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Bernstein Bonanza: Intrada Goes On A “Rampage,” It’s “Summer” at Kritzerland, and La-La Land is “Trading Places”

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If Elmer Bernstein had only composed the indelible theme to The Magnificent Seven, the composer would have been considered a legend.  How lucky for us, then, that Bernstein (1922-2004) wrote the scores for more than 200 films and television shows including Sweet Smell of Success, The Ten Commandments, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Airplane! and Ghostbusters, contributing memorable themes to each.  The music of Bernstein has been incredibly well-represented on compact disc this year.  Kritzerland has been leading the charge with Drango, Kings Go Forth, The Tin Star, Fear Strikes Out and Men in War all recently reissued.  Film Score Monthly delivered The Great Santini just last month.  Not to be outdone, La-La Land and Intrada both have Bernstein on tap, and Kritzerland is returning to the Elmer ouevre for its landmark 100th release!

Now available for pre-order from Intrada is the 1963 score to the Warner Bros. adventure Rampage.  Directed by Phil Karlson, Rampage starred Robert Mitchum and Jack Hawkins as two hunters enlisted to track down a rare breed of panther in the wild of Malaysia.  Elsa Martinelli and Sabu, plus a passel of rhinos and jungle cats, joined them!  Rampage offered Bernstein the opportunity to write sweeping love themes, propulsive action cues and even a title song!  This is prime Bernstein, written during the same fertile period that produced The Great Escape and To Kill a Mockingbird.  The packed compact disc offers the complete score and an array of bonus material, clocking in at 78 minutes.  Producer Lukas Kendall of Film Score Monthly has created the album from the original mint condition mono scoring session masters.  Jeff Bond supplies the new liner notes.  Rampage, an Intrada Special Collection title, is available for pre-order now!

Two years before Rampage, Bernstein scored the Paramount film adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ stage play Summer and Smoke.  Though unsuccessful in its 1948 Broadway premiere, Williams’ drama was critically reappraised when Jose Quintero revived it four years later at the Circle in the Square Theater, then at the vanguard of the young off-Broadway scene.  Geraldine Page starred in Quintero’s production, and in 1961 was tapped to recreate her stage triumph for the inevitable film version.  With Page starring opposite Laurence Harvey (The Manchurian Candidate), Peter Glenville’s film received Academy Award nominations for both Page and co-star Una Merkel as well as Best Art Direction – Best Set Direction and one for Best Original Score.  Bernstein’s memorable theme captured the essence of Williams’ haunted dramatis personae , “a swirling, sinuous, delirious melody” in the words of reissue producer Bruce Kimmel.  For its Kritzerland debut, Summer and Smoke has been expanded to over 77 minutes’ length, more than twice as long as the original RCA Victor soundtrack LP.  Kritzerland had access to two rolls of 1/2′ three-track masters that were sent by Paramount to RCA Victor at the time of the film’s release.  And for reference, Kimmel also had the complete scoring sessions archived from 35mm scoring mag on 2′ tape in the Paramount vaults.  This deluxe presentation is sequenced in film order, with a section of bonus cues including the Glorious Hill band music, a source cue and even the original album versions.  The CD premiere of the complete Summer and Smoke is a limited edition of 1,500 and is available now for pre-order at Kritzerland.  It’s scheduled to ship the second week of November, but pre-orders average an arrival of four weeks early!

Hit the jump to find yourself Trading Places!

Flash forward to 1983.  Bernstein was enlisted by director John Landis (one of his most frequent collaborators) for Trading Places, a zany comedy starring odd couple Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd as a homeless man and a commodities broker, respectively, whose paths cross as part of a complicated scheme and bet.  Bernstein’s score juxtaposed his comedic cues (in the style of his Airplane!, Animal House and Stripes) with classical compositions by none other than Mozart!  Jeff Bond once again writes the liner notes for the La-La Land release, incorporating comments from John Landis himself.  This 2,000-copy limited edition has been mastered by Mike Matessino under the supervision of executive producer Dan Goldwasser.  It features source cues and alternate cues as bonus material.  Trading Places goes on sale next Tuesday at La-La Land Records.  (The complete track listing will be announced next Tuesday!)

The track listing and pre-order links for Rampage and Summer and Smoke follow!  The latter can also be ordered in a specially-priced package with another Bernstein classic; just hit the link for the details!

Elmer Bernstein, Rampage: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (Intrada Special Collection Vol. 182, 1963/2011)

  1. Big Cat
  2. Hi Fi # 1
  3. Hi Fi # 2
  4. Hi Fi # 3
  5. Anna (Hi Fi # 4)
  6. Kuala Lumpur
  7. Dance # 1
  8. Dance # 2
  9. Dance # 3/Night Call
  10. Jungle
  11. Rampage
  12. Chep
  13. Chep Falls
  14. The Rhino
  15. Rampage – Anna
  16. Enchantress Country
  17. Otto into Cave
  18. Harry and Cat
  19. Romantic/Anna
  20. Fight
  21. Loose Cat
  22. Police Cars
  23. Cat on a Cold Tin Roof
  24. Otto’s Death/Big Cat
  25. Trailer (Long Version)
  26. Trailer (Short Version)
  27. Drums # 1
  28. Drums # 2
  29. Little Brass Band
  30. Rampage (Alternate Main Title Song Demo)

Elmer Bernstein, Summer and Smoke: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack (RCA Victor LSO-1067, 1961 – reissued and expanded Kritzerland KR-20020-2, 2011)

  1. Prologue
  2. Prelude
  3. Glorious Hill Waltz
  4. Rosa Enters
  5. John Comes Home/Changed Decision/Hat Snatcher
  6. Two Lonely Women
  7. Alma’s Dilemma
  8. A Stranger in the House
  9. John’s Patient
  10. The Cockfight
  11. Summer Thoughts
  12. The Greased  Pig
  13. Trouble with Papa/Doctor’s Dilemma/Dr. John’s Demise
  14. Alma’s Secret/Dr. John’s Triumph
  15. Johnny Is Not Welcome
  16. Alma’s Stone Angel
  17. The Tables Have Turned/Finale
  18. The Phyllis Gavotte
  19. To Be or Not
  20. Alma’s Flareup
  21. Southern Comfort Waltz
  22. John Comes Home/Changed Decision (previously unreleased album edit)
  23. Degeneration (The Greased Pig)
  24. Moon-Lake Casino (Rosa’s Dance)
  25. The Father’s Murder (Trouble with Papa/Doctor’s Dilemma/Dr. John’s Demise)
  26. The Final Irony and Finale (The Tables Have Turned/Finale)

Written by Joe Marchese

October 6, 2011 at 09:07

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