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Soundtrack review: Desert fury (Miklos Rozsa – 1947)

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Everytime a Miklos Rozsa score comes along I feel a certain warmth take me over from the inside. I smile because I know I am in for a wonderful, magical hour. This magnificent composer is like the most famous painters in history: everything he creates brings something new, beautiful and legendary in the world. This is a man who made many lives richer with his art and it’s time to revisit his score for “Desert Fury”, a 1947 (wow!!) movie about a 19-yearold college dropout who has returned to her Nevada home town. Her mother runs the local gambling establishment and was involved with a gambler who returns to town and the girl falls in love…

There is that certain something about the sound of movies from 60, 70 years ago that just gets to me. I used to watch old movies with my family, on TV, and that sound is imprinted in my memory. It will never leave me and the nostalgia is high with a score like this. The exaggerated drama… the sound that reminds me of a vinyl record that’s a little broken and has highs and lows… the sense of urgency and seriousness that dominated that golden age… it’s all here. The quality of the release is exceptional and I can’t believe that I am able to enjoy a score from 70 years ago. How amazing it is to be able to do what I love, write about film music, and have access to scores from the 40s, remastered and sounding beautiful.

There’s action… there’s western music to paint us the setting… there’s romance, such beautiful romance like in “Fireside chat”… it just makes me want to fly and makes me think of the one I love and there are rarely such sweeping melodies in today’s film music. I love the clean sound of “Desert fury”, both as a production value and as a composition. The tenderness with which Miklos Rozsa treats his every cue… the care he puts in every note…it’s like every single thing he composes is one of his children. He loves every one of them and shares this love with us.

I can’t write about the music because my words can’t match Miklos Rozsa’s composition. I can only say what his music makes me feel; and it makes me feel fortunate and grateful to be able to listen to such treasures. They should never be lost and every film music fan should get a chance to experience this.

Cue rating: 91 / 100

Total minutes of excellence: 42 / 56

Album excellence: 75%

Highlights:

A Mother’s Advice (Revised)

A Strange Likeness

Tom’s Proposal/Paula’s Flight/Paula Returns In Love

A Domestic Paula?

Fireside Chat (With Inserts)

Paula’s Lock Up Montage

Johnny’s Story/The Chase/Blazing Wreck/Cast Of Characters

A Mother’s Advice(Original Version)

Fireside Chat (Original Version)

 

About the author

Mihnea Manduteanu

I have been listening to film music for 25 years and writing about it since 2014. I've written over 1000 reviews and I can't imagine myself doing anything else. I am also a member of IFMCA (International Film Music Critics Association).

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