The Second Disc

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Sinatra on Screen: Rare Dramatic Scores By Bernstein and Antheil Arrive From Kritzerland

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When Frank Sinatra won the Academy Award as Best Supporting Actor for 1953’s From Here to Eternity, it was the “comeback” story of the year.  As Sinatra was earning plaudits in Hollywood, he was also beginning the most significant chapter of his recording career at Capitol Records, recording his Capitol debut Songs for Young Lovers in November 1953.  After his triumph as Maggio in From Here, Sinatra’s Hollywood career was riding high, as he embarked on a number of high-profile dramatic films.  This morning, Kritzerland announced two new soundtrack LPs, both from films starring Sinatra at the peak of his cinematic powers.  The Pride and the Passion (1957) featured a score composed by George Antheil and conducted by Ernest Gold (It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World) and Kings Go Forth (1958) was an early project of Elmer Bernstein.  Both films’ original soundtrack recordings were released on Capitol, and Kritzerland’s new two-on-one CD brings them together for the first time. 

The Pride and the Passion was produced and directed by Stanley Kramer, and he enlisted his frequent musical collaborator Ernest Gold to conduct the score composed by George Antheil.  The name of Antheil may not be as familiar as that of his contemporaries, but the modernist pioneer was a favorite of renowned directors like Cecil B. DeMille and Nicholas Ray.  Antheil died in 1959, and his score to The Pride was one of his final works.  The film took place during the Napoleonic Wars, and Sinatra played Miguel, the leader of the Spanish guerrillas caught in a love triangle with British Naval Captain Anthony Trumbull, played by Cary Grant, over the affections of Juana (Sophia Loren).  Still, allies Trumbull and Miguel must work together in search of a cannon also sought by sadistic General Jouvet (Theodore Bikel).

Kings Go Forth arrived the following year from the same studio, United Artists.  Delmer Daves directed a cast including Sinatra, Natalie Wood and Tony Curtis in another war picture.  This time, the war was World War II, and once again Sinatra was one-third of a love triangle, as he and Curtis sparred over French girl Monique, played by Wood.  Kings is notable for dealing frankly with themes of racism and miscegenation.  Elmer Bernstein’s score incorporated themes of romance and action and even included some jazz-styled cues.  Though not included on the soundtrack album, Sinatra recorded Bernstein’s theme for Wood as “Monique,” with lyrics by Sammy Cahn.

The Pride and the Passion/Kings Go Forth is available now from Kritzerland for $19.98 plus shipping.  The 1,000-copy limited edition is due to arrive the last week of July, but pre-orders directly from the site usually arrive an average of four weeks early.  Hit the jump for the track listing, pre-order link and full press release with more information on the exciting reissue treatment of both scores from Kritzerland!

Kritzerland is proud to present a limited edition double-bill soundtrack: 

The Pride and the Passion, a United Artists film made in 1957 by producer and director Stanley Kramer, was a huge production with three major stars, Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, and Sophia Loren, thousands of extras, a rather large cannon, and the grandeur of VistaVision and Technicolor.  Adapted from the C.S. Forester novel, The Gun, The Pride and the Passion takes place in Spain during the Napoleonic wars.   A British captain (played by Grant) is ordered to find and bring back to the British lines a large cannon, which will then be used to attack the French garrison at Avila.  Along the way, there are trials and tribulations, romance, adventure, excitement, and a rousing climactic battle scene in which some survive and some don’t.

The film opened to mixed reviews, although most of them praised the production itself.  Variety said, “Top credit must go to the production.  The panoramic, long range views of the marching and terribly burdened army, the painful fight to keep the gun mobile through ravine and over waterway – these are major pluses.”  However, with star power like Grant, Sinatra, and Loren, the reviews didn’t matter and the film had a healthy box-office and was one of the twenty highest-grossing films of its year.

Helping the film immeasurably was the colorful and dramatic score by George Antheil. Antheil’s output was quite varied and he wrote some terrific scores for such films as The Plainsman, Knock On Any Door, We Were Strangers, The Fighting Kentuckian, Tokyo Joe, House By The River, In A Lonely Place, The Sniper, Not As A Stranger, and many others.  The Pride and the Passion is at the top of Antheil’s film work.   Symphonic, suffused with Spanish color and wonderful themes, as well as containing a couple of beautiful choral cues, the music is glorious and works wonderfully in the film.

