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 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 5:48 AM   
 By:   Urs Lesse   (Member)

I'm just bumping this thread to move downwards the spam crap.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 7:26 AM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Universal-International was the source of a lot of great western scores in the fifties, including a number of Audie Murphy oaters. An excellent one is NO NAME ON THE BULLET, which is also one of my favorite 1950s westerns. It's now available in widescreen, so don't miss it if you haven't seen it.

As for BORDER RIVER, that's another great U-I score, with the new music for it composed by Herman Stein, including the "Main Title" and the next three cues in the picture. Stein loved writing for cello, and you can hear some lovely examples in this score. The "theme," if we're talking about the same thing, sounds like one of Herman's. A number of cues were also composed by William Lava and Henry Mancini, with the majority of Mancini's being in the last couple of reels. The "End Title" and "End Cast" were also composed by Stein.

There was also some tracked music in BORDER RIVER's score from the pens of Stein, Frank Skinner, Milt Rosen, and Mancini, coming from films like THE RAIDERS, LAW AND ORDER, TAKE ME TO TOWN, PIRATES OF MONTEREY, HORIZONS WEST, DUEL AT SILVER CREEK, and RIDE THE PINK HORSE. With the exception of PIRATES OF MONTEREY, all these films tracked music into a large number of other Universal-International pictures.

DAWN AT SOCORRO also has an excellent "patchwork" score, with quite a bit of new music by Skinner and Stein. Cues from this picture also turned up in many later U-I westerns.

But go check out SMOKE SIGNAL if you want to hear a "Main Title" as glorious as anything composed for a 1950's western. William Lava is a VERY underrated composer.


David,
Many thanks for your very informative reply, you have cleared up a matter concerning Border River that I have been wondering about for nearly forty years ! I did indeed see Smoke Signal in the cinema way back when, it is an excellent little movie, but I cannot recall the music. Speaking of Audie Murphy, as a young kid growing up in Ireland in the late 50s and early 60s I always identified very much with Audie's screen persona. Ok, Wayne and Stewart etc were the biggies, but for us youngsters 'the kid from Texas' was the business ! Audie was our man ! My favourite movie of his being Seven Ways From Sundown. Seven Ways From Sundown Jones, what a great name for a character and what a great film, written by Clair Huffaker no less, with a score by Lava and Gertz again. Maybe some of Mr. Mancini's music was tracked in too ? With no disrespect to anyone, can I tell a little story here. Last summer when Diana and I were in Washington D.C. we were on a tour bus which stopped briefly outside the gates of Arlington National Cemetery and we debated whether we had time to go in. The tour guide overheard me saying that I only really wanted to visit one graveside and hearing my Irish accent said, "well we know who that will be, JFK right" ? He looked perplexed when I said "no, Audie Murphy, and then JFK" They were both heroes to me anyhow. Maybe MMM will someday release a western film music compilation disc drawing on those halycon Universal Studio days ?

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 7:29 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Now you've already received a TON of suggestions, but we've discussed Western film music countless times on this board and here are some of the previous threads:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.asp?threadID=6100&forumID=1

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.asp?threadID=18877&forumID=7

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.asp?threadID=19813&forumID=1

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 7:37 AM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

Now you've already received a TON of suggestions, but we've discussed Western film music countless times on this board and here are some of the previous threads:

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.asp?threadID=6100&forumID=1

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.asp?threadID=18877&forumID=7

http://www.filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.asp?threadID=19813&forumID=1



So what ?

 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 8:30 AM   
 By:   ZapBrannigan   (Member)

I like HIGH NOON a lot, but the one moment in western scoring that gives me the most pleasure is in THE QUICK AND THE DEAD (Silvestri), at the end, when the badge is tossed and "the law has come back to town." Wow.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 8:53 AM   
 By:   Simon Morris   (Member)

I don't have many Western scores anyway, but my favourite is Jerry Goldsmith's BAD GIRLS. A good score for a bad movie, and I don't understand why it never gets more plaudits. And I'm not even a hard-core Goldsmith fan.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 10:31 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

So what ?

So kaimakan can click on those threads and read even more suggestions.

 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 10:33 AM   
 By:   mgh   (Member)

Bernstein and Goldsmith, of course, are my favorites, but to mention a few more:

COMES A HORSEMAN (a superb score by Michael Small)
THE OUTRIDERS (by Previn, this has one of the all time great Main Titles)
VALDEZ IS COMING (by Charles Gross--another superb score that gets very little mention)

And to chime in with Niall, Audie Murphy was also one of my favorites when I was a kid growing up in Oklahoma. SEVEN WAYS FROM SUNDOWN is also one of my favorites, a nearly perfect "B" western with a wonderfully wry performance by Barry Sullivan as one of the most amiable bad guys ever.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 11:23 AM   
 By:   Ken Longworth   (Member)

A couple of good ones from the early 1960s: THE UNFORGIVEN (Tiomkin) and THE WONDERFUL COUNTRY (North). GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL (Tiomkin) is also worth mentioning from that era, given the use of the song that punctuates it.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 2:38 PM   
 By:   Eugene Iemola   (Member)

All of the above, with my personal favorites being- The Magnificent Seven and Red River, however one score I love that hasn't been mentioned and is well worth a listen is The Professionals by Maurice Jarre. Love it and love that movie.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 2:54 PM   
 By:   James MacMillan   (Member)

I may be the only one here besides David (MMM) who has seen SMOKE SIGNAL. But then, I saw it on the big screen at the Ridgeway shopping Center in Stamford Connecticut when I was eight years old, so I can't claim to remember the music. But as always, I trust David's judgment completely.

