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 Posted:   Oct 23, 2012 - 2:31 PM   
 By:   Jim Doherty   (Member)

I just re-watched MIRACLE OF THE BELLS (RKO, 1948) last night. I know this film often gets a bad rap, but I was really pulled into it. It is sort of in a catagory by itself - I like to call it Romance Noir. The film follows the story of a press agaent (Fred MacMurray) who takes the body of an actress (Valli) back to her hometown to be buried. The story is told in flashback, showing the actress' budding romance with MacMurray, and her one big stab at fame, playing Joan of Arc in a major film production. She dies immediately after finishing the film.

The score by Leigh Harline is wonderful - very moody and melancholy most of the time (with etherial, subtle choral parts), although there are moments of romance and heartbreaking tenderness. If you get a chance to see this film, give it a try. Even if you end up not caring for it, I think you'll appreciate the score. I'd sure like to see these tracks turn up some day, at least from acetates, but Lord only knows if anything still exists.

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2012 - 2:44 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Thanks for the recommendation/information. In recent years, it's been very gratifying to have so many fine scores by this too-long-neglected composer emerge on CD, so I'll share your prayer that we get to hear this MIRACLE music on disc some day...

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2012 - 2:44 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Thanks for the recommendation/information. In recent years, it's been very gratifying to have so many fine scores by this too-long-neglected composer emerge on CD, so I'll share your prayer that we get to hear this MIRACLE music on disc some day...

 
 
 Posted:   Oct 23, 2012 - 7:14 PM   
 By:   Robert0320   (Member)

Harline was under contract to RKO for a few years and scored some outstanding films. Alas, I;m sure none of those recordings still exist.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2014 - 12:44 PM   
 By:   Jim Doherty   (Member)

How about at a university somewhere? Is there a Leigh Harline collection anywhere?

 
 Posted:   Jun 9, 2014 - 2:45 PM   
 By:   Recordman   (Member)

Thanks for reminding me of this film. It was released in 1948 and it often played on TV in the 50's. First film that made my eyes glisten as a kid. I watched it several times. Just reserved a copy at my library (Blu-ray, no less). Looking forward to it once again.

 
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