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Label:
Name: NAXOS
Number: NAX8557705

MONSTER MUSIC: SON OF FRANKENSTEIN / THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS / THE WOLFMAN (CD)
Composed by: Frank Skinner, Hans J. Salter

Moscow Symphony Orchestra
William Stromberg, conductor

Reconstructed and orchestrated by J. Morgan
FRANK SKINNER
"Son of Frankenstein" (26:25)
1. Universal Signature (J. McHugh) 0:17
2. Main Title 2:58
3. The Message 2:08
4. The General 1:06
5. Discovery - Blute Solo 4:19
6. The Examination - Looking for a Monster 8:29
7. Death of Ygor 2:20
8. Monster's Rampage 4:07
9. Finale - The Cast 0:39

HANS SALTER/FRANK SKINNER
"The Invisible Man Returns" (21:54)
10. Universal Signature (J. McHugh) 0:15
11. Main Title 2:12
12. Two Hours to Live 2:57
13. Together 4:13
14. Resting 3:27
15. The Ghost 2:08
16. The Return 3:36
17. End Title 3:03

HANS SALTER/FRANK SKINNER
"The Wolf Man" (27:20)
18. Universal Signature (J. McHugh) 0:14
19. Main Title (with C. Previn) 2:00
20. The Telescope 1:23
21. Wolf-Bane (C. Previn) 4:11
22. The Kill (H. Salter, C. Previn) 1:04
23. Bela's Funeral 6:55
24. Desperation 2:59
25. Sir John's Discovery 8:33

SON OF FRANKENSTEIN - The most elaborate - and longest - of Universal's "Frankenstein" series, "Son of Frankenstein" represents Boris Karloff's last appearance in the role of the Monster. The title character is played by Basil Rathbone, who with wife Josephine Hutchinson and son Donnie Donegan returns to the Old Country to take over his late father's estate. Rathbone receives a cool reception from the local villagers, who remember all too well the havoc wreaked by his father's monstrous creation. Though he assures his neighbors that he has no intention of following in his father's footsteps, Rathbone is hounded by suspicious town constable Lionel Atwill, whose stiff artificial arm is an unfortunate legacy of an earlier confrontation with Karloff. Also hanging around Frankenstein Castle is crazed shepherd Bela Lugosi), whose neck was broken in an unsuccessful hanging attempt. Lugosi wishes to exact revenge on the city fathers who'd tried to execute him, and to that end persuades Rathbone to revive the hideous Karloff. At first resistant, Rathbone becomes as obsessed as his father with the notion of creating artificial life. Now the fun begins, directed with Germanic intensity by Rowland V. Lee. Though Mel Brooks's "Young Frankenstein" has rendered "Son of Frankenstein" virtually impossible to take seriously, the film remains an excellent marriage of the slick, sanitized production values of the "New Universal" and the Gothic zeitgeist of the earlier "Frankenstein" epics. Best line: Lugosi, looking over the dormant body of The Monster, explains raspily that "He does...things...for me." Hans J. Salter's intense musical score for "Son of Frankenstein" would continue to resurface in Universal's Mummy B pictures of the 1940s. Watch for Ward Bond in a bit part as a police officer...and see if you can spot Dwight Frye, whose supporting part was excised from the final release print, among the villagers. 1939

THE INVISIBLE MAN RETURNS - A semi-sequel to the 1933 Universal horror masterwork "The Invisible Man," "The Invisible Man Returns" stars Vincent Price in the title role. Condemned for a murder he did not commit, Price begs doctor John Sutton to inject him with the invisibility serum invented by Claude Rains in the first film. Sutton does so, even though he warns Price that the serum will very likely drive him insane. Sir Cedric Hardwicke co-stars as the genuine murderer, a colliery owner who framed Price. Though his behavior veers dangerously close to homicidal, Price is able to mete out retribution to Hardwicke without stooping to murder. As he gradually weakens, Price is recaptured and rushed to the hospital, where his life is saved by an emergency blood transfusion. Price's face is revealed to us for the first time as he vows his undying love to leading lady Nan Grey. Taking a less playful approach to the grim goings-on than director James Whale had in "The Invisible Man," "The Invisible Man Returns" is a grim little morality play, containing vestiges of "The Count of Monte Cristo" and distinguished by an odd preoccupation with the mechanics and minutiae of death (a characteristic trait in the screenplays of Curt Siodmak). The film helped to solidify the cinematic reputation of Vincent Price, though it would be years before he'd specialize in horror on a full-time basis. 1940

THE WOLF MAN - "Even a man who is pure at heart/And says his prayers by night/May become a wolf when the wolf-bane blooms/And the moon is full and bright." Upon first hearing these words, Larry Talbot (Lon Chaney) dismisses them as childish folderol. After all, this is the 20th Century; how can a human being turn into a werewolf? Talbot soon learns how when he attempts to rescue Jenny Williams (Fay Helm) from a nocturnal attack by a wolf. Collapsing, Talbot discovers upon reviving that Jenny is dead-and, lying by her side, is not the body of a beast, but of a gypsy named Bela (Bela Lugosi). The son of fortune teller Maleva (Maria Ouspenskaya), Bela was a lycanthrope, or "wolf man." And now that he has been bitten by Bela, Talbot is cursed to suffer the torments of the damned whenever the moon is full. Arguably the best of the "original" Universal horrors (original in the sense that it was not based on an existing literary property, a la "Frankenstein," "Dracula" and "The Invisible Man"), "The Wolf Man" boasts one of the most stellar casts ever to grace a "B" picture: Lon Chaney Jr., Claude Rains, Evelyn Ankers, Ralph Bellamy, Warren William, Patric Knowles, Maria Ouspenskaya and Bela Lugosi. The man-to-wolf transformation sequences-one of which took a full 24 hours to film-are thoroughly convincing, thanks to the cosmetic genius of Jack P. Pierce (Chaney had wanted to emulate his father by developing his own werewolf makeup, but existing union rules would not permit this). 1941

  
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