Boy On A Dolphin/Friedhofer

October 8, 2008

Starring Alan Ladd, Clifton Webb, and Sophia Loren in her first American picture, Boy On A Dolphin was ideally suited for Cinemascope and cinematographer Milton Krasner took full advantage of the Greek Islands as a subject for his photography. The ancient statue of a boy on a dolphin is being sought by good archaeologist Ladd, evil collector Webb, and found by sponge diver Loren. Love of course muddies the water of the situation. While this was decent picture this reviewer has never seen it on any top 100 lists. This reviewer strongly suspects the young Sophia Loren has more interest than the film itself.


Hugo had the honor of two Oscar nominations in 1957 for Boy On A Dolphin (the only Oscar nod for the film) and An Affair To Remember as well as composing the music for the film The Sun Also Rises. The 50’s were a good and busy time for Hugo with 40 pictures and 5 Oscar nominations and in addition there were another 42 films where he contributed stock music but was given no credit.


In the opening cue “Boy On A Dolphin”, the main title is sung by Miss Julie London (uncredited) in the film only. A rendition of London singing the song is available in the (3) CD Ultimate Collection…Julie (EMI Gold). Apparently Decca was aware of a conflict from the very beginning (Julie was under contract to Liberty) so Mary Kaye, Las Vegas lounge singer) does the vocal in this Intrada release, which came from the Decca LP. The Decca release along with OOP Japanese release is in mono. This release is in stereo with 6 additional cues one being a nameless male singer singing a “Boy On A Dolphin” demo. The Greek melody was taken from Tirafio music by Takis Morakis and was nicely adapted by Hugo Friedhofer (credit was given on the Decca LP to Morakis but no mention of his name is mentioned in the CD booklet). Paul Francis Webster provided English lyrics. While the lyrics are forgettable, the melody isn’t. A traditional Greek style statement starts the opening track giving us the Mediterranean location and then slides right into the main melody, one that is not easily forgotten. “The Café” is a lounge style version of the theme with guitar, piano, bass, and active percussion in a Latin rhythm, very danceable. The theme is once again used in “The Dive” with lush strings and a sultry romantic sax solo. While the underwater sequences use the harp (Herrmann used 9 in Beneath The Twelve Mile Reef) Friedhofer makes use of of a wordless female wailing making this track along with “Nocturnal Sea” quite effective. While Hugo makes use of Greek folk material in tracks such as “Street Music” because of the Mediterranean area his overall style with the assistance of his able orchestrator Edward Powell comes through loud and clear. Anyone who is the least bit familiar with Friedhofer will recognize it as one of his scores immediately.


In addition to liner notes from Julie Kirgo there is original album cover notes written by Hugo as a nice bonus. Now, the problem. Being a limited edition of only 1500 it has already sold out so aftermarket sources are the only way to obtain it, which can be quite expensive. At $20.00 it is a definite recommend adding to your collection but in the 50-70 dollar range money has to not be an issue for you. It is a nice CD but ‘holy grail’ or a top 100 soundtrack of all time it is not. While this reviewer feels it is a top 5 Friedhofer release there are others such as Broken Arrow, Best Years Of Our Lives, and Above and Beyond ahead of it.

Golden Score Rating is ****

Intrada Special Collection #78

Produced by Nick Redman and Douglass Fake

Lionel Newman conducts the 20th Century-Fox Orchestra and Chorus

Track listing

1. Boy On A Dolphin (04:11)


2. Phaedra Finds The Boy (04:03)


3. The Acropolis (02:09)


4. Jockey Boy (01:07)


5. The Café (03:00)


6. Instructions (01:37)


7. On The Road (03:39)


8. The Shawl (01:11)


9. Street Music (02:11)


10. The Dive (02:08)


11. The Search (02:27)


12. Mondraki Bay (02:39)


13. Nocturnal Sea (06:20)


14. Frustration (03:17)


15. Love Scene (03:02)


16. Disillusion (02:41)


17. The Captive (02:54)


18. End Title (03:12)


19. Boy On A Dolphin [Demo] (01:57)


Total Time is 53:45

One Response to “Boy On A Dolphin/Friedhofer”

  1. […] by Mark R. Hasan at KQEK, Clark Douglas at Movie Music UK, Thomas L. Kiefner at Golden Scores, sdtom at Film Music: The Neglected Art plus the message thread at the Intrada Soundtrack […]

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