Disc one of this 5CD set features Lalo Schifrin’s first Hollywood film score, for the 1964 African adventure Rhino! (The composer had scored a film in his native Buenos Aires, 1958’s El Jefe, and would soon tackle the European production Joy House aka Les Felins.) Rhino! stars Robert Culp as a zoologist who clashes with a big-game hunter (Harry Guardino) before the two team up to track a herd of endangered white rhinoceros for conservationist purposes; Shirley Eaton stars as the love interest.

FSM presents Schifrin’s complete score in film sequence, newly remixed from the original 35mm three-track scoring sessions.

1. Prologue
The main titles unfold over a montage of researchers filming African wildlife, including rhinos, gazelles, zebras, giraffes, hippos and elephants. Schifrin introduces the score’s two principal ideas during the rousing “Prologue”: a jazzy, aggressive “rhino” theme with a melody characterized by a leaping major seventh over off-kilter accompaniment; and an exotic, more lyrical “safari” theme, typically heard in 3/4, for the team of researchers. The closing bars of this cue do not appear in the finished film, possibly due to deleted footage.
Zoologist Jim Hanlon (Robert Culp) and two Zulus observe a pride of lions, the safari theme playing tranquilly on alto flute over a foundation of jungle percussion (boobams, log drums, conga and lujons). When Hanlon notices that one lion refuses to eat, he loads a tranquilizer dart into his rifle. The safari theme alternates with a 3/8 passage for pizzicato strings, harpsichord and cabasa as Hanlon approaches the ailing lion. The cue becomes increasingly frenetic with syncopated brass as the Zulus, disturbed by the doctor’s reckless behavior, run off and alert poacher Alec Burnett (Harry Guardino). The finished film truncated this cue to accommodate re-edited footage.
2. The Lion and the Doctor
Marimba repeats a harmonic-minor gesture over jungle percussion as Burnett arrives on the scene and watches Hanlon shoot the lion with a tranquilizer dart.
3. The Hunter’s Way
Hanlon dislodges a bone from the lion’s teeth and the beast awakens, marked by a reading of the safari theme. The doctor attempts to enlist Burnett’s services as a safari guide—Hanlon explains his intentions of rescuing wild animals from extinction by using experimental sedatives to capture them unharmed, but Burnett wants no part of any expedition that prevents him from defending himself with actual bullets. Woodwind interplay underscores the tense exchange between the doctor and the poacher.
They’ll Be Chewing Up Your Carcass
Low winds and percussion punctuate Burnett’s suggestion that Hanlon will not survive the expedition.
The Attack
Without warning, Burnett repeatedly attempts to mow down Hanlon with his Land Rover. As the doctor dives for his life, violent orchestral outbursts descend over an ostinato of tuned cowbells, low brass, timpani and piano. When the “attack” ends, Burnett justifies his demonstration by explaining that Halon’s drugs are no match for a charging rhino.
4. Village Street
A black marketeer named Haragay (George Lane) recruits Burnett to capture two rare white rhinos for $20,000; Haragay wants the animals alive and Burnett realizes he can only accomplish this with Hanlon’s help. The safari theme plays on harpsichord and harp over conga and bongos as Burnett arrives in a small village to visit his girlfriend, nurse Edith Arleigh (Shirley Eaton).
5. Baboon’s Blues
Flutes introduce a carefree melody in octaves over jungle percussion as Hanlon observes a family of baboons in the wild. The percussion solo that opens the cue does not appear in the film, due to deleted footage.
Baboon’s Blues Encore
Schifrin continues the baboon material as Burnett and Edith arrive outside Hanlon’s hut.
6. Safari
Hanlon—unaware of the poacher’s arrangement with Haragay—seems pleased when Burnett changes his mind and agrees to be his guide. Strings and brass play a primal version of the safari theme for a montage of the new partners and their team traveling across country in the Land Rover. The theme gives way to solo percussion (boobams, lujon, chromatic cowbells, cistrum and maracas) as Hanlon clocks the running speeds of various wildlife.
The remainder of the cue is dialed out of the finished film. The unused music features further developments of the safari theme, meditative material for marimba and harpsichord, violent brass material, and slinky string harmonics over harp, African piano and bongos. It is possible that Schifrin intended some of this music for a scene in which Burnett plays dumb while Hanlon explains his plan to capture a pair of white rhinos and save the species from extinction.
7. Shooting at the Target
Hanlon shows Burnett how to use a tranquilizer rifle. Schifrin scores their target practice session with eerie strings (harmonics and pizzicato) over agitated güiro.
