Music Composed by Leigh Harline, conducted by Lionel Newman
John Steinbeck and the movies seemed made for each other. He was blessed to have major directors bring his works to the screen – such greats as John Ford (The Grapes of Wrath), Elia Kazan (Viva Zapata and East of Eden), Alfred Hitchcock (Lifeboat), Lewis Milestone (Of Mice and Men and The Red Pony), and Victor Fleming (Tortilla Flat). It was a homecoming of sorts for The Wayward Bus – Twentieth Century Fox had already done Steinbeck’s The Grapes of Wrath, Lifeboat, and Viva Zapata, and The Wayward Bus, whose journey to the screen was indeed wayward, ended up at Fox after having floated around elsewhere for several years.
Top-billed was Joan Collins as an insecure, hard-drinking, jealous wife, with Rick Jason as her husband, the driver of the titular wayward bus. But it’s really an ensemble picture. Hot off her screen success in The Girl Can’t Help It, Jayne Mansfield turns in a wonderful and touching performance as a stag party gal, and Dan Dailey is also affecting as a salesman who takes an interest in her. Also terrific are Betty Lou Keim and Dolores Michaels – Keim playing an unhappy waitress getting away from her humdrum job, and Michaels as a young woman trying to break free of her strict parents.
Also released by Fox in 1957 was the tense and exciting war picture, The Enemy Below. Directed by Dick Powell, The Enemy Below is the story of two boats – an American destroyer and a German U-boat. Robert Mitchum and Curt Jurgens turn in excellent performances as the two captains engaged in a deadly battle of wits. The taut screenplay was by Wendell Mayes (The Spirit of St. Louis, Anatomy of a Murder, Advise and Consent, In Harm’s Way, Von Ryan’s Express, Hotel, The Poseidon Adventure, and Death Wish to name a few), based on the novel by D.A. Rayner, and the film was beautifully shot by Harold Rossen in color and Cinemascope.
Harline’s score for The Wayward Bus is filled with the longing and yearning of its characters. You can feel it immediately in the film’s main title music, and it continues in each successive cue – it really gets under the skin of the characters and drama, and it’s filled with plaintive melodies and colors.
The music for The Enemy Below is thrilling and memorable. Harline’s scoring choices are interesting – he lets long dialogue sequences play without music, while scoring the action sequences, with his themes clearly defining the American and German boats and their maneuvers. Once the climactic battle begins, Harline lets his music go pretty much non-stop, and it’s simply exhilarating battle music, the kind no one seems to know how to write anymore.
This is the world premiere release of The Wayward Bus, in stereo and sounding wonderful, thanks to the usual tender loving care of Nick Redman’s team. We present the complete score as it appears in the film. The Enemy Below was previously released on Intrada (as a standalone score, which quickly sold out). We’ve remastered it for this release, presenting every note of Harline’s score, but omitting the bonus tracks from the Intrada CD, which consisted of a few German drinking songs and some radar blips.
THE WAYWARD BUS
1. The Wayward Bus (Main Title)
2. Johnny and Alice
3. Johnny Leaves/Johnny's Gone
4. The Old Road/Mirror Mirror
5. Lonesome Alice
6. Mildred and Johnny
7. Camille Calls in Love/Disillusioned/Remorse
8. A Time for Contemplation
9. End Title
THE ENEMY BELOW
10. The Enemy Below (Main Title)/Destroyer at Night
11. Radar Contact
12. Charting Tables
13. Alert Ships/Target Diving/Ready Torpedoes
14. Target Waiting
15. Target Safe
16. Ocean Bottom
17. Decisions/Montage/Torpedoes, LOS!/Target Hit
18. Abandon Ship
19. Counter Attack
20. Man the Life Boats/Rescue (Part 1)
21. Rescue (Part 2)/Escape
22. The Enemy Below (End Title)