John Wayne At Fox: The Westerns/The Undefeated/Montenegro

January 5, 2014

john wayne at fox 001

KR 20027-0


copland rodeo

montenegro  happy hour hoedown

Previously released by Film Score Monthly (vol. 3 #6) The Undefeated (1969) came in a year filled with several fine westerns such as Butch Cassidy, True Grit, The Wild Bunch, Once Upon A Time In The West but this was also a time in Hollywood where they felt that the genre was beginning to lose favor so going forward there were less made. The film in addition to John Wayne starred Rock Hudson and co-starred NFL football stars Roman Gabriel and Merlin Olsen along with Lee Meriwether and Jan-Michael Vincent. It dealt with the end of the Civil War and was filmed outside Durango, Mexico.

I was first introduced to Hugo Montenegro (1925-1981) and his hit album of themes from the famous trio of Clint Eastwood Italian westerns. The RCA LSP 3927 captured the flavor and feeling of the films so much so that I thought that Hugo was the composer and probably not the only one who thought that way. It was worn out a long time ago. Montenegro approached The Undefeated a completely different way. “The Undefeated,” the opening track which is included as an audio clip, is a compilation of thematic material beginning with a bugle call introduction immediately followed by a soft romantic interlude featuring the oboe first and then the flute. It is a time of peace and serenity which nicely segues into a theme that you’ll easily be able to identify with a western. “Southern Charm” is the love theme for the film a soft and delicate one which briefly reverts to the romantic melody of the previous track before continuing with the theme. The theme is taken from Copland’s ballet Rodeo. “Happy Hour,” a really nice hoedown, is also taken from Rodeo note for note as well as tempo and orchestral arrangement. If you think it sounds like Copland you’re right because it is.”New Campsite” is a short cue that has a brief Hispanic flavor. “Incident in Mexico,” the longest track at over nine minutes, begins with a Hispanic hat dance style, switches to military fanfare provided by the brass right before an extended version of the main theme. Harmony from the brass with snare drum and percussion providing a strong background leads to a new theme, a modern sounding one with complex motifs from the brass. This is all mixed in with the main title. It is a unique sound and style and is a track that I’ll return to on a regular basis. The “End Title” begins with a short version of Yankee Doodle on the harmonica before the main title; a bold and expansive version completes the soundtrack.

This score, which is the second CD of the set, is a nice addition to the Kritzerland set making this an attractive buy if you don’t have the previous release.

I couldn’t hear any significant sound difference between the Kritzerland and FSM CD’s. The only reason for wanting the FSM is if you also want Hombre, by David Rose, the second selection on their offering. I’m also including two audio clips one from Rodeo and the other from The Undefeated so that you can compare what I heard. The recording that I have of Copland is from an RCA living stereo featuring Morton Gould and his orchestra.


Track listing


The Undefeated (04:00)
The Undefeated


Southern Charm (01:57)
The Undefeated


Burning the Plantation (02:13)
The Undefeated


Meet Blue Boy (03:17)
The Undefeated


Foggy River (02:40)
The Undefeated


River Crossing (03:45)
The Undefeated


Let’s Go! (03:02)
The Undefeated


Happy Hour (Hoedown) (04:39)
The Undefeated


Do You Mind? (01:07)
The Undefeated


All But Jamison (01:31)
The Undefeated


Bandits (02:51)
The Undefeated


The Horses (01:17)
The Undefeated


Suppertime (02:04)
The Undefeated


New Campsite (01:02)
The Undefeated


Incident in Mexico (09:38)
The Undefeated


Mission Accomplished (01:38)
The Undefeated


End Title (01:07)
The Undefeated

Total Duration: 47:33


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