Scores reconstructions by John Morgan and William Stromberg. Moscow Symphony Orchestra and Chorus conducted by William Stromberg.
1. All About Eve - Suite (4:39)
BEAU GESTE (Reconstructed by William Stromberg)
2. Prelude (1:52)
3. The Early Years (3:31)
4. Chasing a Mouse (1:37)
5. Blue Water Sapphire - Farewell (3:55)
6. March Out (0:53)
7. Battle (3:16)
8. A Viking's Funeral (3:45)
9. Final - End Cast (1:20)
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME (Reconstructed by John Morgan)
10. Main Title and Forward (1:47)
11. The Gypsies (1:13)
12. The Festival (1:05)
13. In The King's Box (1:19)
14. The Dance of Death (0:52)
15. Garbage at Gringoire (0:40)
16. Esmeralda's Dance (2:30)
17. Thank You Mother of God (4:57)
18. Whipping (2:38)
19. Esmeralda Walks up Steps (4:10)
20. A Woman Has Bewitched Me (3:28)
21. Hallelujah (0:58)
22. Esmeralda in Bell Tower (2:43)
23. Clopin Calls Charge (4:03)
24. Victory at Notre Dame (3:07)
25. Clopin on Ground - Hallelujah Reprise (2:29)
26. End Cast (0:47)
BEAU GESTE - This second of three movie versions of P.C. Wren's adventure novel Beau Geste is a virtual scene-for-scene remake of the 1927 silent version. We open on the now-famous scenes of a remote, burning desert fort, manned by the dead Foreign Legionnaires, then flash back to the early lives of the Geste brothers. As children, the Gestes swear eternal loyalty to one another and to their family. One of the boys, young Beau (played as a youth by Donald O'Connor), witnesses his beloved aunt (Heather Thatcher) apparently stealing a valuable family jewel in order to finance the Geste home; Beau chooses to remain silent rather than disgrace his aunt. Years later, the grown Beau (Gary Cooper) again protects his aunt by confessing to the theft and running off to join the Foreign Legion. He is joined in uniform by faithful brothers John (Ray Milland) and Digby (Robert Preston), who in turn are pursued by a slimy thief (J. Carroll Naish). The crook is in cahoots with sadistic Legion Sgt. Markov (Brian Donlevy, in one of the most hateful portrayals ever captured on celluloid), who is later put in charge of Fort Zinderneuf, where Beau and John are stationed. When the Arabs attack, Markov proves himself a valiant soldier; it is he who hits upon the idea of convincing the Arabs that the fort is still fully manned by propping up the corpses of the casualties at the guard posts. Beau is seriously wounded, and while the greedy Markov searches for the jewel supposedly hidden on Beau's person, he is held at bay by loyal John. The suddenly enervated Beau kills Markov, then dies himself--but not before entrusting two notes to John, one of which requests that John give Beau the "Viking funeral" he'd always wanted (this is why the fort is in flames at the beginning of the film). After the battle, Digby Geste, a bugler with the relief troops, comes upon Beau's dead body, and appropriates the notes. As it turns out, John Geste is the only one who survives to return to England. He gives his aunt Beau's letter, which explains why Beau had confessed and run off--"a 'beau geste', indeed" comments his tearful aunt. No one missed nominal leading lady Susan Hayward in this essentially all-male entertainment. For years available only in muddily processed or truncated versions, Beau Geste was restored to its pristine glory by the American Film Institute in the late 1980s. 1939.
THE HUNCHBACK OF NOTRE DAME - Few will argue with the contention that RKO Radio's 1939 adaptation of Victor Hugo's The Hunchback of Notre Dame was the best of the many screen versions of the Hugo classic. We say this even allowing for certain liberties taken with the source material-liberties calculated by scenarists Sonya Levien and Bruno Frank to draw parallels between 15th century Paris and 20th century Europe. Thus, Claude Frollo (Cedric Hardwicke), the villain of the piece, is no longer merely a religious hypocrite unable to control his own carnal desires. Instead, Frollo is a bush-league Hitler, warning that the invention of the printing press is dangerous in that it will encourage the rabble to think for themselves, and plotting the persecution and destruction of the "undesirable" gypsies. In the same vein, Gringoire the Poet (Edmond O'Brien in his film debut) has been transformed into an agit-prop "Group Theatre" activist, bent on bringing the unvarnished truth to the ignorant Parisians. Many of Hugo's subplots have been dispensed with, the better to concentrate on the grotesquely deformed Quasimodo (Charles Laughton), bell-ringer of Notre Dame Cathedral, and his puppylike loyalty towards imperiled gypsy dancer Esmerelda (Maureen O'Hara, in her first American film appearance). The schism between the haves and have-nots in the walled city of Paris is illustrated in broad, visually dynamic strokes by director William Dieterle. 1939.
Alfred Newman was born into a poor Connecticut family in March 1901, one of ten children. Yet he received good musical education and one of his most notable mentors was Arnold Schoenberg. While in his teens, he showed promising sign obn the piano, in composition and conducting. At the age of 19, George White Scandals, musical director of the Broadway Hit, appointed him as the youngest conductor to appear on Broadway. In 1930 he moved to Hollywood with the idea of being a writer and conductor of musicals. It was an over-subscribed profession, but he found a market for his work in various film studios. In 1939 he was appointed head of music for 20th Century Fox, though at that time he would still have stated a reluctance to commit his life to films. He was also involved with conducting the recently formed Hollywood Bowl orchestra, though he disliked appearing in the public gaze.
He remained with 20th Century Fox until 1960, during which time he worked on 225 films, winning nine Academy Awards, and receiving 45 nominations. He never retired, completing his score for the film Airport only weeks before his death in 1970. He was a perfectionist, and was to have one of the most significant influences on film music in the second half of the century.