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Invitation/A Life of Her Own (1952/1950)
Music by Bronislau Kaper
Invitation/A Life of Her Own Invitation/A Life of Her Own Invitation/A Life of Her Own
Click to enlarge images.
Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: November 2005
Catalog #: Vol. 8, No. 17
# of Discs: 1

Bronislau Kaper was a composer of classic film songs as well as film scores—"Lili," "On Green Dolphin Street" and "All God's Chillun Have Rhythm" are among his most famous works. One of his loveliest melodies he actually used in two "women's pictures": first in A Life of Her Own (1950), then in Invitation (1952), presumably because the first film did not perform well and the theme was too good to let it go to waste. This CD features the complete score to Invitation (plus source music), followed by the surviving tracks to A Life of Her Own.

Invitation starred Dorothy Maguire as a married woman who discovers that her perfect husband (Van Johnson) might have been "purchased" for her by her overprotective father, and that she might have a fatal illness. Kaper's "Theme From Invitation" dominates the score as a haunting expression of Maguire's anxiety, love and heartbreak, but the soundtrack also features beautiful, transparent writing for her family life, and dark currents for her obsessive search for the truth.

A Life of Her Own starred Lana Turner as a New York City model embroiled in an affair with a married man (Ray Milland). Although directed by George Cukor, it soon disappeared from theaters—spurring Kaper to reuse his theme later. The surviving tracks consist mostly of source music, along with a few cues of Kaper's dramatic score, similar to Invitation and interpolating the gorgeous melody as a recurring source cue for piano.

Many cues from Invitation are presented in rudimentary stereo, due to the prominent use of piano which was recorded on its own channel; the balance of the CD is in mono.

At last, one of cinema's loveliest melodies—which became a veritable "standard" of popular music—is fully documented in this premiere FSM CD.

Bronislau Kaper Scores on FSM
About the Composer

The Polish-born Bronislau Kaper (1902-1983) parlayed a successful stint in the French film industry (1933-1935) into a longtime Hollywood contract at M-G-M (1935-1962), where he was an indispensable member of the music department and wrote many famous songs and scores (Green Dolphin Street, Invitation, Lili). He capped his M-G-M career with his mammoth symphonic score to Mutiny on the Bounty, a fan favorite. He worked in the 1960s as a freelancer, scoring Lord Jim among others. Thanks to our relationship with Turner Classic Movies Music, we have brought a significant amount of Kaper's M-G-M music to CD—with more to come. IMDB

Comments (6):Log in or register to post your own comments
Oh, c'mon, not a comment yet? "Lana's Jive" alone is worth the price of admission here!

Seriously, folks, this is what Kaper did best: emotional story, strong themes, and writing a musical standard that will last for decades to come.

I liked this one - it makes me pine more for the days of FSM, and especially their
"subscription club" - sign up and get everything automatically delivered.

This was a title I never would have gone out of my way for, sorry!, even though I enjoy
Kaper's work, thanks to FSM & especially their fantastic MUTINY release. Glad it landed in my archives - too bad we're so oversaturated now, my film score dollars have to be used more cautiously. Or maybe I'm getting more selective in my old age....

Very nice scoring here, mellow but not melodramatic or over the top if I recall, its been awhile.
I remember the atmosphere is nicely reserved & I used to b-side this album with Al Newman's THE BEST OF EVERYTHING - played that title a ton just a few years back. Both (or all three scores actually) were very nice 'city music' in my mind.
I always want the lil' woman to bring me a martini & slippers when I get in and put this disc
on. Oink, oink, yeah yeah..... ;-)
Thanks for the reminder, I'll unearth this one tonight I think!


I think I picked this up on a Bronislau Kaper sale for $14.95 at some point. I too was very pleasantly surprised, and I immediately recognized the main theme from Invitation -- no idea where I'd heard it because I never saw the film, but it was a familiar (lovely) melody somehow.

I definitely recommend this disc to others...



The main title theme to INVITATION became a jazz standard and has been covered by many famous singers. One of the best versions is by Rosemary Clooney, featuring a wonderful Nelson Riddle arrangement.


Oh, c'mon, not a comment yet? "Lana's Jive" alone is worth the price of admission here!

Pedants like me* will be interested to hear that "Lana's Jive" appeared in REUNION IN FRANCE (1942), seguing into a pretty cool song.

*(The rest of you will roll your eyes. :D )


The main title theme to INVITATION became a jazz standard and has been covered by many famous singers. One of the best versions is by Rosemary Clooney, featuring a wonderful Nelson Riddle arrangement.

My fave is Dakota Staton, arranged, I think, by Sid Feller:


Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits
For more specific musician lists for the scores on this album, go here:
A Life Of Her Own

Leader (Conductor):
Johnny Green

Samuel Albert, Rocco Barbieri, Dave Crocov, Sam Fiedler, Werner L. Gebauer, Ernest Gill, Sidney Greene, Mort Herbert, Sol Kindler, Mark Levant, Louis Limonick, Arthur Maebe, Sr., Emanuel Moss, Jaime Overton, Lou Raderman, Herman Seidel, Al Vertchamp, Eunice Wennermark

Cecil Figelski, Virginia Majewski, Reuben Marcus, Germain Prevost

Alexander Borisoff, Alex Bunchuk, Fernand Lhoest, Edgar Lustgarten

Louis Previati, Arthur Shapiro, Charles Smith

Aaron Gershunoff

Philip Memoli

Gus Bivona, Mort B. Friedman, Alex Gershunoff, Don Lodice (Logiudice), D. H. McKenney, Andrew Young

Charles A. Gould

French Horn:
John W. "Jack" Cave, Vincent DeRubertis, Herman Lebow

Uan Rasey, Irvin Shulkin, Joe Triscari

Walter Benson, Herb Taylor, Bud Youngman, Simon Zentner

Harry Frohman, Jacob Gimpel, Milton Raskin

Jack Marshall

Mary Jane Barton, Paula Schertzinger Chaloupka

Frank L. Carlson, Mel Pedesky, D. V. Seber

Orchestra Manager:
James C. Whelan

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