Friday, 5 September 2008

(1937 - Music by Max Steiner)


Directed by Frank Borzage and Starring Errol Flynn, Anita Louise Margaret Lindsay and Cedric Hardwicke

Dr. Newell Paige is a dedicated surgeon and physician who is devoted to his patients and to the ethics of his profession. Covering for his mentor, Dr. Endicott, who is consumed by personal problems, Paige operates on a wealthy donor to the hospital, Mrs. Dexter. However, Dr. Endicott rushes in at the last moment and in his haste botches the surgery. Mrs. Dexter dies. An inquiry ensues and Dr. Endicott refuses to take or pass blame. The presumption of guilt then falls on Dr. Paige, who resigns rather than blame his mentor. By accident, Paige meets and falls in love with Mrs. Dexter's daughter Phyllis. When they each learn the other's true identity, Paige leaves rather than cause Phyllis pain, since she blames him for her mother's death. Paige travels to a rural settlement to join his friend Dr. Stafford in a dangerous experiment intended to eradicate spotted fever, which has decimated the local population. Influenced by the religious and ethical expoundings of church dean Harcourt, Paige risks his life in hopes of giving something of value to mankind.

Max Steiner's music is beautifully romantic but oddly unmemorable---which is hard to believe considering his catalog of work (the rousing "Charge of the Light Brigade", for instance, or the classics "The Wizard of Oz" or "Casablanca"). The choristers (boys) of St. Luke's Episcopal Church effectively lend their voices to a few scenes, and would do so in Flynn's follow-up film, "The Prince and the Pauper".

Technical Data: {Reel Tape n.190} {59 minutes}

Music Composed by Max Steiner
Musical Direction by Leo F. Forbstein
Orchestrations by Hugo Friedhofer

This is the second score for an Errol Flynn's film. Max Steiner scored 17 films starred by him inclduing some memorables as Charge of the Light Brigade, Dodge City, Adventures of Don Juan, They Died with Their Boots On, Santa Fe Trail, The Prince and the Pauper ...

Some of them have already some kind of release (LP, CD original, CD with a re-recording). I plan to include some of the unreleased ones here.

No comments: