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The latest CD from Kritzerland is a re-release of UNCHAINED MELODIES: FILM MUSIC OF ALEX NORTH, with North conducting themes from his early scores including such classics as A Streetcar Named Desire, Viva Zapata! and The Rose Tattoo. Previously released on CD by Bay Cities, this remastered release adds an additional cue, his concert piece "Holiday Set."


CDS AVAILABLE THIS WEEK

Ambition - Leonard Rosenman - Caldera
Apollo 11 - Matt Morton - Milan
Bunuel in the Labyrinth of the Turtles - Arturo Cardelus - Milan (import)
The Film Music of Gerard Schurmann 
- Gerard Schurmann - Chandos
Gloria Bell - Matthew Herbert - Milan (import) 
Ma
 - Gregory Tripi - Intrada
Spider-Man: Far from Home - Michael Giacchino - Sony
The X-Files: Season 11 - Mark Snow - La-La Land 


IN THEATERS TODAY

Annabelle Comes Home - Joseph Bishara
Back to the Fatherland - Teo Zervas
Blue Note Records: Beyond the Notes - no original score
Diamantino - Ulysse Klotz, Adrianna Holtz
Euphoria - Lisa Holmqvist
Killers Anonymous - Roger Goula
Maiden - Samuel Sim, Rob Manning
Ophelia - Steven Price
The Other Story - Cyrille Aufort
The Refuge - Federico Vaona
Yesterday - Daniel Pemberton - Song & Score CD on Capitol

COMING SOON

July 5
Midsommar 
- Bobby Krlic - Milan
July 12
Les Miserables - John Murphy - Lakeshore
July 19
Game of Thrones: Season 8 - Ramin Djawadi - WaterTower
The Lion King
- Hans Zimmer - Disney
The Secret Life of Pets 2 - Alexandre Desplat - Backlot
July 26
Halston - Stanley Clarke - Node
Date Unknown
Alien Trespass
 - Louis Febre - Dragon's Domain
Anima Persa
 - Francis Lai - Digitmovies
Child's Play - Bear McCreary - Sparks & Shadows
E Poi Lo Chiamarono Il Magnifico
 - Guido & Maurizio DeAngelis - Digitmovies 
Good Omens
 - David Arnold - Silva
Le Lunghe Ombre
 - Egisto Macchi - Kronos
L'Italia Vista Dal Cielo
 - Piero Piccioni - Beat
Occupation in 26 Pictures
 - Alfi Kabiljo - Kronos
The Scarlet Letter/The Electric Grandmother
 - John Morris - Dragon's Domain
Un Caso Di Coscienza/Non Commettere Atti Impuri 
- Riz Ortolani - Beat
Unchained Melodies: Film Music of Alex North - Alex North - Kritzerland
Ursus Y La Ragazza Tartara
 - Angelo Francesco Lavagnino - Kronos


THIS WEEK IN FILM MUSIC HISTORY

June 28 - Richard Rodgers born (1902)
June 28 - Ken Wannberg born (1930)
June 28 - Nora Orlandi born (1933)
June 28 - Bjorn Isfalt born (1942)
June 28 - Charlie Clouser born (1963)
June 28 - George Duning's score for the Star Trek episode "Metamorphosis" is recorded (1967)
June 28 - Lalo Schifrin records “Underground,” his final episode score for the original Mission: Impossible (1972)
June 28 - Malcolm Lockyer died (1976)
June 28 - Paul Dessau died (1979)
June 28 - John Scott begins recording his score for North Dallas Forty (1979)
June 29 - Joseph Carl Breil born (1870)
June 29 - Bernard Herrmann born (1911)
June 29 - Ulpio Minucci born (1917)
June 29 - Ralph Burns born (1922)
June 29 - Daniele Amfitheatrof begins recording his score for The Painted Hills (1950)
June 29 - Richard Markowitz’s score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Infernal Machine” is recorded (1966)
June 29 - Lalo Schifrin records his score for the Mission: Impossible episode “Encore” (1971)
June 29 - Mischa Spoliansky died (1985)
June 29 - Bert Shefter died (1999)
June 30 - Tony Hatch born (1939)
June 30 - Stanley Clarke born (1951)
June 30 - Paul Dunlap records his score for Lost Continent (1951)
June 30 - Hal Lindes born (1953)
June 30 - Jerry Goldsmith begins recording his score for The Boys from Brazil (1978)
June 30 - Guenther Kauer died (1983)
June 30 - Craig Safan begins recording his score for the Amazing Stories episode "The Wedding Ring" (1986)
June 30 - Basil Poledouris begins recording his score for Flight of the Intruder (1990)
June 30 - Dennis McCarthy records his score for the Star Trek: Voyager episode “The 37’s” (1995)
July 1 - Sigmund Krumgold born (1896)
July 1 - Hans Werner Henze born (1926)
July 1 - Andrae Crouch born (1942)
July 1 - Francois Dompierre born (1943)
July 1 - Alfred Newman begins recording his score for The Robe (1953)
July 1 - Roddy Bottum born (1963)
July 1 - Seamus Egan born (1969)
July 2 - Jeff Alexander born (1910)
July 2 - Fabio Frizzi born (1951)
July 2 - Nicholas Carras records his score for High School Caesar (1959)
July 2 - Miklos Rozsa begins recording his score to Plymouth Adventure (1952)
July 2 - Frederic Talgorn born (1961)
July 2 - Kristian Eidnes Andersen born (1966)
July 2 - Nathan Van Cleave died (1970)
July 2 - Richard Band begins recording his score for From Beyond (1986)
July 3 - George Bruns born (1914)
July 3 - Jean Prodromides born (1927)
July 3 - Robert O. Ragland born (1931)
July 3 - David Shire born (1937)
July 3 - Peer Raben born (1940)
July 3 - Michel Polnareff born (1944)
July 3 - The Great Escape opens in Los Angeles (1963)
July 3 - Delia Derbyshire died (2001)
July 4 - Fred Wesley born (1943)
July 4 - Larry Herbstritt born (1950)
July 4 - Nathan Furst born (1978)
July 4 - Astor Piazzolla died (1992)
July 4 - Benedetto Ghiglia died (2012)

DID THEY MENTION THE MUSIC?

THE BRINK - Ilan Isakov, Dan Teicher
 
"Klayman makes a few questionable choices to shift the mood (including creepy music cues as Trump and Breitbart drop Bannon a few weeks apart), but 'The Brink' succeeds at providing damning evidence of the pundit’s attempts to cozy up with bastions of hate speech around the world in his attempt to launch the international populist network simply dubbed 'The Movement.' And she captures the ultimate punchline to that campaign, when Bannon seethes at one of his underlings over the phone and promotes his young nephew to take charge of the project on a whim."
 
Eric Kohn, IndieWire
 
THE BURIAL OF KOJO - Blitz Bazawule
 
"Initially, Kojo, Esi and her discontented, often absent seamstress mother (Mamley Djangmah) live in a tiny village partly built on stilts and wooden platforms over a glassy, perfectly reflective lake. Kojo spends many an idle moment boating across its tranquil expanses with Esi, telling her 'stories where the beginning does not make sense until the end, and the ending is never what you expected.' Crows caw in the background and the ticking of clocks repeats as a sonic motif in the score: There are foreboding portents all around but none strikes quite such an ominous note as the careless promise Kojo makes to Esi to never leave her, ever. The film’s 80 minutes cover a deceptive amount of ground, offering evocative snapshots not only of Kojo’s tragic backstory of unrequited love and brotherly rivalry, but of the region’s institutional corruption, of the hardscrabble lives of rural Ghanaians trying to make ends meet, and of the mutual suspicion between the locals and the migrant Chinese laborers shipped in to work on nearby developments. And though the effect is loose and shifts like sand underfoot, the movie is bound together by Kwaku Obeng Boateng’s rhythmic yet freeform editing and by a tremendously varied score, provided by Bazuwale himself (he’s also a musician). The score incorporates sound effects and African instrumentation alongside more classical elements, contributing to the film’s restless, searching vibe as lost notes and partial harmonies seem to nose through the vibrant images as though hunting for their resolve."
 
Jessica Kiang, The Playlist

A DARK PLACE - John Hardy Music
 
"Fellow Irelanders Wagh and Gough are convincing as (mom aside) the only women who are more or less in Donnie’s life, while principal male supporting characters are credibly played by Griff Furst, Andrew Masset and Michael Rose, among others. Technical and design aspects are well-turned, though the film could have used something more evocative and distinctive than the rather generic thriller score credited to John Hardy Music."
 
Dennis Harvey, Variety
 
GIFTED - Rob Simonsen
 
"This is true of “Gifted” throughout. Its missteps are those you’d expect from movies of this nature: the third act is lazy, convoluted, and unfurls in ways we’ve seen before. The score by Rob Simonsen ('Miss Stevens') matches the title of the film: painfully on-the-nose and uninspired. Its style is bland at best and non-existent at worst. The shot selection is rote, lacking even a single visual flourish. Even the in-fighting between Frank and Evelyn grows tired in time."
 
Sam Fragoso, The Wrap

GIRLS OF THE SUN - Morgan Kibby
 
"You can’t fault the ambition and the feeling of 'Girls of the Sun'. This is an important, enlightening story that seeks the human reality behind dry headlines and a refreshing female perspective on war. As drama, though, it’s often clumsy and bombastic, and it’s saddled with an overbearing score. The role of Mathilde feels awkward: it’s hard to shake the feeling that she’s only there as a way-in for an international audience -- a feeling fuelled by Bercot’s performance; you never truly believe her character is a hardened, damaged war correspondent. There are powerful and enlightening scenes, and there’s a catchy energy to the battlefield action. But the immediacy and credibility of the women’s mission feels compromised by one-too-many corny moments, unconvincing dialogue and a sense of uncertainty on Husson’s part over whether she wants to take a poetic or realist approach to her tale. It’s a cracking story, shakily told."
 
Dave Calhoun, Time Out London

"While Bahar and Mathilde are both naturally guarded with each other at first, they eventually bond over the loves they’ve lost in bloodshed and the children they haven’t seen in far too long. This leads to a long flashback which eventually catches us up to how Bahar came to be where she is at the film’s start. It is relentlessly bleak -- which is unavoidable, given the subject matter -- but it’s also too often a melodramatic slog, smothered in a suffocating score."
 
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com 
 
"Husson modeled the characters on actual all-female fighting forces in Kurdistan. This bombastic bid for respectability mostly left me thinking that their courageous, inspiring inspiration deserved a better movie, one with more nuanced plotting and a less overbearing score. Failing that, couldn’t 'Girls Of The Sun' have let the pots righteously boil? Husson shows the kind of muscular action chops -- reminiscent, in moments, of competition jury member Denis Villeneuve’s work -- that could easily land her a Hollywood franchise gig."
 
A.A. Dowd, The Onion AV Club

"Farahani and Bercot are fine actresses who can’t do anything with lines or situations so lacking in nuance. Even Mattias Troelstrup’s cinematography, one of the stronger points of 'Bang Gang,' has a generic feel or worse, such as an incongruously elegant drone shot that circles round the unit as they try shooting at an ISIS escort, prettifying a deadly skirmish that’s further banalized by Morgan Kibby’s sweeping and sappy orchestrations. Sound design is one of the film’s most successful elements."
 
Jay Weissberg, Variety
 
"Written and directed by Eva Husson -- whose first, very sexy and ethereal feature 'Bang Gang (A Modern Love Story)' is a far cry from the Hollywood-style machinery of this effort -- the film works best when it shows star Golshifteh Farahani leading her all-female battalion through the heat of combat, worst when it indulges in narrative histrionics and a tear-jerking score worthy of a Walt Disney movie. Premiering in competition in Cannes, and preceded by a first ever women’s march on the red carpet, this timely yet heavy war flick should drum up interest for its femme-centric cast, crew and subject matter...That tone will come back to haunt 'Girls of the Sun' on more than one occasion, especially when composer Morgan Kibby’s thundering score chimes in to pound every single dramatic note into our heads from one scene to the next. A faux-poetic voiceover by Mathilde that opens and ends the movie -- the latter during half of the closing credits -- doesn’t help matters, either. Husson never lets us forget that this is a story of sisterhood in peril, of women bravely risking their lives -- several of Bahar’s soldiers are killed off over the course of the film -- to rid their land of an evil menace that has enslaved both them and their children. The director even wrote the lyrics to a song (composed by Kibby) that the combatants sing to psyche themselves up: 'It will be a new era/Of Women, Life, Liberty' they exclaim one day before the enemy suddenly appears at their doorstep and the fighting kicks into high gear."
 
Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter 
 
GOING IN STYLE - Rob Simonsen
 
"And as is so often the case with broad, commercial remakes, director Zach Braff amps up the energy from the very start. The comedy is bigger, the supporting players are wackier and the antics move to the bouncy beat of an incessantly perky soundtrack. And the script is more of a crowd-pleaser -- which makes sense, given that it comes from 'Hidden Figures' co-writer/director Theodore Melfi -- both in its characters’ likability and in their purpose."
 
Christy Lemire, RogerEbert.com

"Murphy puts Joe in touch with a professional thief (John Ortiz, 'Kong: Skull Island') who agrees to help these lawbreaking novices. Cue the requisite heist-planning montage of split-screens, blueprint animation, screen timers, and alibi details, scored to a thudding caper beat (from composer Rob Simonsen, 'Gifted') that becomes inescapable and telegraphs everything in the process. (Everyone, keep Steven Soderbergh from seeing this; he’ll just retire from movies all over again.)"
 
Robert Abele, The Wrap
 
"Significantly, Al, the movie’s most rounded character, isn’t saddled with paper-deep family subplots, as are his partners in crime -- story threads that are as superficial as most of the proceedings, and as obvious as Rob Simonsen’s button-pushing score."
 
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter
 
THE INVENTOR: OUT FOR BLOOD IN SILICON VALLEY - Will Bates
 
"Despite the copious use of drone shots, a hypnotic, science fiction-sounding score, and some of the best explanatory computer graphics you'll ever see, 'The Inventor' is ultimately more of an information delivery system than a fully satisfying work of cinema. The presence of one of documentary film's great innovators, Errol Morris, in the fabric of the movie itself -- as a corporate gun-for-hire, Morris did a promotional video for the company -- can't help but invite fantasies of what might've been. (The mind reels imagining an autobiographical movie about Morris, one of the great interrogators of war criminals and corrupt officials, coming to terms with his own paycheck-driven obliviousness to the incredible story sitting in front of his lens.) The movie never quite manages to crack the porcelain surface of Holmes' facade, despite the fleeting glimpses of insecurity and fear that sometimes flash through her eerily unblinking blue eyes. And at roughly two hours, it starts to grow repetitious. There are only so many ways to say, 'In the end, there was no substance, and she fooled us all.'"
 
Matt Zoller Seitz, RogerEbert.com 

NORMAN: THE MODERATE RISE AND TRAGIC FALL OF A NEW YORK FIXER - Jun Miyake

"Built out of complex performances etched with economic flair, unobtrusive camera work and the faintest tinge of comic whimsy (the film’s score, by Japanese trumpeter Jun Miyake, is marvelous), Norman is an intimate film that simply has no drawbacks. Even when it resorts to a smidge of zany telephonic montage and split-screen conversation, you smile at Cedar’s formal ambition, which pays rich dividends as he pushes his simple setup to the brink of disaster. The movie ends on a note of metaphysical wittiness (how often do you see that?) suggesting that, for all their pot-stirring, we may need our Normans more than we know. Gere, his Cheshire-cat smile only improving with age, has found his most essential role, one that pushes his smooth operator’s desperation to the limit."
 
Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York
 
"Cedar charts this rise-and-fall arc with the attention to detail of a procedural. Throughout, Norman handles a delicate balancing act between empathy and bemusement, the latter evident in Jun Miyake’s jaunty score, which lends the film a breeziness even when events turn toward the disastrous. And Cedar indulges in some visual playfulness to help lighten the tone. Most imaginative are montages of phone conversations that Norman conducts with others in which Cedar collapses the space between caller and recipient, making it seem as if Norman is in the same room as the person he’s talking to."
 
Kenji Fujishima, Slant Magazine
 
"The energetic Ashkenazi makes for a convincing prime minister, while the sizeable supporting cast is decked out by an exemplary lineup of character actors. Some clever scene juxtapositions and transitions make connections and move things along in novel ways, and Jun Miyake’s distinctive score also is a plus."
 
Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter

SKID ROW MARATHON - Kim Planert
 
"If watching -- even participating -- in the London Marathon last month didn’t provide you with enough imagery of people pounding the streets in trainers and accompanying stories of inspiration, this is the movie for you. Undeniably uplifting, even if the string-laden score strains too hard to tweak the tear ducts, this US-made documentary tracks a running group of recovering addicts and paroled convicts who train for marathons together."
 
Leslie Felperin, The Guardian 

UNFORGETTABLE - Toby Chu
 
"Di Novi ('The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants;' 'Crazy, Stupid, Love.') is more interested in the psychological than the scary, but she ratchets up the dread for effective gotcha moments, with Deschanel’s prowling camera capturing an intruder’s p.o.v. as well as a potential victim’s alarm amid the shadows. Pulse-point editing by Frédéric Thoraval and the rising churn of Toby Chu’s smartly used score intensify the jitters. Throughout the drama, but especially in the austere elegance of Tessa’s house and the vibrant sumptuousness of David and Julia’s, Nelson Coates’ character-defining production design ups the aspirational/emotional ante."
 