A year later, United Artists released Kings Go Forth, which takes place in the final years of World War II in Southern France.  Adapted from the novel by Harry Joe Brown (who had two other excellent films adapted from his books – Stars In My Crown and Addie Pray, which became Paper Moon), and directed by the wonderful and very underrated Delmer Daves (Broken Arrow, 3:10 To Yuma, Cowboy, A Summer Place, and many others), the film starred Frank Sinatra, Tony Curtis and Natalie Wood.   The film features one of Sinatra’s best performance, as well as a brilliant score by Elmer Bernstein.

1958 was an incredible year for Elmer Bernstein, writing scores for such disparate films as Desire Under The Elms, Saddle The Wind, God’s Little Acre, Anna Lucasta, The Buccaneer, Some Came Running, and Kings Go Forth.  Despite the prodigious output for that year, he provided one of his best scores for Kings Go Forth.  The score then runs the Bernstein gamut – from action music, to scene-setting music, to romantic music, to a couple of jazz sequences (featuring Red Norvo, Pete Condoli, and others).  It’s Elmer Bernstein from his early period and there’s just nothing like his music from that era.

Both The Pride and the Passion and Kings Go Forth were originally issued on Capitol Records.  They were issued on CD in the United Kingdom by Cloud Nine Records (but not coupled together) – those issues have been out of print for many, many years.  For this release, we have gone back to the original first generation album masters housed in the Capitol vaults.   For those who have the LP issues you will note two changes:  On The Pride and the Passion we have omitted the track “Juana’s Flamenco” as it was not composed by Antheil and is basically lifted from the actual film track and consists of loud guitar strumming, loud singing, and loud flamenco stomping and yelling; it interrupts the flow of the score and its presentation and not in a good way.  On Kings Go Forth, side one and two of the LP both contained a track entitled “Monique’s Theme.”  One listen to each track easily confirmed that it was simply the exact same track repeated – we have removed its second use as it is redundant and exactly the same track as the earlier one.  Additionally, we have reinstated the track “Britt’s Blues,” which was left off the Cloud Nine release.   Both scores are presented in their original mono sound.

This release is limited to 1,000 copies only.  The price of the CD is $19.98, plus shipping.   Additionally, we are offering a special deal with the purchase of this release.  Go to the item page and click on the link to find out about it.

George Antheil and Elmer Bernstein, The Pride and the Passion/Kings Go Forth: Original Soundtrack Recordings (Kritzerland, 2011)

  1. Main Title
  2. The British Captain
  3. Windmill Camp at Night
  4. The Knife Fight
  5. Juana’s Theme
  6. Rescue of the Gun
  7. Juana’s Choice
  8. The Pride and the Passion– Bolero
  9. Miguel’s Theme
  10. The Procession
  11. Fulfillment and End Title
  12. Kings Go Forth
  13. The Riviera
  14. Monique’s Theme
  15. The Bunker
  16. Sam’s Theme
  17. Sam and Monique
  18. Sam’s Return
  19. Britt’s Blues
  20. Le Chat Noir
  21. Quiet Drive
  22. Britt’s Kiss
  23. Monique’s Despair
  24. Displaced
  25. Finale

Tracks 1-11 from The Pride and the Passion, Capitol LP 873, 1957
Tracks 12-25 from Kings Go Forth, Capitol LP 1063, 1958

Written by Joe Marchese

June 20, 2011 at 10:32

One Response

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  1. A nice one for Sinatra collectors. Thanks for the alert and information.

    I have friends who collect anything where Sinatra’s name was printed, even if it was Ray Sinatra, the conductor!

    There oughta be a law where no one will ever be allowed to have the name Sinatra or Presley again, so as not to confuse collectors. Fortunately these are uncommon names.

    The law should also require Elvis Costello to go back to his real name. Other Frank’s will still be permitted.

    Kevin

    June 20, 2011 at 11:04


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