Tribute To A Bad Man (Limited Edition CD Soundtrack)
B Music: B-
Miklos Rozsa’s music, but even a great composer can have an off score and the
one he made for Robert Wise’s 1956 Western Tribute
To A Bad Man may be one of his oddest.
I can say that I am not a fan of most of Wise’s work and part if the
problem may simply be trying to compose for one of the most laid back directors
around. I will save reviewing the actual
film until Warner puts the MGM production on DVD, but the score is simply not
one of Rozsa’s more memorable.
works integrated within the narrative, at least with my confidence in Rozsa,
but the booklet informs us that both composer and director were not Western
genre fans to begin with, accounting for both being out of their elements. The film may have attempted to be a darker
version of the usual tale, but Wise’s ability to be dark is notoriously
limited, in a way only matched recently by Spielberg.
of instruments still seems to have some kind of limited feel and it seems Wise
was also getting caught up in melodrama, which always mixes for the worst in
all Westerns that feature it. The result
is atypical of what we get from Rozsa and is a curio more than anything else.
2.0 sound is solid, if slightly wobbly, meaning a slight sense of warping here
and there. Fortunately, this one
actually survived in stereo unlike many the then-MGM trashed and replaced with
mono copies in their archive. The
booklet is also informative, as usual.
The FSM label CD itself is limited to only 3,000 pressings and can be
ordered directly from Film Score Monthly Magazine on their website at www.filmscoremonthly.com where more
information on this and hundreds of other exclusive CD titles are available.
- Nicholas Sheffo