Fulvue Drive-In.com
Current Reviews
In Stores Soon
In Stores Now
DVD Reviews, SACD Reviews Essays Interviews Contact Us Meet the Staff
An Explanation of Our Rating System Search  
Category:    Home > Reviews > Western > Existentialism > Soundtrack > Saddle The Wind (Limited CD)

Saddle The Wind (Limited Edition CD Soundtrack)


Sound: B-     Music: B



After a few key transitional Western films arrived (High Noon (1950) and Johnny Guitar (1954) among them), the genre turned more thoughtful and one of the less recognized films to do so was Robert Parrish’s Saddle The Wind (1958).  Written by Rod Serling and on the dawn of his peak success with the original Twilight Zone TV series, and many of the people on this film were also TV veterans.  Though the film has not yet been issued by Warner Bros. on DVD in all its CinemaScope and MetroColor (it was an MGM film) glory, Film Score Monthly has issued a limited edition CD of the music score.


In this case, there are two scores.  One is the final score by Elmer Bernstein, while the other is Jeff Alexander’s equally impressive version the studio replaced when the film was cut down severely.  Maybe Warner ought to include both versions on separate soundtracks when they get to that DVD, which would mean a longer version as well as the theatrical cut, but the scores are here now on this CD.  Alexander’s score suggest a fuller storyline in keeping with Serling’s writing at its best, while Bernstein’s score is not the more typical kind he is so closely associated with from The Magnificent Seven, which he has repeated at times and was only two years away.  Without knowing it (he did not know he was doing a replacement score), Bernstein came up with as thoughtful a score, proving both composers understood that Serling was trying to make another Western with a difference.


The PCM 2.0 CD sound is monophonic for the most part, except the title song, which is here in stereo as sung by Julie London.  This is an alternate recording form the original 3-track stereo 35mm master.  The rest of the score comes from the original 17.5mm magnetic mono master, which is a change from the awful situation of so many MGM scores starting in stereo, only to be saved in mono copies while stereo masters were trashed!  In both versions, there is some slight warping here and there, but the materials are in good shape for the most part.  The is also the usually excellent booklet that tells about the film and its music with nice stills, but only 3,000 copies have been pressed.  If you are interested and want to learn more about the album and even download music clips, go to www.filmscoremonthly.com for more details.  You’ll find dozens of great music exclusives and much, much more.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


 Copyright © MMIII through MMX fulvuedrive-in.com