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A Guide for the Married Man (1967)
Music by John Williams
A Guide for the Married Man A Guide for the Married Man
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Silver Age
CD Release: July 2000
Catalog #: Vol. 3, No. 5
# of Discs: 1

FSM Silver Age Classics is pleased to present a heretofore unreleased score by John Williams, 1967's A Guide for the Married Man. During the first decade of his career in Hollywood, Williams scored no fewer than eight comedy films. While the classiest was William Wyler's How to Steal a Million (and the biggest turkey was John Goldfarb, Please Come Home), perhaps the downright funniest was A Guide for the Married Man, directed by Gene Kelly and starring Walter Matthau and Robert Morse. Matthau plays Paul Manning, who is being tutored in the ways of marital infidelity by his friend Ed Stander (Morse). Each lesson in how not to get caught cheating on your wife is illustrated by a vignette starring one or more big-name guest stars, including Lucille Ball, Jack Benny, Art Carney, Carl Reiner, Phil Silvers and many others.

The year 1967 was an important turning point in John Williams' career. He would soon leave Hollywood for significant periods of time, working in England on the screen musicals Goodbye, Mr. Chips and Fiddler on the Roof, and scoring the TV movies Heidi and Jane Eyre. These projects proved to be stepping-stones to more high-profile assignments upon his return to the United States, beginning with The Reivers and The Cowboys. The year also marked the beginning of a 25-year partnership with orchestrator Herbert Spencer, and was the last year he would be credited on screen as "Johnny" Williams.

Williams's score for A Guide for the Married Man is a veritable catalog of the diverse styles in which he had become adept at writing over the previous decade: everything from goofy, faux-hip source music to bold orchestral scoring featuring brass fanfares and his trademark woodwind runs. The film's episodic nature provided Williams with an opportunity to showcase his blossoming talent in a way few other films could: many of the "instruction" sequences play without dialogue and are carried by Williams's beautifully finessed music—many with their own new melody for the unique sequence. Astute listeners will note many instances that foreshadow the music he would provide a decade later for space epics and adventure films—as well as moments that recall his earlier stylized writing from Lost in Space.

Until now, the only music available from A Guide for the Married Man was the title song, as performed by The Turtles. Our CD release includes Williams' complete score in stereo, restored and sequenced in predominantly chronological order by Michael Matessino; the title song performed by The Turtles; and a bonus section of nearly 15 minutes of damaged or unused cues and alternate takes, including a hilarious, never-before-heard rendition of the title song performed by a studio chorus.

This album not only fills an important void for the John Williams completist, it serves to introduce a neglected entry in Williams' filmography to a wide audience, and provides a fascinating glimpse at musical ideas that would later become famous in everything from Close Encounters of the Third Kind to Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace.

John Williams Scores on FSM
About the Composer

John Williams (b. 1932) is not only the composer of most of the biggest blockbusters of all time—including Star Wars, E.T., Jaws, the Indiana Jones films, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park and many more, many of them directed by Steven Spielberg—but he has transcended film music to become the world's most famous living composer, and an American institution. His popular symphonic scores are so iconic that they often overshadow the fact that he has been equally proficient at sophisticated, adult fare (Schindler's List, Images) and had a successful career in composing (for television and often comedy features), arranging and performing well before he even met Steven Spielberg. FSM, like most labels, will release everything it can of Williams's music, and has concentrated (for reasons of availability) on his early years as "Johnny" Williams when he was doing sterling work on relatively little-known television and films—always with an amazing attention to melody and detail. In fact, his early works are fascinating for the ways in which they foreshadow his later, world-renowned efforts. IMDB

Comments (27):Log in or register to post your own comments
Oh, how I adore this movie and its score. Guide for the Married Man was one of the first FSM cds I bought.

I'd known about the title song for years from a Turtles greatest hits cassette I'd played to death before I'd seen the movie. The film used to frequently air on the FOX Movie channel in the late '90s and I'm sure I watched it whenever I found it on that channel.

It was a pleasant surprise that the "Williams" credited as co-composer of the "Guide for the Married Man" song was the Johnny Williams. It's a fun score that really brings out the scenes they were composed for and since I've seen the movie so many times, it's impossible for me to separate the score as a strictly stand-alone lsten,msch is my familiarity with the film.