Zebra Demise
The partners encounter a poisoned zebra, the victim of a spitting cobra. Low-register woodwinds give way to a hypnotic pattern for harp, piano and vibraphone as Burnett follows after the beast on foot. Hanlon remains behind and spots the guilty cobra, marked by dissonant woodwinds over maracas. When Hanlon hears a gunshot, he runs over to Burnett; low-end piano triplets sound over a grim chromatic line when he finds that the poacher has put the zebra out of its misery.
My Diagnosis
Hanlon and Burnett argue over the latter’s brash decision to kill the zebra; the poacher storms off, marked by a dramatic stinger from low brass, piano and percussion.
8. Poacher’s Paradise
Ominous strings and woodwinds mingle with African piano and timpani as the team encounters the carcass of a baby white rhino. Minor-triadic wind phrases play solemnly when they spot the baby’s dead mother—and deduce that it was killed by poachers.
9. Julo Julie Chant
Ritualistic tribal percussion signals the arrival of a procession of chanting native poachers.
Julo Julie Chant Encore
The natives want Burnett to kill a leopard that has been threatening their village, in exchange for information on the whereabouts of white rhinos. The tribal percussion returns as the natives lead Burnett and Hanlon back to their village.
Dance Pt. 1
In the native village, Hanlon and Burnett observe a ceremony: A tribesman believes he is not the father of his wife’s baby, so the local with doctor places the child in the path of wandering cattle (if he survives, the tribesman is deemed the baby’s father). Cheerful marimba and tribal drumming play when the baby lives and the villagers celebrate; Burnett reveals to Hanlon that he secretly covered the baby with lion scent to repel the cattle.
Dance Pt. 2
A second piece of marimba-driven source music plays as Burnett and Hanlon watch the villagers dance.
10. Drunken Entrance
Hanlon and a drunken Burnett capture the leopard. A humorous tune plays on bassoon as they carry the tranquilized beast into the village.
Drunken Exit
Schifrin marks a transition to the territory outside the village with the humorous material, a whimsical clarinet now doubling the melody.
Now Listen, Doc
A menacing development of the humorous theme plays as the travelers proceed to their vehicles.
I’m Sorry But I’m Not Ready
Hanlon needs more time to test his experimental drugs before using them on the rhinos, but Burnett argues that if they procrastinate, poachers will beat them to it. A stacked woodwind chord underscores the aftermath of their squabble.
River Bank
In the small village where Edith works, she and Haragay discuss Burnett. An exclamation from the wind section sounds after Haragay obnoxiously implies that Burnett still has a future in poaching, prompting Edith to storm off. Schifrin scores a transition back to the expedition in progress with a contemplative setting of the safari theme.
Next Morning
At night, while Burnett and Hanlon sleep, the poacher’s African crew steals the doctor’s truck (which contains all of his drugs and research). A brief cue for winds and harpsichord marks a transition to morning, with Hanlon angrily informing Burnett about the theft.
The Chase
Hanlon and Burnett take off after the thieves in the Land Rover, accompanied by mixed-meter writing for marimba and jungle percussion.
11. The River
At a river crossing, Burnett continues his pursuit of the thieves after sending Hanlon back in the Land Rover to fetch the authorities. The safari theme plays on harpsichord over flowing string accompaniment as Burnett paddles across the river on a log, with low brass acknowledging the presence of hippos and crocodiles in the water. The cue winds down on a transition to Hanlon, who pulls over and uses binoculars to spy on the traitorous Burnett meeting up with his team near the doctor’s stolen truck.
Heavy Traffic
After Hanlon recruits Edith to help him track down Burnett, the film transitions to the poacher and his team testing Hanlon’s drugs on a wildebeest—the whooping horns and woodwind/mandolin material written for this scene do not appear in the film. The film then dials in the cue’s closing bars on a transition to Hanlon and Edith parking the Land Rover to make camp for the night.
12. Python
An angry stinger denotes a python dropping from a tree branch and startling Edith.
It’s Clear, Dear
Maracas and shakers underscore Jim’s assurances that pythons are harmless; Edith resolves to sleep in the Land Rover.
Cruel Pool
An exotic flute solo flirts with the safari theme for a transition to elephants bathing the following morning. Edith decides to dip her bare feet into the water after Hanlon informs her that crocodiles do not like clear water. The score builds dreamy suspense as a crocodile slowly emerges from the depths and gives Edith a scare; mandolin and pizzicato strings respond in comical fashion when she complains to Hanlon, who makes a note in his journal that crocodiles do in fact like clear water. Delicate glockenspiel denotes tiny baby crocodiles swimming around his bare feet.
