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Archive for the ‘Hugo Friedhofer’ Category

The Return of “One-Eyed Jacks”: Sold-Out Soundtrack Receives New Encore Edition

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One-Eyed Jacks KLWhen we first reported on Kritzerland’s reissue of the soundtrack to 1961’s One-Eyed Jacks on Wednesday, August 25, 2010, the limited edition release had already sold out.  In fact, all 1,200 copies had sold out in a matter of hours.  But the label is bringing this in-demand title back as a new Encore Edition.  Strictly limited to 1,000 units, the Encore Edition re-presents the contents of the deluxe restoration of Hugo Friedhofer’s score. The new edition is scheduled to ship by the first week of May, but pre-orders placed directly through Kritzerland usually ship one to five weeks earlier.  For those who missed out the first time, here’s the scoop on this unusual western cult classic.

The first and only film directed by Marlon Brando, the 1961 western One-Eyed Jacks isn’t as well-remembered as many of the screen legend’s other accomplishments. But with a cast including Brando as bank robber Rio (inspired by Billy the Kid), Karl Malden as his former partner-turned-sheriff Doc Longworth and Ben Johnson as new cohort Bob Emory, and a revolving door of screenwriters including Sam Peckinpah and Calder Willingham, One-Eyed Jacks had much to distinguish it. It was the final film shot in Paramount’s magnificent VistaVision process, and Charles Lang was the cinematographer, and was duly rewarded with an Academy Award nomination for his work. Also among those notable qualities was its score by Hugo Friedhofer, nine-time Academy Award nominee and winner of the 1947 trophy for his score to the William Wyler-directed The Best Years of Our Lives.  Friedhofer brought to his score a mastery of many genres honed by his years as an orchestrator for the likes of Max Steiner and Erich Wolfgang Korngold, and his own diverse array of scores including The Young Lions starring Brando, Hondo and The Bishop’s Wife. Kritzerland’s 2-CD release preserves both the complete film recordings and the original Liberty Records LP presentation of Friedhofer’s score.

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Written by Joe Marchese

March 24, 2014 at 13:43

Falling In Love Again: Kritzerland Revisits “The Blue Angel,” “Ranchipur” and “The Seven Cities of Gold”

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Though Hugo Friedhofer’s name isn’t among the most recognizable in the pantheon of film composers, Kritzerland is determined to change all that!  The 1947 Academy Award winner for The Best Years of Our Lives has been fêted by the label over the past couple of years with impressive restorations and reissues of his scores to One-Eyed Jacks, The Adventures of Casanova, The Barbarian and the Geisha and Violent Saturday, while Intrada has also gotten into the act with Two Flags West.  The versatile Golden Age composer is saluted today with a 2-CD set of 3 scores for the price of 1 CD!  (Got that?  Good.)  These scores from the 20th Century Fox vaults and show off Friedhofer’s impressive range: 1955’s The Rains of Ranchipur and Seven Cities of Gold, plus 1959’s remake of The Blue Angel.

The Rains of Ranchipur had previously been released in truncated form: about thirteen minutes of stereo cues.  Since that initial release, other sources have been revealed, making it possible to present virtually the entire score.  Though the “new” material is in mono, all that’s now missing is roughly seven minutes of cues that are thematically covered in other cues.  This restored presentation makes Disc One of this 2-CD set.  Seven Cities of Gold has been paired with The Blue Angel on the second disc.  Seven Cities had also been previously released, by Varese Sarabande, but our friend Mike Matessino has completely remixed the score for Kritzerland’s presentation, and has also uncovered two previously unreleased cues.  Friedhofer’s The Blue Angel, rounding out the package, has never before been released outside of the film itself, and all eighteen minutes of his score appear in full, including the interpolation of “Falling in Love Again” from the original 1930 Marlene Dietrich/Josef von Sternberg film.

Kritzerland’s limited edition of 1,000 copies is available now, along with the label’s world premiere soundtrack of the 2012 musical science-fiction homage The Ghastly Love of Johnny X, starring Creed Bratton (The Grass Roots, The Office), Kevin McCarthy (the original Invasion of the Body Snatchers) and Paul Williams (who needs no introduction around these parts).  Both CDs are due to ship by the third week of November, though pre-orders from the label frequently arrive an average of four weeks early.  Hit the jump to read the complete press release for the Friedhofer trio!  You’ll also find the track listing and a pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

October 8, 2012 at 12:00

The People Tree: Anthony Newley, Leslie Bricusse and Hugo Friedhofer Classics Reissued by Kritzerland

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Barbarians, Man, God, The Devil… Kritzerland’s latest two reissues sure aren’t shying away from big subjects!  The label began accepting pre-orders today for one never-before-on-CD cast recording and one first-time soundtrack pairing.  Both titles are sure to send your temperatures rising!  Two Golden Age film scores from Hugo Friedhofer, a Kritzerland favorite, are brought together for the first time on one CD with The Barbarian and the Geisha/Violent Saturday, while the legendary team of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse (Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory) were the men behind 1972’s London musical The Good Old Bad Old Days.

