Edition CD Soundtrack)
Henry King was one of the most interesting journeyman
directors towards the end of his career, and one of the wackiest dramatic
projects he may have ever done was Untamed, the 1955 CinemaScope drama
that takes place in South Africa. Take Gone
With The Wind, transplant it to South Africa, have wars with Zulu tribes,
never mention the fact that Apartheid is going on, and you have got one bizarre
film on your hands.
One part of the film that holds up better is the score by
Franz Waxman. It may not be his best,
but it is more salvageable than the dated production. Waxman actually has Classical pieces here (Strauss on tracks 4
and 20), but the rest is the kind of action/adventure romp the legend was
capable of delivering. Of course, it
too hits a limit in any expectation of ethnic music; it is not that kind of
score. When it tries to imitate the
sounds of the “untamed” land that dates it the most, no matter how musically
savvy it may be. However, fans seem to
like this, but I am not as impressed despite his successful experimentation
with stereophonic sound. It would be
interesting to see the film again, now that I have heard this soundtrack
isolated from the film.
The sound on this CD is not bad either, but the recording
shows its age. However, it does not
seem to be plagued with some of the “wow” and “flutter” troubles many other
soundtracks have sadly been suffering due to problematic storage of the
original master materials. It is presented
in PCM CD stereo.
No matter what the flaws, this is still a Franz Waxman
work and the version he conducted, so that does mater. However, FSM (Film Score Monthly
magazine’s CD soundtrack label) has only 3,000 copies pressed, so fans should
if they would like to obtain a copy before it is too late.
- Nicholas Sheffo