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Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Soundtrack > Tribute To A Bad Man (Limited CD)

Tribute To A Bad Man (Limited Edition CD Soundtrack)


Sound: B     Music: B-



I like 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.


It likely 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.


The mix 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.


The PCM 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


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