The partnership of Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse dated back to 1961 and the premiere of Stop the World, I Want to Get Off, co-written by the pair, directed by and starring Newley.  Yielding the instant standard “What Kind of Fool Am I?,” Stop the World completed Newley’s transformation into an international star of stage, screen and the concert stage.  Newley and Bricusse followed Stop the World with The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd, another allegorical musical with a fantastic score, this time introducing “Who Can I Turn To?” and “Feeling Good” to the standard repertoire.  Newley and Bricusse also found time to co-write “Goldfinger” with John Barry and work individually, although when Bricusse alone wrote the score to 20th Century Fox’s Doctor Dolittle, Newley was on hand as an actor in the film!  Following their Academy Award-nominated work on Willy Wonka, Newley and Bricusse returned to the stage with The Good Old Bad Old Days.

Bricusse described it as “a modest little saga about Man, Life, Death, God and The Devil, with the history of the world thrown in.”  It tells of Bubba (Newley), who tries to persuade God not to destroy the world, and makes the case for humanity by presenting a pageant of mankind through the ages (including scenes of The Mayflower, The French Revolution, The American Civil War, etc.).  When New York producer James Nederlander declined to continue with the musical, it looked like it might never get off the ground, but reigning West End impresario Bernard Delfont stepped in and booked the production for a tour followed by a London opening in December 1972.  Though it only ran for 309 performances at Delfont’s Prince of Wales Theatre, it left behind a memorable and enjoyable score highlighted by “The People Tree,” also recorded by Sammy Davis Jr. on the heels of his success with “The Candy Man” from Willy Wonka!  (Davis covered a number of songs from the score, including “I Do Not Love You,” “Tomorrow” and “It’s a Musical World. “)

After the jump: more on The Good Old Bad Old Days, plus a Hugo Friedhofer double feature!  We’ve got track listings, pre-order links and discography! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

March 19, 2012 at 13:48

En Garde! Hugo Friedhofer’s “Casanova” Rediscovered

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Composer Hugo Friedhofer picked up the 1947 Academy Award for his score to the William Wyler-directed The Best Years of Our Lives.  All told, Friedhofer would rack up nine nominations for the coveted gold statuette.  But despite this success, he didn’t work strictly within the major studio confines.  The 1948 Eagle-Lion film Adventures of Casanova is a B-movie take on the legendary ladies’ man, but it boasts an A-movie score by Friedhofer.  Following Intrada’s release of the composer’s score to 1950’s Two Flags West and its own impressive, quickly sold-out expansion of One-Eyed Jacks (1961), Kritzerland is unveiling the world premiere of Friedhofer’s soundtrack to Adventures of Casanova.

For the swashbuckling epic, Friedhofer drew on the widescreen canvas he’d acquired orchestrating for the legendary likes of Erich Wolfgang Korngold, no stranger to the genre thanks to his 1938 Adventures of Robin Hood starring Errol Flynn.  In place of Flynn, Casanova offers Arturo de Cordova in the title role; he’s aided by Turhan Bey, John Sutton, Noreen Nash and Lucille Bremer.  The producer of the limited edtion release, Bruce Kimmel, notes that the music of Casanova is “very much in the Korngold mold, but unmistakably Friedhofer…in the classic adventure tradition, with sweeping themes for fighting and romancing, intrigue, and villains and heroes.”

Adventures of Casanova has never been released on DVD, and its soundtrack has never before appeared in commercially available form.  The Kritzerland release has been derived from Friedhofer’s own collection of acetates, which have been remastered by James Nelson.  The tracks are presented in film sequence.  The 1,000-copy limited edition is available now for $19.98 plus shipping at Kritzerland’s own site.  The album will ship by the second week of September, but pre-orders usually arrive an average of four weeks early.  Hit the jump for the complete press release, track listing and pre-order link! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

August 1, 2011 at 09:23