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Lassie Come Home: The Canine Cinema Collection (1943-1955)
Music by Daniele Amfitheatrof, Elmer Bernstein, Scott Bradley, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Robert Franklyn, Bronislau Kaper, Andre Previn, Nathaniel Shilkret, Herbert Stothart
Lassie Come Home: The Canine Cinema Collection Lassie Come Home: The Canine Cinema Collection Lassie Come Home: The Canine Cinema Collection
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $59.95
Limited #: 1000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: January 2011
Catalog #: Vol. 13, No. 20
# of Discs: 5


One of the biggest stars on M-G-M’s roster in the 1940s and early ’50s was a precocious collie named Lassie. After the great success of Lassie Come Home (1943), the canine went on to star in six more films for the studio before transferring to television in 1954. Film Score Monthly’s Lassie Come Home: The Canine Cinema Collection presents music from all seven of these family films, written by a veritable “Who’s Who” of Golden Age composers. These talented and skilled practitioners of the film music art took advantage of the heartwarming stories, beautiful scenery and long stretches without dialogue to write extensive symphonic scores in the finest tradition of the studio.
Disc One leads off with the much-loved classic that started the franchise: Lassie Come Home (1943). FSM presents Daniele Amfitheatrof’s charming, classic score in an archival presentation: Roughly half the score's music masters have been lost, so the balance of the tracks are taken from a music-and-effects track (be prepared for dog barks!).
For the sequel, the studio turned to its leading musical man of the ’40s—Herbert Stothart. Disc Two is dedicated to the score for Son of Lassie (1945) which Stothart co-composed with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. Because part of the wartime story is set in Norway, Stothart demonstrated his usual skill in adapting music by other composers—in this case, Edvard Grieg. This wonderful score, by turns dramatic and sentimental, has survived almost entirely in music-only form; only a couple of cues include sound effects.
Pure music masters are used throughout the principal program on Disc Three—the score for Courage of Lassie (1946), credited to Bronislau Kaper and Scott Bradley. The film also contains several cues by Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Nathaniel Shilkret, plus contributions from Conrad Salinger, David Snell and Robert Franklyn. Since the opening of the film was heavily edited before release, FSM has been able to include over 20 minutes of previously unheard alternate cues from the first version.
Not one music-only cue survives from Stothart’s score for the fourth entry in the series, Hills of Home (1948), but disc three concludes with the “Opening Title and Narration” from the film’s music-and-effects track.
Disc Four is historically significant because it encompasses two very early scores by André Previn. The Sun Comes Up (1949) was, in fact, Previn’s first screen credit as a composer, written when he was only 18 years old. He quickly added the next Lassie film to his résumé: Challenge to Lassie (also 1949). The music masters of these sparkling symphonic scores are, sadly, completely lost, but FSM has included reasonably complete presentations of both scores from music and effects tracks—a compromise deemed worthy to preserve these early efforts by one of Hollywood’s most admired, respected and legendary composers.
For the final film in the series, M-G-M returned full circle to Amfitheatrof, whose complete score for The Painted Hills (1951) can be heard, sourced from music masters and acetate discs, on Disc Five. Amfitheatrof’s heartfelt and sincere music was worthy of its predecessors.
The collection ends with a special bonus: Elmer Bernstein’s delightful score for It’s a Dog’s Life (1955)—complete and in stereo. Written around the same time as The Man With the Golden Arm and a year before The Ten Commandments, it captures the nostalgic flavor of New York’s Lower East Side at the dawn of the 20th century in the composer’s trademark Americana style. It also anticipates Bernstein’s comedy renaissance of the 1980s by effortlessly underlining the film’s whimsical humor.
The five CDs are packaged in a single clamshell case along with a 28-page booklet (designed, as always, by Joe Sikoryak). The booklet features an essay by Jim Lochner on the Lassie phenomenon that provides the context for each film and score. An introduction by Lukas Kendall explains the challenges inherent in preserving and presenting this archival material. Detailed track lists and film stills are included, but even more information can be found online, with additional background on each title and FSM’s customary track-by-track analyses.