Sheri Linden, The Hollywood Reporter

THE NEXT TEN DAYS IN L.A.

Screenings of older films, at the following L.A. movie theaters: AMPASAmerican Cinematheque: AeroAmerican Cinematheque: EgyptianArclightArena CineloungeLACMALaemmleNew Beverly, Nuart, UCLA and Vista

June 28
BULLITT (Lalo Schifrin), PENDULUM (Walter Scharf) [New Beverly]
DAISIES (Jirí Slitr, Jirí Sust), FRUIT OF PARADISE (Zdenek Liska) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
INGLOURIOUS BASTERDS [New Beverly]
IRRECONCILABLE DIFFERENCES (Paul De Senneville, Olivier Toussaint) [Cinematheque: Aero]
MATANGI/MAYA/M.I.A. (Dhani Harrison, Paul Hicks) [LACMA]
PRINCESS MONONOKE (Joe Hisaishi) [Nuart]
THE TRIBE [Vista]

June 29
ALICE'S RESTAURANT (Arlo Guthrie) [New Beverly]
BULLITT (Lalo Schifrin), PENDULUM (Walter Scharf) [New Beverly]
DOG DAY AFTERNOON [Vista]
THE REIVERS (John Williams) [New Beverly]
STAR WARS (John Williams), ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY (Michael Giacchino) [AMPAS]
STRAY DOG (Fumio Hayasaka) [Vista]
YOUR SISTER'S SISTER (Vinny Smith), HUMPDAY (Vinny Smith), WE GO WAY BACK (Laura Veirs) [Cinematheque: Aero]

June 30
LADIES OF LEISURE, BABY FACE (Leo F. Forbstein) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
MOTHRA (Yuji Kosecki) [Vista]
OUTSIDE IN (Andrew Bird), TOUCHY FEELY (Vince Smith) [Cinematheque: Aero]
PANELSTORY (Jiri Sust), THE VERY LATE AFTERNOON OF A FAUN (Miroslav Korínek, Jirí Stivín) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE REIVERS (John Williams) [New Beverly]
THE SHINING (Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind) [Arclight Culver City
THE SHINING (Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind) [Arclight Hollywood]
THE SHINING (Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind) [Arclight Santa Monica]
THE SHINING (Wendy Carlos, Rachel Elkind) [Arclight Sherman Oaks]
THE STERILE CUCKOO (Fred Karlin), 3 IN THE ATTIC (Chad Stuart) [New Beverly]

July 1
INCEPTION (Hans Zimmer) [New Beverly]
THE STERILE CUCKOO (Fred Karlin), 3 IN THE ATTIC (Chad Stuart) [New Beverly]

July 2
THE MAD BOMBER (Michel Mention), MOVING TARGET (Ivan Vandor) [New Beverly]

July 3
THE DOORS [Laemmle Ahyra Fine Arts]
THE DOORS [Laemmle NoHo]
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (John Barry) [New Beverly]
THE HAPPENING (Frank DeVol), LAND RAIDERS (Bruno Nicolai) [New Beverly]
JAWS (John Williams) [Cinematheque: Aero]

July 4
THE GRADUATE (Dave Grusin) [Vista]
THE HAPPENING (Frank DeVol), LAND RAIDERS (Bruno Nicolai) [New Beverly]
I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER (John Debney) [Laemmle NoHo]
RED DAWN (Basil Poledouris), ROCKY IV (Vince DiCola) [New Beverly]

July 5
DJANGO UNCHAINED [New Beverly]
FANTASTIC VOYAGE (Leonard Rosenman), 100 RIFLES (Jerry Goldsmith) [New Beverly]
A FISTFUL OF DOLLARS (Ennio Morricone) [Vista]
JAWS (John Williams), HARD TICKET TO HAWAII (Gary Stockdale) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE ROOM (Mladen Milicevic) [Nuart]
1776 (Sherman Edwards, Ray Heindorf) [Cinematheque: Aero]

July 6
FANTASTIC VOYAGE (Leonard Rosenman), 100 RIFLES (Jerry Goldsmith) [New Beverly]
FOR A FEW DOLLARS MORE (Ennio Morricone) [Vista]
GETTING STRAIGHT (Ronald Stein) [New Beverly]
HARLAN COUNTY U.S.A. [Vista]
JAWS 3-D (Alan Parker), A*P*E (Bruce MacRae) [Cinematheque: Aero]
LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (Maurice Jarre) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE LOVE BUG (George Bruns) [New Beverly]

