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The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor (1959/1963)
Music by George Duning, Johnny Green
The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor The Wreck of the Mary Deare/Twilight of Honor
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Price: $19.95
Limited #: 3000
View CD Page at SAE Store
Line: Golden Age
CD Release: May 2008
Catalog #: Vol. 11, No. 3
# of Discs: 1

Released by Special Arrangement With Turner Classic Movies Music.

FSM PLEADS NOT GUILTY...of ignoring two classic scores for films involving courtroom drama, by renowned composers George Duning and Johnny Green, respectively.

The Wreck of the Mary Deare (1959) combined courtroom drama with contemporary maritime adventure as it untangled the mystery of a freighter, the Mary Deare, found drifting in the English Channel. Gary Cooper and Charlton Heston team up as the freighter’s former first officer and a would-be salvage man, with Richard Harris a villainous saboteur.

Longtime Columbia Pictures composer George Duning ventured to M-G-M to score Mary Deare likely due to the film’s producer, Julian Blaustein. Duning provided an excellent score seemingly inspired by the mysterious hulk of the ship itself, with a churning, nautical bass figure giving way to a lovely main theme that achieves a surprising degree of warmth and hopefulness. Adding a modern color is a Novachord synthesizer, suggesting a sonar ping for the seafaring scenes, and foreshadowing the moods of 1960s television adventures such as Star Trek and the shows of Irwin Allen (some of which Duning scored).

Twilight of Honor (1963) was M-G-M’s attempt to make a feature film star out of Richard Chamberlain, TV’s Dr. Kildare. Chamberlain plays a young attorney given the hopeless task of defending the murderer of a popular businessman in contemporary New Mexico; he diligently uncovers a seedy underbelly of sex and infidelity to the case in order to exonerate his client. Claude Rains, Joey Heatherton, Joan Blackman and James Gregory play supporting roles.

Twilight of Honor was the rare straight dramatic score by Johnny Green (billed here as “John”) in the latter stage of his career, which otherwise comprised musical direction and conducting. Green was M-G-M’s former head of music (1949-1958) who wrote one of the greatest scores of the Golden Age in Raintree Country (FSMCD Vol. 9, No. 19) and penned many standards as a songwriter. Green wrote an unusual, propulsive main title for Twilight of Honor that sounds like the wheels of justice rolling over everything in sight; the entire score is written for brass, woodwinds and percussion (no strings) and also features a tender love theme, delightful “Southern gothic” moods and jazzy source cues. The complete score is presented here; an LP featured only four cuts along with miscellaneous selections from the MGM Records catalog.

Both The Wreck of the Mary Deare and Twilight of Honor are presented in complete form, newly mixed in stereo from the original 35mm three-track scoring sessions. Liner notes are by Lukas Kendall. 

George Duning Scores on FSM
About the Composer

George Duning (1908-2000) was a longtime contract composer at Columbia Pictures (From Here to Eternity, Picnic) who later did feature films as a freelancer (including several of the titles released by FSM) as well as a great amount of television (including Star Trek). A former bandleader for Kay Kyser, he was comfortable in jazz idioms and had a sensitive and melodic touch as a symphonic dramatist. FSM is one of the only labels to showcase his work, from action-adventure (The Devil at 4 O'Clock) to magical comedy (Bell, Book and Candle) to bluesy and lyrical (Toys in the Attic). IMDB

Johnny Green Scores on FSM
About the Composer

Johnny Green (1908-1989) was a hugely influential figure of 20th century American music, a composer, arranger, songwriter, music director, conductor and executive who from 1949 to 1959 presided over the world-class M-G-M music department, assigning composers and conducting many of their scores himself. His songs included standards like "Body and Soul"; he music-directed such classic musicals as An American in Paris and West Side Story; and as a composer he wrote the great Raintree County, restored by FSM as a 2CD set. IMDB

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Track List
Click on each musician name for more credits

Leader (Conductor):
Johnny Green

John Bambridge, Jr., Keith "Red" Mitchell

Ethmer Roten, Martin Ruderman, Sylvia Ruderman

Norman Benno, Arnold Koblentz

Gus Bivona, Gene Cipriano, Dale C. Issenhuth, Ronald Langinger (aka Ronny Lang), Don Lodice (Logiudice), Hugo Raimondi

Charles A. Gould, Jack Marsh

French Horn:
Arthur E. Briegleb, John W. "Jack" Cave, Herman Lebow, Arthur Maebe, Jr.

John Audino, Frank Beach, Uan Rasey, Raymond Triscari, George Werth

Clarence "Pete" Carpenter, Randall Miller, Richard Noel, George M. Roberts

Artie Kane

Robert F. Bain, Alton R. "Al" Hendrickson

Catherine Gotthoffer (Johnk), Dorothy S. Remsen

Dale L. Anderson, Hubert "Hugh" Anderson, Frank L. Carlson, Frank J. Flynn, Sheldon "Shelly" Manne

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