Daniele Amfitheatrof Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Daniele Amfitheatrof (1901–1983) was a Golden Age composer who came to Hollywood from Russia by way of Italy. He possessed an advanced compositional style, although cinematically he wrote very much within the conventions of the time. He worked at almost all of the studios during the 1940s and '50s. FSM has released some of his work at M-G-M, including the excellent western scores for The Last Hunt and Devil's DoorwayIMDB

Elmer Bernstein Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Elmer Bernstein (1922–2004) had a Hollywood career that lasted over a half a century; invented and reinvented himself as a composer across several genres (jazz, epics, westerns, comedies and adult dramas); and scored more than a few Hollywood classics—The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Escape and Airplane! to name but five. FSM has released a dozen of his scores and counting, but the most popular may be Heavy Metal (1981)—don't be fooled by the title, it's Elmer's "Star Wars." In addition to his prolific work as a composer, Bernstein was a tireless champion of film music as an art form, serving on the boards of several professional organizations and in the 1970s recording his own LP series of classic Hollywood scores, Elmer Bernstein's Film Music Collection, released by FSM as a 12-CD box set. IMDB

Scott Bradley Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Scott Bradley (1891–1977) was the in-house animation composer at M-G-M from 1934 to 1958, scoring the classic Tom and Jerry shorts by Hanna & Barbera as well as Tex Avery's cartoons (Droopy, the Wolf, Screwy Squirrel, etc.). Along with Carl Stalling at Warner Bros., Bradley invented what is today considered the classic Hollywood cartoon sound—the chaotic but inherently musical blend of pop/classical quotes and symphonic outbursts. Bradley was actually a modernist concert composer who also did occasional dramatic scoring at M-G-M; he took his work seriously and his cartoons became all the more hilarious because of it. IMDB

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco (1895-1968) studied composition in his native Italy and established a growing reputation for his concert music before being forced to flee Europe. Like many other Jewish artists, he came to the United States in 1939 and settled in Hollywood. From 1941-1960 he composed music for nearly 200 films, most of which were partial scores for which he did not receive screen credit. His greatest contribution to the art of film music was as a teacher—his pupils included Henry Mancini, Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams. IMDB
Robert Franklyn Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Robert Franklyn (1918-1980) orchestrated almost all of the scores Bronislau Kaper composed for M-G-M from the mid-‘40s until the early ‘60s. He also worked on the orchestration team for several of the studio’s musicals, including Meet Me in St. Louis and Annie Get Your Gun. His composition credits are limited to a few short subjects but he also contributed cues to various “staff scores” such as Son of Lassie. IMDB

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

Andre Previn Scores on FSM
About the Composer

André Previn (b. 1929) famously broke into film scoring at M-G-M while still a teenager—he was a child prodigy as a classical and jazz pianist who took to composing and arranging as well. In his twenties and thirties he scored numerous films and acted as music director for famous movie musicals like Gigi, Porgy and Bess and My Fair Lady. He largely retired from film in the late 1960s—fed up with Hollywood—to pursue a career as a classical conductor; he has also written operas and stayed active as a recording artist. Previn's early work as a film composer (much of it on obscure projects) is of startlingly high quality and FSM will continue to release it where possible. IMDB

Nathaniel Shilkret Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Nathaniel Shilkret (1889-1982) was a versatile and pioneering composer, conductor, recording artist and music executive whose thousands of recordings for RCA Victor sold an estimated 50 million copies. Between 1925 and 1941 he conducted over 3,000 radio broadcasts with soloists including Glenn Miller, Jascha Heifetz, George Gershwin and Andres Segovia. He worked as musical director for RKO from 1935-37 and for M-G-M from 1942-1946. From the earliest days of sound films through the early 1950s he composed or contributed to over 180 film scores—including many documentary short subjects. IMDB

Herbert Stothart Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Herbert Stothart (1885-1949) was the primary dramatic composer of the M-G-M music department for the 1930s and '40s, scoring such classics as Mutiny on the Bounty, The Wizard of Oz and Random Harvest. Given that he passed away right before the advent of widescreen films with stereophonic sound and magnetic film recording, very few of his scores have been released on CD—something FSM intends to change.IMDB

Comments (53):Log in or register to post your own comments

Film Score Monthly presents a five CD 1000 edition release by Daniele Amfitheatrof, Herbert Stothart, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Bronislau Kaper, Scotty Bradley, Andre Previn and Elmer Bernstein!