13. Smart Aleck Alec
Hanlon deliberately allows Edith to steal the Land Rover and then follows her to Burnett. After Hanlon shoots the poacher with a tranquilizer dart, he drives Burnett back toward civilization to turn him over to the police. A suspenseful bass line supports winds and trilling strings for Burnett flicking a lit cigarette out the truck’s window and starting a brush fire.
Flute repeats a leagto melody as Burnett pulls over to camp for the night. Burnett surreptitiously scoops up a rock with his bound hands and drops it on Hanlon’s compass, crushing it; Schifrin marks a tense standoff between the men with intermittent woodwind phrases.
The ostinato from “The Attack” (track 3) returns for a vengeful Hanlon nearly mowing down Burnett with his truck.
14. Juppo
After the adversaries and Edith flee the fire started by Burnett, they pull over to refill their canteens at a watering hole. As Hanlon and Edith leave Burnett behind and head into the jungle, low woodwinds and brittle xylophone acknowledge the presence of the poacher’s team, who hide quietly in the foliage. Just as Hanlon encounters them, Burnett sneaks up from behind and knocks him out; African piano underscores Edith scolding Burnett for his treachery.
Food for Thought
The travelers reverse their course and head back toward a valley where the white rhinos reside. Alto flute and harp play a demure version of the safari theme as Edith feeds a captive Hanlon at a makeshift encampment.
Fantastic Fight
Burnett arrives on the scene and kicks Hanlon’s plate of food away. Percussion plays through the build-up to a fistfight between the adversaries. As they trade blows, brittle harpsichord material trades off with accented string chords, baritone saxophone, brass and percussion. The eclectic cue also incorporates trumpet evoking a Spanish bullfight for Hanlon charging past Burnett and knocking down a tent. Strings close the cue as Hanlon finally runs out of energy and Burnett confesses his grudging respect for the doctor, despite their differing philosophies.
15. The Cobra Strikes Again
When the travelers arrive at the valley of the white rhinos, Burnett decides to test the anesthetic on an elephant before using it on the prized rhinos. Low-register woodwinds, harp and percussion underscore Burnett sneaking up on an elephant with his shotgun. A chaotic outburst from woodwinds and maracas reacts to a cobra suddenly spitting poison in the hunter’s eyes and biting him on the leg. Burnett’s right-hand man, Jopo (Harry Mekela), runs over and kills the cobra with his machete while Hanlon begins to treat the wounds.
16. Recovery
Strings and harp play through a montage of Burnett recovering in bed while Edith nurses him; a chordal version of the safari theme sounds when he finally emerges from his tent and thanks Hanlon for saving his life. He agrees to help the doctor capture the rhinos so that they can be transfered to a safe location (and away from Haragay).
The rhino theme returns on low-register harpsichord and harp over jungle percussion when the action transitions to the team encountering a herd of white rhinos.
Dance of the Rhinos
The travelers speed after the fleeing beasts in the Land Rover, accompanied by a jazzy setting of the rhino theme for low brass and baritone saxophone. Schifrin continues to develop the theme as Hanlon, Burnett and the rest of the crew pursue the animals on foot, leaving Edith behind in the vehicle; when a curious rhino catches sight of Edith standing by the Rover, it charges toward her, marked by a timpani crescendo. She retreats into the Rover and Schifrin unleashes a cacophony of brass and percussion when the beast’s horn punctures the door.
Rhino’s Distrust
Cautious woodwinds alternate with trembling mandolin and accented string figures for a sequence of Burnett and Hanlon separately hunting rhinos, with another timpani crescendo—now joined by xylophone—as one of the beasts charges at Hanlon. Low-end piano underscores Burnett sneaking toward a rhino and shooting it; the animal gently collapses, marked by a chromatic viola passage.
I Got Myself a Cow
The low-end piano material returns as Hanlon tranquilizes a rhino of his own.
17. Transporting Rhino
A bold statment of the rhino theme leads to a concluding voiceover narration explaining that the rescue operation has ensured the survival of the species.
Burnett and Edith happily observe the rhinos in their new environment, marked by a hopeful setting of the rhino theme. The safari theme builds to a rousing, brassy conclusion as printed text announces that the animals seen in the film were treated respectfully during the production. —