NEWS - 22nd TO 28th DECEMBER 2003
new releases from the Film Score Monthly label come highly recommended.
The first, On Dangerous Ground, is part of their Golden Age
Classics range, and is a bona fide classic. The score, by Bernard
Herrmann, represents the composer's only work in the film noir genre. The
score was composed during the end of a particularly tempestuous period of
the composer's life, during which his marriage had crumbled, and a
once-flourishing career away from film music had begun to peter out. FSM's
CD presents Herrmann's score for the 1951 RKO film from the only surviving
master recordings: acetates made by and for the composer. As such the
audio quality is less than pristine, but the brilliance of the music
shines through. Also of note is the disc's twenty-page booklet, which
recounts the story behind the scenes of the film in compelling detail, and
provides a detailed track-by-track breakdown of the music. The disc
contains all the material that could be rescued, including an alternate
take of the Prelude, and an interesting two-minute section of outtakes, in
which you can hear Herrmann berating his orchestra in typical style.
Score Monthly's second release this month, Elmer Bernstein's score for
John Wayne's 1974 contemporary cop thriller McQ, is a marked
contrast to On Dangerous Ground. Bernstein had scored many of the
classic 60s and 70s John Wayne films (True Grit, Big Jake, Cahill
- US Marshal and The Commancheros, for example), but McQ required
something radically different, something akin to the funky vibes that Lalo
Schifrin had written for Don Seigal's Dirty Harry. Bernstein's
grand orchestral score is a shade darker than is usual for the genre,
punctuated with bold, brutal big-band-style brass. FSM's CD presents the
film's entire score, taken from the original three-track half-inch master
tapes. The audio quality is excellent, and will certainly thrill fans of
the genre. As usual the disc comes supported by fulsome liner notes, and a
detailed track-by-track breakdown.
discs are limited editions of 3000 copies. The
discs can be obtained from specialist retailers, or directly from FSM's
I'm in the mood to plug stuff, I'm sure many Zeta Minor visitors will
enjoy the latest book from Headpress, Creeping Flesh - The Horror
Fantasy Film Book - Volume 1, edited by David Kerekes.
book contains a series of essays, featuring a wide range of subjects,
encompassing things as diverse as Paul Morrissey's dire adaptation of The
Hound of the Baskervilles, to an interview with Ray Brady, the
director of BBFC bête
noire Boy Meets Girl. It's a wonderfully eclectic
collection, but what sets it apart from similar tomes is the amount of
space devoted to British TV horror (more than a third of its 160 pages).
Several BBC productions are featured, including of the A Ghost Story
For Christmas series (including The
Signalman and A
Warning To The Curious), The Stone Tape, Ghostwatch
and Whistle and I'll Come To You.
It also features the Hammer
House of Horror series and Steve Coogan's patchy Dr Terrible's
House of Horrible. The essays are always interesting, and several will
spur you to watch an old favourite again, or seek out something you've not
seen. The book also includes a fascinating pair of articles related to The
Wicker Man: one exploring a 1967 novel that may have inspired the
film, and another about Robin Hardy's follow-up movie The Fantasist.
The only downside to the book is the mediocre quality of the paper it's
printed on, and the subsequently poor reproduction of the pictures. This
is a minor grouch, though, since many of the photo's are simply
screen-grabs (some even feature on-screen graphics!)
details are available from the
Merry Christmas to you all!
has updated and overhauled the Forthcoming
and Offers pages, and has submitted
the following summary...
the first update to the Incoming list there’s a bumper crop of
titles added, so I’ll just cover the highlights.
up are new titles from Network, Special Branch – Series 1, The
Sweeney – Series 2, Soldier Soldier – Series 1 and Peak
Practice – Series 2 all scheduled for 19th January, but I expect
this will be a provisional date for these titles. Choices Direct has also
confirmed that the Public Eye release with
be the fourth series, originally broadcast in 1969, as previously
have some interesting exclusive releases lined up, Funeral in Berlin
(one of Michael Caine's Harry Palmer films) for 5th January and the Alan
Pakula directed conspiracy thriller The Parallax View for 2nd
February. The Margaret Rutherford Miss Marple Collection Box Set
(see the News entry for the 24th
of November) has been withdrawn from other retailers as it has now
become an HMV exclusive, but its RRP and release date remain the same. It
may have a wider release at a later date.
Century Fox have the Angel - Series 4 Box Set and The X-Files
Series 8 Box Set listed for the 1st March, M*A*S*H Series 3 and
NYPD Blue Series 3 for 15th March, and Alien, Aliens, Alien
3 and Alien: Resurrection as individual releases in there
extended and theatrical versions also listed for 15th March. It is
expected that these will contain the same extras that accompanied each
film in the recent Quadrilogy Box Set. (The bonus materials on the
ninth disc in the set will remain exclusive to the Box Set).
a follow-up to the report by Julian last week, the Universal Playback
releases of A Touch Of Frost Series 1 and Series 2 have been
added for 19th January, with Series 3 and Series 4 being listed for 16th Februrary, Series 5
for 1st March and a Complete Series 1–5 Box Set for 15th March.
The first series is currently available exclusively from Choices Direct.
Also from Universal Playback is Hi De Hi: Series 3 & 4 listed
for 8th February.
Suspect 6 – Last Witness
is being listed for 16th February, Poirot – Five Little Pigs and Poirot
– The Hollow for 23rd February, all from VCI’s Cinema Club label.
Toni – Series 1,
the recent BBC 3 spin-off from The Fast Show, is being listed for
3rd April from BBC Worldwide. Wild West – Series 1, also from BBC
Worldwide, looks like it has again been put back, as some of the retailers
are showing a new date of 15th March.
Jim Henson TV series are also being listed. Jim Henson’s The
Storyteller, the 1987 series with John Hurt as the Storyteller, for
22nd March. Columbia Tristar have moved the release date for a Fraggle
Rock DVD several times. Amazon and Blackstar are currently listing it
for release in January, but it's more likely to appear on the 26th of
as a final round-up: Starsky and Hutch - The Complete First Season
is listed for 8th February from Columbia Tristar; the 1972 Lindsay
Anderson directed TV play, Home, starring Sir John Gielgud, Sir
Ralph Richardson, Dandy Nichols and Warren Clarke for 23rd February; and Black
Books – Complete Series 2 for 15th March from Channel 4 Video.
added to the Incoming page is an In
the Pipeline section, covering titles which have been rumoured to be
in preparation for release, but which haven’t been announced or listed
Offers page has been updated as
well to include sales by the supermarket chain Tesco and WH Smith, and two
releases with good pre-order prices, E.R. - Complete Series 1 for
£29.99 (£15.00 off RRP) and Jonathan Creek - Series 1 & 2 Box Set
also for £29.99 (£10.00 off RRP), both at HMV.
fans of National Lampoon's Animal House can sneak a peek at the
Collector's Edition menus here.
If you missed the announcement of its release, check out last
week's News page.
Previous News entries can
by following this link.