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The World, the Flesh and the Devil (1959)
Music by Miklos Rozsa
The World, the Flesh and the Devil The World, the Flesh and the Devil
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: October 2002
Catalog #: Vol. 5, No. 15
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music

The World, the Flesh and the Devil was one of two films released in 1959 that reduced a story about the destruction of civilization to purely human terms. While On the Beach (FSMCD Vol. 5, No. 7) detailed a long and agonizing countdown to the end of all human life on Earth, The World, the Flesh and the Devil posited the destruction of humanity by "sodium isotope gas," leaving only three survivors (played by Harry Belafonte, Inger Stevens and Mel Ferrer) who must rebuild their lives from the ashes of civilization's end.

The World, the Flesh and the Devil is one of three science fiction films Miklós Rózsa scored in his long career, the others being The Power (1968) and Time After Time (1979). Rózsa's grandiose music provides an epic backdrop for the end of all civilization, but also a human dimension for the characters and their struggles to maintain their sanity. Rózsa evokes his film noir scores in moody strokes for the first third of the film; embraces Leonard Bernstein-styled balletic jazz for a lighthearted sequence in which Belafaonte's character dances with his own shadows in desolate Manhattan; and develops a nostalgic love theme for the tentative romance between Ralph (Belfafonte) and Sarah (Stevens). The film and score conclude with a lengthy foot chase throughout the city in which Rozsa captures a cathartic transformation from darkness to light.

FSM's premiere CD features Rózsa's complete underscore to The World, the Flesh and the Devil in excellent stereo sound, including alternate and unused cues. The CD includes Rózsa's piano source music ("Nocturne") from late in the film, but not the Harry Belafonte songs (for contractual reasons) with which Rózsa had no involvement.

Miklos Rozsa Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Hungarian-born Miklós Rózsa (1907-1995) is a titan of film music. Responsible for such classic scores as Spellbound, Ben-Hur, King of Kings, El Cid and many others—from biblical epics to 1940s films noir to historical dramas—his signature style is one of the most pleasing and dramatic in film. He was under contract to M-G-M from 1948 to 1962 and FSM has released a great deal of this classic music; also available are his latter-period scores such as The Green Berets and Time After Time.IMDB

Comments (12):Log in or register to post your own comments
I just opened this cd and found solid, solid Rozsa dramatic scoring, plus those interesting stylistic bonuses that are mentioned in the notes. I especially liked the music later in the disc, when the mood of the film appears to have changed.

I can understand especially why he chose to excerpt the Prelude for other recordings, as it is a real curtain-raiser.

This reminds me of a small oversight in the notes. Rozsa's oeuvre actually contains not three but four films in the genre of science fiction. Overlooked here is The Man in Half Moon Street (1945), a version of Barre Lyndon's stage play that is better known from the 1959 Hammer remake, The Man Who Could Cheat Death.

Had this CD for about a year, played it a couple of times and enjoyed it, but didn't find it too memorable compared to some of my other Rozsa albums. I put it on a couple of days ago and something just clicked, and now I just can't stop listening to it. What a wonderful release!

I first heard the theme as conducted by Elmer Bernstein on the 1984 Utah recording many years ago and fell for it immediately. The FSM CD was one of the first Rozsa scores I bought and is one of my favorite of his scores (from the lower-profile films, anyway), such a great music. I have never seen the film but nevertheless I was very surprised how little space and recognition Rozsa devoted to this score in his autobiography. Seems like it was rather a routine job for him.

It's interesting how little a topic this was a few years back. Can anyone else tell me their feelings on this release please? Any help would be hugely appreciated.

This is a superb Rozsa score, but I'll just cut to the chase, need to pick up *all* of the FSM Rozsa releases with the sole exception of The Power (because it's included on the box set in superior form, rendering that disc only worthwhile for Atlantis: The Lost Continent by Russell Garcia...and any Rozsa fan should definitely start with his fine score to The Time Machine first).


This is a superb Rozsa score, but I'll just cut to the chase, need to pick up *all* of the FSM Rozsa releases with the sole exception of The Power (because it's included on the box set in superior form, rendering that disc only worthwhile for Atlantis: The Lost Continent by Russell Garcia...and any Rozsa fan should definitely start with his fine score to The Time Machine first).


