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Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music
Jerome Moross (1913-1983) was a splendid composer—particularly in the American idiom—whose film scores are virtually unavailable on CD. FSM comes to the rescue with his complete score for the 1960 Mark Twain adaptation, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, newly remixed and remastered from the original M-G-M stereo elements.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn starred Eddie Hodges as the title character, surrounded by an assortment of capable actors: Neville Brand, Patty McCormack, Sherry Jackson, Andy Devine, Buster Keaton, Royal Dano, Parley Baer, John Carradine, Sterling Holloway and a young Harry Dean Stanton. Tony Randall and Mickey Shaughnessy portrayed a pair of con men, and boxer Archie Moore turned in a fine performance as Huck's friend Jim, a runaway slave.
Matching the picturesque Mississippi River locations was Jerome Moross, composing perhaps his second-best Americana score (next to The Big Country) and effortlessly capturing the sarcasm and lyricism of Twain's storytelling. Moross wrote a veritable ribbon of melodies, not only for Huck himself but for his hometown of Hannibal, Missouri; for sweet-natured Jim; the hapless con men; the gorgeous Mississippi River; and Huck's imposing father. The transparent orchestrations and bouncy, delightful rhythms are a highwater mark of Moross's writing.
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was at one time planned as a musical by M-G-M, with songs written by Burton Lane and Alan J. Lerner. Although the finished film is not a musical, snippets of the Lane/Lerner songs were retained as source music. FSM's premiere CD includes these occasional vocals (as they are intertwined into Moross's score) as well as rare demos of the primary song, "Huckleberry Finn."