Kritzerland is proud to present the world premiere of two great scores on one great CD – both starring John Wayne and both directed by John Ford!
THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE
Composed by Cyril Mockridge
“WHEN THE LEGEND BECOMES FACT, PRINT THE LEGEND”
In 1962, when he made The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, the legend known as John Ford was nearing the end of his long and amazing career. The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance would be the first of only two films he made for Paramount Pictures. With a screenplay by James Warner Bellah and Willis Goldbeck, the film is Ford doing what Ford did best – telling a good yarn better than any other filmmaker could. He got two superstars, both of whom he’d worked with before, John Wayne and James Stewart (their first film together).
It’s no surprise that the film, which featured two of the biggest box-office stars in the world, was an immediate hit. Critic Roger Ebert wrote lovingly of the film: “The film takes place at that turning point in the West when the rule of force gave way to the rule of law, and when literacy began to gain a foothold. It asks the question: Does a man need to carry a gun in order to disagree or state an opinion? It takes place in the town of Shinbone, in an unnamed territory that is moving toward a vote on statehood. Farmers want statehood. Cattlemen do not. In a few characters and a gripping story, Ford dramatizes the debate about guns that still continues in many Western states. That he does this by mixing in history, humorous supporting characters and a poignant romance is typical; his films were complete and self-contained in a way that approaches perfection. Without ever seeming to hurry, he doesn't include a single gratuitous shot.”
Cyril J. Mockridge provided the score to The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and a great score it is, filled with original themes as well as some source music that’s beautifully arranged into the fabric of the score. Ford asked for a nod to Alfred Newman’s “Ann Rutledge Theme” from Young Mr. Lincoln, because he felt it evoked lost love. It’s a short score, but one cannot imagine the film without it.
The following year, Ford was back with his new film, Donovan’s Reef, reuniting John Wayne with Lee Marvin. The movie is a colorful lark, but one with some serious undertones such as racial bigotry, conniving corporations and greed.
Once again, Ford used Cyril J. Mockridge for the film’s musical score. Mockridge mostly uses traditional Hawaiian music for his themes, but it all works perfectly in the film, giving it an authentic Hawaiian flavor and keeping the frolicsome nature of the film moving right along. There are also some very lovely themes as the score goes along, and it’s just a delightful pastiche for a delightful pastiche of a film.
CDs will ship by the second week of September, but we’ve been averaging three to five weeks early in terms of shipping ahead of the official ship date.
This is the world premiere release for both The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Donovan’s Reef, all taken from various elements in the Paramount vaults. Some of The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance is in stereo, some in mono. All of Donovan’s Reef is in stereo. So, here are two wonderful world-premiere scores by Cyril J. Mockridge. As the Duke would say in Liberty Valance – listen up, Pilgrim.
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance/Donovan’s Reef is limited to 1000 copies only and is priced at $19.98, plus shipping.