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Category:    Home > Reviews > Science Fiction > Horror > War > Soundtrack > The Thing From Another World (1951)/Take The High Ground! (Limited CD)

The Thing From Another World/Take The High Ground

(Limited Edition CD soundtrack)

 

Sound: C+ (Thing)/B-     Music: A-/B-

 

 

“And now, before giving you the details of the battle, I bring you a warning: Every one of you listening to my voice, tell the world. Tell this to everybody wherever they are: Watch the skies everywhere! Keep looking! Keep watching the skies!”

 

 

When I first received this soundtrack, I must admit I was a bit taken back.  Here was the soundtrack to The Thing, and not the John Carpenter remake, but the original.  I did not even know this “thing” existed on CD, let alone as a nice soundtrack double feature along with the score to the war film Take The High Ground!  As part of the Golden Age Classics Collection from Film Score Monthly’s FSM soundtrack series, this nice CD is a perfect companion for fans like myself of black and white B-Movie horror scores and of the films themselves.

 

The original Thing From Another World, which came out in 1951, has never seen a soundtrack version.  At the same time Warner Home Video is issuing a double DVD set of the film, this CD is a rousing nugget of nostalgia from one of the most inspirational horror/science fiction films ever made.  The soundtrack is the ultimate in B-Moviedom with loud trumpets and a swirling orchestra.  The cues are nice and the melodies are eerie and fun with everything from wild out action ‘The Alien Is Attacking music to ‘The UFO Has Just Landed’ music when it was not a cliché yet.  Some notable tracks from this release are the “Electrocution Sequence” and “The Thing at the Door.”  The original monophonic acetate disc was obtained from the estate of composer Dimitri Tiomkin and though much work was done to fix it, it shows its age.  The soundtrack for The Thing From Another World score runs approximately 26:50 and is worth every glorious second.

 

Take The High Ground! is the other score available on this disc with far more music than The Thing, running in around 51 minutes.  The score is another fun work by Tiomkin and captures the essence of that era of War genre filmmaking as much The Thing does in its realm, if not as memorable, influential or innovative.  Some of the more notable tracks off of this score include “Julie’s Theme” and “Neon Lighted Love,” but there is just something not as compelling about it.  Maybe we can find out why if Warner ever issues it on DVD.  The total track listing for this release is thirty-six songs totaling out at seventy-eight minutes.

 

Ironically, PCM 2.0 sound quality is the flip of the music quality, with The Thing coming from those old acetate tracks and feeling like one was listening to an old radio drama, while High Ground was in the studio vaults and is more in line with monophonic sound music for film from the era and this series.  Once again, FSM has included an exceptional booklet to enhance the release, but a particularly collectible one considering it took over half a decade for The Thing to get a full soundtrack release.

 

With that in mind, it is additionally shocking that only 3,000 copies have been pressed of this classic score, which is expected to be a sell-out.  Be sure to go to www.filmscoremonthly.com for downloadable music clips and more details on the release and how to order, because once they are gone, it will be out of print for good.

 

 

-   Jamie Lockhart.


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