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“Preminger At Fox” Salutes Director’s Hollywood Film Noir Music

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Preminger at FoxDuring Otto Preminger’s long and distinguished career, the director tackled virtually every genre of film: drama, thriller, musical, even absurdist comedy.  For the musicals, Preminger had scores by George and Ira Gershwin and DuBose Heyward (Porgy and Bess) and Oscar Hammerstein II and 19th century composer Georges Bizet (Carmen Jones).  His non-musical films also featured scores by illustrious talents, including David Raksin, Elmer Bernstein, Duke Ellington, and even Harry Nilsson!  A number of Preminger’s films for 20th Century Fox have been issued on DVD under the Fox Film Noir umbrella, including the all-time classic Laura (1944).  The score to Laura has already been released by the Kritzerland label on CD, and now Kritzerland is revisiting that classic along with four more titles in the Fox Film Noir series for a special 2-CDs-for-the-price-of-1 release containing music from five motion pictures.

Preminger at Fox features Raksin’s music for Fallen Angel (1945), Daisy Kenyon (1947), Whirlpool (1949) and a suite from Laura, plus Cyril J. Mockridge’s score for Where the Sidewalk Ends (1950) which includes thematic material from the great Alfred Newman.  This limited edition of 1,000 units is one-stop shopping for some of the most dramatic music associated with Preminger’s impressive, 35-film career.  It’s due in the second week of September, but pre-orders placed at Kritzerland usually arrive an average of four weeks early.  Hit the jump for all of the details on Preminger at Fox, plus pre-order link and complete track listing!

Courtesy of Kritzerland, the label describes the five films as follows:

Fallen Angel has all the classic noir ingredients – a down-at-the-heels drifter, a sultry siren that men will do anything for, an innocent nice girl, a tough cop, and various other archetypes. As he had with Laura, composer David Raksin provided another classic noir tune, this one called “Slowly,” which plays as source music throughout the film (and is sung by both Alice Faye and Dick Haymes). Additionally, Raksin provides his usual expert background score, beginning with a nervous, bustling, and exciting main title and continuing through a series of wonderful cues. There’s nothing quite like Raksin in noir mode and Fallen Angel is a Raksin classic.

Where the Sidewalk Ends reunited the stars of Preminger’s Laura – Dana Andrews and Gene Tierney. The composer for Where the Sidewalk Ends wasn’t Preminger regular David Raksin, but a Fox staff composer named Cyril J.Mockridge, with whom Preminger had worked before. Mockridge based his score around Alfred Newman’s classic “Street Scene” music – a piece that was used regularly in films of all types at Fox during that era. But what Mockridge does with it is great, and his own original music, of which there is plenty, suits the film perfectly.

No Preminger at Fox collection would be complete without the film that started it all – Laura, Preminger’s 1944 classic. For this CD, we include “The Laura Suite – Theme and Variations.” [This is a special treat for those who missed out on Kritzerland’s premiere of the complete Laura earlier this year.  For that sold-out release, Raksin’s suite was included as a bonus track.]

Daisy Kenyon (1947) is a drama with a romantic triangle at its center, involving Joan Crawford, Dana Andrews, and Henry Fonda. It’s a terrific drama, filled with Preminger’s directorial touches that elevate it from being just another potboiler. Once again, the composer is David Raksin. Although the film has almost no music, the little that’s there is wonderful.

Whirlpool (1949) has a cast that includes Gene Tierney, Richard Conte, Jose Ferrer, and Charles Bickford. Once again a Preminger film features a classic David Raksin score, this one filled to the brim with one great cue after another beginning with its dramatic and then beguiling main theme. For this film, Raksin is at his most atmospheric and it’s one of his best scores and the longest score in this set.

Preminger at Fox – celebrating both the iconic director and the Golden Age of Hollywood movie music – is available for pre-order at the link below!

David Raksin and Cyril J. Mockridge, Preminger at Fox (Kritzerland, 2013)

2 CDs contain the following tracks:

Fallen Angel (Composed and conducted by David Raksin)

  1. Cross Country Bus (Main Title)
  2. Eric
  3. Slowly (Sung by Alice Faye)
  4. The Andrews Blues
  5. The Séance
  6. Slowly (Instrumental)
  7. June
  8. Slowly (Instrumental #2)
  9. Eric, Stella and June
  10. Fallen Angel
  11. Slowly (Sung by Dick Haymes) and Finale

Where the Sidewalk Ends (Composed by Cyril J. Mockridge, conducted by Alfred Newman)

  1. Street Scene – Whistling and Fanfare
  2. Slums/Dixon Picks Up the Phone
  3. Dixon Stiffens
  4. Dixon Starts to Walk
  5. Dixon Starts to Drive On
  6. Morgan’s Father Closes Door/You Look Beat, Mark
  7. Martha Exits
  8. Your Dad Never Killed Him/He Won’t Be Tried
  9. Dixon Hangs Up Phone
  10. Finale
  11. Cry Baby (Alfred Newman)

Score contains interpolations of “Street Scene” by Alfred Newman

Laura (Composed and conducted by David Raksin)

  1. The Laura Suite – Theme and Variations

Daisy Kenyon (Composed and conducted by David Raksin)

  1. Daisy Kenyon
  2. Love on the Cape

Whirlpool (Composed and conducted by David Raksin)

  1. Main Title
  2. Ann Glances Off
  3. Car Drives In
  4. Hotel Café
  5. Slowly (Tina’s Party)
  6. Ann
  7. Korvo
  8. Dr. Sutton Seated on Bed
  9. Lush Fox Trot
  10. Ann Stops Writing
  11. Ann Pulls Emergency Brake
  12. Lieutenant in Ann’s Room
  13. It’s the Way I Am
  14. Korvo As Nurse Exits
  15. Car Lights Flash in Window
  16. End Title
  17. Trailer

Written by Joe Marchese

July 30, 2013 at 10:08

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