Review: Dirty Dozen / Dirty Dingus Magee, The
3.5 / 5 Stars
The score for The Dirty Dozen runs less than thirty minutes for a film that chimes in at two and a half hours, almost the same ratio of film to music as David Shires work in All The Presidents Men. The memorable "Main Theme" doesnt appear in the film until twelve minutes into the film, a bit after one of the more somber openings to film till Spielbergs Saving Private Ryan B> in 1998. This isnt to say the film is a downer, its far from it, with most of the score on this CD being comedic themed in nature. Also of note is that the arrangements for The Dirty Dozen are not the same that appear in the film, with edits in the pieces appearing to help tie some of the cues together as a complete tracks as well as the vocal cues being re-recorded versions. Overall, its a pretty good score that helps add more to sequences such as the construction and training montages just like a good score should. The action cues are also well done, with a stereotypical "hero" theme nature to them as would be expected for films done around these stories and times in Hollywood. This half of the album is the same content of the original LP and no additional material has been added, possibly due to licensing and availability of source material.
For Dirty Dingus Magee, Jeff Alexander& #146;s music transitions almost indistinguishably from Mr. DeVols cues from The Dirty Dozen. It continues along the same almost overcompensated themes but with an even more comedic western bent. If it wasnt spoken for, the music for Magee B> could have easily been lifted for use in something like Blazing Saddles, The Flim Flam Man or Cat Ballou (scored by Fank DeVol). Unlike its predecessor on the album, the music for Magee can be easily placed in a certain period style that usually isnt referred if a similar film would be made today. It& #146;s still a fun score to listen to if you are a fan of this film and music from films of this particular genre and time period. Its also an example of some of the revival of the western that occurred in the latter half of the 1960s and early 1970s, harking back to the heyday of these film in the 1940s and 50s. To note, that the music here is quite a contrast to the "spaghetti westerns" that were also being produced at the time in Italy and most often scored by the likes of Ennio Morricone and Riz Ortolani . These were quite a bit different than Mr. Alexanders take heard here, almost to dark and serious compared to the nature of < B>Magees music.
For Chapter III records, releasing these scores begins their series of re-releases of music from , albeit, not classic films, but fan favorites nevertheless. Even if its not considered a classic like Patton, The Dirty Dozen still ranks up there as one of my favorite World War II movies. As for Dirty Dingus Magee, I can& #146;t claim I know it well, but its a perfect bookend for this album. I congratulate Chapter III on making an effort to release these and other former film scores in such a fashion, I can now stop hunting for old vinyl versions of these out of print score albums and get to hear them in digital re-mastered quality.
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