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Category:    Home > Reviews > Film Noir > Drama > Soundtrack > All About Eve/Leave Her To Heaven (Limited CD)

All About Eve/Leave Her To Heaven (Limited Edition CD)


Sound: B- each     Music: B each



As discussed often on this site, the two types of films that most showed the dark sides of America form Hollywood were melodramas and Film Noirs.  The FSM label of Film Score Monthly magazine had put together one of their best double feature soundtrack pairings on a single CD to date.  Joseph L. Mankiewicz’s All About Eve (1950) and John M. Stahl’s Leave Her To Heaven (1945) are both classics and especially distinct within their genre realms.  Both happen to also be 20th Century Fox films with music by the great Alfred Newman, the in-house composer for the studio in two of his most memorable moments.


All About Eve is not just another mere melodrama, and not just one of the greatest backstage looks at Hollywood ever made, but a film so well acted and assembled that it endures very strongly 55 years later.  It was ahead of its time in being smart and honest in the way adults interact, even when they have education and are well spoken.  That those trappings create more snobbery than help anyone is not typical Hollywood by any means, but to have it happening in theater (a sister to Hollywood and the “Dream Factory”) is more ironic.  Newman knew this and came up with music that made sense.  The 26 tracks from the film take up the majority of the CD, with the last two in real stereo.


Leave Her To Heaven has the distinction of being the only full-fledged Film Noir of the original era that is undeniably so and happens to be in color (and three-strip dye-transfer Technicolor at that!), the exception for a key cycle known for black and white film all the time.  Newman did not make as much music for the film and it did not need it, yet the backstabbing is more potent here than in Eve.  That “leaves” only seven tracks, but the film works well with its silence and Newman again hits the nail on the head.  This is a great set.


The PCM 2.0 sound is from the original Optical sound masters form archival film stocks, with the two Eve stereo tracks also available in mono.  They have sonic limits, but are not bad considering the old sources.  The Dolby Digital 2.0 on the titles respective DVDs cannot compete either.  A nice booklet typical of all FSM releases is also included, informative as usual.  However, this CD is also limited to 3,000 copies and with Heaven out on DVD following the successful release of Eve, more interest will cause fans to seek out the soundtrack and this will be the only one available on the market.  Go to www.filmscoremonthly.com to find out more about this and other great soundtrack exclusives.  They have a great magazine too.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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