The In-Laws/Morris

August 9, 2014






Sometimes a first opinion especially when listening to soundtracks isn’t necessarily a good indication and a few listens are in order before you can say whether or not you’ll like the material. This at least for me was the case in my first listen to The In-Laws. I had it on in the background and nothing got my attention and it nearly ended up being filed without a further listen. Fortunately I put my Grado headphones on and listened to a straight feed thru my Rega headphone amp and I formed a very positive opinion one that will include the main title being included in a play list.

John Morris made a fine living in Hollywood writing comedic film scores for many of Mel Brooks’s films such as Blazing Saddles and Young Frankenstein and the award winning film Elephant Man. He won Emmys for his music to the television series Coach, his last stint as a composer, retiring in 1996.

The In-Laws starring Alan Arkin (also executive producer) and Peter Falk is the story of stolen bank plates and all the intrigue involved along with a wedding to the conclude the screwball comedy.

“The Main Title” has a prelude of over a minute and a half which almost makes the theme anti-climatic. The slow buildup to a Mancini or Hefti like theme really prepares you. Morris uses a combination of electronics and conventional orchestra with nice harmony from the brass. The theme fits the film perfectly. It is one that I’ll include as an audio clip. This is a theme that you’ll hear in various styles on several of the tracks including the very next track “Siren to Dental Office” which begins with a teeth rattling low bass tone which segues first to rendition of the theme on the bassoon followed by the oboe and concluding with the full orchestra. “Bridal Chorus/Wedding/End Title” begins with arguably one of the best known themes from Wagner, The Bridal Chorus, before it shifts to a full treatment of the main theme with full orchestra.

“Orchestra Tune Up” is a bit unusual for a cue but this one is a little over a minute and I could see this being used as a prelude in a compilation for one of your favorite themes. Latin music is the order of the day in “Too Many Movies/Landing” and “Car Shimmies Away” with a comedic type style.

The recording is excellent with a nice crisp high end, teeth rattling bass, and overall a smooth easy to listen to sound. There are good liner notes from BSX writer Randall Larson who provides a track by track analysis who find this interesting. His insight on the making of the film and composer John Morris provide an excellent read.

Limited to 1500 copies I think this unit will sell out rather quickly so you should act sooner rather than later. It is a fun score to listen to albeit only 36+ minutes.


Track listing

Main Title (03:27)
Siren to Dental Office / Basement / Break Into Safe – Cab Ride (02:22)
Shelley Meets the Heavies (01:17)
Bag Chase (03:10)
T-Men Waiting / T-Men Chase / Honduras (02:59)
Too Many Movies – Landing (01:42)
Car Shimmies Away (00:48)
Orange Chase (01:19)
Banana Chase (04:16)
The General’s Secret Chamber (01:21)
Drum Roll (00:24)
T-Men Rescue (01:03)
Helicopter Arrival (00:41)
Bridal Chorus / Wedding / End Title (05:18)
Bag Chase Part 1 (alternate)
Bag Chase Part 2 (film mix)
Orchestra Tune Up (01:23)
End Title (standalone) (02:51)

Total Duration: 00:34:21



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