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 Posted:   Jul 20, 2014 - 12:09 PM   
 By:   haineshisway   (Member)

Damn it, I totally missed this. I guess because I don't come on here too often [I do like it here, I just have a busy life]. Do you think it might be reissued?

We have some left if you drop me an e-mail.

O wow, thanks!! There doesn't seem to be an email-to-other-members option on this site though unless I'm having a really dumb day, which is possible. Do I just send an email on the Krizterland site?

Yes, our e-mail is all over the Kritzerland site, but it's kritzerland at gmail dot com

 Posted:   Jul 21, 2014 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   Dr Lenera   (Member)

Thanks very much, email sent.

 Posted:   Jul 25, 2014 - 8:33 PM   
 By:   Basil Wrathbone   (Member)

- who is the female vocalist in track 23?

Sounds like a male vocalist to me.

 Posted:   Jul 25, 2014 - 9:00 PM   
 By:   Josh   (Member)

- who is the female vocalist in track 23?

Sounds like a male vocalist to me.

That was my immediate assumption as well.

 Posted:   Jul 31, 2014 - 12:07 PM   
 By:   Bishop   (Member)

Bruce, please be so kind and check your emails!

Got a certain emergency-request for you ...

 Posted:   Nov 13, 2014 - 7:33 AM   
 By:   JeffM   (Member)

Most of the e-bay listings are around $60 now. Better than what it was going for on there, but still a bit too rich for my blood.

 Posted:   Dec 10, 2014 - 8:22 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

IAWL and On The Waterfront arrived via yesterday's mail. That happy circumstance alone deserves a thread of its own. And that rhyme is sheer poetry on two fronts.

Anyway, which one to listen to first. Talk about an embarrassment of riches. IAWL won out. Standout tracks, as I figured ahead of time, proved to be Main Title/Heaven, Pottersville Cemetery, and Wrong Mary Hatch. Re PC, I've always felt from watching the movie that it was precursor music to Tiomkin's entire score for The Thing that was just a few years down the road. I think a lot of it has to do with his subtle use of the piano.

Have more to comment on per this entire thread and hope to do so in near future.

 Posted:   Apr 6, 2015 - 1:45 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

OK this is as near to the future as it gets these days.

I went into the full listen of the CD with a keen ear for the score as heard from seeing the film a cazillion times. And man, what a strange experience. Several times I'm thinking, "wait, that wasn't in the movie," or "wait, that's not the same key as heard in the movie," or "wait, maybe it's in the movie but I just never heard it because of the sound level or something."

I just returned to this thread and read it through for the first time. Phew! I'm not out of my mind's ear.

But before I return with the usual long-winded review:

I looked at the track listing - is "Big Band" the BUFFALO GALS recording?

I'm almost certain "Big Band" was in the Nick's Bar scene. It's either that or one of the cues in the sequence when George goes past the seedy joints in downtown Pottersville.

"Big Band" seems to be all that survived of the source music for Pottersville (one of the few examples of good music editing in the film).

Thank you, JSDouglas, for additional confirmation per m'mind's ear.

We don't know who the vocalist was or we would have included that information.

About track 23, my ear says it's not a female vocalist, but a male tenor (in the style of singers like Morton Downey, Sr.)

Yeah, an Irish tenor type, for sure. And what band backed him up? Methinks I shall not rest until the mystery is sol-ved.

Thank you very much for providing that valuable and essential breakdown and at least it saves me the job of trying to do the same! It's the sort of thing which should of course be documented in the CD booklet But I suppose none of us are going to change BK's oft-stated position that he doesn't personally want such information and that "it's all about the music" 

Mr. Raynes speaks for me too, JSDouglas!
Here is something I just found courtesy of the young lady with the petals:

 Posted:   Apr 7, 2015 - 7:21 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

By my reckoning, it must have been the mid-to-late 70s or early 80s when I came to It's A Wonderful Life. If the memory is further correct, that's when it had hit public domain status and local broadcast channels. Prints were far from the greatest and TV edits to the film were a crapshoot.

My very first exposure, actually, may well have been snippets from a "Hollywood and the Stars" broadcast many moons earlier. Either way, what caught my attention were scenes from the if-he'd-never-been-born section. I know my Twilight Zone when I see it, and what I saw was pure Serlingesque.