July 7
THE LOVE BUG (George Bruns) [New Beverly]
MONSTER ZERO (Akira Ifukube) [Vista]
MURDERER'S ROW (Lalo Schifrin), KITTEN WITH A WHIP [New Beverly]
RETURN OF THE LIVING DEAD (Matt Clifford), THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 (Tobe Hooper, Jerry Lambert) [Cinematheque: Egyptian]
THE SANDLOT (David Newman), A LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN (Hans Zimmer) [Cinematheque: Aero]


THINGS I'VE HEARD, READ, SEEN OR WATCHED LATELY

Heard: The Film Music of Geoffrey Burgon (Burgon), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (Giacchino), Can Heironymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (Newley), The Liquidator (Schifrin), Gangs of New York/The Journey of Natty Gann/The Scarlet Letter (Bernstein), Belle du Seigneur (Yared), Queen of Katwe (Heffes), La La Land (Hurwitz), Four Flies on Grey Velvet (Morricone)

Read: Poirot Investigates, by Agatha Christie

Seen: Lady in Cement, Pretty Poison, Anna, The Dead Don't Die, Child's Play, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Sweet Charity, Topaz

Watched: I Spy ("Little Boy Lost"), Party Down ("Jackal Onassis Backstage Party"), Penny Dreadful ("Fresh Hell"), The Kingdom ("A Foreign Body"), Rome ("Caesarion")

As part of the New Beverly's retrospective of the films of 1968 and 1969, this week I saw Bob Fosse's feature directing debut, Sweet Charity, for the first time since the early 1980s. While it's not a classic on the level of his next three films -- Cabaret, Lenny and All That Jazz -- it's a lot better than I'd remembered it being.

It starts out pretty rough -- the first musical number is an awkward mix of incessant zooming and distractingly predubbed singing (I realize that virtually every musical before the last decade or so besides At Long Last Love featured pre-recorded musical numbers, but the acoustics on Charity's opening number are especially off) -- and considering that Shirley MacLaine actually got her big break as a dancer on Broadway in Fosse's The Pajama Game, and she plays a taxi dancer in the film, it takes an inordinately long time for the filmmakers to actually show her dancing.

As you would expect, the dancing in the film overall is fantastic -- MacLaine's best friends/confindantes/co-workers/roommates are played by the legendary Chita Rivera and Paula Kelly, the latter probably more familiar to readers of this site for her roles in The Andromeda Strain and Soylent Green, and it's pure joy to watch them in action.

The aspects of the film that made it feel dated when I first saw it nearly 40 years ago now make it seem like a charming time capsule, and it doesn't hurt that the Cy Coleman/Dorothy Fields song score has two genuine classics -- "Big Spender" and "If My Friends Could See Me Now." And there was a nice casting surprise during the bittersweet ending, when two of the flower children who help Charity find a new lease on life turn out to be a very young Bud Cort and Kristoffer Tabori.

I also recently saw Chitty Chitty Bang Bang for the first time in decades, and it made me wonder if, charming as it it, the movie would be so beloved if it didn't have that clever and insanely catchy title song. I was also surprised to discover something about the film that I did not remember at all -- that the entire second half (flying car/Gert Frobe/Vulgaria/Child Catcher) is just a story Dick Van Dyke's character is telling his children during a seaside picnic.

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Today in Film Score History:
September 18
A Streetcar Named Desire is released (1951)
Alva Noto born (1969)
Arthur B. Rubinstein begins recording his score for Nick of Time (1995)
Dee Barton born (1937)
Dimitri Tiomkin begins recording his score for Wild Is the Wind (1957)
Fred Steiner records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Life on Death Row" (1986)
Henry Mancini begins recording his score to Bachelor in Paradise (1961)
Herbert Spencer died (1992)
Jack Pleis records his score for The Wild Wild West episode “The Night of the Samurai” (1967)
John Powell born (1963)
Leonard Rosenman begins recording his score for Hide in Plain Sight (1979)
Robert Drasnin records his first Mission: Impossible score, for the episode “The Slave” (1967)
The Day the Earth Stood Still opens in New York (1951)
Thomas Newman records his score for the Amazing Stories episode "Santa '85" (1985)
Vince Tempera born (1946)
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