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When Martin Scorsese decided to remake "Cape Fear", he paid tribute to the original by featuring original stars Gregory Peck, Robert Mitchum, and Martin Balsam in cameos. Scorsese also recognized the contribution of the first film's composer Bernard Herrmann. Thus, Elmer Bernstein, himself a legendary musician (and recent Oscar nominee for "Far from Heaven"), adapted, arranged, and conducted Herrmann's original score for the newer film. This is a marriage of two giants in the business. A score that is as haunting and chilling as the more recognizable works "Psycho" and "Marnie", "Cape Fear" is true Herrmann with its ominous cues and screeching strings. Fans of Herrmann, Bernstein, or Scorsese must have this one!
This is the movie that gave us the phrase "Klaatu barada nikto!" As befits the film that kicked off the Atomic Age's obsession with flying saucers and giant robots, Bernard Herrmann's score is the last word in 1950s sci-fi. Although many of its elements have become cliches over the years, the original has lost none of its power. Thanks to the many eerie, theremin-drenched passages, it's almost impossible to hear that instrument without thinking about guys in space suits. Other great moments: tinkling space pianos, ominous robot monster chords, and weird, plangent orchestrations. One of Herrmann's most visionary and influential scores.
This 2-disc release of Herrmann's first score for Harryhausen is a lavish delight. Firstly, both discs are presented in full stereophonic sound - the full-bodied monaural descriptor being entirely wrong for the disc-1 complete score. This presentation utilizes the same remastered music stems that the Sony blu-ray disc offers, and is sonically splendid. The second disc is the original soundtrack album re-recording, all stereo except one track, and it's the familiar version that's been a collector's item for many years. The soundtrack album was conducted by Muir Mathieson, and contrary to Herrmann's opinion of it, it's a robust presentation of the original score. A masterpiece, right up there with the likes of Moross' THE BIG COUNTRY, North's SPARTACUS, Rosza's EL CID, and Jarre's LAWRENCE OF ARABIA.