In Love and War / Woman Obsessed

In-Love-and-WarFor those wishing for more film music of Hugo Friedhofer, here are two fine examples on one CD of what a highly skilled composer can do with less than great films.

Both of these 20th Century-Fox CinemaScope dramas are not among the best known or most popular films of their era. But that doesn’t seem to inhinit Friedhofer in any way with his use of lush and exciting film scoring. He makes ample use of full orchestration and offers suitable underscoring for both films.

WOMAN OBSESSED stars Susan Hayward and Stephen Boyd and features a lot of outdoor filming in the Canadian Rockies. For a cue like “Lone Woman” (track 6, 2:08), Fridhofer offers a suitably intense theme featuring forceful strings and woodwinds. Another intense cue is “The Rape” (track 17, 2:00) which opens with just low strings and brass and slowly intensifies the somber motif until it builds to a climactic point. All is resolved with emphasis on emotional motifs for “Recollection and End Titles” (track 24, 3:01).

IN LOVE AND WAR opens with an approproiate flourish of a Main Title featuring prominent brass and drums (track 23, 2:52). For me this was the more satisfying score with full blooded orchestrations by the great Edward B. Powell. The film deals with three World War II Marines (Robert Wagner, Jeffrey Hunter, Bradford Dillman) and their lives and loves. There are a variety of moods expressed in this film score. One of them is explained by Julie Kirgo in her CD notes that has “the terrifying–and haunting–spookiness.” That is in the cue titled “Listening Post” (track 31, 1:55).

The high point of this score is “Requiem” (track 35, 3:31), which doesn’t open quietly but instead with a prominent brass motif. Then it quiets down and proceeds with trumpet and drumbeats making its emotional presence felt. The “End Titles” (track 36, 4:33), recaps the score’s main theme and develops it further before the conclusion ends on notes of triumph.

The 12 page colorful CD booklet contains film stills and well written notes by Julie Kirgo. This is a fine Intrada production and recommended to fans of Friedhofer’s excellent film scoring.

Roger L. Hall © 2007

Originally published @ Film Music Review – An online e-zine since 1998
Text reproduced by kind permission of the editor and publisher Roger Hall

  1. John Steven Lasher Reply

    I recorded the Main Title and Requiem from “In Love and War” with the National Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Fred Steiner, in 1976. The Intrada Records release features the original soundtrack of the same [and other] cues.

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