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The Prisoner of Zenda (1952)
Music by Alfred Newman, Conrad Salinger
The Prisoner of Zenda The Prisoner of Zenda
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $14.96
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: February 2004
Catalog #: Vol. 7, No. 1
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement With Turner Classic Movies Music.

Anthony Hope's 1894 swashbuckling novel The Prisoner of Zenda was a romantic adventure about a commoner called on to impersonate a king. A popular sensation, it has been adapted for no less than eight film and television productions, from the silent era to present day, the most famous being a 1937 swashbuckler produced by David O. Selznick and starring Ronald Colman, a classic of the genre.

In 1952, M-G-M bought the Selznick's picture remake rights for its star Stewart Granger (King Solomon's Mines, Scaramouche), who had instigated the project after chancing upon a screening of the earlier film. Granger proposed a "scene-by-scene" remake to offset the costs of Selznick's fee. Directed by the studio's Richard Thorpe and co-starring Deborah Kerr, Louis Calhern, James Mason and Jane Greer, the 1952 picture (in color) featured fine M-G-M production values and was well received and reviewed, if not regarded as highly as the '37 version.

The 1937 Selznick film had been scored by Alfred Newman, then music director for Samuel Goldwyn, who would soon compose such legendary efforts as Gunga Din and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Newman provided a bounty of themes in the Wagnerian "leitmotif" tradition, with memorable signatures for the film's hero, villain and love interests, and a noble hymn for the mythical country of Ruritania. The score is a classic "swashbuckling" effort encompassing the dignity of European royalty and the action-adventure of the film's conflicts and climactic duel (the latter written by Hugo Friedhofer).

As part of the concept of replicating the earlier film, Alfred Newman's score was reused for the 1952 version, adapted by M-G-M's legendary composer/arranger Conrad Salinger and conducted by Johnny Green. Salinger, who worked on the finest musicals of Hollywood's Golden Age, faithfully applied Newman's score to the new film. The complete recording for the 1952 version (master tapes do not survive for Newman's 1937 recording) is presented on this CD, in the best possible monaural sound (stereo masters no longer exist).

Alfred Newman Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Alfred Newman (1901-1970) is one of the most important figures in the history of movie music, a nine-time Oscar winner (with 45 nominations overall) who was head of music at Twentieth Century-Fox in the 1940s and '50s. His influence as a composer and executive cannot be understated; he invented the "Newman System" of synchronizing music to picture and is the patriarch of the Newman family of composers and musicians (Lionel, Randy, David, Thomas and others). Just a sampling of his work as a composer includes How Green Was My Valley, Captain From Castile, All About Eve, The Robe and The Diary of Anne FrankIMDB

Conrad Salinger Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Conrad Salinger (1901-1962) was one of the architects of the classic M-G-M musicals sound—he was a longtime staff arranger at the studio and is widely hailed as one of the finest ever to work in the movies. The bulk of his career was spent as an arranger but did score a handful of projects at M-G-M—hopefully to be released in the future. IMDB

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Track List
Instruments/Musicians
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Johnny Green

Violin:
Samuel Albert, Dave Crocov, Sam Fiedler, Werner L. Gebauer, Saul Grant, Sidney Greene, Mort Herbert, Sol Kindler, Arthur Maebe, Sr., Lisa Minghetti, Emanuel Moss, Lou Raderman, Al Vertchamp, Eunice Wennermark

Viola:
Cecil Figelski, Virginia Majewski, Reuben Marcus, Germain Prevost

Cello:
Alexander Borisoff, Alex Bunchuk, Fernand Lhoest, Edgar Lustgarten

Bass:
George F. Boujie, Louis Previati, Arthur Shapiro

Flute:
Aaron Gershunoff

Oboe:
Philip Memoli

Clarinet:
Gus Bivona, Mort B. Friedman, Alex Gershunoff, Don Lodice (Logiudice), D. H. McKenney, Andrew Young

Bassoon:
Charles A. Gould

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent DeRubertis, Herman Lebow

Trumpet:
Uan Rasey, Irvin Shulkin, Joe Triscari

Trombone:
Walter Benson, Herb Taylor, Simon Zentner

Piano:
Jacob Gimpel

Organ:
Wesley Tourtellotte

Harp:
Mary Jane Barton

Drums:
Frank L. Carlson, Mel Pedesky, D. V. Seber

Orchestra Manager:
James C. Whelan

© 2014 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.