Then I finally saw the picture end-to-end, a process that continues to be repeated. My appreciation for the film grew beyond its fantastic elements. This was serious drama. I mean how many hits can a man take before the will to endure and persevere disintegrates?!

And what a setting: small-town life just past the turn of the century, into the Roaring 20s, past the Depression years and through a war greater than the one that ended all wars barely a generation earlier. This is, cinematically speaking, bygone-era Americana The Human Comedy stuff; musically speaking, that very tone is set for me with the beautiful, HAUNTING wordless choral close to Heaven when the camera shifts from fuzzy to focused on a young George cavorting on the ice with his pals.

But that tone was set from the stand alone listening experience courtesy of the first Bonus Track. After depackaging the CD and perusing the track list, I was extremely curious as to the vocal bearing the film's title.

What a revelation that proved to be. Unknown singer, unknown big band, but now I was able to discern how much the composer adapted his score proper from that song, assuming that's the way it happened and not the reverse. The song had a standard pop form from those days: intro, verse(s) and chorus. It is the music of the Chorus ("Seventh heaven...") that immediately follows "Buffalo Gals" in the Main Title, and the latter then closes with the music of the Verse ("It's a wonderful life...").

Both Verse and Chorus figure prominently throughout the mostly Capra-discarded score in various arrangements. But the Chorus theme in the opening credits...oh, my. A simple melody that penetrated deep the first time I saw the film in its entirety and indeed, it sets the tone for what follows. Why, I don't know, it's a feeling like some strange nostalgia but for an era before my time. Midnight In Paris, anyone? smile

" sets the tone for what follows." Which is what good introductory music does.
[see "Newman, Alfred" in particular]

 Posted:   Apr 7, 2015 - 8:47 AM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)


 Posted:   Apr 7, 2015 - 12:53 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Speaking of A. Newman, Tiomkin's Heaven had a bit of the glistening feel similar to the celestial opening of the former's Carousel ten years later.

But what's this? "Red River Valley" sandwiched between Verse and Chorus in George and Dad. What a lovely, heartfelt combination. Evokes the warmth between father and son. Warmth, tenderness...same goes for V&C in Love Sequence and especially between solo violin and cello in George Lassoes Stork. Then RRV and Chorus play off each other in Dilemma. RRV sure had a knack for showing up in films.

The score, as originally written by Tiomkin, seems more integrated and thoughtful than what now appears in the film, and though what is in the film works, on its level, it would have been interesting to hear this full original score within the film. It seems to have much more dramatic depth.

Indeed, manderley. I'm a bit torn already. How could all this achingly beautiful music so tenderly crafted and arranged be jettisoned? And yet, the film does work as is and maybe it's because the music's diminished presence in the first two thirds of the picture heightens the jarring switch from compelling drama and tragedy to fantastic intercession with drama, and ultimately a satisfying denouement. Still, then you listen to A Wonderful Life (original finale) and maybe part of you says hey, this wasn't intended to be a "Christmas movie" so why go all holiday warm and fuzzy at the end and take away from the depth of drama over the past two hours!

Ugh, that sound likes something coming from the keyboard of a real Scrooge.

For the record, I agree with the cuts early in the score that Capra made (the telegram and Mr. Gower boxing George's ears).

On the other hand, you can't argue with success. Good one, Ray.

--Then again...

...EITHER WAY eek, interesting exercise to imagine what went through FC's mind, all right. He certainly was not one to skimp on music's inclusion before and after this picture. And sure would love to see IAWL the way the composer intended. Just for the record. wink

 Posted:   Apr 7, 2015 - 12:55 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

Gotta laugh at yourself for that kind of tug-of-war. Bipolarism also marks Uncle Billy's Blunder. Whimsy and tentativeness give way to anxiousness and panic. It is hard not to see Uncle Billy marching confidently into the bank, busting Potter's chops and bantering with the teller. He was so proud and jolly. Oh, but then life went to hell awfully quick. This is where Thomas Mitchell shined as the reliable character actor he was. It is painful to listen to the music and 'see' the face of a lovable bumbler turn to that of the disconsolate clown. From the penthouse to the outhouse, just like that. Ouch.