One can hear lots of Star Wars--remember that film? It's seemingly forgotten these days--and Raiders of the Lost Ark-style action cues during the wackier scenes. Raiders, is of course another tragically-ignored movie but one worth revisiting, especially if one enjoyed the action cues heard in "Guide."

The movie itself is a delightfully dated relic and one that will no doubt "offend" many Red Guard Millennial types with its less-than-politically-correct bawdiness.

Walter Matthau and Robert Morse are both outstanding in the movie but special attention must be given to Virginia Wood as "Bubbles", who is not only hilarious in her brief appearance, but who also manages to steal the scene she "shares" with Jack Benny--not an easy thing to do, yet she mops the floor with him!

I prefer to give special attention to poor, doomed Inger Stevens in this film. What a body! Too bad her brain wasn't all there. She was only 35 when she killed herself. Very sad.

This is a movie I'm really hoping Twilight Time puts out on Blu-ray sooner rather than later, and with an isolated score, of course.

Linda "Nova" Harrison appears uncredited as Miss Stardust in segment with Carl Reiner.

In 1969 a pilot was made for a proposed TV series based on this movie, but ABC turned it down.

I love that pop tune, I don't have the soundtrack, I've got it on a Turtles greatest hits CD.

The film is outlandishly sexist with contemporary eyes, but it was a product of its time. Beyond that aspect, I can't -- with a clear conscience -- say it's a very good film. It's more like a sequence of random skits that are more or less tied to a concept. But yeah -- some individual, standout moments that are mildly amusing.

The score is wonderful in and of itself, one of Williams' strongest comedy scores from the 60s. While the FSM CD includes all of the setpieces and highlights, the C&C presentation does NOT do any favours for the overall experience. It quickly wears out its welcome with all the mickey-mousing and goofing about. It's strange that Williams didn't re-conceptualize this for album presentation back in the day, like he did with most of the other scores in the same genre (most of which are more entertaining as album experiences). Does anyone know why (I don't have the liner notes handy, so I can't check)?

By the way, I've used the opening sequence of this film for my Williams lectures over the last year -- to highlight his "pop sensibilities".

The film is outlandishly sexist with contemporary eyes, but it was a product of its time. Beyond that aspect, I can't -- with a clear conscience -- say it's a very good film. It's more like a sequence of random skits that are more or less tied to a concept. But yeah -- some individual, standout moments that are mildly amusing.[/endquote]

You've seen this movie but you've never seen THE SAND PEBBLES!!! Thor, you are a real piece of work! Mmmm! Mmmm! Mmmmm!!!!

Anyway, I didn't want to be too judgemental and piss Jimmy off, but yeah, it's not that great a comedy, but I enjoy it as the artifact of its day that it is. Here's someone that would agree with you though, Thor.

The movie is simply "a series of dumb skits" in Pauline Kael's estimation, and the famous names in the cast are all wasted: "what they do is no more memorable than the plugs for brand-name products that are scattered throughout".

By the way, Thor, I'm sure Pauline Kael saw THE SAND PEBBLES.

Did THE SAND PEBBLES save your family's life at some point or something?

(to your question -- yes, I've seen this and ALL John Williams-scored films).

(to your question -- yes, I've seen this and ALL John Williams-scored films).[/endquote]

Oh! So, you've seen THE REIVERS then? Guess what? THE SAND PEBBLES, much better Steve McQueen movie, and a much better score!

Thor, kids in Norway have to pay to be "taught" film by you?

Must be like a class at Trump University.

I prefer THE REIVERS over THE SAND PEBBLES as far the albums are concerned, but both are good. As a film, THE REIVERS certainly has some values, but is a bit on the "hokey" side for much of it. I wouldn't be surprised if THE SAND PEBBLES is a better film.

I prefer THE REIVERS over THE SAND PEBBLES as far the albums are concerned, but both are good. As a film, THE REIVERS certainly has some values, but is a bit on the "hokey" side for much of it. I wouldn't be surprised if THE SAND PEBBLES is a better film.[/endquote]

Well, you'll never know if you never watch it.

Sorry to be mean, Thor, but you frustrate me. Most older movies are so much better to look at than so-called movies today, which aren't just lacking in artistic merit, but in simple craftsmanship.

