The Monster That Challenged the World (1957)/Roemheld

May 1, 2011

main title

full of love (1)                                  

Only Hollywood would come up with an idea to have an easy listening melody/lyric “Full of Love” for a ‘B’ science fiction picture. I could just imagine the small type on the 45 RPM that would look something like this.

Full of Love

Roemheld/Alan and Marilyn Bergman

From The Monster That Challenged the World

(2:19)

Somehow the name of the film would elicit all sorts of jokes and eliminate any chance of success. Let your imagine run amuck for a minute or two and you could come up with something really good. David Schecter, producer and writer of the liner notes, speculates that because of the success of another Roemheld melody he was chosen to do the soundtrack and try and reproduce his hit “Ruby,” also performed on the harmonica, rather than Herschel Burke Gilbert the composer of choice for the production team of Levy-Gardner-Laven. $$$ signs before the eyes were the order of the day although nothing ever became of the love interest melody “Full of Love.” As I listened to the bonus track with an unnamed male vocalist I thought of Vic Damone, popular in that time frame, singing the catchy melody and veteran harmonica player Tommy Morgan.

Starring Tim Holt, Audrey Dalton, and Hans Conried it tells the tale of an unleashing of mollusk monsters from an earthquake/radioactive research in the Salton Sea. Having been to Brawley/El Centro where it was filmed on location had to be the most exciting thing to happen since the turn of the century. As 50’s science fiction go this is well above average if you don’t include the mollusk monster which detracted from the picture.

The “Main Title” is a seven note motif from the brass, very danger sounding and very typical of this 50’s era of science fiction monster movies. It is effectively used to identify the mollusk or create an air of tension. One of the better themes to come out of the era. “Johnson” is an interesting cue in that your brain immediately thinks of something Oriental, yet it is a scene with two sailors looking at an empty parachute. Pleasant enough but somehow I found the fifths out of place and I was trying to tie the music into the scene. “Mollusk Mood Music,” a Schecter title, is a foxtrot that could have come right out of an elevator or a 50’s commercial. The love melody “Full of Love” is schmaltzy gypsy violin theme but most memorable and again effectively used for the Twill and Gail love interest. As mentioned above you hear it as part of the soundtrack sometimes brief sometimes as a dance rhythm in “Mexico Part 2” but ever present. As mentioned above the full treatment is given to the theme in the bonus cue, material that never made the film.

This is a limited edition of 1000 copies so act sooner rather than later. The mono mastering is a good clean one with nice treble and bass. As is always the case the liner notes are excellent from Schecter. He gives all of the necessary information as well as some good humor to the writing. This is quite an improvement over the soundtrack on the DVD which is available as part of the MGM Midnight Movie Double Feature collection. The other feature is “IT! The Terror From Beyond Space” also a new soundtrack release from MMM. By listening to this CD I feel I have a much greater appreciation for the score as a standalone listening experience. I’ve included a couple of audio clips so you can hear the love theme as well as the “Main Title” Recommended.

Track listing:

1. Fanfare (00:16)

2. Main Title (01:25),

3. Narration (01:37)

4. Parachute (00:50)

5. Johnson (01:18)

6. Death By Fright (00:13)

7. Slime (00:29)

8. Hollister (00:12)

9. County Morgue (00:31)

10. Quarantine (00:43)

11. Geiger Counter (00:39)

12. Mollusk Mood Music (01:11)

13. Jody (02:11)

14. Scarf Found (01:21)

15. The Egg (02:20)

16. The Monster (01:38)

17. Fight (01:13)

18. Memoirs (01:24)

19. Connie (00:26)

20. Patrol (00:28)

21. Mexico, Part #1 (00:11)

22. Mexico, Part #2 (03:07)

23. Tragedy (01:17)

24. Montage (00:55)

25. Canal (01:06)

26. Gauge (01:12)

27. Surprise (01:13)

28. Locks (00:55)

29. Goodbye (02:40)

30. Dynamite (01:56)

31. Terror (02:45)

32. Kraken’s Death (02:50)

33. End Title (00:26)

Bonus Tracks:

34. “Full of Love” (harmonica and orchestra) (01:57)

35. “Full of Love” (vocal and piano) (02:19)

36. Tympani and Piano (00:32)

37. Piano Hit (00:54)

Total Duration: 00:46:40

CD# is MMM-1961


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