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 Posted:   Aug 22, 2021 - 8:59 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

“We Were Strangers” is a 1949 American adventure drama film directed by John Huston and starring Jennifer Jones, John Garfield, and, Pedro Armendariz. Huston directed the film between two box office successes: “The Treasure of Sierra Madre” (1948) and “The Asphalt Jungle” (1950). According to Huston, Jennifer Jones needed him to tell her where to walk, where to sit, how to behave in any situation.

Set in 1933, the film concerns a group of revolutionaries attempting to overthrow the Cuban government of Gerardo Machado. The story is based loosely on an episode in Robert Sylvester's novel “Rough Sketch” and draws on historical events.

Peter Viertel wrote the screenplay with Huston. Ben Hecht worked on it, too – however uncredited. Viertel, by the way, describes in a chapter of his book “Dangerous Friends” how he and John Huston worked on the screenplay, including two weeks in Cuba with Ernest Hemingway. According to Viertel, Hemingway suggested ending the film as it occurred in reality: with the death of the revolutionaries. Instead, an alternative ending was supplied by Ben Hecht.

Hecht’s association with this project may be the reason why George Antheil was hired to compose the original score, as both, Hecht and Antheil were friends, and, Antheil had already scored almost all of Hecht’s own directorial efforts.

Apparently, Antheil composed not a very long score for Huston’s film, at least, there is not that much of it to be heard. Ernest Gold orchestrated the score, and, Morris Stoloff conducted the Columbia Pictures Orchestra. Most of Antheil’s score is buried under dialogue or heavy sound effects. There are only few moments where the music really shines through. This is the reason why it was not possible to compile a longer suite to present this score without too much of dialogue and sound effects.

Released in April 1949, “We Were Strangers” flopped at the box office. The film received mixed reviews. It proved to be as controversial as Huston had anticipated from the beginning. The Hollywood Reporter complained about its politics on display: "a shameful handbook of Marxian dialectics... the heaviest dish of Red theory ever served to an audience outside the Soviet". The Communist Party's Daily Worker thought it was "capitalist propaganda." American audiences seemed perplexed by the film as well. Its largely Hispanic cast did not resonate with white Americans either. The film was withdrawn from theaters shortly after its release.

Synopsis: “In 1930's Cuba, a bank clerk and an American mercenary assist a revolutionary group in a plan to kill the President but the Cuban Secret Police chief and the dictator's military complicate the plan's execution.”

One trivia note: At the time depicted in this film, the Cuban peso was at par with the U.S. dollar. The 2,000 peso check would be the equivalent of about $40,000 in 2021.



Suite





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See also these George Antheil topics:

BALLET MECANIQUE (1924) - Score & Concert Music
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=144905

George Antheil, Cecil B. De Mille & Boris Morros – UNION PACIFIC (1939) – The rejected score
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=144656

ANGELS OVER BROADWAY (aka BEFORE I DIE) (1940)
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=144770

SPECTER OF THE ROSE (1946)
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=144602

THAT BRENNAN GIRL aka TOUGH GIRL (1946/1951) - also presenting some clips from other Antheil scores
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=144512

HOUSE BY THE RIVER (1950)
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=144679

THE SNIPER (1952)
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=145107

THE JUGGLER (1953)
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=144559

JESSIE JAMES' WOMEN (1954) - Film Song “CARELESS LOVER” performed by Lita Baron
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=144708

HUNTERS OF THE DEEP (1954)
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=145484

NOT AS A STRANGER (1955)
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=144803

THE PRIDE AND THE PASSION (1957) – 2009 discussion concerning a possible rerecording
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=59888

THE TWENTIETH CENTURY (1957-1966) – 20TH CENTURY WITH MIKE WALLACE (1994-2005)
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=145267

Jerome Moross on George Antheil (1979 Interview) – ONCE IN A BLUE MOON (1935)
https://filmscoremonthly.com/board/posts.cfm?threadID=145177

 
 
 Posted:   Aug 22, 2021 - 11:11 AM   
 By:   cody1949   (Member)

The film is very underappreciated and I would love to have Mr.Antheil's score on a CD .

 
 Posted:   Aug 23, 2021 - 9:52 AM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

The film is very underappreciated and I would love to have Mr.Antheil's score on a CD .



I'd say there are only about 30 min. of music in the film (most of buried it under dialogue and often sound effects).

Rough sketches are the only written pieces of material to be found in the Antheil papers at UCLA. If there are written scores left after all these years, those must be stored somewhere else.


The shoot-out scene

 
 Posted:   Sep 8, 2021 - 4:03 PM   
 By:   Sehnsuchtshafen   (Member)

The video with Antheil's suite now contains 9 chapters to access the individual sequences.
The volume is also a bit improved.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd2fHjrIZb4

0:00 Main Titles & Intro
2:02 Sequence 2
3:18 Sequence 3
4:11 Sequence 4
5:35 Sequence 5
7:35 Sequence 6
8:40 Sequence 7
9:07 Sequence 8
10:29 Finale & End Titles

 
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