Sol Madrid (1968) was, like The Venetian Affair, an espionage-themed feature film starring one of the leads from The Man From U.N.C.L.E., in this case David McCallum. McCallum plays Sol Madrid, an undercover narcotics agent infiltrating the organization of Acapulco-based drug lord Emil Dietrich (Telly Savalas). Schifrin’s score features a variety of source cues in a number of popular idioms (jazz, Latin, rock) as well as dramatic scoring capturing action, suspense and even some tender moments.
Disc five features the complete original soundtrack from Sol Madrid in chronological order (tracks 1–21) followed by two bonus tracks (22–23), all newly remixed from the original three-track 35mm scoring masters.
- 1. Main Title
- The opening titles begin rolling over a field of opium poppies, a tranquil oboe line yielding to a misterioso trilling passage for the revelation of the main title card as one of the flowers is sliced open, spilling milky opium. Schifrin then introduces the theme for Interpol agent Sol Madrid (David McCallum) in bold fashion over an aggressive foundation for an exciting montage showing the production and distribution of a heroin shipment.
- The Burning Candle
- Wild source jazz continues under the opening credits as an undercover Madrid blends in with strung-out heroin junkies in a seedy apartment. The raucousness increases as police burst in and arrest the addicts.
- 2. Frightened Stacey
- In her Malibu hotel room, Stacey Woodward (Stella Stevens), the wayward mistress of Mafia capo Dano Villanova (Rip Torn), awakens to a dreamy, suspenseful version of Madrid’s theme and discovers the agent hovering over her. Threatening, cool jazz plays as Madrid forces her at gunpoint to turn over her share of the cash she helped Harry Mitchell (Pat Hingle) steal from Villanova’s crime family.
- Mexican Waters
- Stacey agrees to lead Madrid to Mitchell, who is in Acapulco. As Madrid and his companion arrive in Mexico on a yacht, the score evokes the locale with rambunctious, mariachi-flavored music; the mood darkens as a Mexican customs boat approaches the yacht.
- 3. Adagietto for Guitar and Orchestra
- Madrid calls Emil Dietrich (Telly Savalas)—Mitchell’s heroin-dealing contact—and they arrange to meet; this cue (only 1:40 of which appears in the film) plays during the phone conversation, and continues afterward as Madrid informs an angry Stacey that she will be paying for their luxurious accomodations. Schifrin perhaps modeled this bittersweet piece for guitar and orchestra after the slow movement of Joaquín Rodrigo’s guitar concerto, which also features a prominent part for English horn.
- 4. Dietrich
- Madrid arrives at Dietrich’s lavish estate for a luncheon meeting, during which the undercover agent negotiates a deal to transport a large supply of heroin into America for half a million dollars (see track 22). Once Madrid departs, the Adagietto material receives an austere treatment as Mitchell expresses his doubts to Dietrich about Madrid’s motives.
- 5. Cantina Rock
- After Stacey abandons Madrid, he finds her dancing it up at a club where this decadent rock number plays as source music. Two of Dietrich’s henchmen (sent by Mitchell) chase Madrid and Stacey out of the club; the source music continues, accelerating and modulating upward as they ward off the attackers. Madrid dispatches one of the henchmen while his Mexican contact, Jalisco (Ricardo Montalbán), arrives just in time to kill the other.
- 6. Villanova’s Cocktail Music
- Approximately 0:25 of this lounge jazz plays in the background as Villanova orders a Mafia hit man named Scarpi (Michael Conrad) to Mexico in search of Stacey.
- 7. Sol Madrid’s Theme
- A straightforward rendition of Madrid’s theme emphasizes electric piano, trumpet and guitar as the agent reveals a more sensitive side to Stacey and the two become intimate.
- 8. Mariachi Street Music #1
- Mariachi source music plays as Madrid wanders down an Acapulco street and meets up with Jalisco.
- 9. Mariachi Street Music #2
- The source music continues with this second mariachi piece as Jalisco talks longingly about his retirement plans and Madrid reveals his intention to move Stacey back onto the yacht for safety.
