Wide Screen Movies Magazine
edited by John Hayes

Recommended Reading (and Listening) (from Issue 8)
by John Hayes

The Nine Lives of Michael Todd by Art Cohn

This excellent book provided much of the background material for the EightyDays article in this issue. Cohn, who was one of Todd’s closest friends, gives a fascinating insight into the character of a truly unique showman and the many reverses of fortune that would have crushed the average entrepreneur. Everything is here: the brilliant successes and the disastrous failures; the relentless, driving ambition and simple honesty of a very human, human being. Art Cohn was accompanying Todd when the plane they were flying in crashed, killing all on board. The book was completed by his widow, Marta.

It was originally published by Random House in 1958, and while copies are still in circulation, prices vary alarmingly, depending on condition. I paid around £5 plus postage for the one I have, but some go for in excess of £50. Shop around!

So You Wanna Be A Film Director? by Ken Annakin

Anyone who loves films will want to have this delightful book in their collection. Annakin is one of Britain’s top directors, who came to the fore during that period which I regard as the Golden Age of British Films; the 50s and 60s. He has produced a highly entertaining memoir, which details his early life and adventures, his break into films and his travels around the world making them. Ken Annakin worked with most of the top stars in the world, and produced many of the most popular and well-remembered films of all time. They are all in here - and described in great detail - from Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines (1964) to The Longest Day (1962); from Robin Hood And His Merry Men (1952) to The Battle Of The Bulge (1965), and many, many others. Annakin takes us behind the scenes with wit and affection, for this is a film-maker who obviously loves his trade. Originally published in 2001, I finally got around to searching out a copy for myself – I know I’m slow, but I get there in the end – and I enjoyed it so much I wish I’d taken the trouble to buy it sooner.

Published price is around £16.99, but I got mine from Amazon Marketplace, brand new for a fiver plus a couple of quid postage. An essential book, really.

Tomahawk Press, PO Box 1236, Sheffield, S11 7XU England. ISBN0-953 1926-5-2.

Mutiny On The Bounty - Original 1962 soundtrack recordings.

At last – after what has seemed like an eternity of waiting – the long-promised complete Bronislau Kaper score from MGM’s 1962 version of Mutiny On The Bounty has finally been released on the excellent Film Score Monthly label. And what a magnificent treatment it has received. Every note of music that was ever recorded for this film has been collected together for this limited edition, three-disc set, which amounts to over fourhours of music. For my money, this was Kaper’s masterpiece; from the thunderous main title theme to the haunting love song, ‘Come With Me’, it is sheer perfection. The entire score, as heard in the film – and in correct running order – takes up the whole of disc 1 and part of disc 2, with the remainder of the second disc and disc 3 comprising of alternate versions of tracks that were not used in the film, plus the complete recordings made for the three different vinyl LP versions that have been released over the last forty years. This recording has been digitally re-mastered from the original stereo tapes that were made between June and September 1962, by the MGM Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Robert Armbruster.

It’s not cheap - $34.99 plus $5 postage if you buy direct from FSM, Rhino or Buysoundtrax on the Internet - but I shudder to think what you would pay in HMV if you bought it as an import.

FSM. 8503 Washington Blvd., Culver City, CA 90232, USA.

Copyright © 2002-2005, John Hayes/Wide Screen Movies Magazine

Last revised: 5 December, 2005

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