Kings Go Forth/Bernstein

July 7, 2011

Growing up I can remember Sinatra singing this wonderful lyric “Monique” and not having a clue as to what the movie was, who composed it, and even the fact that Sinatra was in the film. It was years later that I discovered that Elmer Bernstein, one of my favorite composers, wrote the score and I went out and purchased the Capitol soundtrack not realizing that the Sinatra vocal wasn’t on the soundtrack for the movie. Keep in mind I was 12 at the time so I had a lot to learn.  Today this Kritzerland (KR 20019-2) has replaced my worn out LP. A word of caution: this release doesn’t contain the vocal from Sinatra. Considering all of the work that Bernstein did in 1958 one wonders if Elmer got any sleep at all!

The film is a World War II drama that takes place in France and involves a love triangle with Frank Sinatra and Tony Curtis wanting Natalie Wood as well as fighting the Germans as it takes place in 1944. Directed by underappreciated Delmer Daves who did one of my favorite films Dark Passage (1947) with Bogart and Bacall ordinary is the only word I can come up with for the movie. The soundtrack is a whole different matter entirely.

Elmer crafted a score with two basic themes for Sam, Monique, and added military tracks along with a French theme for the Riviera scenes and some good underscore material making for a varied listening experience. “Kings Go Forth” begins with a rather loud snare drum followed by brass fanfare military style offering a melody without strings. “The Riviera” is a bright upbeat French theme with a little romantic interlude and the introduction of the love theme at the end of the track. “Monique’s Theme” is an unforgettable one performed with accordion and lush strings. You’ll hear this theme on half the tracks. “Sam’s Theme” is a sad bluesy one with the melody being played on the alto sax. “Sam and Monique” offers a swirling carousel version of the love theme with strings and accordion followed by the gypsy violin treatment of the melody and ending with the alto sax and Sam’s theme. “Britt’s Blues is west coast style  cool jazz all the way offering a hot trumpet solo. “Le Chat Noir” is lounge music featuring sax, guitar, percussion and trumpet. “Displaced offers an extremely sad version of Sam’s theme followed by a tear jerking rendition of Monique.

The transfer is a mono one from a good clean master and you’ll limited frequency response but with a nice well defined high end. If you click on the following links I’ve included three short clips including Sinatra singing the love theme. Monique Vocal Sinatra  Monique’s Theme  Sam’s Theme

. This release includes Pride and the Passion which will have its own separate review as well as it should. Both of these soundtracks are good basic material that should be a part of your collection.

Track Listing:

1…. Kings Go Forth (2:10)

2…. The Riviera (4:01)

3…. Monique’s Theme (1:26)

4…. The Bunker (2:08)

5…. Sam’s Theme (1:40)

6…. Sam and Monique (4:43)

7…. Sam’s Return (4:25)

8…. Britt’s Blues (2:07)

9…. Le Chat Noir (2:54)

10… Quiet Drive (1:10)

11… Britt’s Kiss (3:20)

12… Monique’s Despair (3:20)

13… Displaced (4:13)

14… Finale (2:52)

Total Time is 39:50

Kritzerland CD# is 20019-2

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2 Responses to “Kings Go Forth/Bernstein”


  1. […] I don’t know which was better the movie or the behind the scenes soap opera that included Sinatra, Loren, and Grant! Bruce Kimmel gives you all the details in his liner notes along with good informative analysis of the movie including background information about George ‘Mr. Bad’ Antheil. George in addition to this soundtrack did a handful of worthy films that are also worth exploring. If you’re not familiar with George don’t worry. This is not some way out dissonant score. George plays it close to the vest and gives you exactly what you expect to hear, a Spanish flavor romantic soundtrack with bolero, guitar, and brass. It is a very solid score that will grab your ears and you’ll want to return for further listens. This release is coupled with Elmer Bernstein’s King’s Go Forth https://sdtom.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/kings-go-forthbernstein/. […]


  2. […] I don’t know which was better the movie or the behind the scenes soap opera that included Sinatra, Loren, and Grant! Bruce Kimmel gives you all the details in his liner notes along with good informative analysis of the movie including background information about George ‘Mr. Bad’ Antheil. George in addition to this soundtrack did a handful of worthy films that are also worth exploring. If you’re not familiar with George don’t worry. This is not some way out dissonant score. George plays it close to the vest and gives you exactly what you expect to hear, a Spanish flavor romantic soundtrack with bolero, guitar, and brass. It is a very solid score that will grab your ears and you’ll want to return for further listens. This release is coupled with Elmer Bernstein’s King’s Go Forth https://sdtom.wordpress.com/2011/07/07/kings-go-forthbernstein/. […]


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