View CD Page at FSM Site (More Details)
Released by Special Arrangement with Turner Classic Movies Music
The novels of Rafael Sabatini (1875-1950) gave birth to the greatest swashbuckling soundtracks in the history of Hollywood, among them Captain Blood (1935, Erich Wolfgang Korngold), The Sea Hawk (1940, also Korngold) and The Black Swan (1942, Alfred Newman). The scores are filled with the heroic fanfares, buoyant love themes and glorious orchestrations that formed the very foundation of the symphonic film score, a tradition that continues to this day in the works of John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith, Danny Elfman and others.
The last major Hollywood adaptation of Sabatini's work was M-G-M's Scaramouche in 1952, directed by George Sidney (The Three Musketeers) and starring Stewart Granger, Janet Leigh, Eleanor Parker and Mel Ferrer. Set in 18th century Revolutionary France, the film features aristocratic intrigue, sharp-witted dialogue, thrilling heroism and exciting swordfights, culminating in an eight-and-a-half minute duel that set the record for the longest in film history.
The score to Scaramouche was composed by Victor Young (1900-1956), a legendary composer of Hollywood's Golden Age who worked primarily and Paramount and only occasionally ventured to M-G-M. Young was beloved for his gorgeous melodies and he provided not one but two full-fledged love themes for Scaramouche, one for each leading lady; he also composed a playful theme for the actor persona of Scaramouche, which the hero adopts, and a noble theme for the ideals of the French underground. The balance of the score consists of galloping action, moody suspense, heroic fanfares, and charming, Renaissance-styled theater music.
Although originally recorded in stereo, Scaramouche was transferred to 1/4" mono tape in the 1960s, and only this version survives today. FSM's premiere CD features the complete chronological score in mono followed by alternate and unused cues, including one piece of source music mixed into rudimentary stereo.