FSM Board: NEW INTRADA: Five Graves to Cairo (2024)

FSM Board: NEW INTRADA: Five Graves to Cairo (1)
FSM Board: NEW INTRADA: Five Graves to Cairo (2)
FSM Board: NEW INTRADA: Five Graves to Cairo (3)Posted:May 30, 2016-6:28 PM
By: TacktheCobbler(Member)

INTRADA Announces:

Composed by MIKLóS RóZSA
INTRADA Special Collection Vol. 355

The final installment in Intrada's series focusing on the Paramount scores of Miklós Rózsa features five scores from an incredibly busy period for Rozsa — all five scores represented in this collection were written (or at least recorded) during 1943.

In Five Graves to Cairo Corporal J.J. Bramble (Franchot Tone), the last surviving member of a British tank squad, barely survives a desert trek to arrive at a run-down hotel recently abandoned by retreating British troops. When Rommel (Erich von Stroheim) and his troops arrive, Bramble assumes the identity of the hotel’s waiter, Davos, who actually lies dead in the basem*nt from a recent air attack. He soon learns that Davos had, in fact, been a German spy and uses this as an opportunity to gather vital counterintelligence. Rózsa’s score is one of his strongest from this period—dark, gritty and laden with somber dissonance. Throughout the film he demonstrates his peerless ability to sustain tension through subtle musical means: unresolved harmonies; nervous, rhythmic ostinatos; repetitive melodic figures that seek resolution without finding it; rhythmic and melodic distortion of familiar motives.

So Proudly We Hail! was a war film of a very different sort. It stars Claudette Colbert as the head of a group of Army nurses who undergo extreme duress on the Bataan Peninsula and Corregidor during the nadir of the Pacific campaign. The “Prelude” opens with the eponymous phrase from “The Star Spangled Banner,” which Rózsa subjects to vigorous contrapuntal development before seguing to the film’s love theme, and finally into a martial passage accompanying the opening text scroll, setting the tone and direction for the rest of the score.

The Hour Before the Dawn offered another perspective on the still-ongoing war from the British point of view. Here Franchot Tone plays Jim Hetherton, a conscientious objector who marries a German refugee, Dora Bruckmann (Veronica Lake), without realizing she is a secret Nazi agent. The “Prelude” mines a more open, expansive vein than the terse phrases of Five Graves’ main title.

In The Man in Half Moon Street, Nils Asther stars as a doctor who has been harvesting organs from young medical students to preserve his youth for the last 50 years. Very little of Rózsa’s score has survived, but one brief cue (“The Diary”) that was not part of Intrada’s 2014 re-recording of highlights (MAF 7132) survives. From the portentous opening— which segues to a typically ardent love theme—to the turbulent “Finale,” the score bears all the hallmarks of Rózsa’s emerging ’40s style.

In his entire career, Rózsa scored only two films that might be called “westerns.” The earliest was The Woman of the Town, a 1943 picture about a saloon singer (Claire Trevor) whose essential goodness and ultimate self-sacrifice lead the legendary Bat Masterson (Albert Dekker) to give up his guns. The only cue from Rózsa’s Oscar-nominated score to survive, the “Finale,” opens with a string setting of a traditional hymn (“Lead, Kindly Light”), briefly references the film’s love theme and then gradually segues to the principal theme—a melody which significantly avoids the kind of mordant chromaticism that characterized his noir scores.

With this compilation, Intrada “closes the book” on all surviving, Rózsa scores from the Paramount vaults. As with past releases, the audio has been sourced from 35mm magnetic film copies made long ago from the original optical masters—with the exception of two cues from Five Graves to Cairo (“Prelude” and “Walk in Desert”), which derive from the film’s composite audio. In the case of Five Graves, this album features 10 minutes of music not heard in the film and So Proudly We Hail! features over a minute of previously unused music.

