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Film Score Friday 3/6/15
Posted By: Scott Bettencourt 3/5/2015 - 9:00 PM
The latest two CDs from Intrada feature previously unreleased scores which will be a particular treat for fans of action-packed genre films of the 1970s.

Steven Spielberg first truly began to make a name for himself with the 1971 TV movie DUEL, adapted by the great Richard Matheson from his own short story. Dennis Weaver (in a memorable performance far different from his signature McCloud role) plays a businessman whose drive across the desert becomes a nightmare when a faceless truck driver seems determined to run him off the road. From this simple premise came one of the greatest of all made-for-TV movies and a shining example of the "ABC Movie of the Week," a series which brought us such classics as The Night Stalker and Trilogy of Terror (like Duel, both written by Matheson). Two-time Emmy winner Billy Goldenberg, who had previously worked with Spielberg on the Night Gallery pilot and the classic Name of the Game episode "LA 2017," wrote the unnerving score, much of which was dropped from the final cut and is being heard here for the first time.

The commercial and critical success of Duel led to an entire subgenre of thrillers about people being menaced by vehicles and drivers -- and sometimes vehicles without drivers, like the 1974 ABC Movie of the Week Killdozer. Following the gargantuan success of Jaws, which inspired a whole new flood of monster movies, and The Exorcist, which put demonic horror on the map, this subgenre had a memorable bigscreen entry in THE CAR, with James Brolin (you know -- Josh's dad) as a small town sheriff who finds an unexpected menace in a driverless car of seemingly Satanic origin. The film was directed by Elliot Silverstein (Cat Ballou, A Man Called Horse), and the exciting score was composed by Leonard Rosenman, fresh from his back-to-back Oscars for Barry Lyndon and Bound for Glory (Rosenman had also recently scored the chase-horror film Race with the Devil, suggesting he was in danger of being typecast for demonic car pursuits).


La-La Land has announced three upcoming releases for March. On March 10 they will present a new release of one of Jerry Goldsmith's scariest scores, for director Richard Attenborough's 1978 film version of William Goldman's novel MAGIC, starring Anthony Hopkins, Ann-Margret, Ed Lauter and Burgess Meredith, as well as the first-ever release of the score for director John Irvin's first feature, the gripping 1981 film version of Frederic Forsyth's novel THE DOGS OF WAR. Christopher Walken starred in Dogs as a mercenary whose visit to an African nation quickly goes south, leading to a violent takeover. The score was composed by the eclectic Geoffrey Burgon, whose resume encompassed everything from religious music to the scores for Monty Python's LIfe of Brian and Brideshead Revisited. Burgon had previously worked with Irvin on the acclaimed miniseries version of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, and they would later reteam for such projects as Turtle Diary and the Patrick Bergin/Uma Thurman version of Robin Hood. On March 24, La-La Land will release a two-disc edition of the 1954 epic THE EGYPTIAN, whose score was a historic collaboration between two of the all-time greats, Alfred Newman and Bernard Herrmann.


Varese Sarabande will release Hans Zimmer's score for Neill Blomkamp's just-released science-fiction action film CHAPPIE on March 17. They are also expected to release a CD of Tim Jones' music for the long-running spy action-comedy TV series CHUCK on April 7, though it has not yet been announced on their site. Amazon also lists a planned Varese soundtrack for Aaron Sorkin's TV series The Newsroom, but there is no word on which seasons or composers woud be represented on the disc -- Thomas Newman wrote the main theme, with Alex Wurman, Johnny Klimek and Jeff Beal each scoring a season of episodes.


A new label, Dragon's Domain, is presenting A SOUND OF THUNDER as their inaugural soundtrack release. Genre fave Peter Hyams (Capricorn One, Outland, 2010) directed this adaptation (filmed in 2002, released in 2005) of Ray Bradbury's classic short story about the perils of time travel. The eclectic cast included Sir Ben Kingsley, indie stalwart Ed Burns, Catherine McCormack and future Selma star David Oyelowo (he wasn't nominated for Sound of Thunder either), and the score was composed by Nick Glennie-Smith (The Rock, The Man in the Iron Mask).

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Aisle Seat 3-3: Twilight Time, Shout, Warner Archive
Posted By: Andy Dursin 3/2/2015 - 9:00 PM
One of the most beautifully shot films of its era, FAR FROM THE MADDING CROWD (***½, 171 mins., 1967) is a leisurely, yet richly told, adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel that follows Bathsheba Everdene, a feisty young woman (Julie Christie) who inherits her uncle’s farm and subsequently navigates between a trio of suitors in rural, southwest England.
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