Ripley, Hank & Wilson-Executive Producers- Highly recommend this release!

YES! I'm really excited about this set. Thanks, FSM!

What a fun release. Woof woof!

This is doggone sensational!

I love the supplied artwork as well. Just stupendous! Thank you very much.

What a charming and surprising release, however compromised by the ravages of the source material.

Also a nice break from the holy grails we're always going on about. Didn't see this coming. Well done.


Great release, ordered immediately. Despite the $8.15 local shipping cost.

I might have to bite on this. It's looks paws-itively wonderful.


Film Score Monthly presents a five CD 1000 edition release by Daniele Amfitheatrof, Herbert Stothart, Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco, Bronislau Kaper, Scotty Bradley, Andre Previn and Elmer Bernstein!


ordered here we go again !!!

Ripley, Hank & Wilson-Executive Producers- Highly recommend this release!

Thanks guys. The online notes are now live:


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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits
For more specific musician lists for the scores on this album, go here:
Challenge To Lassie
Courage of Lassie
Son Of Lassie
The Painted Hills
The Sun Comes Up

Leader (Conductor):
Daniele Amfitheatrof, Scott Bradley, Andre Previn, Nathaniel Shilkret, Herbert Stothart

Samuel Albert, Rocco Barbieri, Isadore "Siggie" Boguslowski, Manuel Compinsky, Vladimir Coonley, Dave Crocov, Sam Fiedler, Arthur Finston, Elliot Fisher, Werner L. Gebauer, Ernest Gill, Saul Grant, Mort Herbert, Gilbert Jaffy, Sol Kindler, Otto Landau, Beatrice Launer, Raf Lensky, M. Levienne, Louis Limonick, Harry Loventhal, Arthur Maebe, Sr., Lisa Minghetti, Emanuel Moss, Paul Nero, Jaime Overton, Lou Raderman, Sally Raderman (aka Sarah Kreindler), Sidney Rivkin, Louis Sarli, Bela Schaeffer, Jack Scholl, Herman Seidel, Harry Solloway, Herman Stark, Al Vertchamp, Eunice Wennermark

Manuel Compinsky, Rubin Decker, Cecil Figelski, Morris Lederman, Virginia Majewski, Reuben Marcus, Sam Noble, Germain Prevost, Henri Shostac

Alexander Borisoff, Alex Bunchuk, Elizabeth Greenschpoon, Fernand Lhoest, N. Liebenbaum, Irving Lipschultz, Edgar Lustgarten, Cornelius Van Vliet, William Vandenburg

Herbert Berman, Frank Kuchynka, Louis Previati, Arthur Shapiro

Telejoe Freeman, Aaron Gershunoff, Charles Moll, Henry Woempner

Philip Memoli, Jack Stacy

Gus Bivona, Henry Emerson, Mort B. Friedman, E. Gershman, Alex Gershunoff, Johnny Hacker, Don Lodice (Logiudice), D. H. McKenney, Neely Plumb

Harry Axelrood, Charles A. Gould, Ralph Schulze, Adolph Weiss

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Alfred De Pasquale, Vincent DeRubertis, Leon Donfray, Fred Fox, Arthur Frantz, Wendell Hoss, Herman Lebow, Joe Mariani, Jean C. Musick, Fred Waldron

Dick Cathcart, Clyde Hurley, George Kennedy, Emanuel "Manny" Klein, Raf Mendez, Louis Mitchell, Uan Rasey, Irvin Shulkin, Raymond Triscari, Charles Yukl

Walter Benson, John Flood, Randall Miller, Herb Taylor, Thomas Wright, Bud Youngman, Simon Zentner

Jack Barbray

Jacob Gimpel, Mel Powell, Arthur Schutt

Albert Hay Malotte

Lud Bonkowski

Joe Quintile, Paula Schertzinger Chaloupka

Jerry Adler, Richard Hayman

John T. Boudreau, Frank L. Carlson, Lou Erickson, Mel Pedesky, D. V. Seber

Lewis Finston

Orchestra Manager:
James C. Whelan

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