- 10. Worried Stacey/Scarpi
- Woodwinds underline Stacey’s concern when Madrid informs her that Scarpi is in town, yielding to a Latin rhythm section for a transition to Scarpi’s hotel room, where one of Dietrich’s underlings murders the hit man.
- Heroin Bag/The Pump
- Madrid concocts a scheme to smuggle Dietrich’s heroin across the border: He and one of Dietrich’s men, disguised as oil workers, infiltrate a Tijuana refinery. Low-end piano grounds sliding strings, portentous brass and electric keyboard as they feed a refinery employee a phony story and load their bag of heroin into one of the pipelines, clogging it.
- 11. Headlights
- Schifrin develops the “smuggling” material from the preceding cues (which at certain points recalls the composer’s famous “The Plot” from Mission: Impossible) as Madrid and his accomplice arrive at another refinery in San Diego. (The first half of this cue does not appear in the finished film.)
- Pressure/More Pressure
- When Madrid reports that there is a problem with one of the Tijuana lines, refinery workers gradually increase the pressure in the pipeline, which sends the heroin bag shooting through the pipe, across the border. The score mounts jazzy suspense throughout this process—with pulsing timpani, scratchy high-register violin, muted trumpet intejections and repeating piano figures—until the bag arrives in San Diego, where Madrid retrieves it from a pipe.
- Madrid sells the heroin to undercover agents posing as shady dealers (in order to put on a show for Dietrich’s man). Schifrin’s brief cue for the “tense” transaction begins with tremolo strings against a repeated saxophone motive.
- 12. Mexican Dance Music
- This laid-back piece of Mexican source jazz plays as Villanova arrives at his Acapulco compound and finds a kidnapped Stacey waiting inside.
- 13. A Demanding Lover
- A saxophone and electric piano melody wanders amid dissonant strings for Villanova threatening Stacey. He pins her down, the cue building tension as his henchmen inject her with heroin.
- 14. Turn On, Search Out
- Shots of Stacey tripping out alternate with footage of Mexican police blowing up Dietrich’s secret drug laboratories. A morose, ostinato-driven melodic line incorporates a major-seventh motive, echoplexed woodwinds and trilling strings for Stacey’s descent into addiction, while militaristic snare drum underlines the raid on the drug operation.
- 15. Mexican Street Music
- This source piece for marimba and rhythm section does not appear in the film.
- 16. Charanga #1
- Dietrich believes that the Mafia attacked his drug laboratories because he was harboring Mitchell, so he banishes the Mafia turncoat from his estate. This upbeat source cue (approximately 1:00 of which appears in the film) emanates from the hotel to which Jalisco tails Mitchell; the “charanga” is a type of Cuban dance music.
- 17. Dangling Bloody Hand
- Low clarinets, tremolo strings and timpani sound briefly when Madrid and Jalisco find Mitchell dead in his bathtub—the result of a suicide, or so it seems.
- To Get Some Air
- Madrid sets up a drug sting at Dietrich’s compound; as Mexican police raid the estate, Madrid kills the drug kingpin in self-defense. A tense development of Madrid’s melody plays through the aftermath of the violence, the theme darkening on a transition to Jalisco chauffeuring Madrid away from the compound. Now aware that Jalisco is in the employ of Villanova, Madrid asks Jalisco to drive to a deserted beach.
- 18. Charanga #2
- About 0:25 of this source cue plays as Madrid and Jalisco arrive at the beach.
- 19. Guajiro From the Distance (short version)
- This lively dance music does not appear in the film. Schifrin may have intended it as additional source music heard from afar after “Charanga #2” as Madrid accuses Jalisco of kidnapping Stacey and murdering Mitchell, then persuades him to give up Villanova’s location before gunning him down.
