Dedicated to reviews and news of music for film, TV and games

Thursday, July 17, 2008


The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor
Music by George Duning/Music by John Green
Film Score Monthly Vol.11 No.3 (US)
37 Tracks 76:22 mins

A pairing of scores by different composers feature in this recent release from FSM. First up is George Duning's score for the 1959 film The Wreck of theMary Deare, a mix of seafaring adventure and courtroom drama, starring the lofty pairing of Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston.
Duning's music receives its premiere release, remixed from the 35mm three-track masters, and is quite a short score at some 31 minutes.
The film's action opens with a storm at sea, with the composer's bold main theme emerging from suitable orchestral turbulance, but then the eerie strains of Novachord take over to provide an air of mystery and almost otherwordliness. Both elements appear frequently throughout subsequent tracks, emerging from often tense and suspenseful underscoring; but with moments of high drama, and a touch of sentiment here and there for the Virginia McKenna character. There's a real 'alien' sound to much of "Villain Higgins/Patch Vindicated/Trapped Divers" and "Bull's-Eye," before the violent action of "Higgins Has It," leads into a warm reprise of the main theme over the "End Title."
In his booklet notes, Album Producer Lukas Kendall rightly points out that Duning's score for the film would have worked well in Irwin Allen's various TV productions of the '60s, particularly of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea; and there is some similarity to music the composer wrote for the original Star Trek series.
The second score on this disc is by John Green for the 1963 courtroom drama Twilight of Honor, which starred Richard Chamberlain, taking his first steps onto the big screen on the back of his popularity as TV's Dr Kildare. The score again receives its premiere release in its entirety, though four tracks were originally released on an LP by MGM Records, which also featured a couple of vocal performances from Chamberlain that did not appear in the film, as well as other themes from MGM productions of that time. Again the score is quite brief at nearly 28 minutes, and some of it wasn't even used in the finished movie; but eleven bonus tracks complete the play list on this disc and feature multi-styled source music from the film, including Green's re-recording of Bronislau Kaper's theme from Home From The Hill, plus the love theme medley created for the LP.
Green's score for the film starts impressively with his powerful, racing, main theme propelling the opening action, which Lukas again rightly points out could easily have come from a TV cop show of the time. This theme is undoubtedly the highlight of the score and is much welcome when it rarely re-appears; though there is softer, pleasant scoring, including a nice, guitar-lead love theme, to be found in the likes of"Vicarious Blast/Only One Answer/A Little Rusty," "Loved You Then and Now,"and "I Like Deep BlueAnother element of the score is the sleazy saxophone theme for bad girl character Laura Mae, which crops up here and there.
The main theme returns amongst the action of "The Emmis," and in a brief variation at the end of the suspenseful and aptly named "Suspenseville;" before the love theme brings the score to a satisfying conclusion in "Don't Lock Me Out-Finale."
As always, the disc is accompanied by an attractive and informative booklet, featuring numerous stills from the films, the original Twilight of Honor LP notes, plus Lukas Kendall's aforementioned detailed notes and the invaluable cue-by-cue guide to all the selections presented.
Visit for more information, to listen to samples, and of course to order your copy.


Post a Comment

<< Home