Captain Blood Classic Film Scores For Errol Flynn/Compilation of Film Composers

May 31, 2011

When this reviewer thinks of Errol Flynn the first thing that comes to mind is Robin Hood and the superb score from Erich Wolfgang Korngold. Who could ever forget the famous dueling scene with a young Basil Rathbone before he became Sherlock Holmes. When I thought of Flynn I automatically thought about Korngold as being his composer. This latest issuing of the Charles Gerhardt/National Philharmonic Orchestra series from Sony (777934) quickly puts an end to that idea as there are classic suites to They Died With Their Boots On, Dodge City, Adventures of Don Juan, Objective Burma, and The Sun Also Rises. These weren’t composed by Korngold but by Steiner, Waxman, and Friedhofer. There are three suites The Sea Hawk, Captain Blood, and The Adventures of Robin Hood by Korngold included on this CD. There is a separate release of Korngold scores on The Sea Hawk Sony (777932) making this easy to confuse if you’re not completely familiar. At some point you’ll want to have both. Producer George Korngold, son of Erich, put out actor/actress and composer CD’s.


This entire series is the perfect introduction to the world of the golden age of film music. This latest release was taken from the original recordings and don’t have any of the Dolby Surround encoding. It is filled with memorable melodies, motifs, played by a world class large symphony orchestra. You’ll not hear any electronics just real strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion.


The Sun Also Rises (1957) is an intriguing score from Hugo Friedhofer, a film that Flynn did at the end of his acting career. The low growling of the lower register strings in a death march tempo in a minor key leads the listener to the sun rising as the key switches to a major one offering a lush lovely theme from first the violins and then the woodwinds.


Objective Burma (1945) is a short but powerful cue from Franz Waxman who seemed to love writing about altitude. It begins with the brass and snare drums immediately identifying that this is a military film. It quickly leads into a military style march and is then followed by dissonant horns and urgency from the strings.


Dodge City (1939) on first listen doesn’t necessarily sound like a western score from the pen of Max Steiner but a soundtrack that could have been from any number of films as you instantly hear the Steiner sound. On further listens the Americana sound that Tiomkin and Steiner created comes through loud and clear.


They Died With Their Boots On, a compilation suite from Steiner is filled with cavalry charges, a beautiful love theme, and a heavy dose of the use of traditional themes. It is a rousing cue!


Sea Hawk (1940) from Korngold who many consider to be his finest effort is a second suite of themes. Care was exercised not to duplicate any material from the first recording. If you’re interested in exploring this further there is a fine 2 CD set on Naxos (8.570110-11) of all of the cues from the film. This is swashbuckling material at its best.


Robin Hood (1938) an Oscar winner for Korngold is just some of the best soundtrack material ever written. It set a standard in the industry that was studied by John Williams and others. This music was excellent physical exercise for the string section!


The Adventures of Don Juan (1948) is an example of what Steiner could do with period piece of the well filmed folk hero. As with any score from Max this is filled with all sorts of melodies that will have you humming. You can further explore this soundtrack with a release from Screen Archives (FMA-MS 106) which is the original soundtrack material. Very dated sounding but still good.


Captain Blood (1935) also from Korngold is a short cue giving us the main title to the first starring role of Errol Flynn. The piece is very classical sounding and one could mistake it for the beginning of a movement for a symphony.


This is another flawless CD in the RCA/Sony collection that should not be missed and comes with my highest recommendation.



Track listing


The King – Main Title: Don Juan – The Brocade – Don Juan’s Serenade – Parade Into London – Don Juan And The Queen – Final Scene (09:35)
Max Steiner – from “The Adventures of Don Juan”


The Albatross – The Throne Room of Elizabeth I: Entrance of the Sea Hawks – The Orchid – Panama March – The Duel – Strike for the Shores of Dover (08:08)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold – from “The Sea Hawk” – with the Ambrosian Singers


Ship in the Night (02:08)
Korngold – from “Captain Blood”


Morning – The Farewell Before the Battle – Preparation and March – The 7th Cavalry: Garry Owen – The Sioux – The Battle of Little Big Horn – Custer’s Last Stand (08:41)
Steiner – John Wilbraham an Ian Macintosh, bugles


Warner Bros. Fanfare and Main Title: The Open Prairie -The Iron Horse -Surrett -The Comrades -The Covered Wagon -Grazioso -Abbie and the Children -Wade and Abbie: The Blarney -Abbie’s Theme (07:56)
Steiner – from Dodge City


Parachute Drop (02:16)
Franz Waxman – from “Objective Burma!”


Prologue (Solennelle) – The Lights of Paris (04:22)
Hugo Friedhoefer – from “The Sun Also Rises”


The Archery Tournament – Escape from the Gallows – Robin and Lady Marian – Coronation Procession (12:20)
Korngold – from “The Adventures of Robin Hood”
all tracks: Charles Gerhardt conducting the National Philharmonic Orchestra

Total Duration: 00:55:26



One Response to “Captain Blood Classic Film Scores For Errol Flynn/Compilation of Film Composers”

  1. Alexander Perez Says:

    This is simply Wondrous, fantastic, excellent, MAGNIFICENT classic film/Adventure music AT IT’S BEST! with three of the film score masters: Erich Korngold, Max Steiner, and Franz Waxman, in there great film scores for one of the screen’s most dashing, Handsome, and equally Notorious Personalities: Errol Flynn. He could wear a period costume like nobody else could, and was the biggest action star of his day starring in Swashbucklers, Westerns, and War Pictures. And with that wonderful music by Steiner, Korngold, and Waxman, his films are added an icing on the cake, the music lighting up Flynn AND his Beautiful co-star Olivia DeHavilland. Such a great album, Gerhardt and the National Philharmonic orchestra play these great cues like no other orchestra ever could, probably the best versions i have ever heard of these cues. My favorite cues in the cd are the suites from THE SEA HAWK and THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON.

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