Even when he discusses Universal westerns without mentioning Hans Salter. BEND OF THE RIVER was one of his best, for one of the classic Anthony Mann/James Stewart westerns. Elsewhere, he did a particularly good job on WICHITA, (not to be confused with his TV series, WICHITA TOWN, also a fine job, also starring Joel McCrea). The standard bearer for this particular style of western scoring I'd say was Max Steiner at Warner Brothers, with DODGE CITY, VIRGINIA CITY and a host of others. Tiomkin's been mentioned briefly here, but he wrote a LOT of major western scores, including DUEL IN THE SUN, THE ALAMO, GUNFIGHT AT THE OK CORRAL and of course HIGH NOON.

Off the top of my head, there's also George Duning w/COWBOY and 3:10 TO YUMA., George Stoll and RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY, (recently an FSM release). waxman's THE INDIAN FIGHTER and CIMARRON (the latter also on FSM).

Oh yeah, Victor Young and SHANE.

Anyhow, that's for openers.



Preston, old chap, RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY was George Bassmann, rather than Georgie Stoll.
Thanks for reminding me about WICHITA - with the song crooned by Tex Ritter, which I have boxed away somewhere on an old 45rpm single.

- James.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 5:22 PM   
 By:   stalemate12   (Member)

Another score I would add is 'Cemetary Without Crosses' by Hossein.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 5:24 PM   
 By:   Preston Neal Jones   (Member)

Dear James --

Oops! Of course you're right. Thanks for the quick correction. But hey, I was half right, wasn't i? I said George. (And at least I didn't say George Gershwin.)

smile

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 5:55 PM   
 By:   Kev McGann   (Member)

Totally agree with mgh about Comes A Horseman by Michael Small, somebody release this on CD soon, please.
Apart from the obvious already mentioned ones, I love Jeremiah Johnson by McIntire and Rubinstein.
Ballad of Cable Hogue is my favourite (off-beat) western score by Goldsmith.
The Cowboys is my top Williams western score.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 6:32 PM   
 By:   MMM   (Member)

SEVEN WAYS FROM SUNDOWN is a solid little western, with one of my favorites, Kenneth Tobey, in it.

The film is from 1960, after Universal dropped their staff composers, and what's odd is that the score is a mostly-original one. By this time, Universal was often tracking many of their films with previously-written cues or else hiring a single composer to score the film.

But for SEVEN WAYS FROM SUNDOWN, Irving Gertz and William Lava basically wrote almost every other cue in the picture, as opposed to giving each composer specific reels to work on. This approach provides a clue that there must have been something unique about the post-production of this film that resulted in the way it was scored (see below).

The only tracked cues are Herman Stein's "Saloon Piano" from A DAY OF FURY and Stein's "Honky-Tonk Piano" from RAILS INTO LARAMIE, but these were two cues used again and again by Universal, so their use in this film isn't so surprising. What is surprising is that there's one other tracked cue, a :04 honky tonk piano solo that Henry Mancini wrote for YELLOW MOUNTAIN. It's heard right after the "Main Title," and it's odd that such a short cue would be tracked right after a "Main Title" in a mostly-original score. And why they didn't just re-use one of Stein's cues, which are much longer, is a little bizarre.

My guess is that the approach that Lava and Gertz took in scoring the movie might have had something to do with the famous episode where Murphy threatened to kill the director. That event might have affected the post-production schedule enough to where Universal had to use the two composers in the fashion they did.

Stein used to know Murphy rather well, and he said that he was the sweetest man alive, but occasionally he would just erupt (my word) about something, and it was then that you could tell how he was capable of his unbelievable war exploits.

Herman said the true story of Murphy's war experiences was even more amazing than what was included in the biopicture TO HELL AND BACK, because Universal thought that if they told the actual story about Murphy, nobody would believe it because it was so incredible! And this from the same studio who made THE MOLE PEOPLE and THE DEADLY MANTIS!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 6:42 PM   
 By:   Dan Bates   (Member)

Much as I adore just about anything by Tiomkin, even such obscure ones as "Tension at Table Rock," from the same period as "Gunfight at The O.K. Corral" and "Last Train from Gun Hill," and just as exciting, I must yield to Jerome Moross, and "The Big Country," inarguably the finest single Western film score ever. I remember leaning forward in my seat, on first viewing, and wondering aloud, "Who the Hell is this guy?" I also have great fondness for that other Jerry--Fielding, that is--and the wonderfully minimalist Alfred Newman "The Gunfighter." I say "minimalist," because it is only heard under the opening and closing credits, just like Rozsa's non-Western "The Asphalt Jungle." But Moross tops them all!

