After releasing the diptych containing Un singe en hiver and Mélodie en sous-sol, the Écoutez le cinéma! collection now presents a new tribute-album devoted to a filmmaker/storyteller worthy of "One Thousand And One Nights": Henri Verneuil. This anthology is devoted to his association with composer Georges Delerue for two virile action movies – Cent mille dollars au soleil (Greed in the Sun) and Les Morfalous – both of which featured hot sand, Jean-Paul Belmondo and Michel Audiard's succulent dialogues. Cent mille dollars was a stunning chase across the north of the Sahara, and Verneuil gave Delerue just one hint: "This is a western where truckers replace the cowboys, and all the horses are trucks." Spurred into action, Delerue constructed an epic score where brass instruments play huge chords, hammering them home repeatedly to resound like some enormous engine at full throttle. The stereo version – this is its first release – does full justice to the breadth, muscle and energy of this larger-than-life score which, as Verneuil himself admitted, "added colour to a film shot in black and white." The director and the composer met up again some twenty years later for Les Morfalous, whose theme – a warlike march for five solo trumpets and orchestra – echoes that which Delerue wrote for Cent mille dollars. His music gives Les Morfalous the dimensions of a farewell to arms, the gallant last stand of an old-style genre-movie. This essential album, which closes the year marking the anniversary of Georges Delerue's disappearance, will delight aficionados of the magic generated by the tandem Henri Verneuil/Jean-Paul Belmondo.
16-page booklet / Interview with Henri Verneuil