Anyway, my problem with THE REIVERS is it's a little cheap production-wise. Set in Mississippi, it was all shot in the Malibu hills.

Sorry to be mean, Thor, but you frustrate me. Most older movies are so much better to look at than so-called movies today, which aren't just lacking in artistic merit, but in simple craftsmanship.[/endquote]

Well, that's your opinion. Personally, I think there are great contemporary movies (both "arthouse" and blockbusters) and great older movies, and I would hazard a guess that I've seen a lot more movies than you across a wider scope of eras, genres and styles. On my to-see list, there is a great number of films (both new and old) that I need to see before THE SAND PEBBLES -- films by the likes of Ray, de Sica, Godard, Truffaut, Renoir, Eisenstein etc. (beyond the obvious ones) before I get to a film like THE SAND PEBBLES -- a parenthesis in Hollywood film history, if that. But not to worry; I'll get to it at some point; if only to stop your nagging. ;)

Anyways....A GUIDE FOR THE MARRIED MAN! Yeah, problematic (though amusing) movie, great score, not the best album presentation.

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

Leader (Conductor):
Nicholas DeCaro, John T. Williams

Violin:
Victor Arno, Israel Baker, Arnold Belnick, George Berres, Harry Bluestone, Joachim Chassman, John Devoogdt, Kurt Dieterle, Adolph DiTullio, Anatol Kaminsky, Louis Kaufman, William Kurasch, Paul Lowenkron, Leonard Malarsky, Erno Neufeld, Irma W. Neumann, George E. Poole, Lou Raderman, Ralph Schaeffer, Sidney Sharp, Paul C. Shure, Marshall Sosson

Viola:
Myer Bello, Alvin Dinkin, Alex Neiman, Gareth D. Nuttycombe, Sven Reher, Darrel Terwilliger, Irving Weinper

Cello:
Joseph Coppin, Joseph DiTullio, Hyman Gold, Raymond J. Kelley, Edgar Lustgarten, Kurt Reher, Harold Schneier

Bass:
James H. Bryant, Joseph Mondragon, Ray Pohlman, Meyer (Mike) Rubin, Kenneth Winstead

Flute:
Arthur Hoberman, William H. Hood, Luella Howard, Plas Johnson, Harry Klee, Jay Migliori, Sheridon W. Stokes

Oboe:
Gordon Pope

Clarinet:
Russell Cheever, Dominick Fera, Teddy Krise, Abe Most, William A. Ulyate

Bassoon:
Don Christlieb

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent N. DeRosa, Harry Schmidt

Trumpet:
John Audino, Roy V. Caton, John Clyman, Ralph Fera, Robert Fowler, Emanuel "Manny" Klein, Oliver Mitchell, Donald Robert Stoltz, Anthony "Tony" Terran

Trombone:
Charles D. Goodwin, Dick Hyde, Ray Klein, Lewis Melvin McCreary, Richard "Dick" Nash, Phillip A. Teele, David Howard Wells

Tuba:
Clarence Karella

Piano:
James W. Bunn, Artie Kane, Gary H. Klein, Joan Steele Magaldi, Urban Thielmann

Guitar:
Robert F. Bain, Frank DeCaro, Bernie K. Lewis, Howard Roberts, Thomas "Tommy" Tedesco, Edmund L. Thigpen

Fender (electric) Bass:
Charles C. Berghofer

Harp:
Anne Stockton (Mason)

Accordion:
Carl Fortina

Drums:
Larry Bunker, Richard Cornell, Gene Paul Estes, Frank J. Flynn, Sheldon "Shelly" Manne, Andrew "Sonny" Olivera, Harold L. "Hal" Rees, Jerry D. Williams

Orchestrator:
James H. Bryant, Alexander Courage, Gilbert C. Grau

Arranger:
Frank Comstock, Herbert W. Spencer

Contractor:
Urban Thielmann

Copyist:
Gene Bren, Barbara Calderwood, Wallick Dean, Joseph Estren, Ralph Fera, Camillo Fidelibus, Dominic John Fidelibus, Alexander Gerens, Jack Gruberman, Wally Heglin, Ivan Lane, Robert L. Reid, Edgar Roemheld, Jr., Ernest Rosecrans

Librarian:
Fred Combattente

© 2016 Film Score Monthly. All Rights Reserved.