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The Comancheros (1961)
Music by Elmer Bernstein
The Comancheros The Comancheros
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: September 1999
Catalog #: Vol. 2, No. 6
# of Discs: 1

Elmer Bernstein has been famous for many genres during his half-century career: jazz soundtracks (The Man with the Golden Arm), epics (The Ten Commandments), comedies (Animal House, Ghostbusters) and dramas (The Age of Innocence). But he is perhaps most beloved for his rousing western scores, and particularly his thrilling efforts for the films of John Wayne.

The Comancheros (1961) is the first collaboration of the legendary actor and composer—and also the last film of director Michael Curtiz. It starred the Duke as a Texas Ranger going after a gang supplying contraband to Comanches, with Stuart Whitman and Lee Marvin in supporting roles.

Bernstein scored The Comancheros the year after his classic score for The Magnificent Seven, and the work could be thought of as "The Magnificent Eight." It features a bold, heroic main theme—the archetypal, upbeat statement of the Hollywood western. The rest of the score surges with Bernstein's indelible rhythms and lyrical touch, from quiet moments of reflection to cascading Indian attacks.

Bernstein himself re-recorded excerpts of The Comancheros on a Varèse Sarabande album, The Films of John Wayne, Vol. 1. This new CD features the COMPLETE original soundtrack—never before released—as recorded for the film at 20th Century Fox. The recording is complete, in chronological order, and in superb stereophonic sound—with bonus tracks of unused songs from the film and a mono mix of the Main Title.

Elmer Bernstein Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Elmer Bernstein (1922–2004) had a Hollywood career that lasted over a half a century; invented and reinvented himself as a composer across several genres (jazz, epics, westerns, comedies and adult dramas); and scored more than a few Hollywood classics—The Ten Commandments, The Magnificent Seven, To Kill a Mockingbird, The Great Escape and Airplane! to name but five. FSM has released a dozen of his scores and counting, but the most popular may be Heavy Metal (1981)—don't be fooled by the title, it's Elmer's "Star Wars." In addition to his prolific work as a composer, Bernstein was a tireless champion of film music as an art form, serving on the boards of several professional organizations and in the 1970s recording his own LP series of classic Hollywood scores, Elmer Bernstein's Film Music Collection, released by FSM as a 12-CD box set. IMDB

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Elmer Bernstein

Victor Arno, George Berres, Joachim Chassman, Harold Dicterow, Kurt Dieterle, Adolph DiTullio, James Getzoff, Otis Igelman, Louis Kaufman, Marvin Limonick, Paul Lowenkron, Irma W. Neumann, Ralph Schaeffer, David Selmont, Jack Shulman, Paul C. Shure, Marshall Sosson

Myer Bello, Alvin Dinkin, Maxine Johnson, Alex Neiman, Sven Reher, Paul Robyn

Naoum Benditzky, Joseph Coppin, Joseph DiTullio, Ossip Giskin, Armand Kaproff, Kurt Reher

Harold Brown, Meyer (Mike) Rubin, Ray Siegel, Kenneth Winstead

Arthur Hoberman, Luella Howard, Sheridon W. Stokes

William Kosinski, Gordon Pope

Russell Cheever, Abe Most, William A. Ulyate

Don Christlieb, Ray Nowlin

French Horn:
Vincent N. DeRosa, Fred Fox, Sinclair Lott, Richard E. Perissi, George F. Price, Harry Schmidt

Frank Beach, Irving R. Bush, John Clyman, Robert Fowler

Clarence "Pete" Carpenter, Ray Klein, Richard "Dick" Nash

Harold Brown, Clarence Karella, Ray Siegel

William "Bill" Miller, Urban Thielmann

Laurindo Almeida, Robert F. Bain, Vito Mumolo

Anne Stockton (Mason)

Jack A. Preisner

Richard Cornell, Paul DeDroit, Harold L. "Hal" Rees, Jerry D. Williams

Jack J. Hayes, Albert Sendrey, Leo Shuken, Robert E. Turner

Gene Bren, Fred Combattente, Howard W. Drew, Camillo Fidelibus, Dominic John Fidelibus, Percival Goldenson, Wally Heglin, Elton A. Koehler, Donald J. Midgley, Richard Petrie, Ernest Rosecrans, Harry Stone

Urban Thielmann

© 2016 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.