The Matchmaker (1958)/Deutsch
February 19, 2013
This film began as a play in 1835 when it was called A Day Well Spent written by John Oxenford. In 1954 Thorton Wilder reworked the material and it ran on Broadway for nearly 500 performances under the new name The Matchmaker. Three years later Paramount released the film starring Shirley MacLaine, Anthony Perkins, Shirley Booth, and Paul Ford. After making that movie it was further reworked again and really became a success under the new title Hello Dolly.
Directed by Joseph Anthony The Matchmaker was a light fluffy comedy about you guessed it matchmaking and the Adolph Deutsch score didn’t disappoint music wise turning in an appropriate sounding score. My first experience with Deutsch was the Marco Polo/Naxos release of his material. For a time I became obsessed with the Maltese Falcon soundtrack. This CD is still available in the market place for under $10 and would give you an introduction to some of his early writing for Warner Brothers where he informally held the position of ‘B’ writer taking films that Steiner and Korngold weren’t interested in.
The “Main Title”, which I’ve included as an audio clip main title matchmaker begins with a lively upbeat waltz that brings visions of a huge ballroom filled with dancers. Just when you’re settled in the tempo and melody change to a modern sounding romantic theme. It further changes again offering a third melody before it returns to the Viennese style sound. “Soliloquy” is a lovely harpsichord offering the two themes from the “Main Title.” “Soliloquy No.2/No. 3 offers the main theme, again on the harpsichord, with a trumpet playing “Here Comes the Bride” in the background. The overall flavor of the soundtrack is a mixture of European romantic, polka parts for a lot of fun, and topped off with Hollywood type music very typical of the 50’s era, the kind of material Previn, Duning, Hefti, and Scharf would write.
The majority of the material is mono that was mastered to give the best possible quality. It won’t awards for clarity and background noise but like so many that Kimmel has introduced to the market I put them in the classification of archival material. In addition, there are four stereo cues which are a real improvement in high fidelity. “Van’s Store” is a good example as the tuba comes through crystal clear from your speakers.
As a single soundtrack purchase it would be hard to justify paying $20.00 for The Matchmaker but Kimmel has nicely packaged another soundtrack Hot Spell with the tie in of sorts being Shirley Booth and Shirley MacLaine appeared in both films. Hot Spell, composed by Alex North will be reviewed separately. Now both soundtracks are well worth $20.00 and should be considered for your collect.