The Enemy Below
Intrada (Special Collection Volume 15)
Year Released: 1957 / 2004
Conducted by Lionel Newman
The Hollywood Studio Symphony
|1.||The Enemy Below (Main Title); Destroyer at Night||4:36|
|4.||Alert Ship; Target Diving; Ready Torpedoes||6:36|
|8.||Decisions; Montage; Torpedoes, LOS!!; Target Hit||6:54|
|11.||Man the Life Boats; Resuce (Part 1); Rescue (Part 2); Escape||6:55|
|12.||The Enemy Below (End Title)||2:17|
|13.||Needle Drops for Drinking Song ("So Leben Wir")||0:09|
|14.||Drinking Song ("So Leben Wir")||2:34|
|15.||"Der Gute Kamerad" (My Comrade)||0:54|
|16.||Drinking Song ("So Leben Wir") - Theodore Bikel Vocal||1:41|
|17.||Radar Blips for "Destroyer at Night"||0:33|
|18.||Radar Blips for "Radar Contact"||0:19|
|19.||Drinking Song ("So Leben Wir") [26-Piece Military Band]||2:08|
|Total Album Time:||50:54|
Review: Enemy Below, The
3 / 5 Stars
We have seen many submarine movies over the past few decades, some of which have provided some very good scores. From Basil Poledouris' Russian Hymn in The Hunt for Red October to Hans Zimmer's award-winning electronically driven, anthemic Crimson Tide to the orchestral bombast of Das Boot and U-571, submarine thrillers have been expressed with a wide range of musical soundscapes. Leigh Harline - known for his collaborations with Walt Disney productions - composed the score for The Enemy Below, an early World War II submarine film from 1957. This film is composed of a rousing military march style fanfare in the "Main Title", which is used constantly throughout the score in various motifs.
Intrada's special release of this score is good, with a surprisingly clear sound for an old recording. The style of music is vastly different from most film music today, but it is a style that some composers have been returning to, such as Michael Giacchino in his music for the Medal of Honor series and Secret Weapons Over Normandy. One thing I like about the other submarine scores mentioned above is how they all have some way of giving the film an "underwater" sound, the ambient, pinging electronics in both Hunt for Red October and Crimson Tide are just one example. The Enemy Below could easily have accompanied a film about D-Day. The one exception is the cue "Ocean Bottom", which uses the low brass to give a somewhat muddled underscore. Two cues are a collection of music from scenes in the film and are strung together to make lengthy action suites, which make up two of the better tracks on the album.
Harline's music is very appropriate for the film, never straying from the militaristic fanfare style. Intrada's release is very good and does justice to the score. However, the end of the album is a little strange. It includes a few micro-cues under 30 seconds long that are orchestral music acting as radar blips. The other tracks at the end are songs, three being different versions of "So Leben Wir" a drinking song. While many collectors might like these songs from the film - as many do for Das Boot - I found them to be a poor conclusion to the album.
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