INTRADA Special Collection Vol. 355
Retail Price: $21.99
For track listing and sound samples, please visit:

Two early Hollywood soundtracks by Miklos Rozsa make it to CD at last! Having been in the movie capital for some three years, Rozsa managed to land his first major studio project with this important 1943 Paramount WWII drama, directed by Billy Wilder, starring Franchot Tone, Anne Baxter, Akim Tamiroff and legendary Erich Von Stroheim as Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. Egypt locale, tank battle backdrop inspired Rozsa to create vivid main title, dramatic underscore replete with exciting major-key flourishes, edged motifs, tense suspense sequences. Even at this early stage, Rozsa was already offering brass fanfare-style ideas that became hallmarks of his entire career. Intensity also plays key role with aggressive lines, dissonant harmonies, rhythmic drive. While warm melodic shape makes appearances, dramatic power holds center stage. Nearly complete score survives as part of Paramount restoration project of converting early optical masters to 35mm magnetic film and more recently to CD, following several earlier Intrada/Rozsa premieres. Also making first appearance is So Proudly We Hail (1943) with Claudette Colbert, Paulette Goddard, Veronica Lake, George Reeves, directed by Mark Sandrich. WWII is again the setting, this time dramatic events with nurses following Pearl Harbor, including Bataan, Corregidor campaigns. In addition to his original dramatic music, Rozsa also made rare use of quotes from existing tunes ("Star Spangled Banner", "California, Here I Come"). Surviving cues from The Hour Before The Dawn also appear. Here Franchot Tone, Veronica Lake brought life to drama involving pacifism during WWII. Rozsa offers very dramatic music, particularly with "The Signal Fire" sequence. Three surviving cues from The Man In Half Moon Street appear, including one sequence not on Intrada 2014 re-recording. Score represents unusual foray for Rozsa into horror/mad scientist genre. Only one cue survives from Rozsa's western-ish score The Woman Of The Town, with Albert Dekker as legendary Bat Masterson, Claire trevor as saloon singer. Rozsa's "Finale" offers brief glimpse of both love theme and main theme. Chris Malone restores original vintage recordings, Lukas Kendall supervises entire project, Frank DeWald contributes authoritative notes on each film and score, Joe Sikoryak creates beautiful full color package with flipper-style booklet cover plus full color reproductions of original film key art. Soundtracks recorded at Paramount Pictures Scoring Stage, Eugene Zador orchestrates, Irvin Talbot conducts. Intrada Special Collection CD available while quantities and interest remain!

Five Graves to Cairo
01. Prelude/First Scene/Walk in Desert (abridged) (6:49)
02. Herr Rommel (2:21)
03. Herr Rommel Takes Coffee (5:01)
04. Bramble & Soda (3:15)
05. The Professor’s Photograph (2:02)
06. Ordered to Cairo (1:11)
07. Davos Discovered (2:32)
08. Lieutenant Is Killed (2:47)
09. Davos Departs (2:06)
10. Victory Montage (abridged) (2:08)
11. Finale (3:51)
Total Time: 33:35

So Proudly We Hail!
12. Prelude (2:37)
13. Shipboard (based on “California, Here I Come”) (2:19)
14. Brass Band (Aloha ’Oe) (0:28)
15. Christmas Tree (2:09)
16. Jingle Bells (Foxtrot) (arr. Gil Grau) (1:37)
17. Love Scene (2:43)
18. Olivia and Planes (2:19)
19. Morning (0:43)
20. A Woman Driver (0:36)
21. Finale (0:58)
Total Time: 16:55
The Hour Before the Dawn
22. Prelude/England 1923 (2:51)
23. May Returns (0:59)
24. The Signal Fire (3:38)
25. The Tragedy (4:03)
26. Finale (incorporating “There’ll Always Be an England”) (1:05)
Total Time: 11:05

The Man in Half Moon Street
27. Prelude (1:10)
28. The Diary (0:29)
29. Finale (1:48)
Total Time: 3:32)

The Woman of the Town
30. Boot Hill (Finale) (2:43)
Total Time: 2:43)

The Extras
31. Bagpipes and Drums (Five Graves to Cairo) (1:00)
32. Wagner Medley (piano solo) (The Hour Before the Dawn) (1:28)
Total Extras Time: 2:31

Total CD Time: 72:37

FSM Board: NEW INTRADA: Five Graves to Cairo (4)

FSM Board: NEW INTRADA: Five Graves to Cairo (2024)
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