Now the scene and the soundtrack shift into gear with Clarence's Arrival, but not the underscoring. George is clearly driven to the edge while driving to the fateful encounter at the bridge. The music, correspondingly, builds and pulsates. Very little if any, however, accompanies the finished film product, although it closed with something like what underscored Clarence's plunge into the drink.

That cue coupled with George Is Unborn now shifts the soundtrack into higher gear. We are talking not just the fantastic but the horror, the otherworldly. You take this one and Haunted House and make no mistake, we've got a direct precursor to The Thing coming down the road (and from the skies). A little like Clarence, in fact, and the only thing the mind's ear recognizes from this scene/track is the "Twinkle, twinkle..." interpolation when Angel 2nd Class Mr. Oddbody escapes the grasp of Bert the cop.

But add Pottersville Cemetery into the mix and the scene, soundtrack AND underscoring shift into highest gear. This is the cue that has reached previous replies in several old threads with respect to Thing. It includes the patented Tiomkin piano touch, something that also occurs previously in Potter's Threat to 'capture' a monster of the earthly kind. The Bonus Track (without chorus) accents that touch.

This all rises to and culminates with Wrong Mary Hatch. Oh, I can see the spinster librarian struggling to break free of a wild-eyed George and all to an arrangement of derangement of the aforementioned song Chorus. Wow. This is not like the wonderful bygone sound in the Main Title. The effect is chilling, and the mind's eye sees Bert about to pull out the revolver and take aim at the fleeing Mr. Bailey.

Everybody, do yourself a favor. Put in the CD, and set up track 21 on pause, so it's ready to play the instant you hit the button. Then pop in the DVD and find the end of the film where Ward Bond finds Stewart on the bridge. Right after Bond says "What in the Sam hill are you yelling for, George?", start the CD. Then the fun begins. Just watch the way Tiomkin catches many of the cuts and scene changes. It's just great.

Mr. Doherty, you have whetted my appetite. George has just dropped the phone, kissed Mary, and 's time for them to marry. Per your instructions, I shall marry track 21/A Wonderful Life (original finale) to the film when we get to your designated spot.

This is incredible, I don't know if I've ever enjoyed listening so much to a movie with great music that isn't there. And writing about it. Man, do I feel like a--


...why I oughta...darn that Sam Wainwright!

 Posted:   Apr 8, 2015 - 12:05 PM   
 By:   Howard L   (Member)

LOL hey Jim, that was extraordinary. I got everything set, cranked up the volume, and the film & CD were perfectly synced. The orchestral blips at George's epiphany! The triumphant blasts the first two times he raises his arms! And the cymbal crash during the "Ode to Joy" section the moment Uncle Billy arrives with the basket of cash!

The cue was perfectly timed, too, to turn sweet and subdued when George falls into the arms of the children at the top of the stairs.

This was just a taste of what might have been. The tug-of-war continues. But for sure it was worthwhile watching the film after scouring the CD and reaching the end of the evaluation. The cemetery scene remains most memorable. The weird thing is that I watched a digitally mastered version and the graveyard was lit up like Yankee Stadium. And that was typical for the lighting throughout the viewing. I suppose this is what happens when you're conditioned to watching old worn prints.

One last thing, re when the snow stopped falling after Clarence declares he was never born and when the snow resumed falling on the bridge when George prays, "I want to live again": In the first instance, a gust of ill wind blew open the door followed by eerie music. In the second, the music stopped. To tremendous, placid effect.

In essence, music and the absence thereof signaled George's presence in dark, blustery Pottersville vs. peaceful, snowy Bedford Falls. This brought to mind a similar use of music employed in TZ's Once Upon a Time. Buster Keaton's character lives in the bucolic 1890s and the scenes that take place then are filmed as a classic silent picture with subtitles and piano accompaniment. When he travels in time to the raucous present (1963), it becomes a loud, noisy talkie and there is no music. When he travels back at the end, the film reverts to silent film mode with music.

I think both pictures provide a neat example of music as a plot device i.e. underscoring entry into the past vs. present and vice versa.


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