- 20. Villanova’s Villa/Villanova’s Chase/Villanova’s Fight
- Madrid arrives at Villanova’s compound and hunts for the Mafia leader, accompanied by edgy jazz; when he finds the criminal, he demands to be taken to Stacey. A chromatic string ostinato sounds over a low pedal for Madrid discovering the girl strung out on heroin.
- Villanova runs away and Madrid chases after him, the score responding with a violent, low brass ostinato in 7/4. This material yields to high-register strings and percussion as Madrid follows Villanova through a swamp.
- Trilling strings and wild snare drum underscore a brutal showdown between the men, the music straining as Madrid drowns Villanova.
- 21. What Really Counts
- Madrid visits Stacey as she recovers in a hospital. Although he apologizes for putting her in harm’s way, she remains bitter that he put his job above her safety. A mellow reading of Madrid’s theme sounds on flute and guitar as he leaves, the tune reaching an aching, romantic climax for the end credits.
- 22. El Patio (guitar)
- This placid source piece for solo guitar (approximately 4:00 of which appears in the film) plays during Madrid’s initial lunch meeting with Dietrich.
- 23. Guajiro From the Distance (long version)
- This slightly slower version of “Guajiro From the Distance” also does not appear in the film.
MGM Records released an LP for Sol Madrid (E/SE-4541 ST) featuring the original soundtrack performance. However, the cues were edited for the album conventions of the day (out of film sequence, and emphasizing source cues) and it is not possible to program the LP sequence out of the tracks on the complete score presentation on disc 5. The end of disc 4 therefore features the album sequence recreated from the original three-track scoring sessions for optimal sound quality (space limitations prevented the presentation of the album program on disc 5).
- 21. Sol Madrid (Main Theme)
- The opening track of the LP combined the second half of the “Main Title” (disc 5, track 1) with the end credits cue, “What Really Counts” (disc 5, track 21).
- 22. Fiesta
- This is “Mariachi Street Music #1” (disc 5, track 8) with a new title.
- 23. Stacey’s Bolero
- This is “Mexican Dance Music” (disc 5, track 12), with an editorially created repeat to double the length of the album track.
- 24. The Burning Candle
- This is the same as the second part of disc 5, track 1.
- 25. Adagietto
- This is the same as “Adagietto for Guitar and Orchestra” (disc 5, track 3).
- 26. Sol Madrid (Main Theme)
- This is identical to “Sol Madrid’s Theme” (disc 5, track 7).
- 27. The Golden Trip
- This version of “Cantina Rock” (disc 5, track 5) fades out at the end, rather than playing to its conclusion.
- 28. Charanga
- This is the same as “Charanga #2” (disc 5, track 18).
- 29. El Patio
- This is an edited version of “El Patio (guitar)” (disc 5, track 22).
- 30. Villanova’s Villa
- This is identical to the first part of disc 5, track 20.
- 31. Bolero #2
- This is the same as Mariachi Street Music #2 (disc 5, track 9).
- 32. Villanova’s Chase
- The last track on the LP combines two score cues: “Mexican Waters” (disc 5, track 2) and “Villanova’s Fight” (disc 5, track 20), omitting a percussion overlay from the latter. —
From the original MGM Records LP
Sol Madrid is a unique and thoroughly modern underworld thriller, enhanced not only by a raft of exciting performers, but also a superior musical score by Hollywood’s fastest-rising musical talent—Lalo Schifrin.
Elderly Mafia leader Capo Riccione (Paul Lukas) demands that his heir-apparent, Dano Villanova (Rip Torn), find and “deal with” Harry Mitchell (Pat Hingle), who has absconded with $500,000 of their money and, more importantly, with their secrets locked in his computer-like brain; and with Stacey Woodward (Stella Stevens), Dano’s mistress who has vanished with Mitchell.
Undercover Interpol narcotics agent Sol Madrid (David McCallum) is assigned to get Mitchell and persuade him to turn government witness against the Mafia. Madrid’s one lead is Stacey, whom he finds with half the stolen money in Malibu. Madrid, threatening to inform Villanova of her whereabouts, forces her to reveal that Mitchell is in Acapulco. Stacey accompanies Madrid to Acapulco, posing as his “girl friend.” Once there she introduces him to Mitchell’s contact, Emil Dietrich (Telly Savalas), a big supplier of heroin who has broken with the Mafia.
