Mary down below, apparently beating him to the chase.

As I was saying, this is a pretty terrific release, and it only took me twelve years to get it.

I do love George Duning's work in general. THE WRECK OF THE MARY DEARE sounds spectacular here (the whole CD does). The score may lack the thematic variety of THE DEVIL AT FOUR O'CLOCK, or even his "Star Trek" scores, and my favourite Duning continues to be TOYS IN THE ATTIC, but I'm not downplaying how effective and evocative - even thrilling - THE WRECK is. I love the way Duning creates a kind of simple melody and then bends it in an unexpected way, and THE WRECK is full of that (I think all Duning scores are recognisably "him" for that reason, plus the melodic leaps). I haven't seen the film, but it does conjure up adventurous and mysterious images - some seafaring, but others could be water related or even from outer space. I like Grecchus' description, and possible "meaning", for the sonar ping effect from the Novachord. It's a wonderful sound, but again it also reminds me of outer space, the slowness and difficulty of moving underwater being akin to trying to move around in space. Coincidentally , I think that the opening four notes of the score remind me of Leith Steven's seminal DESTINATION MOON.

It's a darker than usual work from Duning, but a very good one. While I'm on about Duning, I've just remembered that I've seen a biography of his advertised on Spanish websites. The author is Spanish and it might only be available in that language. I'll have to check it out. Meanwhile, anyone know anything about the book I'm referring to?

I was totally surprised by TWILIGHT OF HONOR. I only knew of John(ny) Green through his songs and work as an arranger, so this score was always going to be the bonus score for me tacked onto the Duning. I don't think I've even heard any of RAINTREE COUNTY. Anyway, after I'd ordered the CD I was messing around on YouTube and came across the whole film, in good enough quality that I watched it all. It's a pretty good movie, but what immediately struck me were those fantastic Main Titles! The design (I think LK's liner notes refer to the graphics as being like newspaper cuttings) married to the music is absolute dynamite! I'd love to embed a YouTube link here, but I...can't. I wouldn't feel SUCH a thrill listening to this great opening cue if I hadn't already seen how each part is matched to a change in the title graphics. There's a great little "bum-bam-bum" as we see an animated image of the sexy dance behind "and introducing Joey Heatherton".

So I watched the film and looked forward to getting the CD just to hear those Main Titles. There wasn't much more music in the film so I was delighted to hear the whole score, much of which had gone unused. Apart from the terrific (here extended) Main Titles material, there's also quite a lot of slinky Alex North-type hothouse sultriness, and an unusually ambiguous "love theme". It's immediately odd sounding because the principal instrument is the (electric?) guitar. It's "Americana" enough to sound almost like a "Waltons" episode, but there are some very unusual melodic undercurrents. Part of it almost sounds "wrong" (I was reminded of Maurice Jarre at one point). The opening three notes descend in major key, but it's not completely happy. It's like Michael Small's "happy" music. There's a dark side to it, something dangerous shimmering away under the surface.

Oh, I love those jukebox cues! I've NEVER heard music like that come out of a jukebox in all my years of drinking in Arizona, Texas, and New Mexico. Again, it's kind of weird sounding, almost like deliberately distorted melodies. I wonder if it's because it plays behind flashbacks which show two witnesses describing "their" version of "the Joey Heatherton dance"? Nothing is as it seems. Hey, wait - Why does that bit remind me of TAXI DRIVER? Oh, that's Ronny Lang on sax of course!

Few of the bonus tracks interest me. The (unused) car radio cues are like what WOULD have been heard on a jukebox in 1963. I much prefer the stuff presented that would probably never have come out of a real life jukebox. But I just now ignore the bonus cues and I play two consecutive scores one after the other with no need to skip a duff track for a whole hour.

Buy this CD!

Did you mean 'Buy This CD' or 'Butt This CD' Mr Graham?

BUY it, ya lunk! And while you're at it, embed that YT link. It's easy! Prove to us you have the ability.

In a strange twist of fate that could ONLY HAPPEN at the FSM Forum, I'm listening to my Time Tunnel CD right now (from the Irwin Allen Box Set) and it only has two scores on it.
Rendezvous With Yesterday by John Williams and The Death Merchant by George Duning.
And with words I never thought I would speaketh from my own lippage, I enjoy the Duning score more than the Williams. It's more forward motiony and action packed and exciting. The Williams is more of a mood piece.
My God Have Mersey On My Soul.

And I couldn't find ANY footage on YT of you drinking in Arizona and New Mexico to link, dimwit!

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Johnny Green

John Bambridge, Jr., Keith "Red" Mitchell

Ethmer Roten, Martin Ruderman, Sylvia Ruderman

Norman Benno, Arnold Koblentz

Gus Bivona, Gene Cipriano, Dale C. Issenhuth, Ronald Langinger (aka Ronny Lang), Don Lodice (Logiudice), Hugo Raimondi

Charles A. Gould, Jack Marsh

French Horn:
Arthur E. Briegleb, John W. "Jack" Cave, Herman Lebow, Arthur Maebe, Jr.

John Audino, Frank Beach, Uan Rasey, Raymond Triscari, George Werth

Clarence "Pete" Carpenter, Randall Miller, Richard Noel, George M. Roberts

Artie Kane

Robert F. Bain, Alton R. "Al" Hendrickson

Catherine Gotthoffer (Johnk), Dorothy S. Remsen

Dale L. Anderson, Hubert "Hugh" Anderson, Frank L. Carlson, Frank J. Flynn, Sheldon "Shelly" Manne

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