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 7:53 PM   
 By:   Niall from Ireland   (Member)

SEVEN WAYS FROM SUNDOWN is a solid little western, with one of my favorites, Kenneth Tobey, in it.

The film is from 1960, after Universal dropped their staff composers, and what's odd is that the score is a mostly-original one. By this time, Universal was often tracking many of their films with previously-written cues or else hiring a single composer to score the film.

But for SEVEN WAYS FROM SUNDOWN, Irving Gertz and William Lava basically wrote almost every other cue in the picture, as opposed to giving each composer specific reels to work on. This approach provides a clue that there must have been something unique about the post-production of this film that resulted in the way it was scored (see below).

The only tracked cues are Herman Stein's "Saloon Piano" from A DAY OF FURY and Stein's "Honky-Tonk Piano" from RAILS INTO LARAMIE, but these were two cues used again and again by Universal, so their use in this film isn't so surprising. What is surprising is that there's one other tracked cue, a :04 honky tonk piano solo that Henry Mancini wrote for YELLOW MOUNTAIN. It's heard right after the "Main Title," and it's odd that such a short cue would be tracked right after a "Main Title" in a mostly-original score. And why they didn't just re-use one of Stein's cues, which are much longer, is a little bizarre.

My guess is that the approach that Lava and Gertz took in scoring the movie might have had something to do with the famous episode where Murphy threatened to kill the director. That event might have affected the post-production schedule enough to where Universal had to use the two composers in the fashion they did.

Stein used to know Murphy rather well, and he said that he was the sweetest man alive, but occasionally he would just erupt (my word) about something, and it was then that you could tell how he was capable of his unbelievable war exploits.

Herman said the true story of Murphy's war experiences was even more amazing than what was included in the biopicture TO HELL AND BACK, because Universal thought that if they told the actual story about Murphy, nobody would believe it because it was so incredible! And this from the same studio who made THE MOLE PEOPLE and THE DEADLY MANTIS!


David,
My hat is off to you ! I would love to hear more, you have such valuable information ! I really shoud be asleep right now as I have to catch an early flight to London in the morning to attend the big Herrmann/McNeely concert at The Barbican, but I just wanted to say thanks for the fascinating information above. I could cry when I think that we may never get any of these wonderful scores on disc. I was thinking along the same lines today, that in Audie Murphy's case what really interested me as I got older was that the fiction on the screen did not match up to the reality. To me he always cut such a paradoxical figure on screen, one has only to view his two brilliant performances in Huston's The Red Badge Of Courage and The Unforgiven to marvel at this strange conundrum.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 16, 2006 - 8:37 PM   
 By:   MMM   (Member)

It's amazing and more than a little sad that so few people know who Audie Murphy was. In these days of "heroes" who sometimes get elevated to such status on the basis of doing things that seem to be far short of "heroic," we have obviously lost sight of what real heroes are. Murphy was an amazing man, and the fact that he added an acting career to his military career, and that he was actually a very good actor only makes him more amazing.

I was in touch with The Audie Murphy Research Foundation a number of years back, and communicated with Audie's son Terry, and I had mentioned the possibility of a recording project featuring music from Murphy's films, but nothing ever came of it. We did include the wonderful cue "Clay Meets A Badman" from RIDE CLEAR OF DIABLO, as part of our suite of music from CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON.

I have a feeling that many of the Universal scores from this era have survived, and I personally have a number of them, but nothing is likely to happen in the immediate future, not just because of the studio, but also because of the confusing music publishing rights on many of these pictures. I'm fairly certain I know more about the ownership of this music than anyone at the studio, which also means that they probably don't feel they know enough where they could safely do something with the music without legal entanglements.

 
 Posted:   Mar 17, 2006 - 12:12 PM   
 By:   Ray Faiola   (Member)

DODGE CITY is far and away my favorite western score. It's got grandeur, thrilling action cues, and a nice peppering of traditional interpolation. All of Steiner's westerns are first-rate, but DODGE CITY established the template.

After that, HIGH NOON and RED RIVER from Mr. T.

Richard Hageman's westerns for Ford are incredible, my favorite being SHE WORE A YELLOW RIBBON.

Frank Skinner wrote a bundle of great cues for New Universal westerns and the boys at Republic went "mad..simply mad" with all those great chases.

There are, of course, many great western scores from the late 50's and 60's, but none of them have that spark of Americana schmaltz that is so endearing (to me) about the earlier scores.

 
 
 Posted:   Mar 17, 2006 - 10:19 PM   
 By:   The_Mark_of_Score-O   (Member)

Stein used to know Murphy rather well, and he said that he was the sweetest man alive, but occasionally he would just erupt (my word) about something, and it was then that you could tell how he was capable of his unbelievable war exploits.

I've heard that those who knew him considered him to be the proverbial ticking time-bomb.

It's a good thing that no one put him in the same room with Bernard Herrmann, because neither of them might've walked out alive.

 
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