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Editor's Choice

Best of the Month for March 2008

 

SOME CAME RUNNING (1958)

Music composed and conducted
by Elmer Bernstein

43 Tracks (Total Time = 78:48)

Tracks 1-30: Original soundtrack = 52:40
Tracks 31-43: Bonus tracks = 26:01

 

 

 

 

Album Produced by Lukas Kendall. Production Executive for Turner Entertainment Co: George Feltenstein. Music Score Remix by Michael McDonald. Digital Mastering: Doug Schwartz. Elmer Bernstein's personal tapes transferred by John Davis. Acetates transferred by Jerry Burling.

Orchestrations by Leo Shuken and Jack Hayes. CD Art Direction by Joe Sikoryak. CD notes by Lukas Kendall. Score recorded on 19, 26 November and 1 December 1958.

Film Score Monthly FSM Vol. 10, No. 1 (Limited Pressing of 3,000 Copies)

Rating: ****

 

SOME CAME RUNNING was one of Elmer Bernstein's best scores of the 1950s. It combines his uncanny ability to write cool style jazz with Americana touches and several beautiful slow themes, including the memorable song "To Love and Be Loved."

The first track ("Prelude" - 1:47) sets the tone with a wildly jagged melodic theme and the piano used prominently making a powerful statement underscoring the uncertainty of Dave Hirsch (Frank Sinatra) as he arrives in his Parkman, Indiana hometown on a bus. His conflict between high and low culture environments is accentuated in "Dave's Double Life" (track 3, 2:08), with blues woodwinds and piano combo offset by the more cultivated strings of the orchestra. His low life environment is continued in the next track at the local bar, "Smitty's Cocktail Hour" (track 4, 0:40). Following that is a fine Americana theme, "The View From Parkman" (track 5, 1:53).

Following those early themes are a series of cues for the nightclub setting, and several statements of the theme for Gwen French (Martha Hyer) and Ginny Moorhead (Shirley MacLaine).

The beautiful theme for the song, "To Love and Be Loved," is first heard on track 16 ("Tryst" - 1:50) and the complete song is heard in the nightclub scene sung by a trio (bonus track 43, 2:58). This lovely song (music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn) was later beautifully recorded by Frank Sinatra but strangely he did not sing it on the film's soundtrack. In fact there is no singing by Sinatra or Dean Martin, who plays a typically easygoing character named Bama Dillert. But this is mostly Dave's story and his love for two women --
the high class Gwen and low class Ginny.

One of the most effective cues is the one for "Ginny" (track 22), which switches abruptly from the raw blues"Dave's Double Life" theme to a much more emotional and sensitive theme in the strings, which was also used at the very end of the film ("Shock," track 29, 2:00). This demonstrates Bernstein at his best -- a master at mixing effective musical mood settings.

The masterful cues for "Pursuit" (tracks 26-27) and "Denouement" (track 28) bring this soundtrack to a riveting conclusion,
brimming with musical expressions of red-hot tensions in the film.

There are also thirteen bonus tracks included on this CD, including a few vintage songs used in the nightclub scenes ( tracks 32-34), one of them is "After Your Gone" with hilariously awful singing by Shirley MacLaine. The awkward harmonizing by the singers with the jazz combo aren't so good either but the arrangements are nicely done. There are also four tracks for the circus calliope (tracks 35-38), and other delightful circus cues that were mostly not used in the film.

Lukas Kendall's excellent CD notes mentions that not all the tracks could be issued in full stereo. He explains that "in the way the recordings were stored in 1958 -- the center channel (from the three-track 35 mm magnetic film) is blank on most of the cues for the first half of the movie, omitting crucial parts of the instrumentation. Fortunately Elmer Bernstein kept 1/4" monaural tapes of almost the entire score, and these dub downs have been carefully mixed with the surviving left and right channels to reconstitute a stereo image of the affected cues."

This is the 50th anniversary of the film's release and it will be released on DVD (see below). The SOME CAME RUNNING CD is an ideal companion to this great, underrated film

Once again FSM demonstrates why they are the most prolific and reliable of vintage record labels when it comes to releasing all the original music that is available.

Their preservation work is of the highest standards.

Bravo to all involved in this SOME CAME RUNNING CD -- the 149th FSM release!

For the second month in a row, I am pleased to select a FSM CD as my choice for Best of Month.

 

-- Roger Hall, 17 March 2008

For more information and full track titles, go to:

www.screen archives.com

 

 

Some Came Running

 

A new DVD of this film will be released in May 2008:

SOME CAME RUNNING

 

 

 

 

 

 


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