Madrid builds his way into Dietrich’s confidence and purchases $200,000 worth of heroin. But Mitchell suspects Madrid and sends killers to take care of him.
Jalisco (Ricardo Montalbán), Mexican Interpol agent, arranges for Stacey to be hidden in a yacht, while Madrid ingeniously smuggles the heroin over the border and into the waiting arms of the Treasury men.
But the big job—getting Dietrich and Mitchell—is not yet done. And Madrid, frantic over the disappearance of Stacey, nevertheless knows he must still perform his duty. Only then can he seek out Stacey and finally, the deadly Villanova.
1. Sol Madrid (disc 4, track 21) This version of the Main Theme, written by Mr. Schifrin, appears over the film’s introductory credits.
2. Fiesta (disc 4, track 22) A typical, bright Mexican melody which is heard during one of the scenes in colorful Acapulco.
3. Stacey’s Bolero (disc 4, track 23) The unfortunate victim of revenge, pretty Stacey is brought to a house of ill repute and forced to become a drug addict.
4. The Burning Candle (disc 4, track 24) This music is heard following the film credits and under the scene depicting the transition from the beautiful poppy to the final user of the drug. In this selection, Schifrin utilizes free form jazz.
5. Adagietto (disc 4, track 25) Dietrich is a notorious mover of heroin. But curiously, he is sometimes sensitive and understanding. In many scenes, Schifrin underlines Dietrich with pretty music, conforming to his strangely better nature.
6. Sol Madrid (disc 4, track 26) Here the Main Theme serves as background for one of the rare, tender moments of the film. Madrid will use anyone to gain his ends, and this includes Stacey. But in this scene, for the first time, he is sympathetic toward her and they spend a romantic evening together.
1. The Golden Trip (disc 4, track 27) The scene is a popular Acapulco discotheque. Stacey is apprehended by local gangsters who try to kill her. A chase ensues and Stacey is rescued by Madrid, with the help of Jalisco.
2. Charanga (disc 4, track 28) Another pretty, original Mexican-flavored composition by Schifrin is heard during the action in the streets of Acapulco.
3. El Patio (disc 4, track 29) A guitar is the only instrument used during a scene in Dietrich’s castle wherein he and Madrid calmly make arrangements to buy and ship a huge quantity of heroin. The deft fingers of the famous Laurindo Almeida* perform beautifully on this solo.
4. Villanova’s Villa (disc 4, track 30) Villanova’s big job at the moment is to eliminate Stacey. In this scene, Madrid has cleverly entered Villanova’s highly-protected villa. A fight ensues and Villanova escapes with Madrid hot in pursuit.
5. Bolero #2 (disc 4, track 31) This composition is heard several times during the many scenes filmed in beautiful Acapulco.
6. Villanova’s Chase (disc 4, track 32) Madrid chases Villanova through a swamp. Not only is he a Mafia leader who must be apprehended, but he has also forcibly made Stacey a drug addict. A brutal fight takes place with Madrid the victor.
*Laurindo Almeida appears through the courtesy of Capitol Records.
Buenos Aires-born Lalo Schifrin acquired his basic music training in the environment of his family. His father was concertmaster of the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires for thirty years. Schifrin studied composition with Juan Carlos Paz in Argentina and later at the Paris Conservatory. Returning to his homeland, he wrote for the stage, modern dance and television before becoming fascinated with jazz. This interest led to his joining the Dizzy Gillespie band in 1960, as a pianist and composer, and coming to the United States. Settling in Los Angeles, he has since become one of the most noted of Hollywood film composers with the scores for The Cincinnati Kid, The Liquidator, Cool Hand Luke, The President’s Analyst, The Fox and the forthcoming Rise and Fall of the Third Reich to his credit.