The Power so far is one of my absolute delights from the Treasury, I am nuts about it! I went a whole week playing All the Brothers Were Valiant from that set...tell me THAT version isn't awesome!!!!

Okay, you twisted my arm lol! ALL the FSM Rozsa...pronto! :) :)

I have read many comments on other sites about how similar many Rozsa scores sound, which to me is kind of silly. How could Rozsa not sound like Roza? He had a totally distinct, signature sound.

Dr. Kildare next week woo-hoo!

Oh, have to mention Green Fire and how fun it is! Another wonderful effort (even more cool because I never heard of the score until a couple of weeks ago).

I only got around to buying this about a year ago. I'm not really a completist, even when it comes to my favourite composers, and I vaguely recall seeing the film years ago and thinking that the score was fairly standard.

And in a way it IS fairly standard. But "fairly-standard" Rózsa for me is pretty damn good. I like this score now very much, but it did take a few listens before I was hooked. Reading the great liner notes by Jeff Bond and LK helped (I miss the FSM label in that respect), and a rewatching of the movie anchored the whole thing for me. Interesting to hear Rózsa doing jazz at one point. I find that bit almost annoying, but its fascinating nonetheless in its Bernstein (Leonard) parallels. The liner notes explain all that in detail. The rest could almost be for a film noir (well, I suppose you can't get much darker than the end of the world), but lurv raises its head, and so we get an optimistic theme for the Harry Belafonte character, which again for me is borderline-annoying to listen to. There you go - faint praise indeed. But I feel like listening to it right now, so thanks for bringing the subject up. I'll be back soon to tell you that none of it is actually annoying at all.

Still, at the moment, I'm classing it as "second-tier" Rózsa, on a par with two others I got around the same time - THE SEVENTH SIN and TRIBUTE TO A BAD MAN. Those took three or four spins before I really started to appreciate them. After that they became kind of addictive.

Having said that, none of the three I've mentioned in this thread come close to what is my absolute favourite second-tier Rózsa on FSM. That would be VALLEY OF THE KINGS, which does not have a good reputation as a film, and which seems to be largely overlooked by the majority. I think it's a truly wonderful score.

The mention of GREEN FIRE made me realise that I'd always avoided that one too. I wonder if I'll ever get around to getting it. It has never shouted "priority" to me, but neither did WORLD FLESH N' DEVIL, 7TH SIN, TRIBUTE TO A BAD MAN or especially VALLEY OF THE KINGS, all of which I acquired on a whim without thinking too much about it beforehand. I might use that system more from now on.

I love this score very much! And although Rozsa did not do comedies -- his own words -- I really enjoy his score for 'LADY ON A TRAIN' of Deanna Durbin's last movies...not so much a comedy, as a light-hearted film-noir caper...Never-the-less, it is a really good Rozsa score!!

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Miklos Rozsa

Sam Fiedler, Sam Freed, Jr., Werner L. Gebauer, Mort Herbert, Arnold T. Jurasky, Bernard Kundell, Joy Lyle (Sharp), Arthur Maebe, Sr., Lisa Minghetti, Irving Prager, Lou Raderman, Albert Saparoff, Dorothy M. Wade (Sushel), Byron Williams

Cecil Figelski, Allan Harshman, Virginia Majewski, Reuben Marcus

Alexander Borisoff, Julian Kahn, Raphael "Ray" Kramer, Michel Penha

George F. Boujie, Mario Camposano, Arthur Shapiro

Arthur Gleghorn

Arnold Koblentz

Gus Bivona, Alex Gershunoff, Don Lodice (Logiudice), Hugo Raimondi, Howard P. Terry

Charles A. Gould, Howard P. Terry

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent DeRubertis, Herman Lebow, Arthur Maebe, Jr.

Uan Rasey, Joe Triscari, James C. Zito

Nick DiMaio, Richard "Dick" Nash, Herb Taylor

Max Rabinowitsh

Alfred Viola

Catherine Gotthoffer (Johnk)

Frank L. Carlson, Mel Pedesky, D. V. Seber

Eugene Zador

Maurice Gerson, Donald J. Midgley, Fred Sternberg, Harry Taylor

Jules Megeff

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