Undefeated/Hombre (FSM Records Limited Edition CD
B- Music: B for both
NOTE: This CD was issued in 2000 and after all 3,000
copies sold, went out of print (you might luck out on a used copy if
you search hard enough at $100+), but we are updating the text as a
limited edition Twilight Time Blu-ray of Hombre was issued in
2015 with an isolated music score you can read about at this link:
passing of The Western as an active genre could not be stopped no
matter what. One of the most interesting things about the Film Score
Monthly FSM label CD soundtrack double feature of The Undefeated
(1969) and Hombre (1967) is that both had composers that
usually did not work on feature films and are less-known names, yet
still of interesting note.
Montenegro, best known as a kind of one hit wonder for his big hit
cover version of Ennio Morricone's The Good, The Bad & The
Ugly theme back in 1968, but had action experience scoring the
Rebel episode of the original Mission: Impossible and
the Frank Sinatra/Tony Rome sequel Lady In Cement (1968), so
having him do a Western score made total sense. The Andrew V.
McLagen-directed Panavision tale is somewhat of a camp classic for a
few reasons, all of which have to do with the great Rock Hudson being
cast opposite John Wayne. Saving that for a future review of the
film itself, but with the influence of Morricone in so far as taking
some risks were concerned, yet not duplicating him. Montenegro
deconstructed the idea the traditional while avoiding being hip by
'Mickey Mousing' motifs associated with Morricone so he would not be
written off as a cloner of Morricone's work. As the terrific booklet
notes, whistles and snaps are among the motifs cut, so the challenge
was to find another way to do a new kind of score for such a film.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly and Once Upon A Time In
The West are reviewed elsewhere on this site.
is a shorter score, but still not as short as that of David Rose's
for Hombre. One of the fine collaborations between star Paul
Newman, cinematographer James Wong Howe and director Martin Ritt, the
film was more quiet and self-reflective about The West. That this
was adapted form an Elmore Leonard novel is all the more interesting.
It was also more explicit a Western than the trio's 1963 classic Hud
(the film also reviewed elsewhere on this site), but it does continue
the more existential themes of that previous work and that is why
this is so short and less typical than the usual Western score.
Rose is known for the sexy classic The Stripper and not
surprisingly worked on the original black and white Red Skelton
Show (in a box set reviewed elsewhere on this site), so he had an
idea of how humor and ironic distance could work. His score for The
Underworld Story (1950) around the same time as that series
showed he had some teeth for dark material, but he was more typically
known for music lighter than The Stripper, like the TV themes
of Bonanza (one version), Sea Hunt and even lighter
fare as network TV declined in the late 1970s. Here, he both
composes and conducts what is one of his best works.
this makes quite a 'double feature' and offers great comparison
opportunities both between the two films and against all such scores
for the genre, and both make their debut on this CD. The former has
some warping and distortion problems, while the latter is mostly
monophonic, but the PCM 2.0 CD-type sound is not bad otherwise and
the DVDs will not have more than lossy Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo at
best anyhow, so there is richness here that neither film is likely to
have in those formats. With that said, those interested should go to
www.filmscoremonthly.com and read more about the track order,
download some samples...