CD Review: KANGAROO: THE AUSTRALIAN STORY soundtrack

KANGAROO: THE AUSTRALIAN STORY soundtrack | ©2015 Counterpoint Records

Definitely the silliest title to grace a beyond-manly score, 1952’s KANGAROO was the first Hollywood film to be shot down under, even if its plot of two swindlers after an old coot’s money was a western that could have just as well taken place in Texas (of course minus a few shots of said creatures). Creating a massive orchestral soundtrack that was certainly as big as that state, not to mention a continent, was Sol Kaplan. Best known for his memorably shrill, epically dangerous music for the great STAR TREK episode “The Doomsday Machine,” Kaplan was an especially adventures composer […]Read On »

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CD Review: DEMETRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS soundtrack

DEMITRIUS AND THE GLADIATORS soundtrack | ©2014 Kritzerland Records

Franz Waxman took over from Alfred Newman for this more action-oriented sequel to the smash Cinemascope hit THE ROBE,  music that lavished in the widescreen opportunities for sex, slaying and that good old time Hollywood religion. Making an on-screen point that he was taking a very big spiritual cue from Newman’s original work in addition to themes from its holy melodic clothing, Waxman’s score is a colorful blend of sword-and-sandal spectacle and messianic message so particular to this genre, music that’s exciting and moving in equal measure. While not trying to ethnically capture the sounds of a Roman Empire under […]Read On »

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CD Review: THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY (Limited Edition) soundtrack

THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY soundtrack | ©2013 Kritzerland

Sure Alfred Newman is known for towering, drama-filled epics like THE ROBE and HOW THE WEST WAS WON. But I have to confess that I’m even more game for the legendary composer’s far frothier stuff. It seems that Newman was just as prolific, if unsung with sweet, jazzy comedy, an effervescent touch for orchestra and brass that Kritzerland is finally giving a chance to shine with such confections as TAKE CARE OF MY LITTLE GIRL and THE SEVEN YEAR ITCH. Now THE PLEASURE OF HIS COMPANY is all ours for Newman’s 1961 score, whose wedding bells herald Fred Astaire’s arrival […]Read On »

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CD Review: LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN soundtrack

LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN soundtrack | ©2013 Kritzerland Records

Kritzerland has become the most passionate soundtrack label when it comes to releasing soundtracks from Hollywood’s golden age – the kind of symphonically lush studio system scoring arguably best personified by Alfred Newman. While their magnificent re-mastering of Newman’s HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY will play to more sentimental tastes, fans who appreciate Newman’s less-utilized, if just as formidable talent for film noir will get their Technicolor kicks out of 1947s LEAVE HER TO HEAVEN, in which Gene Tierney, the object of a detective’s obsession in LAURA (whose iconic David Raksin score was just an instant Kritzerland sell-out) gets to […]Read On »

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CD Review: A CERTAIN SMILE soundtrack

A CERTAIN SMILE soundtrack | ©2011 La La Land Records

Few classic composers were better at playing the glory of love against exotically glamorous settings than Alfred Newman. And the 1950’s were a heyday for his lushly picaresque affairs, whether it was William Holden falling for Jennifer Jones against the backdrop of Hong Kong in LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING, or Yul Brynner letting his lips find out if Ingrid Berman was really the Russian empress ANASTASIA as they gallivanted amongst France’s hoi polloi. That country’s Riviera proves a glamorous backdrop for the amour fou of 1958’s A CERTAIN SMILE. And though Christine Carere and Rossano Brazzi might not have […]Read On »

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